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January 26, 2005 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 2005-01-26

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10 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Teammates, coach inspire Gallo's success

By Chastity L Rolling
Daily Sports Writer
What began for fifth-year senior Lindsey
Gallo as an extracurricular activity in the
seventh grade has morphed into an infatu-
ation. A distance runner on the Michigan
women's track team, Gallo finds motivation
from her coaches as well as her teammates.
Both cheer her on at meets, enunciating her
last name, "GAL-LO!"
Though the acoustics at the track facili-
ties are such that Gallo usually does not
hear the chorus of her name, the support
has paid off.
At the Wolverines' second meet of the
season, Gallo achieved an NCAA provi-
sional qualifying time in the mile, finishing
in 4:45.28.
"Qualifying for the mile was a goal of
mine," Gallo said. "But I still think I will
have to run faster to actually make the
national meet. To prepare, I am running the
(800-meter run) to increase my speed."
Running faster is Gallo's passion,
because she knows that, no matter how
well she runs, there is always room for
improvement.
"There's always a time out there that's
faster than what I've run," Gallo said.
This realization keeps Gallo on top of
her running game. Coach Mike McGuire
helped Gallo improve by setting high goals
for her and training her to accomplish those

goals. Gallo remembers one example in
particular.
"Last year (at the NCAA Outdoor Cham-
pionships), I had a good preliminary race,"
Gallo said. "And (McGuire) thought I had
a shot at beating Mississippi State's Tif-
fany McWilliams, who was the defending
national champion and the collegiate-record
holder in the (1500-meter race).
"I never would have gone for it if(McGuire)
hadn't told me he thought I could do it," Gallo
said. "But he had a race plan for me."
The race plan was for Gallo to stay
right behind McWilliams until the last 100
meters.
"(McGuire's) plan worked really well,"
Gallo said. "I probably would not have been so
aggressive if he had not told me to go for it."
Gallo did not beat McWilliams in the
race, but she did earn her third NCAA All-
America honor of the 2004 season.
Gallo also helped the Wolverines' dis-
tance medley relay team place seventh, and
she became Michigan's highest-finishing
runner in the mile with a sixth-place show-
ing. Both feats garnered All-America status
for the runner.
Gallo's All-America honor in the 1500-
meter race was just the second earned by
a Wolverine in the history of the women's
track program. Former Wolverine Cathy
Schmidt (1985-86) was the first to do so
when she placed sixth in the event at the
1986 NCAA Outdoor Championships.

Gallo credited her success to McGuire,
but her coach insists the credit belongs to
Gallo. The coach recalled Gallo's success
as a high school runner at Howell High
School in Freehold, N.J. While there, Gallo
was a two-time All-State sectional cham-
pion and was named All-Shore Conference
in cross country and track. She was also
a four-time county champion in the 1600-
meter race and a two-time state cham-
pion in the 3200-meter race. McGuire
said that Gallo's success is the result of
nature and nurture working together.
"(Lindsey's) ability to work hard has
merged with her natural talent," McGuire
said. "She has great physical pulls."
These pulls could come from the fact that
her father, Rocco Gallo, used to run in high
school. Rocco did not pursue running on
a collegiate level because of lack of inter-
est and motivation, but he appreciated his
daughter's "self-motivation."
"I didn't have anyone to push me," Rocco
said. "But with Lindsey, she doesn't take
much pushing. The motivation is already
there."
Gallo gets her motivation from her team-
mates. She said that without them to prac-
tice with, she would not be able to run as
fast. Though their support may not always
be heard during track meets, it is felt during
practices. Gallo said that it is important in
running to have people saying, "Let's add
on another mile," because it's easy to end a

ALEXANDER DZIADOSZ/Daily
Fifth-year senior Lindsey Gallo ran an NCAA provisional time of
4:45.28 in the mile at last weekend's Red Simmons invitational.

run early when you're alone.
"All of us on the team work so hard,"
Gallo said. "No matter what their goals are,
whether they are trying to be an All-Amer-
ica or not. We all work hard, and our work
is a group effort."
One non-All America runner on her
team that Gallo looks up to is senior Emily
Anderson, who has fought off many injuries
that have stopped her from racing over the
past three years. Anderson has suffered a
right hip flexor strain, a right femoral neck
stress fracture among other fractures and
strains. But despite the injuries, Anderson
has never quit - She worked out with the
team as much as she could.
"(Anderson) pretty much epitomizes the
phrase 'never give up', so I find her inspir-
ing," Gallo said.
With Anderson as inspiration, Gallo's
goal for this season is to improve for the
NCAA Indoor Championships, both indoor
and outdoor.
"Overall, I would like to win another Big
Ten title, both individually and as a team,"
Gallo said.
With a coaching staff that believes in her,
Gallo's potential is endless. McGuire's hope
for Gallo does not end on the collegiate level.
"Her best running is still ahead of her
if she keeps training," McGuire said. "I
think she is a prospect for a professional
running career. I even see the Olympics
in her future."
MEN'S SWIMMING
Dejong
seeking
higher
return
By Kevin Wright
Daily Sports Writer
Junior Chris DeJong of the Mich-
igan men's swimming and diving
team played multiple sports grow-
ing up. Yet he chose to pursue swim-
ming because of its candidness.
"You get out of (swimming)
exactly what you put in," DeJong
said.
Through his first two years at
Michigan, DeJong had to adjust
from the light workout program in
high school to the intense program
at Michigan, but he still managed
to find quick success. Over the past
two seasons, DeJong has received
four honorable mention All-Ameri-
ca awards, and he made the All-Big
Ten second team during his fresh-
man year.
Last season, DeJong earned All-
America honors in the 400-meter
medley relay, but his star shined
brightest during the Big Ten Cham-
pionships, where he won the 200-
yard backstroke with a time of
1:41.78, a Big Ten record.
Still, DeJong believes that he can
perform at an even higher level this
year.
"I feel like I made a lot of prog-
ress over the summer," DeJong said.
"The high-mileage program here
took me a while to get used to it, but
I think, toward the end of last year
and over the summer, I got used to
the training."
DeJong's extra work during the
summer, when he stayed in Ann
Arbor for informal training with
other swimmers on the team, has
come around full circle this season.

Recently named Big Ten Swimmer
of the Week on Jan. 11, DeJong has
swum masterfully in many of his
events, posting 14 individual wins.
Last weekend, DeJong took both
the 100- and 200-yard backstroke
events and played a key role in
cementing the Wolverines' victory
against Indiana by anchoring the
800-yard freestyle relay.
Michigan coach Bob Bowman
knows exactly what DeJong brings
to his team and the impact he has
had this season.
"We depend on (DeJong) to win,
and he does with great regularity,"
Bowman said. "He's one of the premier
swimmers, and he swims like it."
While awards fit nicely on shelves
and records make for excellent stories
later in life, DeJong doesn't worry
about the recognition. He swims for
an entirely different reason.
"The best thing that I'll take
away from swimming when I'm
done here is the camaraderie with
the team, the bond that we make,"
DeJong said. "We go through hell
together, training through the first
week of school to April."
While not a team captain this
season, DeJong knows that he can
still help the younger swimmers
while they adjust to college.

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