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Meier Punches Ticket to NCAAs on Final Day of East Prelims 

Kyle Terwillegar

Continuing an ongoing legacy of mid-distance greatness by the University of Michigan women's track and field team, Haley Meier advanced out of her rain-soaked NCAA East Preliminaries quarterfinal on Saturday (May 26) to earn the right to represent the Wolverines at nationals.

Meier, an indoor second team All-American and Big Ten champion in the mile this winter, will compete in the outdoor-equivalent 1,500-meter event at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Oregon, on June 6-9 after earning an automatic berth with a fourth-place finish in her heat.

Meier joins steeplechase teammates Claire Borchers and Sarah Zieve as Michigan's delegation to the NCAA meet in a week-and-a-half's time.

Consistency was the key for Meier in her run to the national meet. While at no time was she closer to the front than third-place, she also did not drift back any farther than fifth place in a race in which only five women were guaranteed berths to nationals.

She and teammate Jamie Morrissey went to the front early, running third and second, respectively, as they came through the first 300 meters of the race. With two laps to go, Meier and Morrissey were still near the front of a pack that had whittled down to nine runners.

Morrissey, reigning NCAA indoor mile champion Elinor Purrier of New Hampshire and reigning Big Ten 1,500-meter winner Danae Rivers of Penn State separated from the pack with a lap to go, while Meier was in the midst of a four-woman chase pack just over a second behind.

Meier was able to sustain her position over the final 400 meters, moving up a spot as Morrissey was unable to keep up with the ratcheted-down pace set by Purrier and Rivers up front to fade back to eighth over the final 200 meters.

Morrissey would ultimately cross the line in 4:23.83 for eighth in the heat and 16th overall, concluding her Michigan career as a Big Ten champion at 800 meters two weekends ago and the third-fastest woman in school history at 1,500 meters.

In Michigan's only other action on the final day, hammer thrower Courtney Jacobsen was 21st overall -- a 10-spot improvement on her pre-meet seed -- with a mark of 59.19m (194 feet, 2 inches).

After opening with a 59.13m (194-0) on her first attempt, she added another six centimeters on her second attempt but could not improve on her third with a mark of 58.00m (190-3).

While her best mark Saturday was not enough to make it to Eugene, it would have been in any other year of the East Prelims (established in 2010) other than 2014. It took 60.42m (198-3) to make the 12-woman cut for the national meet, nearly two-thirds of a meter farther than the last-mark-in, in any of the previous eight editions of the East Prelims.

She was one of nine women who surpassed 59 meters on the day, but were not rewarded with a trip to NCAAs. Her mark was the best at the East Prelims for a woman who finished outside the top-20.

Q = Automatically advanced to NCAA East Prelims quarterfinals
q = Non-automatic qualifier to NCAA East Prelims quarterfinals

w = wind-aided (greater than 2.0 meter-per-second [m/s] wind)

200 Meters (First Round) [Friday]
27. Jade Harrison / 23.18w (+4.8m/s)

400 Meters (First Round) [Thursday]
38. Jade Harrison / 53.93

1,500 Meters (Quarterfinals)
6. Haley Meier / 4:15.47 (Advanced to NCAA Championships)
16. Jamie Morrissey / 4:23.83

2. Haley Meier / 4:16.82Q (Thursday, first round)
19. Jamie Morrissey / 4:20.21Q (Thursday, first round)
31. Hannah Meier / 4:23.87 (Thursday, first round)

10,000 Meters (Semifinals) [Thursday]
28. Madeline Trevisan / 35:37.91

400-Meter Hurdles (First Round) [Thursday]
39. Chloe Foster / 60.11

3,000-Meter Steeplechase (Quarterfinals) [Friday]
6. Claire Borchers / 9:58.57 (Advanced to NCAA Championships)
13. Sarah Zieve / 10:07.58 (Advanced to NCAA Championships)

High Jump (First Round) [Thursday]
27. Katt Miner / 1.70m (5-7)
45. Aaron Howell / 1.65m (5-5)

Hammer Throw (First Round)
21. Courtney Jacobsen / 59.19m (194-2)



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