Feb. 6, 2014
Redshirt junior thrower Elly Mioduszewski discusses her transition from the club softball team to the track team, being in the prestigious Stephen M. Ross School of Business and this weekend's meet at Notre Dame.
On transitioning from club softball to track and field as a junior ... "When coming to the University of Michigan, I thought I was done with full-time competitive athletics. I decided I was too competitive to stay out of the game so I played club softball for two years, which was fantastic, but I was still reeling at the bit to get into something a little more competitive. I knew a couple girls on the track team and they talked to coach Fowler about me. That was kind of a shot in the dark and I didn't know what was going to happen with it. I met with her in the fall of my sophomore year and nothing really happened for a while, and then the week before I moved in my junior year, I got a call from coach asking me to meet with her again and come to tryouts. It was kind of a huge risk for me -- I told the softball team I wouldn’t be back in I ended up doing track and it ended up working out really well. I came in as a clean slate -- I had no technique or anything, and now I'm here."
On collegiate athletics running in her family ... "I come from a family of four so growing up everything was a competition, from eating to sports, to how many sports we could score in a game. My brother is an awesome person to look up to even though he's younger than me. He actually switched from football to baseball and he did that before I came into track. Seeing him get into college athletics and seeing my sister go through Michigan was really great. I didn't think I was going to be on the track team, but I did come to some of my sister's competitions. It's really fun growing up in a competitive family and now being able to be back in the game is really fun for me."
On being enrolled in the Stephen M. Ross School of Business ... "I was really excited to get into the 'B School' and now I'm very grateful for the way it happened. I wasn't in athletics before I got in there so I got to get the experience of academically being in one of the top business schools in the country. Now I'm getting that experience while competing in athletics. Next year I'll be going into the masters of accounting program in the 'B School'. That's something that I was hoping would happen and it's really going to help me get into my future career plans of going into management. Ever since I was in eighth grade and anyone asked me what I wanted to be, I told them a CEO. At the time I didn't really know what that meant (laughing), but now I do and I still want to get there -- that degree is going to help me get there."
On progressing at a rapid rate in the throwing events ... "I'm a pretty fast learning and that's really what has helped me get to where I am. Last year, everything was so new to me so after any gain I made I was like 'what's next, what's next?'. Getting ninth at Big Tens in the javelin really made me hungry for more. Working hard and getting to the point I'm at now with PR'ing already is great. I'm seeing big gains in practice that hopefully will come out in meets in the next few weeks. With my teammates, I think it's awesome that I'm someone who is so new, so I'm learning from them and they're learning from me with things that I do differently."
On how coach Fowler has helped her develop in a short amount of time ... "I am so grateful to her every day for giving this opportunity -- she took a huge chance on me. I remember one of the first meetings I had with her she told me that she wanted me to throw with the people who actually knew how to throw, and I said 'I told you I don't actually know how to throw' -- so she said we would just do drills. From the beginning she's been so helpful and so encouraging to anything I want to do and try. It's pretty rare to do more than two or three events. Last year I was able to compete in javelin and shot put, and this year I'm competing in weight throw and shot put and I'm going to open hammer in the spring. She's been really helpful and supportive with everything I want to do."
On preparing to compete at Notre Dame after the dual meet with MSU being cancelled ... "I think everyone was super excited to get to MSU last weekend. We were already two weeks off from a meet going into last weekend and now with an extra week on top of that everyone is super ramped up to get into real competition. This is a really good meet to get into and hopefully we'll see some good times and big marks from everyone. Training has been going really well, not only in the throws, but with everything I see on the track. The biggest motivating factor is the little competitions or 'pre-meets' we'll have at practice. That really keeps us in the competition mindset."
Previous Spotlight: Joanna Fleming
Contact: Whitney Dixon (firstname.lastname@example.org)