On March 29, in Palo Alto, Calif., Chloe Foster finished first.
Three weeks later, history repeated itself.
Competing at the Cardinal Classic in Palo Alto on Friday, the sophomore again topped the field in the 400-meter hurdles, finishing with a time of 59.69 seconds. Three weeks earlier, at the Stanford Invitational, Foster came in first with a time of 59.65 seconds — on the same track.
“It gets them used to the venue,” said Michigan coach James Henry. “(It) makes it easier to adjust to the competition.”
Foster wasn’t finished after the 400-meter hurdles, however. Competing in the 400-meter run on Saturday, Foster ran a career-best 54.47 seconds to capture her second victory of the weekend. Junior Julia Hall also ran a career-best time of 55.52 seconds to finish third in the event, while sophomore Emma Lane rounded out the top five, posting a 57.84.
Elsewhere, Michigan saw success from two debutants. Sophomore Alice Hill, participating in her first-ever collegiate 3,000-meter steeplechase event, placed fourth with a time of 10:04.58. In the 5,000-meter run, sixth-year senior Erin Finn returned to action for the first time since the 2018 season, coming in fifth with a time of 16:09.94.
The Wolverines saw another strong repeat performance in the 800-meter run from freshman Aurora Rynda. At the Stanford Invitational, Rynda placed fifth in her career-debut in the event. This weekend, Rynda improved upon her performance, finishing third in a field consisting of runners from Stanford, Indiana, Oregon and others.
“I thought the middle-distance and distance groups did well, as well as the 400 and 400-hurdle groups,” Henry said. “We accomplished some of the things we were out to get, and that was to improve our performances, get regional times and set ourselves up for the Big Ten meet.”
Michigan also had some success in the sprint races. Hall finished fourth in the 200-meter sprint and junior Tiana Luton placed fifth in the 100-meter hurdles.
With the Cardinal Classic in the rearview mirror, the Wolverines have only one more meet — the Len Paddock Open in Ann Arbor — and just three more weeks until the Big Ten Outdoor Championships. It is not all time to prepare, though, as the Michigan runners also have to deal with end-of-semester projects and final exams over the next few weeks.
“That’s the challenge that we have, but that’s the great thing about the type of athletes that we have,” Henry said. “They can be focused on their competition, as well as be focused on their studies in between. And many, if not all, of our athletes are able to do that.”