This weekend the Michigan men’s track team will be travel to Atlanta for Georgia Tech’s Yellow Jacket Invitational. The team will compete in a scored meet for the first time this outdoor season.
Expectations for this year’s team are high coming off the success of the distance medley relay that took third at the NCAA Indoor Championships and a strong showing at the Florida State Relays two weekends ago. While the Florida State Relays were not scored and many runners participated in multiple events, it was an important tuneup for the team
“This season is all about coming together at the Big Ten meet,” said sophomore Seth Waits. “We are finally on the right track.”
Waits, who will be exclusively running the 400-meter hurdles this outdoor season, is “hoping to place in the Big Ten meet, and would like to make it to the regional meet.”
“Hopefully I will be able to run fast enough to contribute,” Waits said.
Besides being a talented runner in his own right, Waits has found that running alongside sophomore Nate Brannen – the NCAA indoor 800-meter run national champion – and Nick Willis – Big Ten Indoor Freshman of the Year – has helped himself and his teammates.
“Every time you step on the track you think about these world class guys running their butts off,” Waits said. “I want them to feel like I am giving as much of a contribution and commitment as possible.”
In addition, Waits believes that Michigan’s coach Ron Warhurst will be crucial to their success.
“Being around a great coach like (Warhurst) is great. You really respect what he tells you and focus on the advice he gives,” Waits said.
On a team with so much young talent, the coach is even more important, especially when nerves and inexperience come into play.
“It’s great to be around someone with that much experience,” Waits said. “You feel confident when you go into races because of the plan he has laid out.”