U of M Women - Finn, DMR Lead Wolverines to Strong Day One at NCAAs

U of M Women - Finn, DMR Lead Wolverines to Strong Day One at NCAAs

Provided by U of M

» Erin Finn ran 15:27.36 to finish runner-up at 5,000 meters, making her the first woman in NCAA history to twice run 15:30 or faster at the indoor championships.

» Jamie Morrissey, Jade Harrison, Jaimie Phelan and Gina Sereno combined for a fifth-place finish in a dramatic distance medley relay final.

» Sereno will return Saturday night at 6 p.m. CST for the 3,000-meter final.

Site: College Station, Texas (Gilliam Indoor Track and Field Stadium)

Event: NCAA Indoor Championships (Day 1)

U-M Team Standing: Tie-3rd Place (12 Points) after Day 1

Next U-M Event: Saturday, March 11 -- at NCAA Indoor Championships (College Station, Texas), 6 p.m. CST

COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Erin Finn made history as the national runner-up at 5,000 meters and the distance medley relay added a dramatic fifth-place finish as the No. 21 University of Michigan women wrapped up Friday's (March 10) NCAA Indoor Championships day one tied for third with two USTFCCA first team All-America honorees.

Finn ran 15:27.36 to score eight points for the Wolverines, and the DMR team of Jamie Morrissey, Jade Harrison, Jaimie Phelan and Gina Sereno clocked 11:04.74 for four more points, making U-M the only school with top-five finishes in both events tonight.

The Maize and Blue's 12 points matched the day-one total posted by Arkansas Friday at Gilliam Indoor Track and Field Stadium. Georgia leads early with 41 points, followed by 16 for Alabama.

Those eight points from Finn came as the junior finished as the national runner-up in the 5,000 for the second consecutive year, crossing the line behind only 2016 NCAA cross country champion Karissa Schweizer of Missouri.

Though she stood second-highest on the award podium, Finn now stands alone in NCAA history in another regard. Before tonight, no woman in history had run faster than 15:30 more than once at the NCAA Indoor Championships. Finn now has two such runs on her resume after her 15:23 a year ago. It was also her third run faster than 15:35 this season, most in the nation.

It came in a race that was run hard from the gun, as Notre Dame's Anna Rohrer quickly built up a 10-meter lead by the end of the second lap. Finn just as quickly emerged as the leader of the chase pack, which reeled in Rohrer within 400 meters.

It only took three more laps before another breakaway developed, this time with both Rohrer and Finn. Those two -- the second- and third-place runners at this fall's NCAA Cross Country Championships -- ran three laps out front alone before Schweizer joined the pack.

The trio ran with metronomic consistency -- with no more than a second variance from 37 seconds -- until they hit two laps to go, when Schweizer made the winning move.

Finn closed the final 200 meters in 35.49, securing her finish ahead of Rohrer.

Just over 20 minutes later, the DMR squad took to the track for its race, which came down to a dramatic final-lap sprint to the finish. The Wolverines edged out sixth-place Penn State by only .15 of a second and ninth place Indiana by just over a second.

Morrissey led off on the 1,200-meter leg, running near or at the front throughout. She covered her six laps in 3:24.42 before handing off in third place to U-M 400-meter record-holder Harrison for her signature distance.

Making her first NCAA Championships appearance, the freshman ran 53.76 with a home stretch surge to move the Wolverines up another spot to second as she handed off to Phelan for the 800-meter leg.

Phelan, who earned first team All-America honors in the DMR for the third time in her career, stayed near the front of the pack for three laps before moving to the front at the bell lap, holding that lead as she split 2:06.57 to hand off to anchor leg Sereno for the 1,600-meter leg.

The lead is where Sereno stayed for much the final eight laps of the race, setting up a sprint finish on the bell lap. Though Sereno, who split 4:40.01, could not run down the Pac-12 trio of winner Colorado, runner-up Stanford and third-place Oregon or fourth-place BYU on the final lap, she was able to out-kick Big Ten rival Penn State.

Sereno will return to the track Saturday evening (March 11) for the 3,000-meter final at 6 p.m. CST in an event she won at the Big Ten Indoor Championships two weekends ago.

Communications Contact: Kyle Terwillegar