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November 07, 1978 - Image 10

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1978-11-07

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Page 10-Tuesday, November 7, 1978--The Michigan Daily
'RETIRED' RUNNER COMPLETES COMEBACK:

By ofCthe Ninth
By RICK MADDOCK

Elliott's return

By DAVE RENBARGER
Last year Steve Elliott quit Michigan's
cross country team, claiming a total
lack of motivation for the uniquely
demanding sport.
Last Saturday the same Steve Elliott
led the Wolverine runners to a solid
second place Big Ten finish, turning in
the eighth-best performance in the con-
ference.
Such a turn-about would make him a
leading candidate for comeback-of-the-
year honors, if only the Cross Country
Writers of America handed out such an

honor. Instead, the senior from Pontiac
derives only personal satisfaction from
his efforts.
ELLIOTT FOUND a new source of
motivation last summer-he got
married in August. Since that time, he
has dedicated himself to a successful
comeback, and in doing so, erased any
lingering doubts that he is a quitter. At
the same time, Elliott is better
preparing himself for his primary in-
terest-running track.
"I don't particulary like the idea of
racing for five or six miles, but I'm not

Rparks h
a quitter," said Elliott yesterday. "I'm
a competitor." 1.
That's the primary reason why
Elliott came back to the harrier squad
this seasun. Even though he prefers
running one mile on a track, he
tolerates the rigors of the up-and-down,
8,000 and 10,000 meter cross country
mini-marathons.
"MY WIFE helped talk me into
coming back," said Elliott. "She's been
giving me a lot of support all the way.
But the decision was mine. I knew if I
was going to come back I'd have to get
myself mentally prepared. And I didn't
want to have to do it all at once."
Elliott began training in earnest late
in the summer and has made steady
progress all season long. His 8,000

arriers
tremendously-mentally, physically
and emotionally. That's a big thing in
distance running."
Elliott agreed with his coach, poin-
ting to his lack of maturity as one of his
initial reasons for leavingtthe team.
"I'm a lot happier person this year. I
had a few problems last year. I was
commuting back and forth to Pontiac
about three times a week. With that,
plus training and school, it got to be
way too much."
SO HE DID what seemed obvious at
the time. He quite cross country in the
middle of his junior year. At the time he
said he was through with cross country,
a sport he "just wasn't cut out for." He
was going to concentrate on track. As a
talented but unpolished sophomore in
1976 he was the sixth-place individual
finisher in the Big Ten cross country
meet. As a unsettled and unmotivated
junior, he was a retired has-been.
"That was a bad -mistake. I thought
that it (cross country) was hurting my
track. I blamed it on cross country, but
I was really just down on school in
general.
"The guys were kind of mad at me
last year when I gave it up," said Elliott
of his teammates. "They were disap-
pointed and Ron (Warhurst) was
disappointed. As a result, I got disap-
pointed after track. I still had
something to prove. I had to prove that
I could get through it all right and have
a little success. "
Elliott hopes that his success in the
Big Ten meet carries over into the next
two weeks, as Michigan winds up the
season with two more big meets-the
NCAA Districts and the Nationals.
"I'm just starting to come around
now," he summed up. "I'm going to
have two more good races. I've geared
myself for this stretch all season."

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Lowly 'Cats.. .
Fuel for Blue tank
The tension was building yesterday afternoon at Weber's Inn as the
writers were waiting to hear the superlatives Bo had for lowly North-
western. He took his time getting around to the Big Ten's cellar occupants.
After all, just what could he say?
Finally, a writer asked, "Well, what about Evanston?" And Bo's first
words, after a slight hesitation, were: "Um, God."
Then he added, "Offensively this team has been able to move the ball.
Their problem is defensively. They have lost a lot of kids on defense to in-
juries."
The Wildcats are 0-8-1, with their only non-loss coming at the beginning
of the year in a 0-0 tie with Illinois. Yes, they did move the ball against Ohio
State, two weeks ago. They scored 20 points to the Buckeyes' 63. But last
Saturday against Purdue their 31-0 loss showed neither offense nor defense.
"Can they beat you?" Bo asked. "Well, anyone can beat you, but
realistically this is a game we should win."
Bo not only wants to win this one, but he wants to win it big. He wants his
offense to look extra sharp this Saturday, in preparation for the real football
games coming up after this comedy.
"Offensively we have to come out of there with some improvement. We
have to have some momentum," Bo said.
Final pit stop
He was in a relaxed mood yesterday, as if he realizes this week is his
rest week. This whole week, including the game at Northwestern, is similar
to the second place car at the Indianapolis 500 making'its final pit stop.
There's a slight rest, followed by gassing up, putting on those last set of tires
and then firing out of the pit lane as if all hell has broke loose.
Northwestern is the pit lane. That's where Michigan must accelerate in-
to high speed for that final stretch drive, which includes destroying North-
western and then catching Purdue thanks to the momentum provided by
Northwestern.
"I'm gonna get our offense going," Bo said in his only semi-excited state
all day. "Not I want to; I'm gonna. I think we'll get it going, don't get me
wrong. But I want to do it this weekend."
And one of the tires that's been getting patched up will be ready to go this
weekend. "Huckleby will play this week. We're definitely going to run him '
this week, because if he can't run this week I'm not going to test him in that
game we've got to win," Bo said.
Huckleby may not start, but he has to get some action. Whether Iowa's
defense was that tough against the run or not, Michigan did not have a good
running attack without its senior tailback. He leads the club with 532 yards;
and he sports an impressive 4.8 average.
Full speed ahead
And basically what Bo is talking about improving on is Michigan's
rushing. He was not pleased at all with the Wolverine running game last
.Saturday.
"We can't get 200 yards rushing even with 24 yards on a fake punt," Bo
said. "We can pass. I believe we can pass. That catch by Mitchell, that was a
great catch, but I don't want to count on those very often."
If the Wolverines manage to get their running game this weekend,-which
they should have no trouble doing, then the Northwestern maintenance
department better make sure a third column can be li under the Michigan
side of the scoreboard. Bo sounds as though he plans on blowing the Wildcats
right out of Dyche Stadium.
Asked about coaches running up the score, Bo replied, "I think that's his
(the winning coach's) business. It gets to the point where you do what you,,
want to do."
And Bo's business this weekend is that of a pit crew. He's got to get that
Michigan racer ready to crank against those league leading Boilermakers.
Everything has to be running as best it can-from the timing to the wheels.
And the folks in Evanston better be prepared for the Michigan time trials.
with the Wildcats getting run over.
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