After every victory, big or small, junior thrower Allison Liske likes to celebrate.
Her latest opportunity came last weekend after the Simmons-Harvey Invitational in Ann Arbor. She achieved a career-best 15.5 meter shot put throw, earning a provisional mark and a national rank of 26th-best performance in the event for the early 2010 season.
The Wolverines, who began the season with a first-place win at the Akron Opener, had six athletes win events at the Simmons-Harvey Invitational this past weekend — a surprisingly successful performance for a team that recently graduated a class of nine seniors who Michigan coach James Henry called “professionals competing as amateurs.”
So in light of last week’s achievements, Liske decided to reward herself.
“We went out to Pizza House and had feta bread” Liske said, “Feta bread is the bomb. You’ve got to celebrate every small victory as an athlete in order to get you motivated to go back to practice on Monday.”
Yet, despite the fact that she has won the shot put event two weeks in a row ( in the PSU Northeast Challenge and Simmons-Harvey Invitational), she is still pushing toward beating her mark from last weekend.
“It was a good provisional mark, but you’re always looking for bigger marks than you have,” Liske said. “You have to celebrate every small victory so I celebrated last weekend but am looking for more this weekend.”
Today, the Wolverines head to Lexington, Kentucky to compete in the Rod McCravy Memorial. Michigan will face 13 teams in Lexington, including No. 5 Florida State, No. 8 Tennessee and No. 15 Louisville.
“We could very easily come out of [the] meet with significant improvements … or thinking that we have an awful lot of work,” Henry said.
But if the Wolverines can perform as well this weekend as they did on day two of the Simmons-Harvey Invitational, there’s a great chance that they will depart from Kentucky with more victories to add to their resume.
Henry said the Wolverines’ focus this season is to work their way into the upper echelon of the Big Ten, by landing one of the top five scores in the conference.
“Anything after that,” Henry said, “would be a bonus.”
Under the leadership of the team captains — senior Shana Vinson, junior Emily Pendleton, and junior Danielle Tauro — and enlivened by the developing leadership role of fellow teammate Liske, the Wolverines may be well on their way to grasping their goal, and possibly much more of Pizza House’s feta bread.