Alyson Kohlmeier

Mira Levitan

Women’s Cross-Country

Alyson Kohlmeier comes to Michigan from St. Patrick’s
High School in Sarnia, Ontario,with an impressive resume. Not only
was Kohlmeier a four-time provincial cross-country champion in the
1,500-meter and member of the Canadian Junior cross-country team in
both 2002 and 2003, but she graduated first in her class at St.
Patrick’s. Now as a Wolverine, Kohlmeier will try to match
her high school record both on and off the course. She’s
started her season off well, contributing to her team’s No. 1
finish at the Indiana State Invitational with a 20th place
individual finish and time of 18:35.44.

Q: What do you remember about WELCOME WEEK ?

A: The football game on Saturday. I had been to a football game
before, but everytime you see it, it’s still an amazing
experience. I can’t believe the number of people that are
fans.

Q: Worst thing about the dorms?

A: How hot they are. There’s no air-conditioning. And I
hate NOT HAVING MY OWN BATHROOM.

Q: What do you miss about home?

A: Probably my MOM’S COOKING. The dorm food is pretty
bad.

Q: When’s the last time you talked to your PROM DATE ?

A: He was like my best friend from elementary and high school. I
tried calling him twice two nights ago and he wasn’t there,
(but) he e-mailed me yesterday. It’s not like he was my
boyfriend or anything.

Q: Have you gotten LOST ON CAMPUS ?

A: The first day … I had to leave extra early. I had my campus
map and everything. I’ve never been completely lost, but
basically if you know where the Diag is, you’re fine.

Q: What do you think of the UPPERCLASSMEN on your team?

A: At first I was thinking they could be intimidating, but the
team’s age doesn’t matter as much as it did in high
school.

Steve Hecker

Men’s Soccer

The Michigan men’s soccer team just might have its
dream team this year. In addition to the returning talent from last
year, the team boasts the 18th-ranked freshman class in the country
(according to the College Soccer News). Steve Hecker leads the
freshman class. He has made a solid debut, starting all five games
this season. Hecker achieved his first career point in the
team’s game against Western Illinois, when he assisted senior
Mychal Turpin on the game-winning overtime goal. Hailing from
Portage, Hecker was named the 2003 Michigan Gatorade Player of the
Year.

Q: Worst practice drill that Coach Steve Burns makes you do?

A: SHUTTLE RUNS. It’s pretty rough.

Q: Have any pre-game rituals?

A: I always eat a PEANUT BUTTER POWERBAR before every game.
It’s not like a superstitious kind of thing —
it’s just something I do to get energy.

Q: So you live in South Quad — how about those FIRE DRILLS
?

A: Actually, I just had my first experience with a fire drill
last week. It was rough — we were standing outside the dorm
for like 25 minutes.

Q: Do you listen to any pump-up music before games?

A: We listen to COUNTRY MUSIC in the locker room. I’m not
really into any kind of music specifically, but the country music
seems to work.

Q: What’s your favorite class?

A: GEOSCIENCE 101.

Victor Gras

Men’s Cross-Country

Only five seconds away from the vaunted four-minute-mile
barrier, Victor Gras could be the latest of Coach Ron
Warhurst’s potential All-Americans. At just 18 years of age,
Gras’s undying love for running has him headed for a spot in
Michigan’s top five for this fall — no small feat
considering the Wolverines’ potential for a top-five national
finish this season. Loved by all of his teammates, Gras, who moved
to Massachusetts from France at the beginning of high school, has
made a seamless transition from the top of the high school ranks to
Division I running.

Q: What do you want to major in?

A: I’m in LSA, but I don’t really know what I want
to do. I really like ANTHROPOLOGY.

Q: Why did you come to Michigan?

A: A lot of people use running to get into a good school,
knowing that the school never produces really good athletes. But I
wanted to come to Michigan to find out just how good I could get.
It was the best option to TAKE THE BIGGEST STEPS.

Q: What’s the difference between training in high school
and TRAINING AT MICHIGAN ?

A: I thought in high school I was training at the hardest level,
but I came here and realized there is no way I was training at the
hardest level.

Coach Ron Warhurst on Gras: “HE CAN RUN LIKE HELL.
He’s got a lot of confidence. I just have to get him fitter
— he will make huge contributions to our team (during) the
cross-country and track seasons.

Senior Nate Brannen, current NCAA 800-meter indoor track
champion, on Gras: “It’s definitely going to motivate
the upperclassmen, having a freshman come in as strong as he is.
It’ll help them get their BUTTS IN GEAR.”

Warhurst, on Gras’s accent: “The team loves getting
Victor excited — when he starts talking fast and his accent
comes out. I didn’t know he had a FRENCH background. When I
was recruiting him … I asked, ‘How did you learn to speak
very fluent English?’ And he said. ‘TV.’

Lucia Belassi

Field Hockey

Few would disagree that being a freshman in college takes a
bit of getting used to. Well, try going to college on a different
continent (Belassi is from Uruguay), throw in a language barrier
and you’ve got Lucia Belassi’s experience. Although she
has several obstacles stacked against her, this dynamic freshman
has already made a name for herself as the only true freshman to
play in every game thus far and has also made leaps and bounds in
her English — and all this in just a month.

Q: So how’d you end up here?

A: I sent them a VIDEO TAPE — and I guess they liked me. I
wanted to come to the U.S. because they give you the chance to
study what you love as well as play what you love.

Q: Most difficult thing about living here?

A: The language. I’ve been LEARNING ENGLISH since I was 8
— I went one hour per day — but here, I’m talking
all the time in English. I’m getting used to it.

Q: Favorite spot on campus?

A: The Diag.

Q: Have you STEPPED ON THE ‘M’?

A: No! They told us you have to step on it after you’ve
taken an exam or something, so I’m going to keep it that
way.

Q: What was field hockey like in URUGUAY ?

A: I played on a club team … so we used to play against
Argentinean teams. One time I was selected to go to a province
selection. It would be like a state selection here. It was in the
newspapers and everything in my city.

Q: How would you decribe your style of play?

A: SMART. I’ve been playing forward and midfield, and I
play a different way at each.

Jamie Artsis

Women’s Soccer

Catch her if you can. No. 5 will slide, sprint, dive, take
headers and battle players twice her size. “She’s
probably one of the hardest workers on the team,” teammate
Melissa Dobbyn said. “She never stops running, so everybody
who she plays against basically dies.” The Chatsworth,
Calif., native hit the ground running since arriving in Ann Arbor.
Artsis has already started every game for the Wolverines, and
there’s no reason to believe that she’ll be slowing
down anytime soon.

Q: How are Michigan boys different from boys back home?

A: They’re pale. Back home they’re darker and more
of the surfer type. I don’t want to say this, but I guess
they’re more DORKY.

Q: Best part about being a student athlete?

A: All the FREE STUFF. Like our dry-fits, shorts, five different
pairs of soccer shoes, sweatshirts and bags.

Q: What’s the biggest difference between Californians and
Michiganders?

A: The accent. Everyone makes fun of my accent, but really they
are the ones with the accent. I also think people are nicer here.
Everything is so SUPERFICIAL where I live. Everything’s about
fashion and what’s in. Here, it’s not like that.

Q: What do you like best about living AWAY FROM HOME ?

A: Not having to make my own bed.

Artsis’s teammate and roommate, Melissa Dobbyn, on the
weirdest thing Artsis has done since coming to Michigan: “She
rapped ‘I Missed the Bus’ (by KRIS KROSS) earlier. One
time she was rapping and singing (so loud) that these guys came up
to our room.

View this article as it appears in print by clicking
“http://www.michigandaily.com/pages/pdf/2004-09-20smback.pdf”>here.

 

Page Design by Ellen McGarrity

Writers: Katie Niemeyer, Matt Singer, Megan Kolodgy, James V.
Dowd, Anne Uible

Photos by: file photo, Jeff Lehnert, Willa Tracosas, Tony Ding,
Tommaso Gomez

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