At the NCAA Indoor Championships in Boise State’s Jackson Indoor Track, the Michigan women’s track and field team finished 61st out of 62 teams competing.
Two-time champion Oregon defended its titles again this season with a total of 49 points. Michigan finished second-to-last and compiled 1.5 points at the meet.
Michigan coach James Henry, who has coached 113 NCAA All-Americans in his 27 seasons at the helm of the program, said this was the biggest event of the season.
“This is such a competitive, long season and I think we performed well, but the results were not what we expected,” Henry said.
Junior Rebecca Addison placed eighth in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:08.62, just 4.2 seconds behind the winner. Addison also reached the final after a very competitive first-round heat.
“It’s an accomplishment to make the NCAAs and a bonus to make finals,” Henry said. “By her making the finals, she is very gutsy young woman.”
Junior Kiley Tobel has had an extraordinary season, surpassing nearly all of her own personal goals in a breakout season. Michigan pole vaulting coach Sean Conlon believes that Tobel has the ability to qualify for the ‘B’ standard at the Olympic trials this spring, but that will depend on the caliber of the competition.
However, Tobel and Conlon encountered a problem when they were unable to bring Tobel’s poles to the Idaho.
“We had a problem getting her poles there, so Kiley actually didn’t have any of her poles there,” Conlon said. “A pole for a pole-vaulter is an incredibly personal thing because you train with it all of the time and you develop a feel for it. When you … have to use a different pole, it totally changes the feel of things and that adds stress to an already stressful situation.”
Tobel was nervous and worried because she had to borrow poles from different schools but was able to practice for a few days with the poles before competing. Conlon said that the day of the meet was probably the most calm he had seen her all week. The complication did not stop Tobel, as she persevered and attained All-American status when she cleared 4.20 meters.
Even though Tobel did not vault as high as she wanted and was not completely satisfied, she was pleased to be an All-American. Tobel learned to always stay positive and now knows that she can compete against the best.
“I’m a little tired, but I’m definitely excited and now motivated for the outdoor,” Tobel said. “I just have to keep my mind in the game. There are a lot of things I can work on and a lot of things I can improve on to get better.”
Addison was also slightly disappointed but at the same time excited to make the final and become an All-American. Addison is also looking forward to taking on the 1,500-meter.
“I’m excited for outdoors so I can get stronger,” Addison said. “We have had a great atmosphere and great training group and the coaches and their experience have been great.”
Also competing was freshman Shannon Osika in the mile run, in which she finished ninth with a time of 4:45.53.