Wolverines Ink Five to National Letters of Intent
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MGOBLUE

April 24, 2013

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- University of Michigan women's track and field head coach James Henry announced today (Wednesday, April 24) the signing of five high school seniors to Letters of Intent. The group will compete for the Wolverines in track and field and/or cross country starting in the 2013-14 season.

2013 Recruiting Class:
Erin Finn (West Bloomfield, Mich./West Bloomfield HS) - Distance
Aaron Howell (Farmington Hills, Mich./Farmington HS) - Multi-Events
Sami Michell (Reed City, Mich./Reed City HS) - Sprints/Jumps
Jamie Morrissey (Rochester, Mich./ Rochester Adams HS) - Mid-Distance
Jaimie Phelan (Kitchener, Ontario/St. Mary's HS) - Mid-Distance

"I am very excited about welcoming both Sami Michell and Aaron Howell to our program," said Henry. "Having a balanced track and field program is essential here at Michigan and both Sami and Aaron will add to our balance and depth. Sami can contribute in long and short hurdles, while Aaron can contribute her talents in the heptathlon and pentathlon. Both Sami and Aaron have the potential to contribute immediately for us on the track, but I am equally excited about their academic abilities and accomplishments."

"We did a great job of identifying and securing future Wolverines from the state of Michigan in Erin (Finn) and Jamie (Morrissey), as well as Jaimie (Phelan) from Ontario," added track and field associate head coach and cross country head coach Mike McGuire of the three distance signees. "We're really excited. We feel that we have a good balance of middle distance and distance runners, and they're going to be a big part of what we do over the next four years here at Michigan."

Erin Finn • West Bloomfield, Mich. • West Bloomfield HS • Distance

In her senior year at West Bloomfield, Finn won the individual cross country state championship, defending her title from the previous year as a junior. Finn was also the Oakland County cross country champion in each of her three years on the varsity cross country team. On the track as a junior, she was the 3,200-meter run MHSAA state champion.

Competing for Team USA, Finn was the 2013 North America, Central America & Caribbean (NACAC) cross country junior champion, finishing the 4K race in 14:09. She collected All-America honors with a second-place finish at 2013 USATF Junior Cross Country Nationals, earning a spot on Team USA for the IAAF World Cross Country Championships. Finn went on to finish 34th at the world championships in a field of 86 participants. She also competed for Team USA in the 2012 Bupa Great Edinburgh Run in Scotland, where she finished seventh.

As a sophomore and junior, Finn was a Foot Locker Cross Country Championship finalist, earning All-America accolades both years. At the New Balance Indoor Nationals, Finn won the 5K title, and followed that up with a fourth-place finish in the 5K at 2012 USATF Outdoor Junior Nationals. As a sophomore, Finn competed in New Balance Outdoor Nationals, finishing second in the 5K and sixth in the two-mile run, earning All-America honors in both events.

Off the track, Finn is a member of National Honor Society and Spanish club, and servers as the Interact Club treasurer. The National Merit semifinalist will graduate summa cum laude this spring.

Personal bests:
800m -- 2:18.16 (outdoor)
1,600m -- 4:47.08 (outdoor)
3,200m -- 10:18.23 (indoor)
3,200m -- 10:17.86 (outdoor)
5,000m -- 16:19.69 (indoor)
5,000m -- 16:41.33 (outdoor)
5K -- 17:07.90 (cross country)
6K -- 20:48.60 (cross country)

Assistant Coach Mike McGuire on Finn:
"We're really excited to have Erin on board with us. She's an outstanding student-athlete and she's going to have a tremendous presence in the longer distances here at Michigan. I feel she'll come in and impact us right away in cross country, and on the track, anywhere from the 3K up through the 10K. She's also going to add a great dynamic to the team -- she's a great teammate as well."

Aaron Howell • Farmington Hills, Mich. • Farmington HS • Multi-Events

Howell excelled in basketball and softball early in her high school career and made the transition to track and field as a sophomore. During Howell's first season on the varsity track and field team, she earned All-State honors in the high jump and All-State honorable mention recognition in the 100-meter hurdles. As a junior, she collected All-State honors in the long jump and earned All-America distinction as a heptathlete. She also placed first in the heptathlon at the 2012 New Balance Outdoor Nationals after posting personal bests in six of the seven events, earning All-America honors.

Howell was named All-State honorable mention in the 100-meter hurdles her sophomore year. She holds the school record for the 300-meter hurdles and tied the school record in the 100-meter hurdles.

As an accomplished student-athlete, she also garnered Academic All-State honors as a junior.

In addition to track and field, Howell continued her basketball career, earning four varsity letters en route to a 1,000-plus point scoring career. She received All-State honorable mention accolades as a junior and currently holds the school record for most points, rebounds, assists and steals, as well as most points in a game (34).

Personal bests:
200m -- 25.79 (outdoor)
800m -- 2:27.18 (outdoor)
100m Hurdles -- 15.13 (outdoor)
300m Hurdles -- 45.57 (outdoor)
High Jump -- 5-6 ft. (outdoor)
Shot Put -- 37-1.75 ft. (outdoor)
Long Jump -- 19-0 ft. (outdoor)
Javelin -- 118-8 ft. (outdoor)

Head Coach James Henry on Howell:
"Aaron has a very natural athletic ability with a tremendous ceiling for growth. She has seen incredible success across all event areas at the high school level and I look forward to seeing her continued improvement here at Michigan. We believe she will be an immediate contributor and has the potential to be one of our top all-time multi-event athletes."

Sami Michell • Reed City, Mich. • Reed City HS • Sprints/Jumps

In Michell's three years of high school track and field, she has accumulated eight Division 3 state titles, winning the 100-meter hurdles three times, 300-meter hurdles and long jump twice and 200-meter dash once. She also became only the second woman to win four Michigan state titles in the same year.

Competing in the USA Youth National Track and Field Championships, Michell placed second in the 100-meter hurdles and third in the 400-meter hurdles in 2011, while in 2012 she took third in the 100-meter hurdles and fourth in the 400-meter hurdles. She also placed fourth at the 2012 USA Track and Field Junior Olympics. In the 2012 USA Junior Outdoor Track and Field Championships, she placed ninth in the 100-meter hurdles and sixth in the 400-meter hurdles.

She holds the state record in the 100-meter hurdles, 300-meter hurdles and long jump. The 4.0 student owns the No.1 rank in her graduating class and was named to the Academic All-State team for her efforts on and off the track. Track and field runs in the Michell family, as her mother, Vicki, ran track for Ferris State University.

Head Coach James Henry on Michell:
"Sami is coming off of an outstanding junior year in track and field. She will immediately make an impact with our short sprints, as well as our short and long hurdles group, and also has the ability to be a part of our relays. I truly believe that with her natural ability and great work ethic, that she has the potential to be one of the top jumpers and/or hurdlers in our conference."

Jamie Morrissey • Rochester Hills, Mich. • Rochester Adams HS • Mid-Distance

Morrissey earned All-State honors in cross country during all four years of high school, completing her career with a third-place finish at the Division 1 state meet. At the Foot Locker Cross Country Midwest Regional, she placed 45th in 2011 and 26th in 2012.

In track and field, Morrissey recorded a second place finish in the 800-meter run and was a member of the second place 4x400-meter relay at the 2011 Division 1 state meet. At the 2012 USA Track & Field Junior Nationals Championships, she finished fifth in the 800-meter run. Morrissey was also a participant at the 2012 New Balance Indoor Nationals and the Brooks PR Invitational.

Morrissey earned Academic All-State honors in both cross country and track and field in 2010, '11 and '12. She is a member of National Honor Society and German National Honor Society. Collegiate athletics run in the family, as her father, John, played football for Central Michigan and her mother, Laura, played field hockey at Eastern Kentucky University.

Personal Bests:
800m -- 2:09.29 (outdoor)
1600m -- 4:59.10 (outdoor)
5K -- 17:48.00 (cross country)
400m -- 57.50 (outdoor)

Assistant Coach Mike McGuire on Morrissey:
"Jamie is coming off a really good fall season in cross country, where she was third in the state. She has a great athletic background and we're looking for her to compete anywhere from the 800, up through possibly the 3,000-meter steeplechase -- she has the speed, strength and athleticism to excel in that event. She's definitely someone who will impact us in cross country as well."

Jaimie Phelan • Kitchener, Ontario • St. Mary's HS • Mid-Distance

Phelan competed in the Canadian National Cross Country Championships in each of the last four years, finishing 52nd in in 2009, 14th in 2010, 12th in 2011 and 17th in 2012. She captured the OFFSA Provincial High School Cross Country title in 2009 and the OFSSA cross country 5K crown in 2011.

During her senior track and field campaign, Phelan won the Canadian National Youth championship in the 3,000-meter run and was part of the winning 4x400-meter relay. In 2011, she was selected to represent Canada at the World Youth Track Championships in Lile, France in the 1,500- and 3,000-meter run. As a sophomore, she was the Canadian junior national champion in the 1,200- (3:36.39) and 2,000-meter run (6:13.71), where she set national midget girls records in both events. Phelan captured back-to-back Nike Rowland Games 3,000-meter titles in 2010 and 2011.

Phelan won the Athletics Ontario indoor and outdoor 1,500-meter run titles as a junior, while she won the OFSSA Provincial High School 1,500-meter run as a sophomore with a record-holding time of 4:32.03.

The honor roll student was recognized for her accomplishments, being name the St. Mary's High School Female Athlete of the Year and Athletics Ontario Youth Female Athlete of the Year in three straight years (2010, '11, '12).

Athletics run in the Phelan family, as her mother, Sherri, was a world junior figure skating champion and her sister, Kaitie, plays hockey for Brock University in Canada.

Personal bests:
800m -- 2:10.57 (outdoor)
1,500m -- 4:24.04 (outdoor)

Assistant Coach Mike McGuire on Phelan:
"Jaimie is someone who fits our mold as our typical middle-distance recruit. She has an outstanding range from 800 meters up through 3K on the track. Her prowess is more at 800 and 1,500 meters, but she has a pretty good 3K mark and has had success in cross country as well, as she was the provincial champion in grade 11. She's definitely someone who can come in and be a Big Ten scorer right away in the middle distances on the track."

Contact: Whitney Dixon (734) 763-4423