PELLSTON, Mich. -- The University of Michigan women's cross country team arrived in Pellston, Mich., on Wednesday, Aug. 20, to start its preseason training camp at the University of Michigan Biological Station. The squad will put in eight days of hard work and team bonding to return to Ann Arbor ready for the start of the season.
The Wolverines, headed to camp under head coach Mike McGuire, will open the 2014 campaign by hosting the Michigan Open on Friday, Aug. 29. The women's race is set to begin at 10 a.m., followed by the men's meet at 10:30 a.m.
The 2014 team features astounding depth, including nine returners with championship race experience. Led by All-American sophomore Erin Finn, the squad features four captains, a first in the McGuire era: Brook Handler, Taylor Pogue, Alexandra Leptich and Megan Weschler. For a more in-depth look at the season to come, check out the team's full season preview.
Throughout preseason camp, Coach McGuire and several members of the team will provide some insight on team training, bonding and other activities exclusively on MGoBlue.com
U-M Senior Brook Handler:
On the how the team has enjoyed the trip so far ... "Since we're up here with the boys for the first time, we did an introduction game where everyone is paired up and one by one you go up on the stage to introduce each other. It ended up being really, really funny and I haven't seen Coach Mike laugh that hard, maybe ever. He was dying laughing at some of the awkwardness. We weren't as close to the men's team in the past as we are now. I think Coach Sullivan really wants the team to become more of a family and that's going to be good for both programs, so we're just trying to get to know each other more than in past years. It's an exciting change that's going to be positive for our team and it was really fun to spend that time with the men's program last night."
On how a trip like this benefits the incoming freshmen class ... "I think it's good for them to be immersed with the team right away. It's such a steep learning curve to go from high school athletics to college athletics, so it's good for them to have a little 24/7 team time. It makes the learning process easier for them, to get to know everyone and know what the program is. This is a setting where they can totally focus on cross country, and that's really important.
U-M Senior Taylor Pogue
On some of the fun activities the teams have enjoyed while in Northern Michigan ... On Monday, both teams visited Mackinac Island. We had a great time biking around the island, visiting shops and eating fudge. In the evenings, we've been playing games around the campfire. This week has been a really great opportunity for the teams to bond before our seasons begin. We may be sepearate teams, but we're running as Wolverines."