There are not many students at the University of Michigan who would enjoy waking up for an 8 a.m. class. But if you began to learn a lot from the class – or at least pulled some decent grades – you probably wouldn’t mind it as much.
This is how the distance runners on the Michigan’s women track and field team feel about their 7 a.m., four-mile run several days a week. The Wolverines are not ecstatic about it, but because of the unbelievable success they have had this season, they don’t really mind it anymore.
This season, the Wolverines have competed in two meets with team scoring. At the Michigan Quad on Jan. 18, the Wolverines won every distance event between 400 and 3,000 meters. These victories propelled the team to an impressive victory, beating out second-place Indiana by a margin of 36.5 points.
At the Michigan Intercollegiate on Jan. 31, the Wolverines won every event between the distances of 400 and 5,000 meters. Once again, the distance events led the charge for a Michigan blowout, as it crushed second place Eastern Michigan by 51 points.
“This is the best we have ever run since I have been here,” junior Lindsay Gallo said.
The Wolverines credit their success to the hard work they have put in this season.
Gallo, who has recorded first-place finishes in the mile and the 3,000-meter run this season, said that the team has been working very hard and that everyone has been pushing each other to work even harder.
“When you see your teammates running so well, it inspires you to keep working hard,” she said.
A few seasoned veterans, along with a group of rising stars, lead the distance runners. Senior co-captain Rachel Sturtz owns the team-best time in the 800-meter run (2:09.55). Junior Carly Knazze continues to lower her time in the 400-meter run. For now it stands at 56.09, also a team best.
As for the underclassmen, freshman Rebecca Walter holds the team-best time in the 3,000-meter run at 9:37.80. Sophomores Chelsea Loomis, Theresa Feldkamp and Andrea Parker are all having outstanding seasons as well (just to name a few).
Rounding out the young but exceptionally talented distance squad is freshman Katie Erdman. It is nearly impossible to find another runner on the team who is having a better season than Erdman. She currently holds the team best times in both the mile (4:52.22) and the 600-meter run (1:32.86).
But what makes this group so special – besides its performance on the track – is the camaraderie they have off it.
When asked about relationships with teammates, the distance runners did nothing but smile.
“It has been such a great experience,” Erdman said.
Said Gallo: “We spend a ton of time together outside of practice.”
Along with the rest of the team, the Wolverines distance runners will compete at the Meyo Invitational in South Bend, Ind. this weekend.
Maybe the other teams should starting running now.