Michell looking for next step in sophomore year

REED CITY — Sami Michell accomplished so much in her freshman track season at Reed City that one might wonder how she can top it as a sophomore.

Michell is anxious about how much improvement she’ll show this spring and what she’ll continue to do on the track.

Last season at the state finals in Division 3, Michell won the 100-meter hurdles handily in 14.73 seconds. In the 300-meter hurdles, she was second in 44.72 seconds although she and the winner, Emily Wee of Frankenmuth, who won in 44.15, broke the old mark of 44.82.

Michell also was seventh in 26.99 seconds at the state meet.

At an indoor meet in Grand Valley last month, Michell had firsts in the long jump at 18 feet, the 400-meter run at 58.4 seconds, the 60-meter hurdles at 9.4 seconds and the 300 hurdles at 45.0 seconds.

“I met my expectations,” Michell said, referring to the 2010 outdoor season. “I exceeded them but I always set high goals.”

She’ll return in both hurdles as her main events.

“I’m going to long jump but not as much,” Michell said. “It’s really hard on my legs. Last year, I learned I can’t long jump every meet. I’m going to try running the 400. I did the 200 at state. I’m going to do the 200, the 400 and the 100, and some relays. It will be different each week.”

Michell played volleyball in the fall and basketball in the winter but still put in some track time during the offseason.

“I went to a few indoor meets over the year,” she said. “Maybe about one a week, but not quite. Last year when I got down to the state finals, I realized I wasn’t in that good of shape to run the 300 hurdles and 100 hurdles hard. This year, I just went to be better shape when I get there.”

This will be the first spring that Michell, who normally plays AAU volleyball at this time, will devote entirely to track.

In the hurdles, Michell hopes to get in the low 14s for the 100 and break into the 13s.

“For the 300s, I’m looking for breaking into the 43s this year,” she said, “and maybe even in the 42s. Last year, I ran a 44.7 at state and broke the record but took second. This year, I want to break the record again but (finish higher than second).”

Of the two hurdles, Michell isn’t quite sure which event might be her best.

“The 300 hurdles was really competitive last year,” she recalled. “I did better in the 100 hurdles, but I don’t know.”

In the 300 hurdles, “I want to work on using my left lead leg,” Michell said. “In the 100 hurdles, I use my right as my lead leg every single time. I’m not used to going over with my left leg. I don’t like to actually. Sometimes, I stutter or slow down to go over with my right leg. I don’t want to do that. In the 300 hurdles, I definitely want to work on hurdle form.

“In the 100 hurdles, I want to work on my start, I don’t always have the best start. I’m pretty slow out of the blocks.”

In the sprints, Michell said she builds up her speed.

“I want to work on the 100 (dash) this year so I can work on getting faster in the 100 hurdles,” Michell said.

A long range goal for the state finals in June will be qualifying for four events again.

“I want to win both the hurdles this year,” she said. “I won the 100 last year, took second in the 300 with my best time but I felt I died in my last half of the race from being tired that day. This year I know I have to be in better shape if I want to win.

“Last year, the girl who won the 300 hurdlers was a sprinter who turned into a hurdler.”

Michell has the school record in the 100 and 300 hurdles, and the 200 dash, plus the long jump she broke at the Grand Valley indoor meet.

Meanwhile, Reed City’s track team is back from spring break and has a home meet Thursday against Evart and Mesick and are at the Mohawk Relays on Saturday.

“We discovered (Monday) that when you take a week and a half off, it’s hard to run,” said Reed City coach Brent Michell. “We have some reconditioning to do.”