Michell prepared for next career hurdle

REED CITY — Sami Michell is coming off a three-event state championships effort as a sophomore and knows very well what she wants to go after this season.

In fact, Michell’s training for this track season, which begins this week, was very extensive.

She won the 100- and 300-meter hurdles as a freshman in the Division 3 meet. She won those events again as a sophomore while adding a state title in the long jump to the list with an effort of 17.65. Her time of 14.07 seconds in the 100 hurdles set a new state finals meet record.

She also broke the state meet record in the 300 lows at 43.83 seconds. In her bid for four state titles, Michell clocked the 200-meter dash in 26.30 seconds but took second place and barely lost to Angie Ritter of Frankenmuth, who was first in 26.25 seconds.

During the offseason, Michell was extremely active. She was indoor state champion in the long jump and took fourth in the 60-meter hurdles. The state meet was at Eastern Michigan University in February. It’s an all-division event.

“It’s hard because there’s not really any place to train in the winter here,” Michell noted. “I didn’t really get to work on hurdles.”

The warm temperatures in March provided Michell with an excellent opportunity to get some work done.

“I feel I’m in a lot better shape this season than I was last year at this time,” she said.

Michell indicated she’ll work on the 400-meter dash more this season.

“I probably won’t run the 400 later in the season, but probably at the beginning,” Michell said.

There’s been talk about her fourth event that she would focus on for late in the season and the state finals. It’s been the 200 although with her other events, Michell sprints in the 200 shortly after running the 300 hurdles at the state, a factor that coaches suggest may cause her fatigue in the 200.

“I want to get the all divisions state record in the 100 hurdles,” Michell said. “I just want to win.”

Michell was asked about other possible competition waiting in the wings to challenge her in various events, perhaps a promising and talented freshman/newcomer from another school.

“I look, but I kind of know because of indoor track,” she said, adding that she remains able to motivate herself to “keep getting better.”

Michell said she was “happy” with a performance in late March at the Grand Valley Indoor Invitational. “”My 400 time was pretty good,” she said. “My hurdles weren’t very good because I run the 60 hurdles right after the 400. By the time I got to the 300 hurdles, I was exhausted.”

Michell decided not to play basketball during the winter and instead focused on track.

“I feel like basketball is hard on my body and I’m sore,” she said.

Michell said the process of talking to colleges has begun.

“I’ve talked to like Michigan State, South Florida and some other schools like Grand Valley and Hillsdale a little bit,” Michell said. “I’ve gotten a lot of letters like from Clemson and Stanford and U of M. They can’t talk to me until July 1 officially. July 1 is the first day. U of M sent me a letter saying they’d be interested in coming to my house.”

Making a decision “is probably a long way off,” Michell indicated. “I’m trying to keep my options open, but definitely a big school. I’m pretty sure that if I go out of state I’d go some place warm. I think the only thing keeping me in Michigan is my family.”