Last year, senior Rachel Sturtz took freshman Katie Erdman under
her wing. Before she graduated, Sturtz broke the 800-meter record
that dated back to 1994. And last week, the student became the
teacher as Erdman broke Strutz’s record, making a legacy of
her own.

“I knew I had done all the correct things to prepare
myself for national competition,” Erdman said. “So it
was really just a matter of relaxing and letting myself run like I
know I am capable of.”

And when she does what she’s capable of, the results are
impressive. In this year’s indoor season, Erdman earned
All-America honors in two events, the 800-meter and distance
medley. She is the two-time Big Ten 600-meters champion, and she
was the 2003 Big Ten Indoor Freshman of the Year. Erdman also holds
the Michigan record in the both the 600- (1:29.57) and the
800-meter (2:04.41) races.

In addition to her athletic achievements, Erdman wants to
motivate future runners, just as Sturtz helped her last year.

“Katie possesses the elements that every coaching staff
wants — good athletes that are good people,” associate
head coach Mike McGuire said. “She has a genuine interest in
the whole team and is involved in recruiting for next year. Her
times have caught the interest of (prospective student athletes),
and when they talk to her, they realize that she’s an overall
good person.”

Erdman hopes to influence people for years to come. While at
Michigan, she plans on doing a double concentration in English and
Spanish and obtaining a secondary teaching certificate. She also
would not mind coaching for a few years. Even though Erdman enjoys
helping others, her competitive fire has her ready for the outdoor

“I can’t wait for the change in scenery and
maintaining the quality of my training,” Erdman said.
“If I work hard in practice, it will result in some good
races. I look forward to how competitive we will be as a

Always a student of her sport, Erdman sees every race as a
learning experience.

“Races are chances to see how your training is progressing
and to note what you need to work on, and that is how I approach
them,” Erdman said. “It is very rewarding to see all
the hard work pay off.”

Mid-distance training includes endurance-building techniques
besides running, such as weightlifting. Runners also have to eat
healthy and drink a lot of water.

“Katie’s training has made her stronger,”
McGuire said. “She has a God-given talent. She has stayed
healthy during her off-season — she sets a good example in
distance and mid-distance group. We have never had a mid-distance
runner with so much more potential.”

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