U of M Women - Wolverines Take First in Eight Events at Hillsdale Winter Opener
Provided by U of M
What You Need to Know
» Four Wolverines made their in-uniform debuts during today's meet (Courtney Bostic, Jeryne Fish, Erika Fluehr and Lauren Rodriguez).
» U-M captured eight wins, including event titles in: 400 meters, 800 meters, Mile Run, 3,000 meters, 60-meter hurdles, high jump, long jump and the 4x400-meter relay.
» The Maize and Blue accrued 16 top-three finishes, including seven collegiate-best times or marks.
• Complete Results
Site: Hillsdale, Mich. (Biermann Athletic Center)
Event: Hillsdale Winter Opener
U-M Team Result: Non-scoring
Next U-M Event: Saturday, Jan. 16 -- at Doug Raymond Invitational (Kent, Ohio), 10 a.m.
HILLSDALE, Mich. -- The No. 14-ranked University of Michigan women's track and field team enjoyed a successful day of indoor action Saturday (Jan. 9) at Hillsdale's Biermann Athletic Center, totaling eight event titles with 25 top-five finishes overall.
Head coach James Henry was pleased with the well-rounded effort. A few performances stood out to him in particular.
"There were three or four kids that stood out, including Erin Finn at 3,000 meters, Shannon Osika in the mile and Claire Kieffer-Wright in the high jump. I was also very pleased with Sami Michell's races and Maya Long at 400 meters. Those five performances were exceptional."
The weekend's highlights extend beyond those performances, though. Henry felt that the team did what it came out to do with this weekend's opportunity for competition.
"My goal was for the whole team to get some solid performances," said Henry, "Overall, we did that; we got off to a solid start. I was very impressed with the way the whole team came out to compete."
In the 3K race, junior Erin Finn dominated the field, crossing more than 30 seconds ahead of her next-closest competitor. She ran 9:13.41, which would have been among the 30 fastest times in all of the 2014-15 season.
Behind Finn, junior Gina Sereno was runner-up in 9:44.74, leading a charge of Wolverines that claimed spots one through seven. Freshman Taleen Shahrigian's third-place run with her time of 9:53.25 was also among the more impressive finishes, while Erika Fluehr made her debut in sixth place (10:06.29).
In the 800-meter race, all seven Wolverine entries finished in the top 11, including sweeping spots two through six, led by runner-up senior/junior Jaimie Phelan in 2:11.31. Senior Danielle Pfeifer finished in third at 2:11.58, and senior/junior Jamie Morrissey took fourth in 2:12.22.
Junior Hannah Meier in fifth (2:12.92), senior/junior Gina McNamara in sixth (2:16.24) and Brooke Callaghan in ninth (2:25.11) were also among the top-10 finishers. A familiar face won the race, as former Wolverine Brook Handler finished first in 2:10.52.
The mile run was a Maize and Blue affair, with 10 of the top 11 finishers being Wolverines, though two were unattached, and Handler being the 11th finisher. Senior Shannon Osika was victorious in 4:42.10, and four Wolverines set personal bests in the event.
"It was a very smooth race," said Osika. "It was definitely exciting to have all of my teammates out on the track with me. It was a very comfortable setting, which was good, and Erin Finn paced it for the first K which was nice. To have Brook out there to latch on to after Erin left after the first 1,000 meters was also helpful for me, and I think it went really well. A lot of us got in some good marks to start the season, so it's an exciting start."
For Osika, there was also some nostalgia associated. She ran against former Wolverine co-captain Handler. The two ran many races together and even earned a pair of USTFCCCA All-America honors together on the distance medley relay, with Osika running the 1,200-meter leg, and Handler running the mile. Osika said the two picked up right where they left off.
"It still kind of felt the same," said Osika, "She didn't have the block M on her, but we've raced together so much, and we know how to work together well, so I think we just went right back to that. It was like nothing changed. It was really nice, and I hope that we can do that more this season. I think she may try to go to a couple more meets so that will be nice."
Courtney Munley finished third in that race, running 4:55.05, and sophomore/freshman Holly Petrusson finished fourth in 4:56, continuing a solid start to her second season competing.
U-M had three 4x400-meter relay teams competing and took first, third and fourth place overall. The 'A' team of Pfeifer, Osika, McNamara and fifth-year senior Laura Addison won in 3:58.13, edging out the 'C' team of Michell, Phelan, Meier and freshman Lauren Rodriguez (4:00.63, third place) and the 'B' team of Emily Wee, Morrissey, Sereno and Petrusson (4:02.13, fourth place).
In the sprints, Michigan also had a number of wins and solid early-season times. Sami Michell won the 60-meter hurdles race in 7.70 seconds, ahead of Rodriguez, who finished fifth in 9.23 after making the final in her Michigan debut. Her classmate Jeryne Fish also made her U-M debut, running 11.75 in the prelims.
Fish went on to win the long jump, landing at 5.59 meters (18-4.25 ft.) to out-jump her opponents by more than one and a quarter feet.
In the 60-meter dash, Meghan Marias earned a runner-up finish in 7.76, while freshman Courtney Bostic ran 8.23 to finish fourth in her heat in her Wolverine debut. Both also competed in the 200-meter race, where Marias finished third in 25.88. Senior Maya Long won the 400-meter event in 56.90, finishing just ahead of her runner-up classmate Emily Wee in 57.90.
In the high jump, sophomore Claire Kieffer-Wright won with an impressive early-season height. Kieffer-Wright, who was competing with the University of Michigan volleyball team until late November, cleared 1.74 meters (5-8.5 ft.) to take the win.
U-M also had four entries in the pole vault, led by sophomore Sarah Uhlian in second. She cleared 3.55 meters (11-7.75 ft.) to take runner-up, with sophomore/freshman Tori Chapin in fifth (3.25 meters; 10-8 ft.) and senior Claire Tewksbury in sixth.
In the throws, the Wolverines had entries in the shot put and weight throw. Freshmen Maegan McCarthy and Briana Nelson threw shot, with Nelson earning a better mark than her Wolverine debut last month in Allendale, Michigan. Sophomore Bailey Baker (16.30 meters, 53-5.75 ft.) led the way in the weight throw, taking eighth, while McCarthy and Nelson made their debuts in the event.
The Maize and Blue will travel to Kent, Ohio, next weekend for the Doug Raymond Invite (Jan. 16). Events are scheduled to begin at the Kent State University Field House at 10 a.m.).
Collegiate Personal Bests
Holly Petrusson -- 4:56.0
Rachel Barrett -- 4:58.20
Sophie Linn -- 5:01.93
Ellie Leonard -- 5:11.64
Taleen Shahrigian -- 9:53.25
Briana Nelson -- 11.71 meters (38-5 ft.)
Bailey Baker -- 16.30 meters (53-5.75 ft.)
Communications Contact: Chad Shepard