Katie Jazwinski has more mileage on her than an old pickup truck.
Two weeks after an exhausting Big Ten Championships, the former tri-captain finished her career at Michigan at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Baton Rouge, La. on June 2, placing seventh in the 5,000 meter-run and earned All-America honors. She earned Michigan its only two points of the championships, as the Wolverines finished in 57th place.
Coach James Henry thinks Jazwinski was still tired from the Big Ten Championships on May 19. For the first 2,000 meters, Jazwinski competed for the lead, but she slowly fell back in the pack with an obvious injury. Henry thought Jazwinski suffered from cramping but she denied it.
“She is the kind of athlete that won’t give an excuse,” Henry said. “If a lung collapsed, she wouldn’t tell you her lung collapsed.”
Henry was also pleased with the performances of senior April Phillips and junior Melissa Bickett, both of whom had never before performed at the championships. Phillips and Bickett were not used to the absence of the rest their team, or “family” as Henry described them, there for support.
Given the circumstances, Henry was impressed with the way they competed. Phillips earned All America honors by placing 12th in the hammer throw, while Bickett placed 11th in the discus. But Phillips didn’t do well in the shot put, failing to post a mark after fouls on all three of her attempts. The fouls were actually intentional because Phillips knew the throws would not be good and did not want them to be recorded. Henry was surprised by Phillips poor technique after winning the Big Ten shot put title two weeks ago and thinks it was caused by the pressure she put on herself.
“I think she was trying so hard and wanted to compete so much that you forget about the technical merit in the event,” Henry said.
Bickett suffered from the same problem.
Said Henry: “She was spinning the fastest I have ever seen her, and you need speed with control.”