U of M Women - Distance Runners Lead U-M to Runner-Up at Battle of the Blues

U of M Women - Distance Runners Lead U-M to Runner-Up at Battle of the Blues

Provided by U of M

April 1, 2017

» The distance corps -- led by winners Gina Sereno, Jaimie Phelan, Ellie Leonard and Rachel Coleman -- accounted for nearly half of Michigan's 62 total points.

» Distance runners went 1-2-3 at 3,000 meters and 1-2-4 at 1,500 meters.

» Bailey Baker led the way in the field with two scoring efforts and numerous career bests in the throws.

Site: Durham, N.C. (Morris Williams Track & Field Stadium)

Event: Battle of the Blues

U-M Team Result: 2nd Place (62 points) of 3 Teams

Next U-M Event: Wed-Sat., April 12-15 -- at Mt. SAC Relays, Clay Invitational, Long Beach Invitational

DURHAM, N.C. -- Indoor track and field All-Americans making their outdoor debuts claimed a pair of individual titles as the University of Michigan women's team finished runner-up at the Battle of the Blues on Saturday (April 1) at Morris Williams Track & Field Stadium.

All-America distance medley relay teammates Jaimie Phelan, Gina Sereno and Jamie Morrissey combined for two event titles and another runner-up finish, leading the Wolverines to 62 team points.

Host Duke won the team title with 75 points, while North Carolina was third with 59.

Sereno -- who was also a second team All-American and a Big Ten indoor champion at 3000 meters --- ran away with the 1,500-meter title in 4:21.38, claiming the win by more than two seconds over Morrissey in 4:23.93. They were followed in fourth and fifth by Haley Meier and Claire Borchers, respectively.

Phelan took the win at 800 meters -- the same distance as the leg she ran on the DMR at NCAAs -- with a second-lap comeback in 2:07.02. First-lap leader Liz Lansing of Duke dropped out of the race on the second lap, but a hard-charging Phelan was moving toward the front, regardless. She covered the final 400 meters in 1:06.06, nearly a second faster than the rest of the field.

Overall, the four distance events accounted for 29 points -- nearly half of the total team output -- including 10 points in a 1-2-3 sweep at 3,000 meters and another five from Ellie Leonard's win as the sole runner in the steeplechase.

The sweep at 3,000 meters was led by winner Rachel Coleman in a career-best 9:36.25, followed by Sydney Badger in 9:40.85 and Meg Darmofal in 9:53.02.

Throwers were next on the list of biggest-point contributors on the day. Five came in the hammer throw as Bailey Baker surpassed her career best entering the weekend on all five of her legal attempts en route to a runner-up finish.

The junior earned three points for U-M with a mark of 55.17m (181-0), four-and-a-half feet better than the personal standard of 53.80m (176-6) she established just a week ago at the Pac-12 vs. Big Ten Challenge. Freshman Courtney Jacobsen came through late to add two more points with a heave of 54.13m (177-7), moving up from fifth to third in the final round.

Baker combined with Christina Hallmann for a 3-4 finish in the discus. Hallmann was third at 43.96m (144-3), while Baker was fourth at 43.88m (143-11).

Kayla Deering was the runner-up in the shot put, and Briana Nelson came through for fourth with a career best of more than a meter at 13.70m (44-11.5) -- just one centimeter away from third.

Aaron Howell rounded out the throws with a third-place finish in the javelin.

A 2-3 finish from Katt Miner and Claire Kieffer-Wright in the high jump headlined the jumping events, while Jeryne Fish was third in the long jump.

Tiana Luton turned in the top sprints effort of the day, netting three points in a runner-up finish in a career-best 14.29, with Lauren Rodriguez netting another with a fourth-place showing. Rodriguez also scored another point in a runner-up finish in the 400-meter hurdles.

Meghan Marias and Jade Harrison metaphorically combined for a pair of third-place finishes at 100 and 400 meters, respectively -- after literally joining forces in the runner-up 4x100 relay with Fish and Julia Hall.

The team has an off weekend coming up, with a busy slate of meets in California starting Wednesday, April 12. Over the course of four days, the Wolverines will split up between the Mt. SAC heptathlon, the Mt. SAC Relays, the Bryan Clay Invitational and the Long Beach Invitational.

Communications Contact: Kyle Terwillegar