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Women's track team impresses at Stanford Invitational

BY JIMMY SHEN
For the Daily
Published March 28, 2010

Redshirt senior Shana Vinson set a new personal record in the 200 meter dash this weekend. Her time of 24.48 was one of the many individual accomplishments that the Michigan women's track and field team boasted this weekend.

Traveling west to Palo Alto, Calif., the Wolverines didn’t have any problem adjusting to the change in weather. With the indoor season coming to a close and outdoor season fully underway, the team is looking for a new start.

“It’s a new beginning as we call it,” Michigan coach James Henry said. “We are building something from scratch, taking stuff one step at a time. We don’t want to look at the end, we want to look at where we are at right now. We want to train and compete in the moment.”

The Wolverines had strong individual efforts, with three different players notching top-three finishes in the first day of competition. Allison Liske continued to show that she is a consistent competitor by placing second in the shot put and discus throw. Jennifer Neville took second in the 400-meter hurdles, and senior captain Shana Vinson took third in the 400-meter dash.

In the second day of competition, the team picked up two more victories. The 4x400-meter relay team, consisting of redshirt junior Alisha Cole, junior Jennifer Neville, sophomore Alexandria Williams and senior Shana Vinson won with a combined time of 3:41.92. In addition, junior Emily Pendleton earned top honors in the discus invitational with a throw of 52.96 meters. Pendleton also recorded a seventh-place finish in the hammer throw, and a fourth-place finish with the shot put. Freshman Erin Pendleton took third in the collegiate hammer throw and fourth in the discus invitational.

Despite the strong showing, Henry is still looking for leaders to step up as the season progresses.

“It is challenging because a majority of the kids are freshmen or sophomores, and sometimes it is difficult to show leadership in the early training phrase.”

Many of the upperclassmen are taking a leadership role by stepping up and motivating the younger players he said.

“The upperclassmen are doing their best to remind everyone that our hard work is going to pay off later in the season,” Liske said.

And that motivation will be key when the Wolverines head to the Spartan Invitational in East Lansing next weekend.