Gina Sereno is not afraid to run fast, really fast.
The 10,000-meter second-team All-American captured yet another best, this time taking home the prestigious Meyo Mile in a lightning time of 4:36.68 this past weekend when the Michigan women's track and field team competed at the Notre Dame Meyo Invitational. The senior vaulted to No. 6 nationally in the indoor mile event after surpassing her old personal record by more than eight seconds.
However, it is not just Sereno’s speed that makes the 12th-ranked Wolverines tough competition. Following Sereno across the finish line at 5th and 9th place were senior Erin Finn and junior Jamie Morrissey, who each ran sub-4:40 times, making Michigan one of just two schools in the nation with three sub-4:40 mile runners.
“It kind of just came together,” Sereno said about the trio’s race. “We’ve been training hard all season. All the pieces came into place as we approach the championship part of our season.”
Complementing the distance team, freshman Jade Harrison sprinted to the finish line of the 200-meter race with a time of 24.23 seconds, placing fifth overall Friday night. Her work, though, had only begun, as Harrison set a new personal record the next day by more than a full second in the 400 meter race, running a speedy 54.56.
The depth of Michigan’s mid-distance and distance teams is no secret. Along with impressive results from the women’s mile team, which is ranked No. 2 in the country, the No. 4 800-meter team, led by senior and captain Jaimie Phelan and graduate student Gina McNamara, finished 6th and 9th, respectively, with McNamara chasing down and surpassing three opponents in the final 100-meter stretch to solidify a top-ten finish.
The recent positive results leave the team confident that they can make their mark on the Big Ten Indoor Championships on Feb. 24-25th.
“I think we look really good right now,” Sereno said. “When you put us all together in a competitive atmosphere and environment, great things can definitely happen.”
The Wolverines are in a great position to come away having left their mark at the Indoor Championships with the depth they boast led by dominant mid-distance and distance runners. The emphasis, however, remains on utilizing the team’s hardworking mentality to focus on improvements come Big Ten Championship season.
“We are just hoping to carry forward this momentum into the Big Ten Championship. That’s the number one goal, to win a Big Ten Championship this season.”