U of M Women - Wolverines Tally Nine Titles, 13 PRs in Berkeley
Provided by U of M
Site: Edwards Stadium (Berkeley, Calif.)
Event: Cal-UVA Tri-Meet
U-M Team Result: 2nd Place of 3 Teams (132 points)
Next U-M Event: Fri-Sat., April 17-18 -- at UVA Challenge (Charlottesville, Va.)
BERKELEY, Calif. -- The University of Michigan women's track and field team tallied nine titles on its way to a runner-up finish at the team's two-day tri-meet against the University of California Berkeley and the University of Virginia at Cal's Edwards Stadium, where action wrapped up Saturday (April 4). U-M had 34 athletes make the trip out west, 13 of whom set a collegiate-best time or mark to help the Wolverines to a second-place finish.
The Maize and Blue started the weekend in strong fashion, going 1-2 in Friday's (April 3) lone event -- the hammer throw. Fifth-year senior co-captain Elly Mioduszewski claimed a title in the weekend opener, throwing 157-11 ft. (48.13m) for the win. Freshman Kayla Deering came in not far behind at 156-09 ft. (47.78m), and she also placed third in the shot put (46-5.25 ft.; 14.15m). Mioduszewski also scored for U-M in the javelin, placing fourth with her mark of 111-11 ft. (34.12m) and in the shot put by finishing fifth (42-0.5 ft.; 12.81m).
Success continued in the field with 16 points from the high jump and pole vault events, led by a win for Claire Kieffer-Wright in the high jump. The freshman set an outdoor best clearing 5-8.75 ft. (1.75m) for the title, and a pair of Wolverines tied for runner-up in the pole vault. Seniors Meghan Lark and Victoria Wesley both cleared 11-11.75 ft. (3.65m) to split nine important points for the Maize and Blue.
On the track, the titles continued for U-M. The Wolverines went 1-2 in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, with a win for sophomore/freshman Sarah Zieve at 10:26.28, nearly a 12-second PR for the Northport, New York, native. Senior/junior Anna Pasternak made her event debut as the runner-up, crossing at 10:30.50.
Senior co-captain Brook Handler claimed victory in the 1,500m race, running 4:20.40 to claim the title. Handler, who was runner-up in the same event last weekend (March 27-28) in Tempe, led a field that included six Wolverines among 13 athletes. Freshman Claire Borchers was fourth with a new PR at 4:29.05, while junior/sophomore Gina McNamara was sixth at 4:31.87.
Junior Cindy Ofili took a pair of wins herself, coming in the 100m dash and 100m hurdles. In the dash, Ofili clocked 11.52, a new personal best, and .11 seconds off the U-M outdoor record. In the hurdles, the Ypsilanti, Michigan, product ran 13.24 and bested her competition by more than half a second.
Two-time All-American Erin Finn returned to action for the first time since a foot injury derailed her cross country season in the fall, and she cruised to a runner-up finish in the 3,000m race. Finn crossed at 9:24.55 to lead a pack of eight Wolverines in the field, and she was closely followed by sophomore Gina Sereno in third (9:28.25) and Handler in fourth (9:38.88). Sophomore/freshman Darby Middlebrook returned from a lingering injury of her own to make her Michigan debut in the race, finishing sixth.
In the 800m race, junior Danielle Pfeifer won in 2:07.72, ahead of senior/junior Devon Hoppe in third at 2:10.70. Behind that duo, sophomore/freshman Jaimie Phelan finished fifth with a new PR (2:12.29), and senior/junior Chelsey Miller improved on her personal-best time for the second straight weekend, clocking 2:12.71 for sixth place.
Junior Maya Long set a new personal best in the 400m race, clocking 53.80 seconds to finish runner-up ahead of her former high school teammate, senior Chinyere Onimo (56.35).
In the 4x400m relay, Michigan sent two teams to the blocks. The 'A' squad of Onimo, Long, Pfeifer and senior/junior Dana Carey won the event in 3:39.15, while the 'B' team of Ofili, Miller and sophomores Jamie Morrissey and Sami Michell ran 3:47.08.
Michell, the runner-up to Ofili in the 100m hurdle race (13.75) with a personal-best time, also won the 400m hurdles in 59.79. She finished ahead of Carey, whose mark of 1:00.79 was nearly a one-second PR.
After a week of rest, the Maize and Blue will travel to Charleston, Virginia, for the UVA Challenge. The two-day meet (April 17-18) is hosted by the Virginia Cavaliers.
N O T E S
• The Maize and Blue tallied personal-best marks or times in 13 events, winning nine titles among 22 top-three performances.
• With an injury keeping her out of competition her entire freshman year and indoor sophomore season, this weekend marked the Michigan debut for Darby Middlebrook, who ran to a sixth-place finish in the 3,000m race.
• The meet also marked the returns of sophomore Erin Finn and fifth-year senior Amber Smith, who competed in the 3K and 100m hurdles, respectively.
• After trips to Arizona and California to begin the outdoor season, U-M will return to the eastern time zone with a trip to Virginia in two weekends (April 17-18).
Gina Sereno -- 3,000m (9:28.25)
Olivia Brackett -- 3,000m (9:59.44)
Sarah Zieve -- 3,000m steeple chase (10:26.28)
Claire Borchers -- 1,500m (4:29.05)
Sophie Linn -- 1,500m (4:39.82)
Jaimie Phelan -- 800m (2:12.29)
Chelsey Miller -- 800m (2:12.71)
Maya Long -- 400m (53.80)
Dana Carey -- 400m hurdles (1:00.79)
Cindy Ofili -- 100m dash (11.52)
Sami Michell -- 100m hurdles (13.75)
Claire Kieffer-Wright -- High Jump (5-8.75 ft.; 1.75m)
Bailey Baker -- Discus (42.07m; 138-0 ft.)
Q U O T E S
Michigan Head Coach James Henry
On the success of his athletes this weekend and a runner-up finish ... "Scoring was not our priority this weekend. We weren't down here to win the meet; we just wanted some good competition, good weather and improved performances. We were able to get all three of those things."
On the return of several athletes, including Erin Finn and Amber Smith and their importance to this team ... "They are an important part of our balanced program. Both of those young ladies are probably a little disappointed, in their minds, in their performances, but our coaching staff just wanted them to come out unscathed, uninjured and healthy. Both of them did that and it's a step in the right direction. The more healthy bodies we have the better chance we have in the long run."
On using the next week off of competition to rest ... "We are going to rest from our travel, but we are going to train through the next week as well. The girls have been working very hard and we want to keep that going. We have a long season; six or seven more weeks, so we need to make sure we keep our training up but it will be nice to be at home and let the kids go visit family and see loved ones."
U-M Fifth-year Senior Co-Captain Elly Mioduszewski
On her win in the hammer throw and a strong weekend from the field events ... "It was a really good way to start the meet. Kayla Deering and I went out there, and we knew we were going to have to start the meet strong for everybody because it was the only meet on Friday. It was nice for us to have that chance to start it out. Going into the next day we had three more events to take care of, and we ended up scoring points in every single one, partly because it is easy to do that at a tri-meet. It was a good meet to get out there and see what we could do in all the events."
On the performance of her teammate Kayla Deering ... "Kayla has been doing really well lately, especially these first couple of weeks in outdoor because she didn't travel on the spring break trip (to Alabama). She has been doing well in shot, and she opened up really well in hammer and has been pretty consistent with that, so she is going to be good for us this year."
On the return of a few injured Wolverines ... "There were quite a few people coming back, so big shoutout to Erin (Finn) and Amber (Smith) for making their appearance back on the track this weekend, but we also had Darby Middlebrook coming back from quite a few years of being off the track. While it was a good meet to feel out where everyone is at, there were good performances across the field, not just those who were injured but also a couple of people who were itching to get back to it after last weekend."
Communications Contact: Chad Shepard