U of M - Handler, Finn, Pfeifer Earn Capital One Academic All-District Honors

U of M - Handler, Finn, Pfeifer Earn Capital One Academic All-District Honors

Provided by U of M

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Senior co-captain distance runner Brook Handler, junior mid-distance specialist Danielle Pfeifer and sophomore harrier Erin Finn of the University of Michigan women's track and field team were voted to the Capital One Academic All-District 5 team today (Friday, May 22) by the College Sports Information Directors of America.

A recent graduate, Handler earned her degree from Michigan in chemical engineering. Pfeifer is enrolled in the School of Nursing, while Finn recently declared herself a biochemistry major in Michigan's school of Literature, Sciences and the Arts. All three Wolverines now advance to the Academic All-America team ballot, which will be announced Thursday, June 25.

Handler and Finn both compete as members of the U-M cross country team, where Handler was a two-year co-captain (2013-14). The Rochester Hills, Michigan, native was a member of three consecutive NCAA Great Lakes Regional championship teams (2011-13), helping the Maize and Blue to a conference crown in 2012. In addition to accruing three all-region honors (2012-14), Handler was a second-team All-Big Ten honoree this past fall, and has earned Big Ten Distinguished Scholar recognition twice (2012-13).

On the track, she has totaled three USTFCCCA All-America honors in the 1,500m run (outdoor, 2014) and twice as a member of Michigan's perennially contending Distance Medley Relay (indoor, 2013-14). As a junior, she ran the mile leg to help U-M earn its 11th consecutive Big Ten DMR title, and this year as a senior she partnered with Pfeifer (800m leg), and juniors Maya Long (400m leg) and Shannon Osika (1,200m leg) to earn a third-place finish at the NCAA Indoor Championships (10:58.64).

Most recently, Handler ran to a third-place finish in the 1,500m race at the Big Ten Championships (May 17), giving her seven career top-three finishes at the conference meet. Her time in that race (4:16.01) ranks No. 20 in the NCAA heading into the national meets.

Pfeifer has also been a successful member of U-M's DMR tradition under head cross country coach and associate track and field coach Mike McGuire, earning her second career All-America distinction alongside Handler and her teammates at the NCAA Indoor Championships (March 13-14) earlier this year. She ran the 800m leg of U-M's 11th straight Big Ten winning DMR, of which Handler was also a part, and the DMR has brought her All-Big Ten first team distinction on two occasions (2014-15).

An Academic All-Big Ten honoree in her first year of eligibility as a sophomore (2014), Pfeifer has set PRs in the indoor 600m (1:30.66) and 800m (2:04.59) races this season, in addition to a new collegiate best in the outdoor running of the 800m race (2:05.46). She spends the fall months training with Coach McGuire and the cross country team to prepare for track season, despite not competing in any meets.

Already a two-time USTFCCCA All-American and five-time Big Ten champion as a sophomore (2013, cross country; 2014-15, indoor/outdoor 5,000m and 10,000m runs), Finn was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year in both cross country (2013) and during the indoor and outdoor track seasons (2014), as well as the Athlete of the Year and the Athlete of Championships during the outdoor conference meet of her freshman campaign.

During this past season, injuries derailed the championship phase of her cross country season, but not before she led the Maize and Blue in two of three meets she competed in, finishing as a narrow runner-up to teammate Shannon Osika in the season opener.

Finn was unable to compete during the indoor part of the track season, but returned during the outdoor season in impressive form. She ran in a professional-heavy field at the Payton-Jordan Invitational (May 2), clocking 15:32.88 for a season best by any Wolverine in the 5,000m run and the No. 5 time in the NCAA. At last weekend's Big Ten Championships, she successfully defended her 10,000m crown by more than 20 seconds and finished third in the 5,000m race one year after breaking the conference meet record in both events (5K; 15:48.90, 10K; 32:41.65).

Finn owns the school record in the indoor 5,000m run (15:52.11), outdoor 5,000m run (15:26.08) and outdoor 10,000m run (32:41.65). In just two seasons, she has totaled six top-three finishes at the Big Ten Championships while missing the indoor championships this past February.

More than 14 members of the U-M women's track and field team are competing at the NCAA East Preliminaries next week (May 28-30) in Jacksonville, Florida, across 11 events and one relay, including Pfeifer in the 800m race, Handler in the 1,500m run and Finn in either the 5,000m or 10,000m run.

Communications Contact: Chad Shepard