U of M Women - Weekly #16: Thirteen to Represent U-M at NCAA East Prelims
Provided by U of M
Thu-Sat., May 29-31 -- at NCAA East Preliminary Rounds (Jacksonville, Fla.), Noon/10 a.m./Noon
Thirteen member of the 20th-ranked University of Michigan women's track and field team will continue their season as they represent the Maize and Blue at the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds from Thursday-Saturday (May 29-31) at the University of North Florida's Hodges Stadium. Competition will start on Thursday at noon and resume on Friday at 10 a.m. and again on Saturday at noon.
The top 48 athletes in both the east and west regions in each event (in descending order), as well as the top 24 relays from each region, qualified for the meet. The athletes will participate in two rounds (first round and quarterfinals) during the preliminary round. Twelve competitors from each individual event and 12 teams from each relay event will advance from each preliminary championship competition to the NCAA Championships. This year's national meet will be held from June 11-14 in Eugene, Ore.
Name -- Event (Seed, Time/Mark)
Danielle Pfeifer -- 800m (23, 2:06.68)
Devon Hoppe -- 800m (26, 2:06.84)
Jamie Morrissey -- 800m (47, 2:08.22)
Brook Handler -- 1,500m (6, 4:15.82)
Shannon Osika -- 1,500m (11, 4:17.27)
Erin Finn -- 10,000m (3, 32:41.65)
Alex Leptich -- 3,000m Steeplechase (4, 10:04.86)
Megan Weschler -- 3,000m Steeplechase (12, 10:11.56)
Cindy Ofili -- 100m Hurdles (4, 12.93); 200m (34, 23.62)
Erin Busbee -- 100m Hurdles (40, 13.66); Long Jump (46, 6.03m)
Aaron Howell -- High Jump (45, 1.75m)
Kiley Tobel -- Pole Vault (22, 4.10m)
Joanna Fleming -- Hammer Throw (48, 54.94m)
• The preliminary rounds will be hosted by the University of North Florida for the second time in three years, as Hodges Stadium was the site of the 2012 east regional.
• Michigan moved into the USTFCCCA Division I National Team Top 25 Rankings for the first time since 2009, on April 29, coming in at No. 20, and the Wolverines are currently ranked No. 20. U-M's 2009 team was ranked 11th in the final poll and finished seventh at the NCAA Outdoor Championships -- the second-highest finish in program history.
• Freshman Aaron Howell (Farmington Hills, Mich./Farmington) has already qualified to participate at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the heptathlon as the multi-events are not contested at the regional rounds. She will represent Michigan in the open high jump at the preliminary rounds.
• Five other teams from the Big Ten Conference will join Michigan at the East Preliminary Rounds, including Indiana, Michigan State, Penn State, Ohio State and Purdue.
• This will mark the second consecutive trip to the regional meet for senior Erin Busbee (Cleveland, Ohio/Collinwood), junior Brook Handler (Rochester Hills, Mich./Rochester), sophomore Cindy Ofili (Ypsilanti, Mich./Huron), junior/sophomore Shannon Osika (Waterford, Mich./Mott) and senior Megan Weschler (Wyandotte, Mich./Roosevelt), while senior Alex Leptich (Ann Arbor, Mich./Saline) will make her third consecutive appearance at the NCAA prelims, and fifth-year senior Kiley Tobel (Commerce Twp., Mich./Walled Lake Western) will return for the fourth straight year. Tobel is the only current Wolverine who has advanced from the prelims to the NCAA Outdoor Championships, doing so in each of the last three years.
• Freshman Erin Finn (West Bloomfield, Mich./West Bloomfield) was named the Big Ten Conference's Track Athlete of the Year, Freshman of the Year and Track Athlete of the Championships, becoming the first athlete in conference history to sweep all three honors. She is the 12th runner in Big Ten history to double as the 5,000- and 10,000-meter champion and first since U-M's Rebecca Walter completed the feat in 2006. Her Big Ten meet and school-record setting time of 32:41.65 in the 10,000-meter run is currently ranked sixth in the nation.
Erin Busbee • Senior • 100m Hurdles/Long Jump • Cleveland, Ohio/Collinwood
Busbee will return to the regional meet for the second straight year in the long jump and will also compete in the 100-meter hurdles for the first time at the prelims. She placed 18th in the long jump at this event a year ago. Her career-best mark in the long jump of 6.13 meters (20-1.5) came at the 2013 Big Ten Outdoor Championships, where she finished second to earn All-Big Ten second team honors. At the 2014 Big Ten Outdoor Championships, she took seventh in the long jump and 100-meter hurdles. Her 100-meter hurdles personal-best time of 13.66 came at the 2014 LSU Alumni Gold.
Erin Finn • Freshman • 10,000m • West Bloomfield, Mich./West Bloomfield
Finn captured the Big Ten 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. In her NCAA East Prelim debut, she will represent U-M in the 10,000-meter run, where she ranks sixth in the nation.
Joanna Fleming • Fifth-Year Senior • Hammer Throw • Grand Haven, Mich./Grand Haven
Fleming will make her first career appearance at the meet, securing the final qualifying spot in the hammer throw with a personal-best mark of 54.94 meters (180-3). She finished 12th at the 2014 Big Ten Outdoor Championships in the hammer.
Brook Handler • Junior • 1,500m • Rochester Hills, Mich./Rochester
Handler, who finished 31st at the 2013 NCAA East Prelims in the 1,500-meter run, will be making her second straight appearance at the regional meet. She placed fifth in the 1,500m at the 2014 Big Ten Outdoor Championships. Her personal-best time of 4:15.82 came at this year's Payton Jordan Invitational.
Devon Hoppe • Junior/Sophomore • 800m • Newport Beach, Calif./Corona Del Mar
Hoppe will make her regional debut in the 800-meter run with a personal-best time of 2:06.84, which she clocked in the prelims at the Big Ten Outdoor Championships. She went on to finish sixth in the 800m finals at the conference meet.
Aaron Howell • Freshman • High Jump • Farmington Hills, Mich./Farmington
Howell, who has already qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the heptathlon, will make her regional debut in the open high jump. Her season-best high jump mark of 1.75 meters (5-8.75) came as part of a 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.
Alex Leptich • Senior • 3,000m Steeplechase • Ann Arbor, Mich./Saline
Leptich ranks 10th in the nation with her career-best 3,000-meter steeplechase time of 10:04.86. That time, which she ran in U-M's tri-meet with California and Virginia April 5, is the second-fastest 3,000-meter steeplechase time ever run in a collegiate dual/tri/quad meet. She will make her first consecutive trip to the east prelims after finishing 16th in the steeplechase in 2013 and 17th in 2012. 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.
Jamie Morrissey • Freshman • 800m • Rochester, Mich./Rochester Adams
Morrissey will make her regional debut in the 800-meter run with a personal-best time of 2:08.22, which she clocked in the prelims at the Big Ten Outdoor Championships. She went on to finish seventh in the 800m finals at the conference meet, scoring for U-M in her outdoor conference debut. Morrissey is one of just three freshmen to qualify for the east regional in the 800-meter run.
Cindy Ofili • Sophomore • 100m Hurdles • Ypsilanti, Mich./Huron
Ofili will make her second trip to the east prelims in as many years. She finished 14th in the 100-meter hurdles at the 2013 NCAA East Preliminary Rounds, just missing a spot 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 ranks ninth in the NCAA. During the indoor season, she was a first team All-American, placing fifth at the NCAA Championships. Ofili will also compete in the 200-meter dash at the preliminary rounds after finishing third at the conference meet.
Shannon Osika • Junior/Sophomore • 1,500m • Waterford, Mich./Mott
Osika will return to the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds for the second straight year in the 1,500-meter run. She placed 16th at this event a year ago. Her career-best 1,500-meter run time of 4:17.27 came in the finals at the Big Ten Outdoor Championships, where she finished fourth.
Danielle Pfeifer • Sophomore • 800m • Cincinnati, Ohio/McAuley
Pfeifer will make her regional debut in the 800-meter run with a personal-best time of 2:06.68, which she clocked at the Payton Jordan Invitational. She finished fourth in the 800m at the Big Ten Outdoor Championships, scoring for U-M at the outdoor conference meet for the first time.
Kiley Tobel • Fifth-Year Senior • Pole Vault • Commerce Twp., Mich./Walled Lake Western
Tobel, one of three Wolverine tri-captains, has qualified for the NCAA East Prelims in each of the last four years after redshirting her freshman season. She is the only current Wolverine to have previously advanced to the NCAA Outdoor Championships, doing so in each of the last three seasons. Tobel has earned All-America second team accolades in each of the last two years, placing 10th at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in both 2012 and 2013. She currently owns a season-best mark of 4.10 meters (13-5.25), which she recorded at the UC Irvine Steve Scott Invitational. Both the indoor and outdoor pole vault school records at Michigan are owned by Tobel (4.25m, 13-11 1/4).
Megan Weschler • Senior • 3,000m Steeplechase • Wyandotte, Mich./Roosevelt
Weschler will return to the NCAA East Prelims for the second straight year, after finishing 29th in the 3,000-meter steeplechase a year ago. Her career-best steeple time of 10:11.56 from Michigan's tri-meet against California and Virginia ranks 23rd in the NCAA. At the Big Ten Outdoor Championships, she finished eighth in the steeple.
2014 Academic Awards Banquet
• Fifth-year senior Jillian Smith was named Michigan's female Big Ten Medal of Honor recipient at U-M's Academic Awards Banquet April 15. The award is presented to one student-athlete from the graduating class of each university who had "attained the greatest proficiency in athletics and scholastic work." Smith is U-M's sixth Big Ten Medal of honor recipient during distance coach Mike McGuire's tenure and eighth all-time.
• Freshman Erin Finn received the Female Rookie of the Year award, which is awarded to the top freshman student-athlete who has excelled both academically and athletically.
• Filth-year senior Kiley Tobel was the recipient of the Big Ten Conference Postgraduate Scholarship awarded to one male and one female student-athlete from each of the Big Ten institutions who plan to continue their education in a graduate degree program. Tobel will be pursuing a career as a physician's assistant upon graduation.
A LOOK AHEAD
Wed-Sat., June 11-14 -- at NCAA Outdoor Championships (Eugene, Ore.)
• NCAA Championships Event Schedule PDF
Contact: Whitney Dixon