Wolverine Athlete Spotlight: Danielle Pfeifer
Danielle Pfeifer

May 14, 2014

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Sophomore Danielle Pfeifer, who ranks second in the 800m run heading into the Big Ten Championships, discusses what has attributed to her success this season, as well as her progres as a nursing major.

On what has attributed to her success and consistency this season ... "Being a sophomore now I'm a lot more focused than I was last year. I was focused last year, but being a freshman in college, there was so much to think about and have on my plate. Now that I have a year under my belt, I've been able to prioritize what's important with nursing school and running. Getting enough sleep and all those things are all coming together this year for me. Also, with Mike's (McGuire) coaching style, I've been doing a lot more speed work this year, which has helped me in the 800m. My teammates have also been a big help -- Devon (Hoppe) and Jamie (Morrissey) have been great to work out with. We have a consistent group and we always work out really hard."

On peaking for the championship season ... "I definitely feel like I have a big PR in me. Two weeks ago at Stanford, I really wanted to hit it, but it just wasn't in the cards for me so I'm really looking forward to this weekend. There is a girl from Purdue that runs a 2:04 and I'm hoping to go stride-for-stride with her and I'm really expecting a drop this weekend."

On the team's focus for the Big Ten Championships ... "Obviously our big goal is to contend for the title. We've been really excited for this opportunity since indoor Big Tens when we came so close. We've been a really unified team and we've worked together really well. I've definitely seen it on the distance side, as well as in other areas, everyone in their event groups is working together really well. We all have a common goal of trying to get as many people as we can to the finals so we can have a chance to score points and try to win the title."

On coming back strong from injury in the fall ... "This past cross country season I was hurt so I didn't have the chance to train as much as I would have liked to. I started in mid-November really getting back into training. I was nervous for a while if I was going to be able to live up to what I did last year in indoor. It actually worked out really well because we have such a team aspect in cross country. When I came back I was struggling and the girls helped me along. I didn't have a lot of workouts during the cross country season, but when I was coming back in November they really helped me along and were very supportive."

On the 800m requiring speed and endurance training ... "Our week usually starts off with our long run and then we'll have a workout that's usually distance oriented, where we'll do tempo 1,000s and a strength workout. Our second workout of the week is usually speed training. The mixture of both is very necessary for the 800m. Our training has worked to the advantage of all the 800m runners this year. We've all been consistently hitting our marks and I think we're all ready for a big drop this weekend."

On her progress as a nursing major ... "This year we had our first clinical rotation. My first semester was really hard to balance everything because we had the 6:30 a.m. through 3 p.m. rotation .. so that makes for a really long day. We did that once a week and I absolutely loved going to the hospital and getting to take care of patients. I've started to administer medicine and things like that and I'm actually starting to feel like a nurse. I love what I'm doing, and at this point, two years into the program, you need to know if you love it or not. The next two years are where it will get really specific as to what you want to do. I'm doing spring term right now and getting some electives out of the way, so I don't have plans for any internships this summer, but maybe next summer. In the future I'm hoping to be a neonatal nurse -- my cousins were both premature and ever since then it's sort of stuck with me and I absolutely love it."

• Previous Spotlight: Jillian Smith