Weekly #17: Five Wolverines to Conclude Season at NCAA Outdoors
Alex Leptich

June 9, 2014

Alex Leptich Spotlight
Meet Info: Championship Central | Schedule PDF | Performance List | Broadcast Schedule
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Wed-Sat., June 11-14
-- at NCAA Outdoor Championships (Eugene, Ore.), 11:30 a.m./11 a.m./12:30 p.m./12:30 p.m. PDT

Wednesday (11:30 a.m.): Live Results | ESPN3.com
Thursday (11 a.m.): Live Results | ESPN3.com
Friday (12:30 p.m.): Live Results | TV: ESPNU
Saturday (12:30 p.m.): Live Results | TV: ESPNU

*All Times Pacific Daylight

The University of Michigan women's track and field team will represented by freshman Erin Finn (West Bloomfield, Mich./West Bloomfield), junior Brook Handler (Rochester Hills, Mich./Rochester), freshman Aaron Howell (Farmington Hills, Mich./Farmington), senior Alex Leptich (Ann Arbor, Mich./Saline) and sophomore Cindy Ofili (Ypsilanti, Mich./Huron) at the NCAA Outdoor Championships from June 11-14 at the University of Oregon's historic Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.

All five qualifiers are Southeast Michigan natives and will be making their first appearance at the outdoor national meet.

Twelve competitors from the east and west regions in each individual event and 12 teams from each relay event advanced from the preliminary championship competitions to the NCAA Championships.

Michigan Qualifiers
Brook Handler -- 1,500m (7th, 4:15.48)
Semifinals (Thursday, June 12, at 4:45 p.m. PDT); Finals (Saturday, June 14, at 2:29 p.m. PDT)

Erin Finn -- 10,000m (1st, 33:13.46)
Final (Thursday, June 12, at 7:15 p.m. PDT)

Alex Leptich -- 3,000m Steeplechase (6th, 10:03.43)
Semifinals (Wednesday, June 11, at 6:45 p.m. PDT); Finals (Friday, June 13, at 5:35 p.m. PDT)

Cindy Ofili -- 100m Hurdles (8th, 13.00)
Semifinals (Thursday, June 12, at 5:20 p.m. PDT); Finals (Saturday, June 14, at 3:19 p.m. PDT)

Aaron Howell -- Heptathlon (20th, 5,416 points)
Thursday, June 12, at 1 p.m. PDT; Friday, June 13, at 12:30 p.m. PDT


• The NCAA Outdoor Championships will be hosted by the University of Oregon for the second straight year, and the meet will remain at historic Hayward Field through 2021.

• Michigan is tied for fourth in the Big Ten with Iowa in the number of athletes that qualified for the NCAA Championships with five participants. Penn State leads the conference with 11 qualifiers, while Nebraska has nine, and Ohio State is sending eight.

• Freshman Erin Finn (West Bloomfield, Mich./West Bloomfield), the 2014 Big Ten Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year, Freshman of the Year and Track Athlete of the Championships, was named the Great Lakes Region Women's Track Athlete of the Year by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) on Monday (June 9).

Erin Finn • Freshman • 10,000m • West Bloomfield, Mich./West Bloomfield
Finn, the 2014 USTFCCCA Great Lakes Region Athlete of the Year, enters the NCAA Championships as the top seed in the 10,000-meter run. She won the 10,000-meter title at the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds in a time of 33:13.46, which was the fastest time clocked at both the East and West Preliminary Rounds. The NCAA Championships will mark Finn's third career attempt at 10,000 meters.

At the Big Ten Outdoor Championships, Finn captured the 5,000- (14:48.90) and 10,000-meter (32:41.65) run titles, setting conference meet records in both events as well as the school record in the 10,000m. Already earning Big Ten Cross Country Athlete and Freshman of the Year, as well as Indoor Freshman of the Year honors earlier this year, she was named the Big Ten's Outdoor Athlete of the Year, Freshman of the Year and Athlete of the Championships, becoming the first athlete to win all three awards. Finn also holds the school record in the 5,000-meter run with her time of 15:26.08, which she clocked at the Payton Jordan Invitational.

Finn's 2014 Outdoor Track & Field Accolades and Accomplishments
• Big Ten Track Athlete of the Year
• Big Ten Track Freshman of the Year
• Big Ten Track Athlete of the Championships
• Big Ten 5,000- and 10,000-meter run champion (set meet records in both events)
• All-Big Ten first team
• NCAA East Preliminary Rounds 10,000-meter champion
• USTFCCCA Great Lakes Region Track Athlete of the Year
• School record holder in the 5,000- (14:26.08) and 10,000-meter run (32:41.65)

Brook Handler • Junior • 1,500m • Rochester Hills, Mich./Rochester
Handler punched her ticket to the national championships for the first time in her career in the 1,500-meter run after running a personal-best time of 4:15.48 at the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds, which was the seventh-best time of the 24 competitors. At the 2014 Big Ten Outdoor Championships, she placed fifth in the 1,500m.

Aaron Howell • Freshman • Heptathlon • Farmington Hills, Mich./Farmington
Howell qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the heptathlon after tallying 5,416 points in her winning performance in the Invite A heptathlon at the California Invitational Heptathlon. Howell took sixth overall in the heptathlon in her Big Ten Outdoor Championships debut (5,056 points). She competed in the high jump at the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds, placing 36th (1.67m, 5-5.75).

Alex Leptich • Senior • 3,000m Steeplechase • Ann Arbor, Mich./Saline
Leptich earned her first trip to the NCAA Championships after clocking a career-best time of 10:03.43 to win heat three of the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds. She recorded the fourth-best time in the east region and is seeded sixth overall for the national meet. Leptich has scored for U-M in the steeple at the Big Ten Outdoor Championships in each of the last three seasons, placing third this year, seventh in 2013 and second in 2012.

Cindy Ofili • Sophomore • 100m Hurdles • Ypsilanti, Mich./Huron
Ofili advanced from the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds to the NCAA Championships for the first time in her career after finishing two spots shy of qualifying a year ago. This year, she finished fourth in the regional quarterfinals with a time of 13.00 to earn the eighth seed at the national championships. At the Big Ten Conference level, Ofili won the indoor 60- and outdoor 100-meter hurdles this season and was named the Big Ten Indoor Track Athlete of the Year. Her Big Ten-winning 100-meter hurdle time of 12.93 is a career best. During the indoor season, she was a First Team All-American, placing fifth at the NCAA Championships.

Contact: Whitney Dixon (whitdix@umich.edu)