VanderLende, Saenz Lead Way for Third-Place Wolverines on First Day of B1G Championships
5/12/2023 11:55:00 PM
// Gabrielle Healy
Site: Bloomington, Ind. (Billy Hayes Track & Field Complex)
Event: 2023 Big Ten Outdoor Track and Field Championships (Day 1 of 3)
U-M Result: T3rd of 13 teams (16 points) after Day 1
Next U-M Event: Saturday, May 13 — at Big Ten Outdoor Track and Field Championships – Day Two (Bloomington, Ind.), 11:30 a.m.
• Complete Results (PDF)
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Ericka VanderLende and Samantha Saenz of the University of Michigan women’s track and field team finished second and third, respectively, in the 10,000 meters to highlight the first day of the Big Ten Outdoor Track and Field Championships on Friday (May 12) at the Billy Hayes Track and Field Complex on the campus of Indiana.
In addition to the distance duo’s performance, five Wolverines advanced to event finals and an additional two saw top-three finishes. Michigan is tied for third place with Ohio State with 16 points. Nebraska (46 points) leads the team standings.
In the 10,000 meters, VanderLende finished second in 34:44.64 and Saenz finished third in 34:49.52. The pair traded the lead for the first 9,000 meters of the race, but with 1,000 meters to go, Ohio State’s Addie Engel picked up the pace, took the lead and held off both Wolverines to win. Saenz’s finish was a marked improvement over her 20-plave finished at last year’s championships.
In the 1,500-meter preliminaries, Sam Tran led the race wire-to-wire, dominating the second heat to finish in 4:17.70 — the top time of the day to push her to Sunday’s (May 14) final. She will be joined in the final by Anna Juul, who finished first in the third heat and fourth overall with a time of 4:18.49. Cassie Kearney and Katelynn Hart competed in the second heat along with Tran. Kearney (career-best 4:23.73) finished seventh in the heat and 17th overall, while Hart finished 30th overall in 4:36.64.
Two more Wolverines advanced in the 400-meter hurdles, with Savannah Sutherland and Nikki Stephens finishing first and fourth, respectively, in the event trial. Sutherland, who holds the second-fastest mark in the NCAA this season, won her heat and the group with a time of 56.51 seconds. Stephens claimed the fourth-place spot…
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