March 25, 2017
» Claire Kieffer-Wright took the high-jump victory on a tiebreaker to lead three scorers in the event.
» Three women also scored at 1,500 meters, including double-scorer Sydney Badger.
» All-Americans Erin Finn, Jaimie Phelan, Jamie Morrissey and Gina Sereno return next weekend at the Battle of the Blues at Duke.
Site: Tempe, Ariz. (Sun Angel Stadium)
Event: Pac-12 vs. Big Ten Challenge (Day 1)
U-M Team Result: 8th Place of 8 Teams (57 points)
Next U-M Event: Saturday, April 1 -- at Battle of the Blues (Durham, N.C.), 10 a.m.
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Led by an individual title from Claire Kieffer-Wright, the No. 21-ranked University of Michigan women's track and field team helped "Team Big Ten" to a decisive victory over "Team Pac-12" to wrap up its outdoor debut at the Pac-12 vs. Big Ten Challenge at Sun Angel Stadium.
Kieffer-Wright's tiebreak win in her signature high jump event headlined a U-M effort that helped the Big Ten -- along with Nebraska, Penn State and Indiana -- to 409 points to take the conference crown over the Pac-12 contingent -- UCLA, Arizona State, Arizona and California -- and its score of 312.
The top eight athletes in each event earned points for their conference team, with 10 going to the winner's conference, on down through one point for eighth place (10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 scoring system).
Kieffer-Wright, who doubles as a volleyball player for the Wolverines, was perfect through her first three heights Saturday night as she made it through to 1.75m (5-8.75) without a miss. Though she took three good attempts at 1.78m (5-10), she was unable to get a clearance; neither was Penn State's Megan McCloskey, who needed three tries to make it over at 1.75m.
By virtue of having fewer misses at the previous height, Kieffer-Wright came away with the win.
The Wolverines turned in another three-scorer event on the track in the 1,500-meter run as Claire Borchers, Sydney Badger and Meg Darmofal came through in a row in fifth, sixth and seventh, respectively. Borchers ran 4:32.61, followed by Badger in 4:33.19 and Darmofal in 4:34.78.
Badger doubled back later to finish fourth at 800 meters in a career-best 2:12.20, winning her heat by just .12 of a second as each of the next five finishers between the top two heats were within about one second.
Jade Harrison, a freshman making her outdoor debut after an incendiary indoor campaign that saw her break the 400-meter school record and earn distance medley relay All-America honors, scored both at 100 and 200 meters.
She won her heat at 100 meters in 11.95 (+1.5m/s wind) to finish fourth overall for five points and was the top U-M finisher at 200 in 24.43 (-0.2m/s) in eighth for another point.
Lauren Rodriguez scored two points for the Wolverines and the Big Ten with an eighth-place finish in the 100-meter hurdles, coming just shy of her career best in 14.54 (-0.4m/s), and an eighth-place showing in the 400-meter hurdles.
Freshman Julia Hall's U-M outdoor debut resulted in two points at Michigan's top finisher at 400 meters in a seventh-place effort.
Jeryne Fish was the top horizontal jumper on the day for Michigan as she finished 11th in the long jump.
Christina Hallmann made her collegiate debut in the discus to open up the day for the Wolverines, throwing 42.68m (140-0.25) on her first attempt to finish fifth in her flight and 12th overall.
Briana Nelson netted a 12th-place finish of her own in the shot put with a pair of 12.00m (39-4.25) marks.
Tweet of the Day
Badger FTW! She holds on down the stretch to win heat 2 of the 800 in a career-best 2:12.20! pic.twitter.com/BwBdz9IpC0
-- Michigan Track&Field (@UMichTrack) March 26, 2017
Communications Contact: Kyle Terwillegar