For the third straight week, April Phillips starred for the Michigan women”s track team, this time at the non-scoring Red Simmons Invitational. Phillips bettered her own school record in the weight throw, posting 55 feet and almost 10 inches for an easy first-place finish.
The celebrated throw not only set a school record, but also broke the Michigan Indoor Track Building record mark by almost an inch-and-a-half. The record had been held by Central Michigan”s Summer Beydoun, who set it in 1999. Phillips” monstrous throw was close to four feet farther than the best effort by the second place finisher, teammate Melissa Bickett, who also bettered her personal best in the event. Phillips continued her standout day by taking second place in the shotput.
After their close loss to conference rival Indiana two weekends ago, the Wolverines headed into this weekend looking to regain some confidence. The non-scoring meet allowed most members of the team to work on bettering their performances in specific events, without the added stress of competing as a whole team against an opponent.
“A non-scoring meet allows the team”s athletes to work on their individual performances more specifically,” Bickett said.
Most team members did improve. Along with Phillips, TaNisha Williams had a strong outing, continuing what has been a good season for her so far. The junior won a pair of events for the Wolverines, as she took first place in both the long jump and the 60-meter hurdles. She won the same two events two weeks ago when the Wolverines hosted the Jack Harvey Invitational. The win in the hurdles was a good sign for Williams, who bettered her personal best time in the event by six-hundredths of a second and will be counted on by the Michigan coaches as the season continues.