NEW R ULE HUR TS MICHIGAN:
The Michigan Daily-Wednesday October 24, 1979-Page 11
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Gymnasts gear up for Koreans
By LEE KATTERMAN
When the men's gymnastics team
takes to the floor this Sunday against
the Korean National Team, it will be for
its third judged performance of the
But for all . of you gymnastics fans
who are pulling out your schedules,
scratching your heads, and wondering
why those "other two" meets weren't
listed, don't worry.
THE APPEARANCE with the
Koreans is the Wolverines' first public
meet. But to get his squad ready for this
early meet with a world-caliber team,
Michigan Coach Newt Loken has held
judged sessions in the team practice
room the past two Sunday afternoons.
"We feel privileged to be able to meet
with one of the top teams in the world,"
said Loken of the Korean team.
He' went on to explain that he has
pushed the team a little harder this fall,
just so they will compare favorably
against this stiff competition.
BUT DON'T GET the idea that the
Wolverines .are lacking in talented
athletes. "We will be sending up at least
one gymnast on every event who will
crowd the Koreans," said Loken.
Jim Varilek, team captain and 1979
Big Ten floor exercise champion, is one=
gymnast likely to "crowd" his com-
petition all year. And joining him in
floor exercise is freshman Kevin
McKee, one of Loken's prize recruits.
Coming to Ann Arbor from Toledo,
McKee will include double twists and
somersaults in his floor routine, tricks
rarely seen in a rookie's repertoire.
Another returning Big Ten champ is
ringman Darrell Yee. In capturing the
league title as a sophomore, Yee relied
on consistency and strength. Hoping to
repeat for the title this year, Yee plans
to include a new part in his routine
before season's end. Termeda planche,
this stunt calls for the gymnast to
suspend his' body horizontally while
keeping his arms straight.
OF THE FOUR remaining events;
vaulting, side horse, horizontal bar and
parallel bars, it's this last one that
could trouble the Wolverines this
Michigan''pi-bblem stems from the
twelve-man limit and a rule change to
gointo effect this year.
Of the twelve gymnasts Loken can
suit up, four must perform all-around;
that is, compete in all six events. The
remaining eight are "specialists", who
only perform one or two events.
IN MICHIGAN'S case, distributing
these eight gymnasts among the six
events leaves only one, senior Gordon
Higman, to join the all-arounders on the
Now, that might not sound like a
problem, until you consider a new
NCAA rule for gymnastics.
In previous years, a team sent six
men to perform in each event, counting
the best four scores toward the team
total. Starting' this season, the team
score will be taken from the best five
scores. And with only five men to per-
form on parallel bars, a poor routine or
fall could put a dent in the team's tally.
ANOTHER EVENT which will weigh
heavily on the Wolverines' chances to
place at or near the top of the Big Ten
this season is the all-around. With the
graduation of Nigel Rothwell, team
spark plug and Big Ten runner-up in the
all-around last year, Loken has put his
hopes on grad Bruce Schuchard, junior
Chris Van Mierlo, sophomores Al
Berger and Marshall Garfield, and
freshman Milan Stanovich.
All-arounders face a grueling project
each season by having to perfect 12
routines (six optionals and six com-
pulsories). The ability to stay healthy
during the next four months despite the
wear and tear of working so many
events will be an important factor when
the league title is up for grabs.
But Captain Varilek points out that
the long season can work to Michigan's
"We have a lot of potential," said
Varilek, "and the long season will help
the freshmen get some exposure.
A Central 1Division' W I
Pittsburgh....... ..................... 6
Hlouston......... ..................... 5
Eastern D~ivision W I
New England .............................. 6
Miami ................... ............ 5
New York...... ...................... 4
Buffalo ................................ 3
San Diego........................... 6
Denver . . . . . . . . .. . .. . . . . . 5
Kansas City....... .................4
Oakland. ... ....... ................. 4
Seattle............. ................. 3
Central Division W E.
Tampa Bay.......................... 6 2
Minnesota........................... 4 4
Chicago........... ..................3 5
Green Bay...........................3 5
setroit............................. 1 7
D~allas............... ......7 t_
Philadelphia.... .....................6 2
Washington ..........................6 2
New York .............................. 3j
St. Louis ..... ....................... 2 6
Los Angeles ............................ 4 4.
New Orleans............................ 4 4-
San Francisco .......................... 1 7
THE SPORTING VIEWS
Summer game ends...
.a sad goodby
By SCOTT M. LEWIS
Local runner stars
I in Motor City race
POCKET BILLIARDS CHAMP-ION
THURSDAY at 4pm and 8pm
FREE exhibition at the Union
W HEN PITTSBURGH relief pitcher Kent Tekulve retired Baltimore's
Pat Kelly las~t Wednesday for the final out of 1979, clinching the
Pirates' World Series victory, multitudes from Pittsburgh's "Fam-A-Lee"
bur'st into ecstasy. Oriole fans, who had watched Baltimore breeze through
the regular season and the playoffs, commiserated over their team's ter-
minal hitting drought.
I felt neither joy nor regret over the outcome. I.had no partisan interest
in the Series. Yet, I experienced a moment of melancholic reflection as the
Pirates rushed to celebrate with Tekulve on the mound and later in the
clubhouse. Even President Carter joined in the merriment, as I sadly said
goodbye to baseball for another year.
Such sentimentality I reserve for baseball because I love this game. I do
not swell with emotion when the NFL and NBA champions are crowned,
unless, of course, one of my'home teams is involved in the title contest. (And
being from Cleveland, my emotions are well in check by playoff time.) The
seasoh's conclusion is received with relief; all its ups and downs are filed
and largely forgotten.
But baseball is different. Despite repeated claims that football has
become our new national pastime, baseball remains the sport most dear to
the largest segment of fans. And, after a decline in interest during the late
1960's and early 1970's, its popularity is now increasing steadily, as this
year's record attendance figures indicate.
An American institution
To what factors can one attribute this popularity? The most obvious
and oft-cited explanation is that of the four "major" sports-baseball, foot-
ball, basketball and hockey-baseball'is the'only ."truly Atnerican'"game
For over a century it has been an American institution. Names like Ruth,, '
Gehrig and Cobb were as well-known to the publies Coolidge, Hoover and
Harding. In subsequent decades, nearly everyone recognized the names of
Mantle and Mays, Feller and Ford, DiMaggio and Dickey.
A second explanation takes on a socio-psychological tone. Baseball,
unlike its three major counterparts, has been described by Pete Axthelm as
"a simple pastoral game," not under the constraints of time. It is relaxing,
not boring as critics suggest.
In an age where the clock dictates our daily lives, the grand old game is
an ephemeral reprieve from the tumult which surrounds us. Football and
hockey, on the other hand, serve as catharses for pent-up violence and
unrest, while basketball, particularly at the professional level, plays on our
fascination with the sensational.
A love affair
The love affair between America and baseball is more than just a
psychological outlet or a preservation of tradition. Tradition in spor-
ts-make that in life-is broken with each generation. We do not acquire a
passion for baseball because Grandpa says, "It's a great game. You shoulda
seen how Babe Ruth used to...
Babe Ruth is long gone; so are many of the grandpas. But today's youth
can identify with the contemporary players just as its predecessors related
to a pot-bellied Ruth, an ornery Cobb or an effervescent Mays.
Notice the kids on the schoolyard field next summer.jt's a sure bet some'
of them will imitate Ron LeFlore stealing a base, Mark Fidrych
talking-inimitably-to the ball or John Wockenfuss assuming his stance at
the plate. Ballplayers are idolized, for better or for worse, much as they
were in the past.
Close player-fan relationships, albeit unilateral, will not be found in
football, where the combatants takedpart in an almost supernatural confron-
tration. This rapport, in turn, produces a strong attraction for baseball itself.
What sports fan-save the Baltimore faithful-could not share Willie
Stargel's great moment when the massive Pittsburgh first baseman slam-
med three home runs and, at age 38, earned the Series' Most Valuable
Player award? Wasn't it moving when venerable Manny Sanguillen
livered a game-winning pinch hit, then dedicated the Series to his friend,
te late, great Pirate Roberto Clemente?
We relate to baseball because nearly all of us have participated in the
game at one time or another. Football, basketball and hockey require either
a special talent or certain physical characteristics. Baseball presents op-
portunities for the slowest and smallest, the widest and tallest to excel.
The game envelops the lives of a few zealots who follow their heroes
everywhere. I am not a zealot, even though I did travel 150 miles from
Cleveland to Pittsburgh for a Pirates' game.
I will confess, however, to having contracted "Baseball Fever" at an
early age, and I hear it's an incurable affliction.
By DAN CONLIN
The University of Michigan and the
surrounding area has taken to jogging,
as is easily seen by the bundled-up run-
ners puffing down city streets.
Karen Blackford, who is a rising star
in the Ann Arbor area, won the State
AAU, 20-kilometer race at Briarwood
BLACKFORD IS said to be the 15th
best woman in the world in marathon
running. She proved herself by winning
two other races this year. In September
she won the ten-kilometer Complete
Cuisine race, while her most recent vic-
tory was in the Free Press Marathon.
In that event, Blackford ran the 26-
mile course in 2:44.29, beating the state
record by more than eleven minutes.
Winning a 26-mile race would seem to
take an awful lot out of a runner. Just
running 26 miles drains the body of its
energy, but add on the mental strain of
winning and the body needs weeks to
"I'm not real sure whether I've
recovered yet orwhen 1'll be ready to
go again," said Blackford; a technical
librarian at the Michigan Social Work
Library. "Most people get sore
sppscles.pt np l pt ,en1
tally recovered yet," she said.
The local runner was flattered by thet
attention of the press and proud of the,
other 120 area marathoners who'
finished the race. These runners seem)
to be a close-knit group concerned thatt
everyone gets their recognition. Black-
ford pointed out that 17 men and four
women qualified for the Boston
Marathon and that some sort of
congratulations was appropriate.
Standing above the crowd in the Free
Press Marathon, along with Blackford,
were Dave Hinz and Jim Forshee. Hinz
ran the course well enough to qualify.
for the Olympic trials, while Forshee
won the 50 years and older group.
What's in the future for Karen Black-
ford? How about the Boston Marathon?
Blackford grinned and proudly replied,
"Of course. That's what the prize for
winning the Free Press Marathon is."
By Patriots Day in April, Blackford will
surely be ready to go.
Michigan 3,Central Michigan 3
Atlanta 121,Cleveland iii
tes You To
ed., Oct. 24
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