U of M - Finn Sweeps Trio of Big Ten Track Postseason Honors

U of M - Finn Sweeps Trio of Big Ten Track Postseason Honors

Provided by U of M

PARK RIDGE, Ill. -- Freshman Erin Finn (West Bloomfield, Mich./West Bloomfield) of the 18th-ranked University of Michigan women's track and field team became the first athlete in conference history to sweep all three Big Ten outdoor postseason awards, as she was named the conference's Track Athlete of the Year, Freshman of the Year and Track Athlete of the Championships, the Big Ten announced Tuesday (May 20).

At the recent Big Ten Outdoor Championships, Finn became the 12th runner in conference 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. In addition to Finn and Walter, former Wolverine Mindy Rowand (1989, 1990) also won both titles twice during her career.

In her first attempt at the 10,000-meter run at the collegiate level, Finn led from wire to wire, setting new school and Big Ten meet records with her time of 32:41.65 -- 1:18.37 ahead of the second-place finisher. The previous Michigan 10,000-meter record was set by Melanie Weaver in 1983 (33:06.70), while the previous Big Ten standard was clocked by Wisconsin's Stephanie Herbst in 1986 (32:54.37). She is just the second runner in the conference's 33-year history to break the 33-minute barrier at the Big Ten Outdoor Championships.

Finn returned two days later to capture the conference 5,000-meter run crown in a Big Ten-meet and facility-record time of 15:48.90. The previous record of 15:54.86 was set by Angela Bizzarri of Illinois in 2009. Finn and Bizzarri are the only two Big Ten runners to go sub-16 at the conference meet.

Finn's 5,000- and 10,000-meter times currently rank third and sixth in the nation, respectively.

Throughout her rookie campaign, Finn has now been named Big Ten Freshman of the Year for cross country and indoor and outdoor track and field, as well as Big Ten Athlete of the Year in cross country and outdoor track and field and outdoor Athlete of the Championships.

Finn is the fifth Wolverine to garner Big Ten Outdoor Athlete of the Year accolades and sixth to win Athlete of the Championships. Former U-M standout Geena Gall was the most recent runner to win the awards, receiving both in 2009. Three other former Wolverines have been named Big Ten Outdoor Freshman of the Year, including Erin Pendleton most recently in 2010.

Finn and other select Wolverines will continue their season at the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds, which will take place from May 29-31 in Jacksonville, Fla. The field for the regional round will be announced on Thursday (May 22) at 1 p.m.


Track Athlete of the Year

Erin Finn, Michigan

Field Athlete of the Year

Dani Bunch, Purdue

Freshman of the Year

Erin Finn, Michigan

Track Athlete of the Championships

Erin Finn, Michigan

Field Athlete of the Championships

Dani Bunch, Purdue

Coach of the Year

Beth Alford-Sullivan, Penn State

Contact: Whitney Dixon