When the Michigan men’s track and field team beat Ohio State in “The Dual,” junior Adam Harris led the team around the track for a victory lap. Harris had another strong performance, and because of his competitive instinct, he wanted to rub it in.
Growing up in a family of athletes, that drive came naturally to him. So did his athletic ability. Harris played popular sports like football, baseball, and soccer as a kid, but in high school he dropped them all to focus on track, following in the footsteps of his parents and sibling.
His dedication to the sport has more than paid off. At the EMU Open, the season’s first meet, Harris posted a NCAA provisional time of 6.64 in the 60-meter dash, easily breaking his own school record of 6.71 set last year. Harris followed up the performance in the season’s second meet, reaching 7.26 meters on the long jump – another personal best.
His hot start earned him two consecutive Big Ten Runner of the Week awards for the weeks of Jan. 15th and Jan. 22nd, a feat that hasn’t been achieved at Michigan since Nate Brannen did it in 2005.
No one expected Harris to break a school record this early in the season. Most guys on the team are still warming up and fine-tuning their techniques in January.
But Harris came into the season prepared and had high hopes from the start.
“Usually we take some time off but I pretty much worked out the whole summer without taking a day off,” said Harris. “If I did take a day off, I felt pretty bad. I was hoping to get some awards and I thought any of them would be nice.”
The Big Ten awards are a tribute to the hard work Harris put in over the summer. His natural talent was obvious even in his freshmen season, but his coaches are more impressed with his work ethic, an uncommon quality among such gifted athletes.
“He is just an excellent athlete and the most dedicated person I have ever seen,” said senior co-captain Andrew Wechter. “Every time I’m at the track, he’s there. I think he lives there sometimes.”
Having broken the 60-meter dash record twice in his tenure at Michigan, Harris hopes to break it again. Not because of NCAA qualifying times or Big Ten Runner of the Week awards, but because that’s just what he does.
“I’m hoping to bring it down some more and leave it up on the wall a little bit longer,” said Harris. “The lower I drop it, the better I feel.”