Feb. 28, 2014
Site: SPIRE Institute (Geneva, Ohio)
Event: Big Ten Indoor Championships (Day 1)
U-M Team Result: 1st Place of 11 Teams (38 points) after Day 1
Next U-M Event: Saturday, March 1 -- at Big Ten Indoor Championships - Day 2 (Geneva, Ohio), 10 a.m. [ Live Results ]
GENEVA, Ohio -- The University of Michigan women's track and field team is sitting in first place after winning two of its five scoring events on the first day of the Big Ten Indoor Championships on Friday (Feb. 28) at the SPIRE Institute. The Wolverines' distance medley relay defended its Big Ten title for the 11th straight year, while senior Erin Busbee (Cleveland, Ohio/Collinwood) captured the long jump crown.
Busbee, who jumped 6.20 meters (20-4.25), stole the first-place spot on her final jump of the day. In a three-way tie for the top mark, it all came down to second-best jumps, where Busbee separated herself from the rest of the pack.
The distance medley relay, which consisted 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), won the title by a 1.3-second margin with a time of 11:12.52.
Fifth-year senior Kiley Tobel (Commerce Twp., Mich./Walled Lake Western) garnered the Wolverines' first six points of meet with a third-place performance in the pole vault. Tobel cleared 4.15 meters (13-7.25) on her first attempt and decided to pass on her second attempt at 4.20 meters and move to 4.25 meters, but she was unsuccessful in two tries at that height.
Contributing eight of U-M's 38 points in the 3,000-meter run was freshman Erin Finn (West Bloomfield, Mich./West Bloomfield), who led most of the race and narrowly missed out on the title but was strong enough to maintain a second-place finish.
In her first Big Ten pentathlon performance, freshman Aaron Howell (Farmington Hills, Mich./Farmington) earned fifth place with a score of 3,908 points, adding four points onto Michigan's first-day total. Howell broke her personal records in the shot put (11.93m, 39-1.75) and 800-meter run (2:22.76).
Sophomore Cindy Ofili (Ypsilanti, Mich./Huron) qualified in all three of her events on the day. In her first performance, Ofili set a new school record in the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.37, shaving .03 seconds off her own previous record. This gave her the second overall time and guaranteed her a spot in tomorrow's finals.
Ofili and Busbee went 1-2 in heat one of the 60-meter hurdle prelims in 8.19 and 8.37, respectively, to finish first and third overall. Both Ofili and Busbee's times were career bests.
Returning to the track for the third time, Ofili ran the 200-meter run prelims in 24.11 seconds to finish first in her heat and secure a spot in the finals.
Three Wolverines will be advancing past the mile run prelims, including Handler (4:43.77), senior Megan Weschler (Wyandotte, Mich./Roosevelt)(4:43.83) and senior/junior Alex Leptich (Ann Arbor, Mich./Saline) (4:47.13). Handler and Weschler automatically qualified for the finals, taking first and second in their heat, respectively, while Leptich finished third in her heat and nabbed the eight qualifying spot.
Junior Chinyere Onimo (Ypsilanti, Mich./Huron) secured a position in the 600-meter run finals with a time of 1:32.37 in the prelims.
In the 800-meter prelims, Pfeifer and Phelan combined for a 1-2 finish in the second heat with times of 2:07.58 and 2:08.02, respectively. Pfeifer's performance earned her the top spot overall going into tomorrow's finals.
Action at the SPIRE Institute will begin tomorrow (Saturday, March 1) at 10 a.m., while Michigan's first event will commence at 11 a.m. with the high jump.
N O T E S
• Michigan won its 11th straight Big Ten distance medley relay title and 12th in the last 13 years.
Alex Leptich -- Mile run (4:47.14)
Megan Weschler -- Mile run (4:43.83)
Meghan Lark -- Pole Vault (3.85m, 12-7.5)
Abby Grinnell -- Shot Put (13.4m, 43-11.75)
Aaron Howell -- 800m (2:22.76, pentathlon), shot put (11.93m, 39-1.75, pentathlon)
Cindy Ofili -- 60m hurdles (8.19), 60m dash (7.37, school record)
Erin Busbee -- 60m hurdles (8.37)
Courtney Munley -- Mile run (5:00.37)
Chinyere Onimo -- 600m run (1:32.37)
Jamie Morrissey -- 800m run (2:08.36)
Sami Michell -- 60m hurdles (8.62), long jump (5.46m, 17-11)
Erin Finn -- 3,000m run (9:12.59)
Corinne Florie -- 3,000m run (9:37.80)
Contact: Whitney Dixon (firstname.lastname@example.org)