Monday press conference: Jim Stintzi

Women's track coach discussed the upcoming Big Ten Championships

"We find ourselves in the same position when I spoke to you in the fall. We have a young team, quite a few holes … have made a lot of progress since the start of the year, but really our goal I think is to improve upon last year's finish, which will be a tall order for us."

Jim, it looks as if your team has made some significant progress in your first year. Could you tell us about some of the things that have helped you be a little bit more successful?

"Well, this weekend will determine whether we were successful or not. I think we've made progress in a number of areas. Our sprints, jumps, hurdles, I think we've made some big steps. And I think it's a matter of maybe a little bit more attention to those areas and the maturity on the athletes' part, and maybe just hard work on their part. I think they, some of these athletes felt it was a new beginning and they've really used it as an opportunity."

Jim, I'd like to ask you about a couple of your athletes. Andrea Lopez, and then it seems like you have some relays that are running pretty well as well?

"Relays can be a little bit deceptive. Our distance medley has run reasonably well, but there are a lot of times when people don't put together their best team until the Big Ten championship. We hope to run better than we've run previously this year. And if we do that, I think we'll score well.

"Andrea Lopez has done a great job. And again, that's one (pole vault) of those areas I think where we have some young athletes who work hard with some ability that just need a little bit of time and Andrea's a good example. Now I was just telling Ed before we met that she jumped a PR (personal record) and it looks like a mark that could place in the Big Ten, but it was the week before the Big Ten. Now she's got to repeat that performance this weekend. So, I mean, and that's our job. We have to get them ready to go this weekend."

Jim, do you have a better sense of the rebuilding project you have? Coming in here I think you had a sense, but having worked with the athletes, do you, is it a five-year plan, a three-year plan, two-year plan? What does it look like now?

"Well, there's some good in what we have right now. We've got a lot of holes, but we don't have a lot of upperclassmen, so there's a base to build on. You know, I really think that it's certainly going to take two or three years easily for us to become as competitive as we would like to be. We need to get more talented athletes at every level. We have one or two in a number of areas and we have none in some areas, so we have to really work to fill those holes."

Do you have any idea, Jim, where you might fit in in this Big Ten meet?

"Well, coaches score the meet, and based on the performance list for the year. Those are fluid, and, as Ed would tell you, it depends on where people place their athletes. And if we had a great day, we probably could be in the neighborhood of fifth and probably an average day - seventh, eighth."

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