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August 30, 1966 - Image 59

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1966-08-30

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Pursue Seventh Straight


By BILL LEVIS title meet. The dual meets count-
ed one-third, one point for eache
Back in 1961, everyone in the victory, while the conference meety
Big Ten was wondering if any counted two-thirds, 16 points for
other school besides Illinois was first, 14 for second and so on1
ever going to win another Big Ten down the line.{
gymnastics championship. Come-from-Behind Win 1
The Fightin' Illini had won the Michigan was 6-1 and Michigant
title for the previous 11 years. State was 7-0 going into the Bigv
Only one other school had copped Ten meet held at Indiana. Mich-g
the crown since 1940 and that was igan then won the tourney atc
Minnesota, which won it four Bloomington in a thriller, defeat-
times back in the 40s. Michigan, ing the Spartans and the other six
until that time, had never even conference schools competing withk
won a Big Ten gymnastics chai- at 188.40 total. Michigan Statet
pionship. finished second with 186.40. Under
Wolverine Coach Newt Laken, a the new scoring system, the Wol-
former standout gymnast at Min verines won the crown with 22
nesota, had tutored Michigan for points while the Spartans followed
13 years heading into the event- with 21.{
ful 1961 season. Hedseemed to By the scoring system employed
wonder if a title would ever come the year before, Michigan would
his way. not have been conference champs
'M' Starts Streak in 1966. In 1965, only the duall
Well, starting with that season, meets counted. The conference
Coach Loken stopped wondering. meet only decided individual
His gymnasts began then and champions. This coming winter,
there to prove that Illinois was the same scoring. system as last
not the only school that could win year will be used. The dual meets
titles in streaks. The Wolverines and conference meet will both be
haven't given up the crown since, of importance.
Now the other schools are be- Miller Wins Tramp Title
ginning to wonder if Michigan, A team of few stars for the 1966
like Illinois before it; will ever let Wolverines was clearly evident in
go of the championship. the Big Ten meet. The gymnasts
The Wolverines have since cap- produced only one Big Ten title-
tured six straight Big Ten cham- holder on their journey to a sixth
pionships and even managed to straight crown. Wayne Miller, a
win the NCAA title in 1963. Look- second semester sophomore this
ing ahead to a seventh straight in fall, captured the trampoline title.
1967 season, the gymnasts will be In 1965, Miller, a native of Lafa-
headed by seven seniors and five yette, La., finished third in the
returning juniors. world championships held in Lon-
Team Had Few Stars don. The first place finisher was
The 1966 season was a year de- Gary Erwin, a standout Wolverine
scribed by Coach Loken as a gymnast in 1963-65. This year's
championship team "with very world championships were held in
few stars. They were hard working Miller's home town, and he won
dedicated athletes who made it the world title plus the NCAA and
'Six in '66' after a loss in the con- National AAU crowns.
ference season to Michigan State. Coach Loken pointed out that
The boys just bounced back in the Michigan had many runner-ups
Big Ten meet to take the title." and third place finishers in the
Under the new scoring system Big Ten meet. Phip Fuller, a sen-
initiated last year, the conference ior from Florida and one of Mich-
winner was decided by both the igan's gymnastic twins finished
dual meet season and the Big Ten second in the floor exercise.

The floor exercise is a new
event replacing tumbling three
years ago. It consists of at least
11 stunts put together in a smooth
continuous routine done in at
least 50 seconds but not longer
than 70. It contains much of what
was done in tumbling but also
gives the gymnast the freedom of
choice of what he is to do.
Art Baessler, one of the return-
ing seniors who have been the
backbone of the squad for the past
two years netted a third in the
side horse. Captain-elect Gary
Vander Voort, the team's most
valuable gymnast as a sophomore
and a junior, pulled down a sec-
ond in the all-around and thirds
in the parallel and horizontal bars.
The all-around consists of all
seven events on the gymnastic
program except the tramp.

Another senior, Ken Williams,
was awarded a second place on
the 'p'-bars. Rich Blanton, one of
three boys who graduated in the
spring, pulled down a second on
the still rings. Blanton was nomi-
nated for the newly established
Nissen Award last year, given an-
nually to the nation's outstand-
ing senior collegiate gymnast. Jim
Curzi of Michigan State was
named to receive the award.
The two other graduates that
will be sorely missed by the team
are captain Ned Duke and John
Cashman. Duke competed on the
parallel bars and still rings while
Cashman concentrated his efforts
to the horizontal bar.
Vic Conant, a junior, was the
other second place finisher for
the Maize and Blue in the Big Ten
championships. He finished behind
Miller on the trampoline.

After the Big Tens the Mich- Cooley. He said, "Both boys should
igan gymnasts headed for the be recognized on the tramp with
NCAA Mid-East regional last Vic (Conant) finishing second in
March where they finished third the Big Ten. Keith (Cooley) came
out of gym class to make the
behind Southern Illinois and team.
Michigan State. Miller again took "As a group, the sophomores
the trampoline title while Vander did very well last year. (Dave)
Voort tied for first in the parallel Geddes had limited experience on
bars with Curzi. the sidehorse and did quite well."
The following week at the Jacobs Hot on Trampoline
NCAA finals at Penn State, the Of the incoming sophomores,
Wolverines finished fifth as a the most impressive to date is
team as Southern Illinois took Dave Jacobs on-of course, Mich-
the team crown. Miller was the igan's specialty-the trampoline.
only individual champ for Mich- Along with Miller, he competed in
igan with a first on the tramp. the world championships over the
Besides the seven seniors re- summer. All together, there are 12
turning, including Phip Fuller's new gymnasts aiming for a spot
twin brother, Chip, Cliff Chilvers, on the varsity squad.
and Chris Vanden Broek, gre five Coach Loken sees a four team
lettermen juniors. Of these, Coach race in the coming Big Ten sea-
Loken showed special praise for son. He noted that "Illinois is
Conant and trampolinist Keith graduating no one and they have

a good bunch of sophomores com-
ing up. Michigan State will find
Curzi hard to replace but they
have three or four excellent fresh-
men from last year.
"Iowa looks like the team to
beat though. Their freshman
team even beat the varsity last
New Slogan
As Coach Loken heads into his
twentieth year as Michigan gym-
nastic coach, he seems hard
pressed for a new slogan for 1967.
In the past, it's been "two in '62,"
"three in '63" and so on to "six
in '66." It may be a little re-
dundant, but the simpliest seems
the best-"seven in '67."
The gymnastic team is just
lucky the streak did not start in
any other year. It would sure be
hard to use a slogan like "nine in




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year we extend this greeting, accompanied by a warm

KEN WilLIAMS GOES through his routine on the parallel bars.
Williams took a second place on the p-bars in the Big Ten tourna-
ment to help nail down the Wolverines' sixth straight title.
Gridders Seek To Recover
From Year of Hard Luck

(Continued from Page 3)
other new Wolverine assistant
coach, George Mans. Hardcore
e fans will remember Mans as cap-
tain of the 1961 team, who has
now returned to Michigan after
two years with General Motors
and three as a coach at Michigan
Tech and Eastern Michigan. He
assumes a newly-created capacity
of offensive end coach.
Mans completes the membership
of the incoming frosh coaching
quartet. These four join the three
left from the old guard-Elliott,
Mason and offensive backfield
coach Hank Fonde.
So Spin the Fates
All seven will be on hand to in-
struct four weeks of gut-busting
work under a September sun be-
fore the 1966 season gets under-
way. Whatever happens in that
interim and in the following ten
weeks has to be up to the players,

the coaches and Lady Luck (and
not necessarily in that order).
"Looking at it realistically, us-
ing the paper statistics as a
guide, this year's Michigan team
should be somewhere in the mid-
dle of the race. Michigan State,
Purdue and Ohio State look like
the top three teams in the Big
Ten," remarked Elliott this sum-
"But since injuries and the
breaks are an integral part of ,the
game and since each team is a
new entity every year, we'll be out
there giving everything we have.
The coaches and the players think
we can win it . . . that's why we
play the game.
"After all, a hundred thousand
people aren't going to sit in a
stadium and watch two guys fig-
ure it out on paper."
It's just that stat sheets have a
habit of getting ripped up.

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