One of only two seniors on this year’s Nebraska roster, tri-captain Michaela Lenihan returns from an injury-plagued junior campaign that forced her to miss the final half of the 2004 season. She hopes to make a giant leap in 2005 following an outstanding summer of training.
"Michaela should run very well this year," Coach Jay Dirksen said. "She had a great summer of training and worked very hard. As a captain, we’re going to count on her to step up and lead this season."
Lenihan filled the role of the Husker women’s No. 5 runner for three of the team’s first four races in 2004 before a stress fracture forced her to sit out the final three meets. She led a limited NU squad at the season-opening Creighton/UNO Classic, when she claimed a career-best seventh-place finish.
The stress fracture caused her to redshirt both indoor and outdoor track seasons. She competed unattached outdoors in the Nebraska Wesleyan Twilight, where she ran 4:53.4 in the 1,500 meters, as well as in the Nebraska Invitational, where she ran the 800 meters in 2:23.07.
After four finishes in Nebraska's top five as a freshman, Lenihan placed among the top seven Huskers in the first five races of 2003. She also helped Nebraska to a top-20 national ranking after the Pre-NCAA meet, where she was the seventh runner on the team.
Lenihan made steady improvement during the indoor track season. At the Frank Sevigne Husker Invitational, she ran the mile in her personal best of
5:11.41. A week later she ran 3:03.98 in the 1,000 meters at the Prairie Wolves Invitational. Outdoors, Lenihan established a personal best of 4:51.9 in the 1,500-meter run at the Nebraska Wesleyan Twilight.
One of two freshmen on the team, Lenihan used the season to adjust to the increased distances of collegiate cross country. At the Big 12 Championships in Columbia, Mo., Lenihan finished 71st with a 6K time of 23:44.13.
During the track season, Lenihan competed both indoors and outdoors, where she posted a personal-best time of 2:22.9 in the 800-meter run and a season-best 5:22.51 in the mile despite battling illness most of the year.
Lenihan competed in cross country at Marian High School under Coach Roger Wright and track under Coach Rochelle Rolhfs. At the 2001 Nebraska Class A state cross country meet, Lenihan recorded a fifth-place finish. During the 2000 season, Lenihan helped her team to a second-place finish, crossing the finish line in seventh. In her first year with the team as a sophomore, Lenihan finished sixth individually and her team won the 1999 Class A state title. Lenihan was a member of the National Honor Society.
At the 2000 Class A state track meet, Lenihan was a member of the 4x800-meter relay that set the Nebraska all-time state record of 9:21.47.
The daughter of John and Kay Lenihan, Michaela was born Sept. 4, 1984, in Omaha, Neb. Lenihan has one sister, Liz (23) and one brother, Dan (27). Lenihan is majoring in speech pathology at Nebraska and carries a 3.83 GPA.
|Creighton/UNO Classic (5K)||Woody Greeno (6K)||Roy Griak (6K)||South Dakota State||Chile Pepper Festival||Big 12 Championships||NCAA Regionals||NCAA Championships|
|21st, 21:31*||45th, 23:39*||179th, 23:50|
* Denotes season best
# Denotes career best