Finn wins 10,000-meter, three others qualify for NCAA Championships

By Zach Shaw, Daily Sports Writer
Published June 4, 2014

By taking first in the 10,000-meter run at the East Region Preliminaries, freshman Erin Finn has earned a chance at history.

On June 11, Finn will have an opportunity to become the fourth outdoor NCAA champion in program history and first freshman to win for Michigan.

Finn was one of four Michigan women’s track and field athletes to qualify for the NCAA Championships June 11-15 in Eugene, Oregon.

Racing at the prelims in Jacksonville, Fla., 13 Wolverines attempted to place inside the top-12 of their events to earn a championship bid. Of the four who did it, none did so as impressively as Finn, who edged out Elaina Balouris of William & Mary by eight hundredths of a second to win the event.

Now with little time to prepare, Finn looks to become the first Michigan individual champion since Tiffany Ofili won her third straight title in the 100-meter hurdles in 2009. Likely entering as the No. 1 seed, Finn can enter rarified air with a title as a freshman.

In addition to Finn, Michigan saw sophomore hurdler Cindy Ofili, junior distance runner Brook Handler and senior distance runner Alex Leptich qualify in the 100-meter hurdle, 1,500-meter run and 3,000 meter steeplechase, respectively.

Taking fourth in their respective events, Ofili and Leptich are also in prime positions to score and earn their first outdoor All-American honors — given to the nation’s top eight finishers.