If no one on the Michigan women’s track and field team
wins an event, does it mean the meet was unsuccessful? No,
especially if the meet is non-scoring.
In fact, at the Eastern Michigan Twilight, even though not a
single event was won, the depth of the program revealed itself.
With two meets scheduled for the same weekend, the team split: Nine
members went to Ypsilanti to face regional competitors, while the
other group headed to Walnut Lake, Calif., for the Mt. SAC Relays
to face collegiate, sponsored and international competition —
there were even runners hailing everywhere from Brazil to
However, it was at the local meet that less-worked athletes
excelled, gaining experience and confidence in the limelight.
Competing against the finest from Central Michigan and Eastern
Michigan, senior Annessa Schnur’s debut performance in her
outdoor season was notable. Her event-filled weekend consisted of a
personal best and third place finish in the high jump (5-feet-4
1/4), an 11th place finish in the long jump (17-feet-3 1/2), and a
22nd place finish in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 16.03
“I was pleased with the high and long jumps,” Schnur
said. “The running events weren’t so great. But then
again, these were the first races of my outdoor season, so I think
it’s still a good start.”
Schnur, a Butler, Pa., native, is used to competing in the
heptathlon, which is comprised of seven events. After receiving a
cortisone shot in the knee in December, Schnur has had an easy
recovery and is eager to compete in all seven events next
Schnur finds the time commitment more strenuous than the
physical demands: “It is difficult in the sense that you are
expected to be in two different places in the same time.”
Freshman Jackie Gaydos did not have the same problems — as
she competed in just the 1,500-meter run — but she did find
similar success as Schnur. Gaydos tied her best time in the event
(4:32.83) and finished fourth. She needs to drop three seconds from
her time in order to make the cut for regionals.
“This meet was a lot more relaxed,” said Gaydos, who
ran at the Eastern meet. “The competition wasn’t as
good, and we didn’t bring the full team, but for the people
who competed, it was a good meet.”
Schnur found it slightly challenging not having Michigan coaches
present at the Ypsilanti event — especially in the jumping
events, where form is such an integral part of the sport.
The coaching staff accompanied the other group of athletes to
the West Coast. Although Michigan had not competed in the Mt. SAC
Relays for the past two years, it was imperative that the team send
as many seniors as possible to this meet. With graduation on May 1,
the senior women will miss the meets scheduled for that weekend,
and will just have three more opportunities to qualify for their
events in the NCAA Regional Championships on May 28.
Juniors Andrea Parker and Ana Gjesdal posted regional qualifying
times in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Parker clocked in with a
time of 10:42 for fifth place, and Gjesdal finished shortly after
in eighth place at 10:44. Sprinters and throwers also competed.
The Wolverines will divide up again and head to Des Moines,
Iowa, and Philadelphia, Pa., for the final round of relays.