The Michigan women’s track and field program announced its recruiting class for the 2018 season Wednesday.
The 20-member class includes 11 athletes from Michigan and seven other different states. The group is heaviest on mid-distance athletes with 10, while also containing seven sprinters/hurdlers.
“It’s exciting to see such a large class, such a balanced class and such a high-quality class in terms of both academics and athletics,” said coach James Henry in a statement. “I believe many of these student-athletes should help us immediately heading into the next season.”
While the vast majority of the class is made up of rising freshmen, the Wolverines will add two transfers with Division I experience in sophomore Margaret Sliney and junior Audrey Belf.
Belf originally committed to Georgetown in 2015 after an illustrious high school career at Birmingham Seaholm. As a senior, she won the 3,200 meter state championship, and won state cross country championships in 2013 and 2014. She currently ranks second all-time in Michigan high school history in both the 3,200 and 5,000 meters, as well as fifth in the 1,600. With the Hoyas, Belf finished third at the Big East Indoor Championships her freshman year.
Sliney, a transfer from Bucknell, was a state champion in the 400 meters as a senior at Mary Institute and St. Louis Country Day High School in Missouri. She finished fifth at the Patriot League Championships her freshman year in the indoor 500 meters, and will compete in sprints and mid-distance events with the Wolverines.
Including Belf and Sliney, Michigan’s recruiting class includes eight athletes who have won individual state championships in high school: mid-distance runners Mallory Barrett (Highland), Camille Davre (Milwaukee, Wisc.), Alice Hill (Ann Arbor) and Emma Lane (Mentor, Ohio). and sprinter Michaiah Thomas (Beverly Hills).
The Wolverines will also bring in nine athletes who have competed at the prestigious New Balance Nationals in track and field: Barrett, Davre, Hill, Lane, sprinters Chloe Foster (Ann Arbor), Lauren Morgan (Washington, D.C.) and Jenna Reid (Middletown, N.J.), and mid-distance runners Alexis Munley (Clarkston) and Jacalyn Overdier (Ann Arbor).
Davre’s accomplishments headline Michigan’s incoming class of high schoolers. At Whitefish Bay High School, she won a whopping 10 state championships in track, and never finished below fourth place in cross country. As a senior, Davre swept the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 meter races, and she is also a two-time New Balance National Champion in the 800 meters with a personal best of 2:09.22.
Barrett, whose sister Rachel is a junior distance runner for the Wolverines, won the 2017 state championship in the 800 with a time of 2:11.06, and placed sixteenth at the New Balance Nationals shortly after. She also finished in the top-20 at the state cross country championships each of the last three seasons.
Hill came in two places behind Barrett in the 800 at the state championships this year, after she won the indoor state championship and earned a runner-up outdoor finish as a junior. Her personal best of 2:09.09 is 11th-best in Michigan high school history.
In her junior and season seasons, Lane finished second and third at the Ohio outdoor state championships and first and second in indoor competition. She finished third or higher in every race as a senior.
Thomas, who won the Michigan Division 2 championship in the 100-meter hurdles as a sophomore, was also the USATF Michigan Junior Olympics champion in the 400-meter hurdles.
“They’re all outstanding students who fit our academic profile, and I felt we did a good job of balancing the class, addressing some event-area needs and solidifying some areas that are already strong,” said associate head coach Mike McGuire. “We have a good balance of people who we think are motivated to succeed here over the next few years both in the classroom and in competition.”