Feb. 22, 2001
East Lansing -
Freshman Steve Sherer's success in distance events with Michigan State University's track and field team thus far this season would lead one to believe he has been doing this for a while. However this is only his third year running track. Sherer played football and tennis teams during his freshman and sophomore years at Saline (Mich.) High School. When he wanted to make a change prior to his junior year, his athletic options were soccer, golf or cross-country. He chose cross-country, and hasn't regretted the decision.
"Even with rivalries, (runners) are all really nice to me," Sherer says, "that's what I like about running, I can just go up and talk to them and they are just really nice."
This feeling has carried over into collegiate competition. Despite being a freshman, the Spartans welcomed him with open arms.
"They're a great group of guys and really nice to new people like me," remarked Sherer.
Sherer has seen some differences in the training and daily routines. The training at the collegiate level is much more intense, with the easy days seeming like hard days in high school. Not only is the training different, but the element of travel to meets altered Sherer's daily routine. His one word description of his first experience traveling to a distant meet on a plane-"interesting."
He's been forced to learn time management skills as well. Usually, he spends the day of meets in class and thinking about homework. He also participates in Michigan State University's Athletes in Action and Campus Crusades chapters. These two Christian groups, along with schoolwork, practices, and events, occupy most of his time during a normal week.
Even with all of these adjustments, Sherer has found time to excel in his events. The University of Notre Dame, Meyo Invitational has been the highlight of Sherer's season to date. He placed ninth in the 500-meter with a time of 1:52.65, and that same afternoon, placed second in the mile with a time of 4:13.18, the second-best time in the Big Ten for a freshman this season.
"Really?" Asked Sherer when told of his record, "who has the best time?"
Even though he's gotten off to a good start this year, Sherer hopes to end the season off by making Michigan State University's distance medley relay team and compete in the NCAA Championships.
"I'm just hoping I can get on that team," says Sherer.
Sherer is also looking beyond his Michigan State University career. His goals for the future include a trip to Athens in 2006 to compete in the Olympic Games. By then, Sherer will be a Michigan State University graduate, which he considers perfect timing.
"I would really like to go to the Olympics," Sherer states. "I think that's probably everyone's dream or it should be. I like to think of it as a `shoot for the moon and if you miss you'll be among stars' kind of approach."