After wins in SWC, NCAA, sprinter sets her sights on life, career and a possible Olympics
ichele Collins "fits in well" into
the track program at UH. She continues the
long list of excellent sprinters that the program
and coach Tom Tellez has produced.
"The program under Coach Tellez
was the attraction for me," said Collins. "He's
very intense and very technical in his coaching. I feel the program works for me real well.
I like it here, it's relaxing. They don't push you
Part of the lure of the UH program is
great track stars, and another plus is that many
of these stars return to train and to coach.
"I'd have to say that we have the best
coaches in the world," Collins remarked. "It's
people, because you say:
Wow, I want to be like
them. The Santa Monica
Track Club (Carl Lewis,
program a lot. Michelle ^
them," Collins said.
Her performances this year gave her
a spot in the U.S. Olympic Trials in June. She
competed in the 100 meter and didn't do as
well as she hoped, but then the 100 isn't her
It's a very individual sport."
"I used to worry about other runners.
Now I do not worry, It's important not to worry
about the other runners when you should be favorite event. She hoped to do well in the 200
focusing on your race. That's what I've learned to meter as she prepared for the second weekend
do. I just worry about me, and not that so-and-so of the Olympic trials, though she isn't suk
is in this lane or Big Time is in that lane. I can't do about manking the team,
that, because that will mess you up." "I have nothing to lose going into the
Collins participates in the 100, and 200 meetandalottogain.The200ismybestevent
meter sprints,andalsohelpstheteamin two relay and I'm going to be racing against the nations
events,butthereisadifferenceinhelpingtheteam top people. If I can do everything that my
and helping yourself. coaches have been telling me to do, and I'm
"It'salwaysnicetohavevictorieswiththe already mentally prepared for the race. I feel
relays, because it's important to do well as a team, like I can do well."
" Friendly, bright and
articulate, Collins isa
RTV major, and yet
in the spotlight, she
would rather work
behind the scenes,
making it all happen
"1 just worry about me, and not that so-
and-so is in this lane, or Big Time is in
that lane. I can't do that, because that will
mess you up. -Track Standout Michele Collins
Finn is training here and has helped the
sprint times this year. If there's one thing that
she still must work on, it's her starts.
' 'My start isn't where itneeds to be, but
ithasgottenbetterovertheyears," said Collins.
"When I got out of high school I did not have
any kind of coaching. I didn't even know how
to come out of the blocks. I was running off of
just raw talent. That's why I'm better in the 200
(meters), because of my start. I'm a pick-up
runner," Collins said.
With school, training, and meets to go
to, concentrating on such an individual sport
can be difficult. Collins manages to put forth
her best effort every time, but it takes training
to keep one's mind clear.
"i love the sport, I look forward to
every meet. Sometimes I don't do as well as I
But if you don't do well in the relays, you can that I wanted to get into this, but Carol Lewis,
always think of your individual events. I can who's a RTV major (and a track star herself),
really focus in on that," said Collins. "You have to shekindatalkedmeintoit.She'sagoodfriend;'
keepyourindividualeventsinperspective.That's said Collins. "I'm not really wanting to be an
where you're going to have your most success." anchorwoman, or get into any kind of broad-
Success came as Collins moved easily casting.Peoplealwayssay:WowIcan'tbelieve
gold medals in the 100,200 and as the anchor leg want to do that."
of the 400 meter relay. "I plan on making the Olympic team
"Southwest Conference went really well in '96, no doubt. Those are more realistic goafe
for me. I had a very good meet. I P. R.ed (Personal for me. I should defend my NCAA Indoor title
Record) in two events." next year, and I plan to win the Outdoor title
The scores at conference lead Collins to plan on sweeping the conference also. 1^
the NCAA Outdoor Championships. She had planning to go all the way next year."
done very well at the Indoor Championships in With such aspirations, it might seem
March, where she was the champion in the 200 hand to keep up with school work, but Colli*
meter, but the Outdoors, it was a different story insists that, with work, she can have it all. j
"Outdoors, I wasn't feeling well, I 'It's a challenge, but I feellikelcan*
hyperventilated at the track meet. I didn't have a it. TVe done it in the past. I haven't had afl?
good meet, I was a little fatigued and tired from problemsinthepast.Iwantadegre^andlal*1
therelaysandfromalltherounds.Itdidn'tgowell want to do well in track. You just have
for me, but you know, it happens to the best of balance it out "-Michael Edwards