Jan. 14, 2017
» The Wolverines claimed event titles in the high jump, 60-meter, 400-meter and 600-meter races -- with three of four titles coming from freshmen -- and also earned runner-up finishes in the 3,000-meter run and the weight throw.
» Today's meet marked the first in-uniform competition for the following Wolverines: Emma Bauer, Natalie Baxter, Courtney Jacobsen, Torisa Johnson, Meagan Malloy, Haley Meier, Hannah Meier, Katt Miner, Tiana Luton, Faith Reynolds, Lauren Van Vlierbergen, Jada Wimberly.
» Natalie Douglas, Amanda Kline, Jena Metwalli, Courtney Munley, Saintphanie Porcenat, Keira Yonclas and Alexis Zatta (seven total athletes) competed unattached for the Maize and Blue.
Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (U-M Indoor Track Building)
Event: Simmons-Harvey Invitational
U-M Team Result: Non-scoring
Next U-M Event: Saturday, Jan. 21 -- at Notre Dame Invitational (South Bend, Ind.), 10 a.m.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The No. 12-ranked University of Michigan women's track and field team kicked off the 2017 season with a memorable day of events on Saturday (Jan. 14) at the U-M Indoor Track Building, taking four event titles and setting an impressive 15 PRs during the final day of competition at the historic building that has housed the program since 1974.
The effort was a well-balanced one, with a number of freshmen having impressive collegiate openers, while the roster's upperclassmen showed the steady improvement that has helped this team find so much success at the Big Ten level. Being the final meet in this building, the program's alumni and local fans were out in droves to support the Wolverines.
"It was so good to see so many people here," said head coach James Henry. "From our alumni to our fans, we really felt the support today, and we are thankful for that. Sue Frederick Foster was here, and her record went down at the final meet. That was very cool to see."
On top of that, Henry categorized this meet as the best season opener in recent memory.
"I'm very, very happy with how we ran, especially our young kids," he said. "This was probably the best opening we've had in a long time. These kids will be superstars, and I'm very happy with their performance."
In the mile, there were three sections, all heavy on Maize and Blue runners. The third section produced the winner, volunteer assistant and Saucony pro Nicole Sifuentes. Sifuentes ran 4:35.69 for a new U-M indoor track building facility record and she -- along with volunteer assistant coach, Brooks pro and today's runner-up Amanda Eccleston (4:39.39) -- helped bring senior/junior Erin Finn in under 4:40. Finn timed 4:39.76, currently the No. 4 mile time in the country pending results from elsewhere across the nation.
Finn and Eccleston both ran in the second section, where senior/junior Gina Sereno earned fourth place overall in 4:45.03. Sereno had a similar race to senior Jamie Morrissey, who ran in the third section. Both held on to the leaders deep into the race but had to finish the final laps at their own pace.
Altogether, each of the top eight finishers were under 4:50 with the full top-12 under five minutes. Six total Wolverines ran new PRs in-uniform, not including unattached athletes. Afterwards, Sifuentes gathered for a memorable moment with the previous record holder, Sue Frederick Foster, who has long been an important figure in the program and attended the meet in-person.
In the Francie Kraker Goodridge 800-meter run, it was another Michigan affair, with nine of the top 10 finishers being current Wolverines or recent grads, and 12 of the top 14 overall. Class of 2016 graduate and Saucony pro Shannon Osika was the winner in 2:07.40, and junior Jaimie Phelan was the top-finishing athlete in uniform at 2:10.37, good for third place. Former volunteer assistant and fellow Saucony pro Rebecca Addison was runner-up in 2:08.45.
It was a competitive field overall with six under 2:15 and produced a new PR for junior/sophomore Holly Petrusson, who timed 2:13.37 for fifth place. Harvard transfer Kieran Gallagher ran 2:10.87 in her U-M debut.
U-M went two-three-five in the 3K event as well, led by junior/sophomore Ellie Leonard in second with a new PR of 9:58.36. Graduate student Erika Fluehr placed third, while junior/sophomore Rachel Coleman took fifth in her first time competing in uniform indoors.
In the 60-meter hurdles, U-M went two-six-seven, with senior/junior Aaron Howell's runner-up showing and new PR highlighting the effort. She timed 8.61 in the final after opening at 8.80, helping her to finish ahead of sophomore Lauren Rodriguez (fourth) and freshman Tiana Luton (fifth), with Rodriguez setting a new PR in the prelims.
"I was really excited today," said senior/junior co-captain Aaron Howell."Yesterday, I was just dead bored, but today watching everybody PR and seeing the alumni here to support us, it made me even more excited for this season."
U-M put three in the final of the 60-meter dash, including top seeds freshman Torisa Johnson (7.57) and junior Meghan Marias (7.72). Unattached freshman Saintphanie Porcenat also qualified in 8.01, but it was Johnson who came away with victory, running 7.54 in the final, with Marias taking fourth in 7.71.
A pair of freshmen won the 4- and 600-meter races for the Maize and Blue. Jade Harrison came away with victory in the shorter race. She ran 55.8, besting the field by more than a quarter-second. Harrison led from the gun and showed an impressive kick down the home stretch. In the 600-meter race, Julia Hall was the winner in 1:35.65, more than six seconds ahead of the next-closest finisher.
U-M ran three 4x400-meter relay squads, each competing in the third and final heat, and the squad of Johnson-Phelan-Marias and Morrissey took the win in 3:54.69.
Michigan dominated the field in the high jump, with six athletes in uniform and two unattached for eight total athletes out of the 10-woman field. The Wolverines went one-through-four, with junior Claire Kieffer-Wright winning with a clearance of 1.70 meters (5-7 ft.). That height was also cleared by freshman Katt Miner, but it took her two attempts to clear the bar.
U-M had two athletes finish in the top five of the long jump. True freshman Tiana Luton jumped 5.47 meters (17-11.25 ft.) in her U-M debut to take fourth, and sophomore Jeryne Fish landed at 5.42 meters (17-9.25 ft.)
The weight throw was among the most tightly contested finishes of the day and may have been the tightest. True freshman Courtney Jacobsen burst onto the scene with a second-place finish, but the tiebreaker had to go to the third-best throw from each athlete. Both Jacobsen and Hillsdale senior Dana Newell threw 17.94 (58-10.25 ft.) for their best effort, and both threw 17.93 (58-9.75 ft.) for their second-farthest throw. The tiebreaker came down to Newell's 17.33-meter (56-10.25 ft.) throw against Jacobsen's third-best effort, a mark of 17.16 meters (56-3.5 ft.).
In third was junior Bailey Baker at 17.25 meters (56-7 ft.), a PR by more than a quarter-meter, while junior Kayla Deering placed fifth with a PR of her own, landing her best throw at 17.00 meters (55-9.25 ft.). Sophomore Briana Nelson threw a PR competing unattached (16.70 meters; 54-9.5 ft.).
U-M also put three in the top seven of the shot put; Deering led the way in second place at 13.46 meters (44-2 ft.).
COLLEGIATE PERSONAL BESTS
Lauren Rodriguez -- 8.87
Ellie Leonard -- 9:58.36
Jeryne Fish -- 5.61 meters (18-4.75 ft.)
Kayla Deering --13.46 meters (44-2 ft.)
Emma Bauer -- 3.70 meters (12-1.5 ft.)
-- Michigan Track&Field (@UMichTrack) January 14, 2017
Communications Contact: Chad Shepard