Wolverine Athlete Spotlight: Taylor Manett
Taylor Manett

Jan. 17, 2014

Redshirt freshman Taylor Manett discusses her experience competing for Team USA in the Bupa Great Edinburgh Cross Country Challenge last weekend, as well as the transition to her first indoor season competing in uniform for U-M.

On representing Team USA for the second straight year ... "I was really honored to compete for Team USA at the race in Edinburgh. I was really lucky that I was still junior eligible so I was happy that I got to go over there again. I felt a lot more confident this year, having a better cross country season and better training this fall. It was a lot of fun and I'm really happy I got to do it two years in a row."

On transitioning back and forth between cross country and track competitions ... "It's kind of hard because we were doing more volume in the fall with training for the 6K cross country race and then we take a little time off and start training for indoor track in December. I had been doing more speed workouts geared toward the 1,500m. Going into Scotland, it was a 4K race so we kind of needed to combine a little bit of both types of training. It was rough terrain like cross country so we needed to have that strength that we use in the fall and it was good that I had been able to get in some of the speed work for track because the 4K is a faster race than the 6K so that was helpful. It was definitely a tough transition going back to cross country mode after we've been in indoor track mode for a couple weeks."

On being able to focus on track for the next five months ... "I really love cross country and it's definitely my favorite season so I'm sad to see it go, but I'm really excited for indoor track and outdoor track to start. As much as I love wearing the Team USA jersey, there is no jersey I'd rather wear than the block M. I'm really excited to be back competing for Michigan and I'm happy that I get to race this year and not redshirt for indoor. I'm looking forward to some fast races ahead."

On having the full team together this weekend for the first time this season ... "During cross country season, we are kind of separated from the sprinters and field event groups because we're in our cross country season. The distance group kind of meshes together on its own, but we definitely miss the other girls on the team and it will be a powerful, great feeling to have the whole team together. I'm really excited to be back at practice with everyone and it's great to have all the different parts working together as one whole. It's a lot of fun having all the different event areas come together for the track season. I'm excited for Saturday to have our whole team there."

On competing in front of a home crowd this weekend ... "It's really awesome that we have the home meet this weekend because we don't compete at home very often. It's great because a lot our families get to come and our friends that wouldn't normally get to see us compete can come and support our team. It should be a really quality field and it will be nice to be in our comfort zone, racing on the track that we practice on every day. I'm hoping that all the countless laps that we've run on there in practice will pay off in the race."

On team and individual goals for indoor season ... "For me personally, it will be different than anything I've ever experienced because I didn't really race indoor very much in high school and then last year I redshirted indoors. I'm excited to be racing this indoor season. My goals personally are to be a scoring member of the team at Big Tens and help us do our best at all our other meets. A team goal would be to try and win Big Tens indoors this year and get as many national qualifiers as we can. But we know there is a lot of work to be done. Up until now everyone has been doing their own thing, but now that we're all coming together, it's all about going into practice every day and doing everything you can to get even just a little bit better. If everyone is working on improving themselves and getting better, we know our team will be a lot better off in the end. What's really been stressed this year is for everyone to do everything right and do our best every day in practice and all aspects of our lives to represent our team well in competitions."

• Previous Spotlight: Kiley Tobel

Contact: Whitney Dixon (whitdix@umich.edu)