Cramming into the Indoor Track Building, spectators were flowing onto the sidelines. Waiting in anticipation for the Red Simmons Invitational last Saturday, a crowd of several hundred made a showing at one of the few home meets of the season.
“Across the board we had a different feel for this meet,” Michigan coach James Henry said. “Last week there was a lot of tension because it was a scoring meet, and places were important.”
Michigan might have viewed this invitational as a dress rehearsal before competing next week against the same teams. The Wolverines showed swifter speeds and greater depth in sprints than past meets. Freshman Adrena Williams won the 60-meter dash in 7.57 seconds and the 200-meter dash in 25.32 seconds. Junior Tasha Phillips won the 60-meter hurdles with 8.87.
“I”m pleased with the win,” Phillips said. “I was happy to be able to run. I”ve been having problems this week just to get out and run was good.”
In mid-distance events Michigan looked to better strategize their runners.
Helping out sophomore Rachel Sturtz in the 800-meter dash, assistant coach Karen Harvey ran in the event in an attempt to motivate Sturtz and assist her in running a faster time.
“The girls were supposed to go out with me,” Harvey said. “Running the first lap in 62 seconds was the plan. I was there for her next time maybe she”ll take advantage of me.”
Sturtz finished second in the event. Winning the 600-meter dash, junior Ursula Taylor maneuvered into the lead with a wait-and-see approach.
The 4×100-meter relay also exhibited what could be considered breakaway speeds. Anchoring the team, senior Regine Carruthers ran the fastest split in 56:07 seconds doubling the lead and dominating competition by half a track. Finishing in a time of 3:51.97, the Wolverines appeared to fly by the competition.