Winter hill workout in Grand Haven, Michigan.
Right: “I want to do a road mile. I want to break 16 in the 5K. I have wanted to break 17 in the 5K for a long time for cross-country, and I did it in my 6K on Sunday. I was so happy when I saw the time. Because that was my high school PR [17:00.2]. And we don’t run 5K very often [in college]. For so long I was like, ‘I can’t break my high school time.’ But I finally did it.”
“Talk about Coach McGuire. What has he taught you that you’ll take with you beyond Michigan?”
Right: “Tough love, don’t feel sorry for yourself, and just work hard. … There’s a level of accountability on the team, and so whenever there’s a period of no leadership and no seniors making sure everyone’s running enough miles, then the team’s way worse for a few years. … He really lets us create our own culture. He knows that even if he tried to create our culture, he couldn’t. You know what I mean? He’s one person, there’s 30 of us.”
Center: “He’s not really that involved in every single aspect of our training. He doesn’t tell us how many miles to run—it’s up to us. We adjust it to how we feel and how our bodies are reacting to it. … [Coach McGuire] is old enough and wise enough to know that this is the best way it works.”
“My biggest setback is my sophomore and junior year when I didn’t make nationals in outdoor. I had been making it in indoor since my freshman year, so it was always my expectation to make it. It was in the 800, I didn’t make it sophomore year, and then I thought for sure I’d make it junior year in the 15 [1,500 meters]. I was really, really stupid in my race. I was forced to the lead in the 15, and I just didn’t realize how much that would affect me, even though I wasn’t running that fast. It still tired me out, and I just died at the end. I was really devastated, so the next year I just tried to be smarter with my racing. I got a lot better the next year and made it to nationals. … The DMR [distance medley relay] is such a Michigan tradition. Everyone wants to be on a leg eventually. There’s always so much hype about it, and we usually take a team to nationals. A lot of times it’s a priority over an individual event, just because it’s so much fun and there isn’t a [DMR] in outdoor. We always try to qualify in the DMR. Some days it has come down to the last-chance meet having to do it, and then we decide after that what we’re gonna do. Like my senior year, a lot of us qualified individually, too, but we decided that that was the year we thought we could really win it, especially since after the last-chance meet we had the No. 1 time in the country. So we were just gonna focus on the [DMR]. And it was so fun to go to nationals. The relays are just so fun.”