With just a few meets left until the NCAA Championships March 14-15, the Michigan women’s indoor track and field team headed into the Meyo Invitational in South Bend determined to qualify its top athletes for the post-season meet.

Keeping that goal in focus, the Wolverines walked away with six individual event victories and an NCAA automatic bid for the distance medley relay team.

Freshman Katie Erdman, junior Vera Simms, junior Lindsey Gallo and senior tri-captain Rachel Sturtz – members of the distance medley relay – placed second in the event behind Arkansas with a time of 11:21.09. The team improved its previous season-best time (11:50.35) by nearly half a minute.

Four athletes earned an NCAA provisional qualifying mark, which doesn’t guarantee them a spot, but will allow them to be considered for the championships.

Gallo won the mile run with a career-best and NCAA provisional time of 4:44.52.

“I had the opportunity to run against some really good athletes, and that helps you prepare for the Big Ten (Championships)” Gallo said. “This year, I’m confident. I would definitely like to run harder and qualify for the Nationals.”

Her time put her atop the Big Ten and earned her a spot in the top 10 in the country.

Continuing the winning stride were Erdman and sophomore Theresa Feldkamp. The duo led the Wolverines to a 1-2 finish in the 800-meter run, with provisional times of 2:08.04 and 2:08:32, respectively.

Robin Landfair won the 60-meter hurdles with a career-best time of 8.51. The senior missed Tania Longe’s 1998 school record by one-tenth of a second.

Senior tri-captain April Phillips continued to dominate in the shot put, winning the event with a season-best throw of 51′-4 1/2” to remain undefeated in the 2003 season. Phillips was also victorious in the weight throw with a season-best throw of 60′-3 1/4”.

“It’s the best I’ve done this year, but not my personal best, so I’m definitely looking to improve,” Phillips said. “I’m looking forward to the meet next weekend. I’ll have a lot more competition and hopefully that’ll make me rise to the occasion and perform better.”

With the Big Ten Championships just two meets away, Michigan will be looking to make some final adjustments in order to defend its Big Ten title.

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