Wolverine Athlete Spotlight: Erin Busbee
Erin Busbee

Feb. 13, 2014

Senior Erin Busbee touches on competing in a variety of events, excelling at Notre Dame, the Wolverine hurdle group, this weekend's SPIRE Invite and the upcoming Mock Rock event.

On the difference between being a multi-event athlete and competing in open events ... "At this point it's kind of hard to tell because I'm not really training too much different than I would have before at this point. Hurdles were a big part of the multi and I'm still doing that. Long jump was also a big part of it and I'm still doing that. I never necessarily trained for the high jump -- it was just more of getting my steps down. I no longer have to find time for that, or to practice the shot put, so in that sense I don't have to find time for those extra things, but I would say the bulk of my training is the same. My focus going into a meet is a little different because I know I'm only doing these couple events instead of the multi."

On the cross over in training between hurdles and jumps ... "I'm not sure if my long jump helps my hurdles more of if my hurdles help my long jump more. The same goes for triple jump -- the technique of the three events is the exact opposite. I might want to do one specific thing in one event and in the other event the muscle memory is completely different. As far as speed work, they all coincide. The faster I get down the runway, the faster I am in the hurdles. The hurdles do a lot for hip mobility so I feel like that helps my jumps too."

On competing well at Notre Dame in the long jump ... "It took me a while to put my performance into a positive perspective, because going into it, I knew that this year we don't have a last chance meet and I really do like Notre Dame's runway. My first jump there was really good but it was a hair foul, which was disappointing because a better jump would have helped with my standing for nationals. I really wanted that to be the meet where I sealed the deal so the rest of the season I could worry about competing with my team and not trying to get a mark for nationals. The runways at the rest of the meets we'll compete at aren't as favorable for me as Notre Dame. But looking back, at this point in any other year I wasn't jumping that well so I know that I'm ready to jump well. The runways are the runways and as long as I'm ready, then I'm ready to do some big things, especially this coming weekend.

On the competitive nature of the hurdle group ... "It definitely helps when you have high quality competition at practice. When you go into the meet, it's the same thing you do every day. The girls we run against in meets don't run any faster than the people we train with all year. It's been a little different not having Tiffany (Porter) and Uhunoma (Osazuwa) here training with us (postgraduate athletes who train at U-M). They were here during the preseason so that was an even stronger training group with more competition. When it came time for the hurdle semifinals at Norte Dame, Sami (Michell) had lane one, I had lane two and Cindy (Ofili) had lane three so it was just like practice. And I was next to Cindy in the prelims as well. That just helps calm your nerves, having your teammates there."

On getting familiar with the SPIRE Institute before Big Tens ... "SPIRE is kind of a super advantage for me, seeing how I'm from Ohio and in high school we trained there a few times and had some meets there. It's kind of a hometown meet for me and hopefully I'll have quite a bit of support out there. I know how the turf is set up and I know what I like and dislike about it. It allows you to be prepared mentally for the meet in every single aspect so there are no surprises. Having this meet in the same venue as Big Ten is very helpful, especially for the freshmen who haven't competed many places to this point. With us having the meet against Michigan State cancelled, and us only competing at one other place, they really haven't had the opportunity to experience too many places. Competing in this meet and then going back in two weeks for Big Tens will help them be comfortable. We try to let them know the small things we've learned about competing there over the last three years. We can explain the setup of the track, where they can be to cheer for their teammates, which shoes they want to wear for different things. They're going to have to experience it for themselves to really know, but we try to give them a heads up on whatever we can."

On Mock Rock coming up on March 18 ... "You can always expect greatness from track -- that's what we do (laughing). We are starting to think of some things. It's a lot later this year when it's been in years past, so we're still deciding on a lot of things. We'll probably procrastinate and end up putting things together at the last minute, but at this point, just know that it will be awesome no matter what because we always bring it and look forward to a great event."

• Previous Spotlight: Elly Mioduszewski