Jan. 12, 2013
Michigan Head Coach James Henry
On the first meet as a way to gauge the team's progress ... "It was a three-pronged assessment, where 60 percent of our kids did better than expected, about another 30 percent did what I expected, and there was about 10 percent that fell below my expectations. I'm going to treat this as an academic class to a certain degree, in that you can throw out your worst test, and those kids that didn't do as expected, I'm hoping they can perform well and prove that they're better than what they showed. It's early in the year, it's the first test, it's the first meet, we're just back from vacation, and I know they will improve. We got a fantastic start, and we need to move forward from here."
On this team being more balanced across all event areas ... "That balance was lacking in the hurdles and short sprints area, but I think we solidified some of that. The majority of kids that performed in the short hurdles and short sprints had career-best performances, and that's outstanding early. I'm hoping that we'll continue to improve, and that will make us the more balanced program that we expect to be."
On how the freshmen and redshirt freshmen performed in their first meet ... "There were some good and some not so good. Some will continue to get better as it's the start of their collegiate career, but others stood out and showed that they don't want to wait their turn, their turn is now. Sometimes freshpeople sit back and wait until time passes, and they're upperclassmen and say 'now I'll step up.' But some of them stepped up right away and said, 'I'm going to be an integral part of this team and I'm going to make a difference in the conference.' We're going to need that, and I was happy to see it."
On individual performances that stood out ... "Coach (Mike) McGuire's young kids did well in the distance events. I'm sure he was very happy with that, and I like what I'm seeing there. I think that Cindy Ofili, so far, has stepped up and shown that she wants to be an integral part of this team. That was not a surprise, but I'm happy to see that she wants to step up and make her mark right away. I also thought that Meg Bellino had a great performance in the 600 meters. She's been battling injuries here and there and if she stays healthy, she's going to be a major contributor. She performed well both in the 600 and the mile relay. The whole group of short sprinters did a great job. Leading the way was Amber Smith winning the 60-meter hurdles and having a significant personal best in the 60-meter hurdles and 60-meter dash. So those are the kids I feel had great performances and can really help us this year."