Spring is in the air, even if the Michigan weather does not
always show it.

Beth Dykstra
Junior Lindsey Gallo and her distance medley team have already qualified for the NCAA Championships. (RYAN WEINER/Daily)

For the Michigan women’s track team, spring means that the
outdoor season is just around the corner. With a second-place
finish in the Big Ten Championships this year, the Wolverines look
as if they will have all the pieces needed to capture their fourth
straight Big Ten outdoor title. But, before that challenge begins,
the team has some indoor-season ends to tie up.

Those ends include the non-scoring Alex Wilson Invitational.
Competing this weekend is a decision that is left up to the
athletes, but many will participate. This is the last chance to
qualify individually for the NCAA Championships or to obtain
personal records. For some, this weekend will be a nice rest before
the NCAAs, March 12 and 13.

“We’re sending a few girls to a meet at Notre Dame,
but basically we’re training through it,” junior
Lindsey Gallo said.

Although some team members will not compete this weekend, it is
still an important weekend for the eight athletes who are going to
the Invitational.

“Overall the Invitational is optional to the girls, but we
are allowing those who are close to qualifying to compete,”
Michigan coach James Henry said.

One group that will not be running is the distance medley relay
of Gallo, sophomore Katie Erdman, senior Carly Knazze and junior
Theresa Feldkamp. The group already qualified for the NCAA
championships held in Fayetteville, Ark., and holds the
fifth-fastest national time in the distance medley relay, as well
as the fastest time in the conference. In 2003 NCAA meet, Gallo and
Erdman ran the same event and placed 10th.

“Last year it was disappointing to only come in 10th and
miss being All-American,” Gallo said. “So this year we
are focused on improving our place and being All-American in the
(distance medley relay). I think we all feel very
confident.”

The quartet seems to be peaking at the right time as it took
first in the Big Ten championships. Erdman and Gallo will run
individually at the NCAA meet. This is a testament to the
relay’s wide-ranging talents. However, the group thinks it
has much more room to improve.

“None of us have really been pushed to our max yet, so we
have a lot more room to improve,” Feldkamp said. “It
will be exciting to see who comes out on top.”

The experience Erdman and Gallo gained at last year’s NCAA
meet could be an advantage for the medley relay, as two of its
runners won’t be as surprised and distracted by participating
for the first time.

“It’s so difficult to even qualify for the nationals
that just being there shows that you are an elite athlete,”
Henry said. “But I do think that the distance medley relay
has a great shot at medaling.”

After the Alex Wilson Invitational and the NCAA meet, spring
will have officially sprung, and the outdoor season will begin.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *