Feb. 11, 2017
» She was one of 11 women who set career bests, including eight in the mid-distance events.
» Claire Kieffer-Wright was the overall winner in the high jump as the Wolverines' only event winner on Saturday.
Site: Geneva, Ohio (SPIRE Institute)
Event: SPIRE DI Invitational (Day 2)
U-M Team Result: Non-scoring
Next U-M Events: Saturday, Feb. 18 -- at Notre Dame Alex Wilson Invitational (South Bend, Ind.), 10 a.m.
GENEVA, Ohio -- She may only have five collegiate competitions under her belt, but freshman Jade Harrison's performance on the final day of the SPIRE DI Invitational (Feb. 11) made clear the fact that she is rapidly developing into one of the fastest sprinters in U-M history.
Less than 24 hours after coming within a quarter-second of the school record at 200 meters, she just missed breaking the 400-meter U-M record by half a second to lead the No. 10 University of Michigan women's track and field team in its final full weekend before the Big Ten Championships on Feb. 24-25.
Harrison charged late to cross the line in 54.12 for fourth place overall, moving up two spots in the final 100 meters. With that performance, Harrison is now within exactly half a second of the 53.64 all-time U-M standard set by Maya Long a year ago and improved on her previous career-best time from a week ago (54.56) by nearly that same margin.
Julia Hall ran 55.83 to finish third in her section.
Harrison and Hall teamed up with mid-distance runners Jamie Morrissey and Jaimie Phelan for the runner-up 4x400 relay, which ran a season-best 3:40.87. Boosted by an opening leg in the neighborhood of 54 seconds for Harrison, the Wolverines ran nearly three seconds faster than last weekend at the Meyo Invitational.
Harrison was not the only woman on the 4x4 relay who posted a career best today and was just one of 11 Wolverines who improved their PRs Saturday in Geneva.
Morrissey set her second PR of the weekend, following up on her 600-meter performance from Friday night (Feb. 10) with a 2:05.84 over 800 meters to finish third overall in a dramatic photo finish. After coming through the bell lap in fifth, she moved up to third on the final stretch and was able to outlean two other competitors at the line by hundredths of a second.
Morrissey joined Penn State's Dane Rivers as the only two women in the Big Ten faster than 2:06 this season, based on results entering the weekend.
Holly Petrusson was the winner of her heat and 23rd overall in a career-best 2:12.31 after a strong move to separate from the pack on the backstretch of the final lap. Kate Owens (2:17.87) and Mary Kate McNamara (2:18.03) both also left with career bests.
While U-M was not able to add to its nation-leading total of nine women who have run 4:50.00 or faster, a number of women came close as the event did prove fruitful for career- and seasonal-best times.
Meg Darmofal pulled off an even more dramatic victory in the final section, getting the win by just .01 over Mackenzie Andrews of Akron in a career-best 4:51.70 -- a career best by more than seven seconds. The time was good enough for seventh overall, giving Michigan five of the top 12 finishers.
In the sprints, Meghan Marias followed up a career-best 7.58 in the morning's 60-meter dash prelims with a fourth-place finish in the afternoon final in 7.60 to match her previous PR entering the weekend.
The lone overall event victory on the day for the Wolverines came in the high jump, as Claire Kieffer-Wright cleared a season's best 1.78m (5-10) on her first attempt. The junior secured the win when a trio of competitors all missed their three tries at 1.78m -- a height just two centimeters shy of her career best.
Pole vaulter Sarah Uhlian came even closer to her career best in her vertical jumping event, finishing in a three-way tie for fourth with a first-attempt clearance at 3.88m (12-8.75). Teammate Emma Bauer tied for ninth after getting over a 3.82m (12-6.25) bar just three centimeters shy of her personal best.
Jeryne Fish finished fifth in the long jump final with a fifth-attempt leap of 5.73m (18-9.75). That mark proved to be the difference between finishing fifth and sixth, improving on her second-best mark of 5.57m.
Kayla Deering followed up a career best in the weight throw on Friday with a season's best in the shot put Saturday, throwing 14.31m (46-11.5) to win a tiebreak for eighth place. Her second-best throw of 14.17m was superior to the No. 2 throw of 14.01m posted by ninth-place finisher Rebecca Leppelmeier of Kent State.
Faith Reynolds kicked off the day for the Wolverines on the track on a positive note, running a career-best 5:04.33 to finish third in her section of the unseeded mile. The time eclipsed her previous personal standard by more than seven seconds.
Jade Harrison makes a great move on the final straight to run a career-best 54.12! 4th in her section & only .5 away from the U-M record!
-- Michigan Track&Field (@UMichTrack) February 11, 2017
Communications Contact: Kyle Terwillegar