After an illustrious but injury-ridden career, Erin Finn is grateful to just get to finish one last season as a Wolverine.
A graduate student who grew up running 45 minutes north of Ann Arbor in West Bloomfield has experienced some of her highest and lowest moments while at Michigan.
She holds four school records and is a ten-time Big Ten Champion as well as a nine-time All-American. But her career has been full of challenges as a recurrent stress fracture in her foot plagued her time at Michigan.
The injury dates all the way back to her sophomore year and has caused problems so recently, causing her to question whether she would be able to compete in this year’s Big Ten Championships.
“There was a point in the year, honestly just like six weeks prior to (the Big Ten Championships) where I was pretty sure I was going to be done running for Michigan,” Finn said. “I was pretty sure that my Michigan career was over. I was trying everything I could to get healthy, and nothing was working fast enough. I did not think my health would come together in time to have one last season in the Maize and Blue.”
While that memory is certainly fresh in her head, her strong performance at the NCAA East Regional shows that her health concerns are in the past. Now, things are different and she's making the most of her last opportunities as a Wolverine.
“Two or three weeks before (the Big Ten Championships) when I realized it was finally turning around, I was just so incredibly grateful for the opportunity and totally dedicated to getting everything out of it that I can,” Finn said. “Just truly embracing the hard parts… and the fun parts… and the parts with my teammates. Everything about it that makes being a Wolverine so special.”
“Being able to compete for Michigan has been one of the greatest pleasures of my life. I’m super happy with what I’ve done in my career thus far, but there’s nothing more special than having one more time… one more chance. Just to be able to say thanks for everything this university has given time. I think I’m just really excited to have one more chance to say ‘thank you’ to Michigan.”
After a qualifying for the NCAA Outdoor Championships, Finn will get her one more chance on Jun. 6 in Austin, Texas. And she will be locked in on crossing the finish line before her opponents do.
But perhaps most importantly of all, she will bound toward that line with the satisfaction of a runner most grateful — for her teammates, her coaches, and the colors she’s wearing.