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November 13, 1980 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1980-11-13

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Tie Michigan Daily Thursday, Nember 13, 1980 Page 8

When Jackson Browne sings,
"They're the first to come and the last
to leave", in the beginning of "The
Load-Out," the lyrics could apply to
stutdent trainers at the University as
well as roadies. The student trainer,
c itrary to the stereotypical im-
pression of a "waterboy", plays a
major role in the preparation and
rehabilitation of Michigan athletes.
Sophomore Doug Sanborn from
Alpena and senior John Mekjian of
Sojithfield are two of the nine student
trainers presently working with
Michigan atheltes. Sanborn prepares
the'basketball and wrestling teams for
practices and games at Crisler Arena,
whiile head student trainer Mekjian
works exclusively with the football
players in the fall.
"I usually get down to Crisler at 2:15
and then tape the basketball players
from 2:15 until 3:00," said Sanborn.
"From 3:00 to 3:45, I tape the wrestlers
and try to get ready for basketball
practice. I have to make sure that there
is; enough water and ice for the
WHILE TRAINERS do indeed bear
the responsibility of supplying athletes
with water to replenish their bodily
fluids, Sanborn explained that their
primary function is "the immediate
care and first aid of an injured athlete."
"We also assist the staff
(professional) trainers in rehabilitation
of certain injuries," he added. "We
want to get athletes back into action."
Sanborn, like the other student
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trainers, usually functions in an
assistant role to the staff trainers, who
are hired by the athletic department.
There are, however, instances where
the pressure falls upon student trainers
to prepare a team for a rigorous prac-
tice session.
"WE HAVE TO get the team ready to
practice without holding the team up.
It's up to me to be on time and efficient
because the athlete's health is at
stake," Sanborn noted.
With all the contact involved in
preparing the athletes for practices and
games, student trainers can relate to
athletes almost as a teammate.
"Because we see the athletes every
day, w e can understand them in a way
the p'ublic doesn't. We get to see the
human side of the athletes," noted San-
"Although we know the athletes as
friends, we still have to project a cer-
tain professional attitude," he con-
tinued. "Otherwise it may lead to par-
tiality. They are friends, but I try not to
get too close to a team member."
While Sanborn works with basketball
and wrestling at Crisler, Mekjian
devotes his time to football. It occupies
30-35 hours of his week, excluding time
spent traveling to and from road
LIKE SANBORN, Mekjian pursues a
hectic training schedule after a mor-
ning of classes. "I get in at 1:30 to start
taping as well as to get the other
trainers ready. I make sure the other
trainers get the medical cart supplies
ready plus the water for the practice
In practice and at the games, Mek-
jian assists the staff trainers in the
treatment of injuries. He carries sup-
plies with him during games to help out
the staff trainers. If an injury occurs,
Mekjian runs on the field with staff
trainer Dan Campbell to assist the in-
jured player.
"We can tell a lot about an injury
from the way it happened," explained
Mekjian. "If it's a knee injury, we run
some stress tests to figure out any
ligament damage and we talk to the
player as well as asking questions'
about the pain. We apply pressure and
ice to keep the swelling down in the case
of a knee injure," Mekjian added.
When asked about specific games in
which injuries were abundant, Mekjian
immediately referred to Michigan's ill-

fated Gator Bowl showing last Decem-
ber. "The Gator Bowl had to be the
most injury-prone game I've ever
seen," the senior mentioned. In that
game, John Wangler suffered a serious
knee injury and Mike Trgovac's ankle
required a stretcher team, on which
Mekjian worked.
ALONG WITH preventive taping, the
rehabilitation of athletes remains the
central responsibilities of the trainers.
"It's important to bring back these
players, because they're valuable
athletes. We've really worked hard on
Anthony Carter's shoulder and ankle
during the season to get him ready to
play," Mekjian said.
With all the taping that takes place
during the course of a season, Mekjian
has discovered that certain players
prefer a particular trainer's style of
applying the adhesive. He noted, with
an air of pride, that "(outside
linebacker) Mel Owens, (wide
receiver) Fred Brockington, and
(defensive back) Brian Carpenter
always come to me for taping."
With all the meticulous work and
devotion of energy required of student
trainers, it becomes important for them
to find elements of the job that make it
all worthwhile.
"You really have to love it because
it's almost a full-time job," said San-
born. "It's a really good feeling to see
someone you worked with leave the
training room healthy. You know you
had helped with that."

trainer John Mekjian is a familiar face in the Wolverines' locker room as he tapes the players before the upcoming game.

Miruinner Beck enjoys
his up and down career

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Dan Beck is a miler, and a very good
one, having run 4:04 for Michigan last
year. Yet, as a harrier this fall his for-
tunes have been mixed.
"During the summer, I didn't run at
all. I was in terrible shape when I came
here - I couldn't even finish the four-
mile time trial we had at the beginning
of the year,"'he explained.
"He's mainly a miler. It's difficult for
him to race well over 10,000 meters,"
said Coach Ron Warhurst. In spite of
the adjustment in distance and his lack
of conditioning, Beck has still managed
to score among the top seven runners
on a very competitive Michigan team in
most of its meets.
As a miler, Beck has few peers in the
Midwest. Last winter, during what he
called "my best season yet," Beck ran
a stirring three-quarter mile leg on the
distance medley relay at the NCAA in-
door meet at Joe Louis Arena, as he and
his teammates garnered All-American
honors for their third place finish. Out-
doors, he ran a 3:45 1500 meter (equal to
a 4:02 mile) and a 2:55 for a 1320 meter
leg of another relay.
These impressive performances have
been somewhat offset by what Warhur-
st describes as a "sometimes up,
sometimes down" career, influenced
by leg injuries and a sometimes
lacksadaisical attitude towards
training. "It's hard to keep up the in-
tensity you neet to train well," says

One thing which has always ham-
pered Beck's cross-country running is
the fact that, emotionally and
physically, he is more inclined towards
the mile. "Cross-country is an impor-
tant season for me, because I want to
see the team do well, but as far as com-
petition goes, I'm primarily a miler,
and it shows in the races," he observed.
For middle distance men like Beck,
the adjustment to cross-country run-
ning is not an easy one. Famous 'milers
such as Jim Ryun, Sebastian Coe, and
Steve Scott have tried to compete at a
high level in cross-country, with little
success. Bounding over streams and
slogging through mud for six miles
presents problems not encountered
while running four laps around a track
at top speed.
Beck's training is as arduous as that
of any national class middle distance
runner. During the cross-country
season he runs 70 miles a week, much of*
it at a hard pace. When he's sharpening
for the mile in the winter and spring,
almost every day is spent on the track
doing hard repeats at varying distan-
One of Beck's goals during the up-
coming indoor and outdoor. track
seasons is to break the famous four-
minute mile barrier: "If I can keep
everything together I have a shot at
doing that." He says that he may or
may not continue running after he
graduates this year, though he seems to
be leaning towards continuing, saying,

"I don't want to quit until I've reached
my potential."
As far as more immediate goals are
concerned, Beck is looking towards this
Saturday's NCAA District IV meet at
Champaign, Illinois. "I hope I'll place
in the top 50. As far as time goes, I'd
like to get under 31:30 (for the 6.2 mile
course)," he said.
Like his performances, Beck is
sometimes up and down as a com-
petitor, too. "If I'm running in an im-
portant race, or one that'll determine
whether or not I'll race the next week,
I'm more competitive. But there'll be
some days when I'll feel like I'm not
even there."
Despite his admittedly varying inten-
sity, Beck has run enough outstanding
races to prove his worth as a tough run-

. 4:04 miler

ner to beat in the clutch. Beck sums up
his attitude towards running, and
perhaps life in general, best when he
says, "I like to goof around and have
fun. But I know when I have to get down
to business, I can."

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Special to The Daily
PONTIAC - It was homecoming
night for Bob Lanier, and the former
Piston star treated his old fans by
scoring 22 points, 14 of them in the four-
th quarter, to help the Milwaukee
Bucks throttle Detroit, 122-98, last night
at the Silverdome.
Milwaukee guard Junior Bridgeman
led all scorers with 27 points and more
than adequately filled the void left by
the absence of star forward Marques
Johnson, who failed to suit up due to an
IT WAS Lanier's first appearance at
the Silverdome since he was traded to
the Bucks last February for Kent Ben-
son and a number-one draft pick. And it
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was evident that the crowd of 6,008
hadn't forgotten their former hero, as it
roared with approval whenever he
made a big play.
"I didn't get up especially for this
game, but I didn't want to look bad. The
only pressure I felt wastthat, without
Marques in the game, the burden of
scoring was put on my shoulders," said
Milwaukee was in complete control
from the opening tipoff when Lanier
took a feed from guard Brian Winters
and connected on one of his patented
hook shots. With the Pistons hitting only
34 per cent of their shots from the field,
the Bucks were able to build a 32-point
lead, 55-23, with just over five minutes
left in the first half.
THE PISTONS started to show some
life with John Long and Greg Kelser
displaying their dunking prowess. They
managed to cut the Bucks' lead to 24
points, 65-41, at the end of the half.
In the second half, the song remained
the same, however, until the fourth
period, when Terry Tyler erupted for
three consecutive baskets and Long
connected on a three-pointer to pull the
Pistons to within 13 points, 101-88.
Then Lanier returned to the game
and started his basketball clinic. In
doing so, he put the icing on the cake.

LIA Sludont

legend 'ccci (
- Michgan Traliway. I 1


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