Nos. 95, 96 & 97, Revisited [Runners]

Photo by James Rogers
Photo by James Rogers

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.”

No. 96 [Runners]

Photo by James Rogers
Photo by James Rogers

“The harshest [running] times are when you go into a race and you’re really fit and really ready and really excited, and you just run awful, and there’s no reason why. You question everything. You question your talent, you question your preparation, you question if you’re cut out for it, you question if you’re mentally tough. You just question everything, and it’s really hard to bounce back from those [races] more so than injury. You just have no idea why it went so horribly. It’s hard to go into the next race after that happening. How do you get your confidence back? How do you feel ready to race again? Those have been the darkest times, but I’m lucky because Coach [Mike] McGuire has invested a lot of time and energy and resources in me, and helping make sure I’m prepared. So usually when that happens, I’ve been able to either get stronger the next year from it or get stronger the next race. It’s just been a huge learning process.”