Becca Mahon/Daily. Buy this photo.

Even with six of the eight athletes earning All-American honors, the Michigan track and field teams still kept expectations low. Going into the weekend, the Wolverines were cautiously hopeful; coming out, Michigan was optimistic about the experience gained in the wake of unsatisfactory performances.

“I didn’t have too high of expectations going in,” senior Cole Johnson said. “I just wanted to leave it all out there.”

On Friday afternoon senior Jessica Mercier, one of two women to compete for Michigan in the championships, wasn’t able to create momentum for the Wolverines after she failed to clear the opening bar at 4.16 meters in pole vault.

Senior Aurora Rynda, though, found more success in the 800-meter run. She secured an automatic qualifications after a third-place preliminary time of 2:04.12.

But, she was unable to translate this momentum to Saturday’s finals, where her time of 2:06.33 dropped her down to seventh place overall. However, her results gave the women’s team two points to close their run at the NCAA Indoor Championships with a rank of 47th. Her performance also granted Rynda a first-team All-American title for the first time in her individual career. 

“It’s really stressful,” Rynda said. “You work all season to race at nationals. I’m a little disappointed coming out of the weekend, but I’m keeping my head up for the outdoor season.”

The men’s team had similar problems trying to find their footing. Starting out strong, graduate student Tom Dodd, sophomore Dubem Amene, freshman Miles Brown and junior Nick Foster represented the Wolverines in the men’s distance medley relay. Their combined run time of 9:30.54 was enough to earn an eighth-place final and awarded Michigan one point in the team scores. For their effort, they were given first-team All-American honors.

Similar to the women’s team, one accomplishment was not enough for Michigan to create a path to success.

Following his short-lived achievement in the medley, Amene competed in the 400-meter dash. His time of 46.98 seconds was not enough to boost him into the finals, falling to 13th overall.

Junior Joshua Zeller faced similar challenges during his stint at the championships. His 7.85-second run in the 60-meter hurdles was not enough for him to move forward from the prelims, and he headed home like Brown and Amene with second-team All-American honors.

The next event, the 800-meter run, gave the Wolverines a dash of hope. Although Brown was unable to qualify for the finals, Johnson earned one of the two non-automatic qualifications, sending him into the final run for Michigan’s men’s team. 

In the finals, Johnson had to dodge a crash ahead of him and came up short, placing sixth. His results awarded the men’s team an additional three points, and he left with his own first-team All-American honors.

The men’s team completed the event ranked 41st, with four total team points. Out of the eight athletes sent, only Johnson and Rynda were able to leave with a substantive achievements. Now, with the outdoor season looming, the Wolverines look to build from their mixed results over the next week.