U of M Women - Trio of Seniors Earn Second-Team All-America Honors at NCAAs

U of M Women - Trio of Seniors Earn Second-Team All-America Honors at NCAAs

Provided by U of M

// Kyle Terwillegar

» Haley Meier (mile), Aaron Howell (pentathlon) and Claire Kieffer-Wright (high jump) all earned Second Team All-America honors on Day One of the NCAA Indoor Championships.

» Gina Sereno (3,000 meters) will round out the U-M contingent on Saturday at 6:25 p.m. CT.

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

Event: NCAA Indoor Championships

U-M Day One Standings: No team score

Next U-M Event: Saturday, March 10 -- Day Two - NCAA Indoor Championships (College Station, Texas)

COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- A trio of University of Michigan seniors earned Second Team All-America honors on the first day of the two-day NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships held at Texas A&M's Gilliam Indoor Track and Field Stadium on Friday (March 9).

Haley Meier took 12th in the mile, Aaron Howell placed 14th in the pentathlon and Claire Kieffer-Wright tied for 15th in the high jump competition.

The trio earned its second-team awards by finishing between ninth and 16th in their respective events. First-team honors go to those placing first through eighth.

Meier came closest to taking top-eight, though she came up two spots shy of advancing to tomorrow's final. Running near the front of the pack for much of the first half of the race, the Big Ten champion ultimately was unable to keep contact with the lead group after the pace picked up in the race's latter half.

Though she was able to pick off a couple opponents on the final lap, her 4:42.76 time was not fast enough to earn one of her heat's four automatic berths to the final (she was fifth) or one of the two non-automatic bids.

Howell led off for the Wolverines on the weekend in the pentathlon. After kicking off her day with an 8.90-second time in the 60-meter hurdles -- the first of five events on the day -- Howell came through with clutch third-attempt marks in the next two events to keep her in the hunt for a top-eight finish.

Howell cleared 1.66m (5 feet, 5.25 inches) on her third-and-final attempt in the high jump, and made the next bar, 1.69m (5-6.5), on her first try. Though she would not advance beyond 1.69m, the difference between that mark and the 1.63m (5-4.25) that she would have logged if not for her crunch-time performance would have been 71 points in the overall scoring.

In the shot put, she tossed a mark of 12.63m (41-5.25) on her last attempt for the fourth-best throw of the day. That mark added 34 points to the throw of 12.12m (39-9.25) she recorded in the second round, putting her within 51 points of eighth place.

She posted a strong opening mark of 5.60m (18-4.5) in the long jump, which at the time brought her within 20 points of top-eight territory, but Howell could not improve that mark as much of the rest of the field surpassed it. With just the 800-meter finale to go, she trailed eighth by 180 points.

Howell finished out the day with a 2:22.34 run at 800 meters.

Rounding out Michigan's first-day performers was Kieffer-Wright, who cleared 1.76m (5-9.25). She needed all three attempts to make that opening-height bar and was unable to make it over at 1.81m (5-11.25) at the next height.

With her finish, she added a Second Team All-America citation in track and field to the Honorable Mention All-America award she earned in volleyball during the fall.

Michigan will have one more NCAA Championships competitor on Saturday in Gina Sereno, who will take on the nation's best at 3,000 meters at 6:25 p.m. CT. She was 13th in this race a year ago.

Full Michigan Results by Event

Mile Prelims

12. Haley Meier / 4:42.76

High Jump Final

T-15. Claire Kieffer-Wright / 1.76m (5-9.25)


14. Aaron Howell / 3,997 points

60 meter hurdles / 8.90 (931 points)

High Jump / 1.69m (5-6.5) (834 points)

Shot Put / 12.63m (41-5.25) (703 points)

Long Jump / 5.60m (18-4.5) (729 points)

800 meter run / 2:22.34 (792 points)