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Posted on Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 11:39 a.m.

Michigan soccer player attempting to make Mexican national team.

By Matt Durr

Christina Murillo has left the Michigan women’s soccer team for the winter while she attempts to qualify for the Mexican national team and possibly the Olympic Games in London.

“I think it’s a great honor," Murillo said. "Obviously, soccer is a huge sport in Mexico, so it makes it just that much more exciting to wear the Mexican jersey every day."

Murillo is one 30 players working to make the final roster, which is expected to be announced early next week. Whether or not she makes the cut, Murillo will continue to train with the squad.

“I definitely think it’s going to help me tremendously. Fitness wise and skill wise I feel like I can grow as a player in the next few months,” Murillo said.

Michigan head coach Greg Ryan agreed.

“I think it’s a fantastic opportunity for a young player to develop,” Ryan said. “It’s a much higher level and a very different style of game, much higher than the college game. It’s only going to help them accelerate their development.”

Murillo said that the training has been difficult, but she was surprised that she was able to keep up with world-class athletes. Now that she knows she can keep up, she is trying to learn from the more experienced players.

Ryan played a huge role in helping Murillo get noticed by Mexico’s head coach, Leo Cuellar. The two played against one another in the North American Soccer League in the 1980s and developed a relationship off the field.

While scouting for the U.S. national team, Ryan noticed Murillo, but knew she was not the right for the U.S. style of play. He called Cuellar and the rest is history.

Murillo was born in the United States, but is eligible to play for Mexico. And while the Olympic team is the ultimate goal, Murillo will attempt to make U-20 World Cup team for Mexico.

Murillo plans on rejoining Michigan in time for the fall semester. She was a member of the All-Big Ten Freshmen team last season.

Sophomore sets school record, named Big Ten field athlete of the week

Michigan sophomore Kiley Tobel was named the Big Ten Field Athlete of the Week on Jan. 9 after a record-setting performance on Jan. 7. The Commerce Township native set a school pole vault record of 4.00 meters, breaking the previous mark of 3.94 set by Elizabeth Boyle in 2003.

The mark is the highest in the Big Ten so far this season and is fifth in the nation. This is the first time in her career that Tobel was won the award and is the first Michigan athlete to win a weekly award since January 2009.

EMU athletes excel in the classroom

Three teams at Eastern Michigan University celebrated academic accomplishments this past week.

The men’s basketball team posted a 2.92 cumulative grade point average making it the highest team GPA in the last 15 years.

Both the men’s and women’s cross country teams placed members on the Academic All-Mac team. Three members of the women’s squad, Courtney Calka, Tiffany Kincaid and Rachel Quaintance earned the honor the most in the conference. On the men’s side, four members, Harry Dixon, Terefe Ejigu, Austin Hendix and Grzegorz Kalinowski were named to the team, tying Bowling Green State for the most members on the team.

Michigan swimmers earn Big Ten honors

Two seniors on the Michigan women’s swim and dive team earned Big Ten Swimmer and Diver of the Week awards.

Caitlin Dauw took home the Swimmer of the Week after winning the 100 and 200-yard butterfly events and was part of the winning 200-yard medley relay team.

Amanda Lohman won the Diver of the Week after posting the highest score in the three-meter springboard in the last seven seasons by a Wolverine (360.60). She also tied for first in the on the one-meter springboard by scoring 305.48.

Upcoming home schedule:


U-M women’s gymnastics - 6 p.m. vs. No. 18 Ohio State at Crisler Center

EMU wrestling - 7 p.m. vs. Central Michigan at Convocation Center

U-M wrestling - 7 p.m. vs. Indiana at Cliff Keen Arena


EMU women’s basketball - 2 p.m. vs. Western Michigan at Convocation Center


U-M women’s basketball - noon vs. Minnesota at Crisler Center

EMU wrestling - 1 p.m. vs. Clarion at Convocation Center

EMU wrestling 3 p.m. vs. Indiana Tech at Convocation Center


U-M men’s basketball - 7 p.m. vs. Michigan State at Crisler Center