Feb. 14, 2014
Site: Geneva, Ohio (SPIRE Institute)
Event: SPIRE Invitational (Day 1)
U-M Team Result: No team scoring
Next U-M Event: Saturday, Feb. 15 -- at SPIRE Invitational - Day 2 (Geneva, Ohio), 10 a.m.
GENEVA, Ohio -- The 18th-ranked University of Michigan women's track and field team's performance was highlighted by its distance medley relay and freshman Erin Finn (West Bloomfield, Mich./West Bloomfield) setting new SPIRE facility records on the opening day of the SPIRE Invitational on Friday (Feb. 14).
The distance medley relay of freshman Jaimie Phelan (Kitchener, Ont./St. Mary's), sophomore Maya Long (Ann Arbor, Mich./Huron), sophomore Danielle Pfeifer (Cincinnati, Ohio/McAuley) and junior Brook Handler (Rochester Hills, Mich./Rochester) defended Michigan's title from a year ago. The relay's winning time of 11:00.20 set a new SPIRE facility record and was not far off U-M's winning time of 10:56.46 at the 2013 NCAA Indoor Championships, which is a school record.
Phelan established a lead early on in the first 1,200-meter leg, running a 3:25.9 split. Long was passed with about 100 meters to go in the 400-meter leg, where she split 53.9, but Pfeifer quickly regained the lead in the 800-meter leg, clocking a 2:05.6 split. Pfeifer handed the baton to Handler with roughly a 12-meter lead on second-place Notre Dame, and Handler cruised to victory with a 4:34.6 split in the final 1,600-meter leg. U-M finished more than eight second ahead of runner-up Notre Dame (11:08.58).
Finn won the 5,000-meter run in her first time competing in that event as a Wolverine. Her time of 15:57.32 set a new SPIRE record and was just .59 seconds off the school record, which was set by Mindy Rowand in 1989. Finn led by a healthy margin the entire race and crossed the line more than 14 seconds ahead of the second-place finisher.
In her first collegiate pentathlon, freshman Aaron Howell (Farmington Hills, Mich./Farmington) took second place with 3,887 points, which was just shy of Toronto's Maddie Buttinger's 4,072 points. She started the event with back-to-back wins in the 60-meter hurdles and high jump. She clocked a personal-best time of 8.79 in the hurdles and matched her collegiate best in the high jump of 1.71 meters (5-7.25). Howell also won the long jump with a mark of 5.64 meters (18-6).
Freshman Jamie Morrissey (Rochester, Mich./Rochester Adams) ran her first collegiate 600-meter run, finishing runner-up in a time of 1:32.79.
Competition at the SPIRE Institute, which will be the site of the 2014 Big Ten Indoor Championships on Feb. 28-March 1, will resume tomorrow morning (Saturday, Feb. 15) at 10 a.m.
Paris Parnell - 200m (25.15)
Emily Wee - 400m (56.91)
Anna Pasternak - 5,000m (17:00.57)
Aaron Howell - 60m Hurdles (8.79, pentathlon)
Amanda Adwon - Weight Throw (17.38m, 57-0.25)
Elly Mioduszewski - Weight Throw (17.34m, 56-10.75)
Abby Grinnell - Weight Throw (16.08m, 52-9.25)
Q U O T E S
Michigan Associate Head Coach Mike McGuire
On the distance medley relay's performance... "It was very impressive and it was a consummate team effort. What was neat about it was that Maya (Long) was a returnee off the national championship relay from last year and then you have three new people that are stepping into roles that were passed on by three outstanding runners for us last year."
On Erin Finn's 5,000m victory ... "Erin (Finn) did a heck of a job. She led the entire way and ran the second fastest time in school history -- missed the school record by less than a second. She did not have the benefit of rabbits at this meet and she did this all on her own. It was every bit as impressive as what the four girls did in the distance medley earlier in the evening."
Contact: Whitney Dixon (firstname.lastname@example.org)