The Michigan women’s track and field team aced two big tests this past weekend. The Wolverines split up to compete in different meets, sending their distance medley relay (DMR) team to the New Balance Invitational in New York, while the rest of the team stayed closer to home and competed in the Meyo Invitational in South Bend, Ind. The runners performed on back-to-back days for the first time all season.

“Its almost easier to come back the same day than to sleep, wake up and hope your legs feel good again,” junior co-captain Danielle Tauro said. “Sometimes it works out, but I think the first time you do it, it’s just a shock to your body.”

But, luckily for the Wolverines, their first experience with running on consecutive days came with a month left before the indoor season’s final exam: the Big Ten Indoor Championships. In the Big Ten meet, the runners will run in the preliminaries on day one and the finals on day two.

“That’s where we’re aiming to do our best at,” redshirt sophomore Allison Liske said. “Everyone is doing their part in working hard and training. We’re going to have to trust ourselves and work hard until Big Tens come and expect that were going to see some results that will put us in a top-three finish in the Big Ten, and hopefully look at winning a Big Ten championship.”

Facing top-level competition in New York was a welcome challenge for Michigan, as the Wolverines took seventh place in the DMR. Tauro ran the anchor leg of the relay (1600-meters) and also took seventh place in her individual event, the 800-meter dash. But, Tauro wasn’t impressed with her perfomance.

“Coming off of last night, at least for the DMR, we were hoping to do better,” Tauro said. “But we know we just have to use that as motivation to work harder in practice and to fuel our hunger. Sometimes I feel like its better to be a little bit disappointed, because at least you’re hungry. At least you want to work harder and you’re that much more motivated to do better the next time.”

Seven hundred miles away, in South Bend, Ind., the rest of Michigan’s weekend was highlighted by two fourth-place finishes from redshirt junior Charnee Lumbus in the 60-meter hurdles and Liske in the shotput.

While this wasn’t her best throwing weekend, Liske made some adjustments between preliminaries and finals that led her to success. The adjustments paid off, as Liske’s throw of 15.37 meters was her third NCAA provisional mark this season.

“Consistency is good,” Liske said. “Hopefully the consistency I’ve had is going to result in a dynamic finish. Hopefully by the time I get to (the Big Ten indoor competition), we’ll see some more results that are leaning a little bit closer to 16 meters, so we’re able to compete with the top throwers in the Big Ten.”

Other top performers from the invitational in South Bend included sophomore Alexandria Williams, who took sixth place in the 500-meter run, and junior Kaitlyn Peale, who finished eighth in the 3,000-meter run.

Each upcoming meet will be treated as a midterm exam for the Wolverines, on their way to the Big Ten championships at the end of February.

“You’ve got to go back and work your hardest like you’re a freshman every day,” Liske said, “because you’re going to go to meets where nobody knows who you are. We’re going to see, as far as Big Tens goes, who our performing leaders are and who our team captains are.”

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