March 26, 2014
Aaron Howell discusses her transition to being a collegiate student-athlete, reflects on her first indoor season at U-M and previews the upcoming outdoor season where she'll compete as a multi-event athlete.
On her transition to being a collegiate student-athlete ... "At the beginning of the year, the workouts weren't as hard at first so it wasn't that big of an immediate transition from high school, but once the year went on we started practicing more and practice times got longer. I've had to spend more time in the training room to stay healthy. It just took a while to get used to balancing class work, when I could spend time for myself and when I had to finish my homework."
On her decision to attend the University of Michigan ... "I've always loved Michigan and my dad always loved it also. Someone in my family growing up was always wearing something Michigan. Beyond that, the school sells itself -- the academics are amazing here and it's probably been the best decision of my life coming here -- I love it!
On the support from her coaches and teammates ... "My coaches and teammates are so fun to be around. Even if I wasn't on the team, they are people I would love being around. They're so nice and they keep pushing me through workouts when I feel like I can't go on. They're always there to help me out whenever I need it."
On her first outdoor season at Michigan ... "I never competed in indoor track in high school so it was a little different. I had never run on an indoor track, but I got used to things quickly. Big Tens was a shock for me because it's a much different environment with so much pressure. I'm proud that I was able to get fifth because at the start of the pentathlon I wasn't feeling great -- I didn't do well in the hurdles or high jump so I just had to push myself in the shot put. Once the shot put happened I was able to continue through and it was really my teammates and coaches that helped me get there. I really appreciate that from them. It can be very frustrating because if you do bad in one event, it can carry onto the next one. You really have to forget about it because if you don't it will linger on throughout the entire day. I wanted to do really well and help my team score some points so I had to forget about all the things that happened previously and try and do my best to help my team."
On the most important thing she's learned in her short time at Michigan ... "Put in the time. Everything that I do off the track like going to the training room and taking care of my body is going to help later on. I've learned that because I've had a couple little injuries, but I've been working really hard to make sure that I'll be okay and can perform my best when the time comes."
On adding new events in the heptathlon during outdoor season ... "I'm really excited for outdoor season. I've always like the javelin, but we couldn't do it that much in high school because it wasn't allowed in Michigan. I'm really excited about adding javelin because I think it's really fun. I think the 200m will help my score because I think I can drop my time and that will help my score a lot. The field events come more naturally to me. I've always been good at jumping. Right now it's the running and hurdle events that I'm working on because I don't have that pure speed that a lot of people do. I'm also excited for warm weather this weekend -- it's time to get outside and start competing. "
On the team's mentality heading into outdoor season ... "It's really exciting. We actually just had a meeting a couple days ago and one of our seniors, Erin Busbee, said that we have to start treating this like every meet is our last meet. We have to perform with our all every meet because we want to do big things. We have to keep that mentality. It's really exciting to think about what this team can do."
Previous Spotlight: Maya Long