The Michigan track and field team returned from Albuquerque this weekend with 11 new All-American statuses under their belt, a first or second team achievement earned by a top-eight or top-16 finish in an event.
Traveling to New Mexico for the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships, the Wolverines competed in events ranging from the 400-meter to the distance medley relay. Both individual and relay performances placed athletes on first and second All-American teams.
Senior Nick Foster was one of Michigan’s competitors. Foster ran a time of 4:05.58 in the men’s one mile race, earning him ninth place and a second team All-American title. The Wolverines have consistently seen success from Foster throughout this indoor season, and he hopes to continue the trend into the upcoming outdoor season.
“I was happy to make the finals on Saturday, but I had bigger goals than what I was able to achieve,” Foster said. “But overall, it was a great experience. I have a lot to take away from it to help get better for outdoor.”
Foster’s All-American performance marks the end of his senior indoor season, but not his career with Michigan track and field. Foster plans to come back for a fifth-year and he looks forward to returning to a team with growing potential.
“There will be new faces, young guys stepping up,” Foster said. “I think right now, we have a lot of really great young talent. It’ll be great to see them continue to improve next year.”
While the Wolverines’ men will now shift their attention to outdoor competition, the potential that Foster spoke of is something for the team to be excited about.
The Michigan women’s team also showed widespread potential that could aid it as it transitions into the outdoor season. Sophomore Savannah Sutherland ran a 51.60 in the women’s 400- meter race to earn seventh place, a first team All-American finish.
Graduate Aurora Rynda had a similar performance in the women’s 800-meter final. She placed eighth with a time of 2:06.83, which garnered her All-American status too. Rynda still believes she has more to give, which she hopes to showcase during the outdoor season.
“I was a little disappointed with my performance,” Rynda said. “I just have to learn something (from this race) and get out there for a better outdoor season.”
The Wolverines also placed ninth in the women’s 4×400 meter relay with a time of 3:31.24, a second team All-American performance. These achievements offer a preview of the upcoming outdoor season, where Michigan hopes to carry over its success.
“(This meet) just showed that we have a really good group of girls that can compete,” Rynda said. “We’re going to keep building up experience which will really help us in the outdoor season.”
The end of the indoor track season doesn’t signify the end of training and preparation. It marks the beginning of continued opportunities and new race environments as meets move outdoors.
With multiple athletes returning from Albuquerque with All-American status, and the outdoor season beginning soon, the Wolverines are in a position to take advantage of the season’s successes and carry them into upcoming competitions.