Feb. 27, 2014
Fifth-year senior Ethan Dennis discusses his individual progress, as well as the improvements of the entire throws group, and he previews the upcoming Big Ten Indoor Championships.
On his progression this indoor season ... "I think I've been kind of stuck a little bit too much in the consistency area -- not improving after the first meet. There is definitely another level I'm going to jump to this weekend hopefully. There is a lot more I'm capable of and I think there's a big throw coming this weekend. I've always trained for the end of indoor and end of the outdoor seasons. This is the time of year where your body starts to pick up all the peak performances. We're making minor technical adjustments to the throw and I think they're going to pay off. I feel good about going into this weekend."
On the Big Ten landscape in the weight throw ... "The Big Ten weight throw might possibly be one of the most ridiculous events in any conference meet across the nation. It's a stacked field. The guy from Wisconsin just broke the national record in the weight last week. We have the top five throwers in the nation in the Big Ten. It's going to be a fight -- no one is guaranteed anything -- you just have to compete as hard as you can. I think going in there with goals of getting a certain place is not the way to go. I just have to go in there and beat as many people as I can."
On thriving in a big meet environment ... "I definitely like competing in high-level meets. I like to think I've seen some of my best performances at Big Ten Championships. When you get in an environment like that where everyone is throwing well, it's infectious and makes you want to do better."
On the team's mentality heading into the first scored meet of the season ... "I think everyone knows going into this meet that it's going to be a dog fight. We know that nothing is guaranteed and everyone has to compete at their best at the meet to score points. It's a do-or-die mentality. I think in general with our team, everyone likes to see their best come out at Big Tens and I look forward to seeing a lot of different guys score points."
On the improvement of the throws group year-to-year ... "The shot put guys are coming on really well right now. Derek Sievers has really been competing well and I think he can secure a spot with points. Justin Gaumer has been throwing well too and could sneak in there. It's huge having such a competitive group of throwers. Guys are PRing every meet and it's an infectious thing. You don't want to be outdone by your teammates. The improvement is awesome to see, especially coming from my freshman year when I was the only thrower competing, and now we're taking a squad of five guys to the championships. It's fun and it's nice to have those guys you practice with every day rooting for you. "
On accepting a job for after graduation ... "I recently accepted a job with Cisco Systems in the Bar Area near San Francisco, working in their supply chain and global supply chain operations. Essentially what I'll be doing is setting their network for how their supply chain runs. It will be a great opportunity in my first real business-world experience. Everyone there is really friendly and it absolutely felt like the right company to work for. I'm really excited for the next step. It's hard to conceptualize how different of a person I am today as opposed to when I first enrolled at U-M. Throughout my five years here, it's made my work ethic so much better than I could have imagined. I now have the mentality that if I see a problem, I go fix it, as opposed to waiting around for something to magically happen. That work ethic is something I really pride myself on and I think that's the main goal of what higher education is for. My experience here at U-M has been great."
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