The longest women’s relay is now on the track. Michigan is back to defend it’s title. The Wolverines set an event record, 17:15.62, last year.

It’s a slow early pace on the first leg. On the third lap Michigan and Georgetown are starting to pull away from the field. Now Michigan is out front and Tennessee moves into second place. The first exchange is about 4:25. Michigan leads by 10 meters on Tennessee.

After one lap Tennessee has drawn even, and now takes the lead. Georgetown is 3rd, Penn State 4th, then a gap back to Birmingham of England in 5th. Georgetown and Penn State have joined the leaders at the 1200 mark. At the second exchange it’s Georgetown, Tennessee, Penn State, Michigan and Birmingham (in that order).

On the third leg Georgetown leads with Tennessee right behind. Michigan is stalking in third, then a big gap to Penn State. Michigan moves into the lead with 100 meters left on the third leg and hands off first, with Georgetown 10 meters back, and Tennessee another 10 behind that.

Sarah Bowman quickly moves the Lady Vols into second place, but after one lap she trails Michigan’s Nicole Edwards by 20 meters. She keeps trucking along, and cuts the gap to 5 meters a lap later. With a lap and a half to go, Bowman is right on Edwards’ heels. Looks like it’ll be another great homestretch duel. Bowman tries to pass on the final curve, but Edwards has too much left and gives Michigan another win (to go along with yesterday’s DMR), 17:28.98-17:29.12.

When asked about the close finish with Bowman, Michigan anchor Nicole Edwards had this to say: “Its definitely a different feeling to be out ahead of her, knowing she’s right behind me . They were screaming, ‘She’s there! She’s there.’ With 200 to go she was moving onto my shoulder so I could see her beside me.”

Full results are here.