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June 08, 1977 - Image 11

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1977-06-08

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Wednesday, June 8, 1977 THE MICHIGAN DAILY Page Eleven
Johnson eyes World Games

By DON MacLACHLAN : summer's W o r I d University
This summer is not an ordi- Games in Sofia, Bulgaria August
nary one for Mark Johnson. The 22.
graduated two - time Michigan "BEING ABLE to go overseas
wrestling captain has earned with the United States team is a
himself a spot on the United feeling you can't describe,"
States Greco - Roman wrestling Johnson said. "It really makes.
earn which will compete in this you feel proud."

Johnson earned a spot on the
team in May during the trials at
Northwestern. He won all his
matches including a 27-3 thrash-
ing of Jim Ellis of Michigan
State and also pinned last year's
junior world champion.
But the biggest thrill for
Johnson, who will wrestle at
180.5 pounds came when he
decisioned Mark Lieberman
from Lehigh 14-6 to secure a
plane flight to Bulgaria.
The deciding victory was very
satisfying for Johnson because
Lieberman pinned Iowa All-
American Chris Campbell in the
National AAU Tournament.
Johnson was the NCAA and Big
Ten runner-up at 177 pounds in
both 1976 and 1977 to the Hawk-
eye strongman.,
"It was pretty neat beating
Lieberman because I knew I
wss going to the games," John-
son .said. "It was one of my
goals' to make the team and it
feels great to achieve a goal."
"MY FOLKS, brother and girl-
friend, who don't see me wrestle
often, were there also and that
made it extra special," Johnson
added.
Johnson accepted a job as the
g r a d u a t e assistant wrestling
coach at Oregon this fall. While
coaching he will also work on
getting his Masters in Physical
Education.
"I'll be there for two years
and then see what opens up,"
Johnson said. "I really like
working with kids but I don't
know if I want to go down to the
high school level or stay at the
college level."
"It depends on the offers I
receive, I guess," added John-
son, who has enjoyed coaching
young kids at wrestling camps
in the past.
But of more immediate con-
cern to Johnson is the World
Games where he will wrestle
Greco-Roman rather than free-
styla-as he did at Michigan.
'I'm a better Greco-Roman
wrestler because it involves
more strength," said Johnson
who bench presses 380 pounds.
"GRECO-ROMAN is all upper

body and you can't use your legs
at all," Johnson added. "You
must be in better shape because
you have to wrestle all the time.
They don't let you stall-you've
gotta be able to go for the com-
plete nine minutes."
As the summer rolls along and
the trip to Bulgaria approaches,
Johnson is staying in fine physi-
cal shape, so he will be ready
for the competition from coun-
tries like Bulgaria, Yugoslavia,
R'ssia and Japan.
"I get up at six o'clock every
morning and run two or three
miles," Johnson said. "My job
working construction keeps me
in shape too."
"Most of my day is spent
just working out-either run-
ning, weight lifting or wrestl-
ing-about five to six hours a
day," added Johnson.
The one obstacle that always
troubles a wrestler is making
weight-and Johnson is no ex-
ception.
"That's gonna be kind of
tough," Johnson chuckled. "I'll
probably have to cut 15 or 20
pounds. I'm sure I won't care
when I'm there (Bulgaria) be-
cause I'll just love it."
AT THE BEGINNING of Au-.
gust the United States wrestlers
get together at a camp in Wis-

consin and Johnson is hopeful
that grappling with teammates
will help keep his weight down.
The burly Johnson cut plenty
of weight during his four years
as a Michigan grappler and in
two weeks he'll pack his bags
and call it a college career.
During his stay in Ann Arbor
Johnson won 72 matches and
was presented the Cliff Keene
Award for the Most Outstanding
senior wrestler this past season.
"It's been a fantastic ex-
perience up here as far as
meeting people and wrestl-
ing," J o h n s o n said. "My
coaches have been great to
me and I'll never forget my
days at Michigan."
But the past is gone now and
Johnson is anxiously awaiting
the day in August when he rep-
resents his country at 180.5
pounds, striving to bring home
a medal.
"WINNING A medal in Inter-
national Competition would be
great," Johnson said with a
smile. "It's something I've been
shooting for but it would be just
super if I could get it."
"The main thing in Bulgaria
is to win and tain experience
which is important for my long
r a n g e goal - the Olympics in
1980," Johnson added.

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fl .ootey'

y.. ..... A... 6 st i
tIm' in the World University Games August 22 in Sofia, Bul-
Aria. Currently, Johnson is staying in shape as he prepares to
go after a medal for the United States at 180.5 pounds.
/ The
Transcendental
Meditation
INTRODUCTORY LECTURE
TONITE--Wednesday, June 8-7:30 p.m.
Multi-Purpose Room, 3rd Floor
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Students Internotional Meditation Society
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