by Calli Newberry
Eating the same meals every day and sleeping the same eight hours — minimum — has paid off for Marysville senior Reese Powers who recently committed to Michigan State University to continue her running career as a Spartan.
“I’m looking forward to, especially at Michigan State, the great opportunity to even be able to go there and the team dynamic there is incredible,” Powers said. “They’re already all so supportive and have supported me in my saying I’ve committed and they’re all so sweet. I’m excited to get to run with them.”
Last spring, Powers walked away from the MHSAA Division 2 State meet with three All-State medals, including the title of champion in the 400-meter dash. That’s when she said the dream of becoming a college athlete became more real, although she didn’t expect that to include running for an NCAA Division I program.
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“I started looking at colleges more seriously after the state meet and I’ve always been interested in going to Michigan State,” she said. “I like their education program and I’ve heard great things about it, so I kind of already had my decision set in stone that I wanted to go there whether or not I was going to run, so that’s what it depended on.”
She’s going to run on both the cross country and track and field teams while she pursues a degree in elementary education. To get to this point, however, has been a lot of hard work, dedication, and discipline.
“I pretty much try to stay consistent in everything I do. During last track season and now that we’re getting closer to the important meets, I’ll eat the same exact lunch and breakfast every single day leading up to the meet so that I feel the same in my workouts,” Powers said. “And sleeping, I go to sleep at the same time every single day and I just try to stay as consistent as I can so my body is used to everything and I won’t have any off-days when we’re getting ready for those meets.”
This even includes the weekends.
“Weekends, everything. I typically try to get between eight or nine hours. Eight will be the least amount of sleep I get, I always get eight for sure,” Powers said.
As exciting as becoming a Division I athlete is, Powers said she still has a lot left to accomplish as a high schooler, which will be even easier without having a college decision hovering over her.
“When I made my decision to commit it felt good. It was relieving to know I figured out that this is what I’m going to do and what I wanted to do,” she said. “The whole process of recruitment was stressful for me so it was nice to get that set in stone.”
First up on her goal list is the MHSAA D2 Region 17 final on Saturday, Oct. 30, and a week after that will be the State Final.
“Team-wise, I want to be regional champs with my team. I think we can do that if we put in the work. And my individual goal is to be regional champ, that’s my big goal for the rest of the season,” she said. “And at the state meet, I’d definitely like to sneak in All-State, which will be hard, but I think I can do it.
And this winter, Powers said she is going to focus on track, which means giving up basketball. She will be running with the Breen Track Club based out of Oakland County and will travel around the state to various indoor track meets.
“I think I’m going to focus more and take my indoor track season more seriously this year,” she said. “For indoor I’m looking forward to getting on some relay teams with my club team. I’m most excited for the relays, but I’m going to try to get in some 400s, 800s, and hopefully try out the mile a couple of times for sure. I think that’s what I’ll focus on mostly.”
Powers is currently coached by her father, Todd Powers, who was already a member of the Marysville track and field coaching staff when he took over the Marysville cross country program this fall.
“He is a great coach, and by that I mean he gives each athlete the same opportunity to succeed. He’s my dad so I always love spending time with him and he’s one of the reasons I was able to be a state champ last year,” she said. “He was able to help me at home with the sleep schedule and what I’m eating and the stuff outside of workouts. So that was nice to have him there. We have a great relationship when it comes to that.”
Together, they’ll have one more run at a state title in the spring, whether that’s in the 400 again, or maybe a different event like the 800-meter or 1600-meter runs. This cross season, as one of the area’s top runners, Powers has proven she can handle the longer distances and she plans to extend those limits.
“I’m definitely going to try to get one [official] time in each event just to see where I fall with them,” she said. “I’m going to start experimenting more and more in the mile because my high school coaches think that will be a good event for me.”
Until then, she will enjoy each opportunity she has to finish every “last” meet with personal-times and potential titles as she finishes out her senior year.
“I’m probably going to miss a lot of the meets that we do,” she said. “I just realized that that was my last time running at the Marysville Invite, and that’s kind of sad. I’m going to miss all of these meets we do every year and I’m going to miss all of my friends.”