The ASU men’s and women’s track and field outdoor season begins with the Baldy Castillo Invitational on Friday, March 21, but the indoor season produced three Sun Devil All-Americans.
Before the Invitational gets underway, redshirt senior Anna Jelmini, junior Shelby Houlihan and redshirt senior Ryan Milus had time to reflect on their All-American honors they earned in Albuquerque.
“I think it was a pretty good indoor season,” Milus said. “I started off the season pretty well in the first meet, then I started making a couple of mistakes in the middle of the season, but then I got it back together when it counted.”
Milus did in fact run a personal best at the NCAA Indoor Championships, running the 60-meter dash in 6.57 seconds, Milus’s first All-American honor of his career.
Milus, like the other All-Americans, will be taking the week off from competition so his training schedule this week will be lighter.
“I will only be running two days out of this week, but then we’ll pick it back up next week getting ready for the ASU Invite,” Milus said.
Junior Shelby Houlihan again broke her own school record in the mile run in Albuquerque to earn her All-America honor. Her time of 4 minutes, 39 seconds was good enough for third place in the final heat of the race.
“I’m happy with it,” Houlihan said. “Overall, looking at it, it was a (personal record), and it’s the highest I’ve ever placed at nationals, but I’m not totally satisfied. I would’ve liked to have won.”
Instead of competing in the meet this weekend, Houlihan said she will be pacing the 1,500-meter race. Houlihan will continue her training schedule this week.
“I think I have a progression run Friday morning and then I’m pacing the 1,500 Friday night, so it’s kind of like a double-day,” Houlihan said. “It’s kind of a down week, really.”
The All-America honor earned by Jelmini was the seventh of her five-year career. Jelmini said she can attribute some of that to the drive created by her taking on an “underdog” role in her career.
“I feel like it went pretty well, because I wasn’t supposed to be an All-American, but I’ve gone in every year not supposed to be an All-American,” Jelmini said. “I always compete well, and then I pull it off.”
To add onto the pressure, Jelmini has also been dealing with a finger injury on her throwing hand.
“I sprained my joint on my middle finger and when you throw your index finger and your middle finger are your strong fingers,” Jelmini said.
Jelmini said that the injury happened at the conference meet, and she thought it would be healed by now, but “hands take forever.”
Despite not competing this weekend, Jelmini said her training this week will be heavy.
“It’s really heavy,” Jelmini said. “I peaked, so I haven’t lifted heavy in a couple of weeks now.”
Jelmini said she had done a heavy set of squats the previous day and said “these legs aren’t going anywhere fast today.”
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