THE MICHIGAN DAILY
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gymnasts: On the road to the S
By ANDY BARBAS
Last season was an off year for
Michigan's gymnasts. They tied
for the Big Ten Championship,
only swept one event in the NCAA
championships, and didn't qualify
as a team for that national nieet.
Things couldn't be much worse.
This year they must limp along
without their one graduated sen-
ior, worry about whether to use
last year's competitors or replace
some of them with this year's out-
standing sophomores, and must
figure out how to fill the All
Events Building for the Big Ten
At the rate they've been limp-
ing, they could find themselves
runaway national champions.
The team enters this season as
one of the deepest and most ex-
perienced squads in the country.
And if the NCAA hadn't elimi-
Wisconsin and Mankato St.
Michigan St. and Indiana
Big Ten Championship
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nated the trampoline from na-
tional competition, the NCAA
Championship Meet would have
been a formality.
Last year, Michigan sent three
trampolinists to the NCAA's.
Those three swept the event.
This year, the top two both re-
turn with the team. Unfortun-
ately the event won't.
Michigan is nearly two points
better than any other tramp team
in the country. When gymnastics
meets are usually decided by a
quarter of a point, those points
would be like spotting a football
team three touchdowns.
Even without the event; Michi-
gan's Coach Newt Loken still con-
siders the team, "the best I've had
in years." "We're solid in nearly
every event, and the biggest prob-
lem is deciding which performers
Along with the elimination of
the trampoline, the NCAA changed
the rules concerning the compo-
sition of the team. Last year the
teams were limited to twelve com-
This season a more complicated
formula is used. Each event is
allowed two specialists and the
team is allowed two "all-around'
men who compete in all six events.
The result is that a team is al-
lowed a possible 14 men for the
six events as compared to 12 for
The rules get more complicated,
however, if the meet is a Big Ten
meet. The conference decided to
allow the trampoline for their:
meets and upped the total num-
ber of men which may be used to
In the conference meet, the
trampoline will count towards the,
(More Sports on Page 12)
Big Ten title but not for quali-
fying for the NCAA Champion-
ships. It's possible for one team
to win the Big Ten Championship
but have another advance to the
With the performers Michigan
has, however, Coach Loken is ex-
pecting to do both.
Michigan has an abundant sup- SID JENSEN, a junior on the Michigan gymnastic squad, executes his award-winning style on ,the
ply of all-around performers to parallel bars. A member of the Canadian Olympic team, Jensen tied with Ron Rapper, also a Michi-
fill the two spots on the team. gan junior, for third place last year in the NCAA's. Jensen also finished second to Rapper for
While none are inside candidates the Big Ten title.
for NCAA champion, all are very
strong. Of the other two, Loken is igan's strongest event is the one top competitors in the conference.
Junior Sid Jensen is the top stymied about who to start. As Jensen excells in, the parallel In case any of them slip, Rodney
competitor. This year he competed he put the problem, "Right now bars. Last year, specialist Ron will again probably play backup
on the Canadian team in the Rick (McCurdy) is probably bet- Rapper won the Big Ten title man for the event.
Olympics, and last year he was ter in more events. Howard, how- with Jensen right behind him. Last season Coach Loken wor-
outstanding in the NCAA Chain- ever, is better in those events In the nationals, they finished ried about one event in particular,
pionships. where we are not as strong." in a tie for third spot in the coun- the sidehorse, and another, the
The other spot is being hotly He said his decision will prob- try. The third man, Dick Rich- high bar, as a sidelight.
contested by three sophomores, ably be based on "whoever im- ards, is one of the strongest third This year, any worries he has
Rick McCurdy, Ed Howard, and proves the most in the events men in the country, consistently will probably be about the same
Murray Plotkin. It is almost im- they're weaker. Howard has to finishing right behind the first two events.
possible to determine who will be prove he can backup the other two and occasionally nudging, The only positive starter on the
the starting performer. three in his poorer events, and:them out. Of the two sophomore I sidehorse, is Jensen. This is be-
Plotkin, unfortunately, hurt his McCurdy has to prove he can all - arounders, McCurdy looks cause he competes in all the
knee last week and could be out score in the events we need him." more impressive, events. When Jensen is going
for the season. Excluding the trampoline, Mich- STRONG VAULTERS strong, he is capable of scoring
Jensen also heads up the vault- above nine.
ing team. He placed third in the Often, however, his performance
Big Ten with another Wolverne, is rough and he has incurred
trampolinist George Huntzicker, scores below six. The past summer
right behind him. Fred Rodney he supposedly concentrated on the
fills in the third spot excellently, event for the Olympics and is
with the second all-around man much improved.
finishing out the event. The specialists in the event,
Michigan's captain, Rich Ken- give Coach Loken much optimism.
ney, leads the gymnasts in their Junior Jim Deboo led the team
third outstanding event, the rings, last year, butma find his job
~ .Although no one qualified -for the in jeopardy from two sophomores.
A gnn.d r Both Bob Wagner and Mike Gluck
NCAA's, the team score is con- have shown much promise
sitntwthne" erwo o Loken noted, "This year there's
events. Charlie Froeming and competition in the event. This can
Jensen fill in two other positions, omped th bet Ths can
and c~udy s agin he oreonly lead to better, scores. Last
mnd sCurdy is agan the oreseason there was no competition
impressivre sophomore all-around adtewrtma rge h
er. and the worst man dragged the
TODAY and TOMORROW
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Michigan women's volleyball
team will meet Michigan State
on MSU's court tonight at 7 p.m.'
In intramural action, there will
be a consolation volleyball game
between Alpha Phi and Sigma
Kappa, at 7:10 tonight in Bar-
bour Gymnasium. If Alpha Phi
wins, they may challenge New-
berry, the over all champion.
11. "IRIM-11, I *I,,- .-- ^111 TO. -, I
The lead-off event, floor exer-1
cise, is a question mark for the
gymnasts. Two years ago, tram-
polinist Dave Jacobs swiped two
national crowns, the tramp and
the floor exercise.
Last year bad ankles hurt him
on the floor exercise and he.
couldn't even qualify for the na-
tionals. This year he feels, "My
ankles are much better. I've been
able to relax them over the sum-
mer, and they feel much stronger."
If Jacobs is able to return to
his original level, the event will
be impressive. Huntzicker placed
third in the conference last sea-
son -and grabbed sixth in the
NCAA's. Jensen is also an excellent
competitor, and both sophomores
For the second all-arounder,
Howard seems stronger than Mc-
Curdy in the event.
HIGH BAR CRUCIAL
The last event in a gymnastics
meet is the high bar. It is a very
crucial event. When they had to
fast season, the team usually
But if they expect to do well as
a team in the NCAA's the perform-
ers in the event will have to score
excellently throughout the season.
Senior Mike Sasich usually came
up with an excellent routine. Fred
Rodney was also a solid performer.
Jensen was extremely erratic. It
being the last event, he was us-
ually tired from the first five.
All too dften, he just ran out
of gas. This year, much of the
THE CAPTAIN of Michigan's gymnastic team, Rich Kenney,
illustrates the strength and concentration necessary for a master
performance on the rings,
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The event that Michigan fans team's success will depend on his
wait to watch, though, is the stamina. Here also, Howard is the
trampoline. The event counts only' better of the two sophomores.
for Big Ten meets, but this fact If nothing else, Michigan's sch-
should mean the Wolverines will edule is perfect. They meet their
go into the Big Ten Champion- roughest opponent, Iowa, at home
ships undefeated. and at the end of the season.
Last year, Huntzicker edged out ,Michigan State, their other pos-
Jacobs to win the NCAA crown, sible roadblock, must also en-
but Jacobs had beaten him every counter the Wolverines in Ann
other time that year. This month, Arbor. Lastly, Michigan hosts the
Jacobs will travel to Holland to Big Ten Championships which is
defend his title in the World a tremendous advantage.
Trampoline Championship. When Coach Loken discusses the
Combining with the fabulous season, he usually concludes, "I
twosome is a newcomer, Tim wouldn't go make any reserva-
Wright. While Wright is not yet tions for the NCAA's yet." But
in the same class as Jacobs or then he adds, "I wouldn't, though,
Huntzicker, he is still one of the forget the date."
Larry Newman of Markley won the pizza in last week's contest,
but we have more important things to talk about.
Emotionally, we are wrung out.
This has been a trying, yet worthwhile. autumn for those of us
who assume the burden of Gridde Pickings. It has been an autumn of
exultation in victory, agony in defeat, and pizzas in the stomach.
More of you people out there have submitted Gridde Pickings'
entries than in any, other previous year, a record that will undoubtedly
We have handed out ten pizzas, misspelled four names in the
newspaper, included three non-existent games in the contest, written
this non-functional come-on stuff barely under the deadline wire, and
forgotten our own names during the Sunday night correction orgy.
So the year almost draws to a close, and we can't help but shed
a tear or two at the prospect. It will be a long cold winter without
Gridde Pickings, and the more sensitive among us are only praying
for the strength to carry on until next year.
We implore you to enter this last time, it would gladden our hearts
appreciably. Get your paper thing into the Daily by midnight, Friday
and win a Cottage Inn pizza complete with carrying case.
-And remember what Robert Frost said in his poem, "Home
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