Behind another solid performance from April Phillips, the Michigan women”s track team (3-1) won easily this weekend at the Michigan Intercollegiate. The Wolverines, who hosted the event, also received strong outings and leadership from TaNisha Williams and Rachel Sturtz.
The win was the fifth consecutive Michigan Intercollegiate championship for the Wolverines. Michigan earned eight first-place finishes, racking up 175 points en route to dominating the nearest competitor, Central Michigan, who compiled just 117 points.
The Wolverines have been keen on using recent home meets as confidence builders in preparation for Big Ten competition in the coming weeks.
“We try to treat home weekends as practice,” Phillips said. “We are more calm at home, and use the time to get our events down and stay relaxed. We are hoping to use the advantage to build up confidence going into Big Ten meets.”
Phillips won two events, winning the weight throw for the third week in a row and taking the shot put. In the weight throw, Phillips was followed closely by teammate sophomore Melissa Bickett who took one of the team”s seven second-place finishes.
Rachel Sturtz was part of a pair of first-place finishes, winning the 800-meter run and helping her team that won the 4×400-meter relay. The junior”s triumph in the 800-meter run was her third of the season in that event.
Williams won the 60-meter high hurdles for the third time this season, posting a personal-best time of 8.57 seconds. Teammates freshman Sharifa Jones and junior Robin Landfair each secured personal-best times and finished behind Williams. This was the second week in a row that the Wolverines crossed the finished line holding the top three spots in the event.
Nicole DeNamur set a new personal best in the high jump when she cleared 5-feet-10 inches, bettering her old mark by an inch. The senior is the defending outdoor Big Ten high jump champion.
Junior pole-vaulter Anna Fisher broke her own school record, clearing 11 feet and almost eight inches. Teyonna Simpson won the triple jump for the third rime this season. Stephanie Hirtle won the mile run with a personal best time of 4:57.67. Katie Ryan dominated the 3,000-meter run, winning with a time of 10:01.20.
With the confidence building meets behind them, Michigan will travel to Fairfax, Va. Saturday to appear in the George Mason Patriot Games and five other Big Ten teams will compete.