When preparing for a sporting event, it never hurts to get some
friendly advice. In Michigan sprinter Jeff Porter’s case,
seeking the advice of friends is always helpful, especially when
the advice comes from two members of the U.S. Olympic track
team.

“I call some of my Olympian friends on the phone, and see
what they think,” Porter said, referring to U.S. Olympians
Justin Gatlin and Terrance Trammel. “I talk to them often
— they give me advice on how to approach my meets.”

Porter, a freshman sprinter and hurdler, hails from Franklin
High School in Somerset, N.J. Porter was highly recruited coming
out of high school and arrived in Ann Arbor ready to make an
impact.

He was named Big Ten Conference Freshman of the Year during the
indoor track season, and he looks to have another successful season
as the team heads outdoors.

“One of my goals is to place at the Mount SEC and Penn
relays,” said Porter, who will compete at the Eastern
Michigan Invitational in Ypsilanti tomorrow. “I want to see
if I can go out and win the Big Ten title.”

In the first outdoor meet of the season, the Georgia Tech Yellow
Jacket Invitational, the talented freshman ran a time of 14.20 in
the 110-meter hurdles, good enough for his first NCAA regional
qualifying mark of the season.

Along with having some sources for helpful advice, Porter is
also a tireless worker who makes the most of his practice time.

“He’s very focused at practice,” Michigan
sprinters and hurdlers coach Jeff LaPlante said. “He makes
the most of his practice time, his practices are
efficient.”

Aside from his athletic responsibilities, Porter also sets aside
time for his academics, where he is hoping to become a sports
management major in the School of Kinesiology.

Combined with an already hectic schedule, which also includes
Tae Kwon Do lessons, Porter sometimes misses out on some valuable
time to just rest and relax.

“It’s hard, I’m not going to lie about
that,” Porter said. “We work five times a week, with
meets on weekends. I try to get in and see the trainer everyday.
Some days you are just dead tired and you just want to go to sleep.
It can cut down on your sleeping time.”

Porter, who is eligible to run in the World Junior
Championships, hopes to continue his success in the outdoor season
and maybe someday attain national acclaim like his Olympian
friends.

“In the sprinting and hurdling area, he is a high level
performer, he thinks at a national level,” LaPlante said.
“He carries himself at a high level and raises his teammates
to that level.”

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