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March 25, 1982 - Image 9

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1982-03-25

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SPORTS

The Michigan Daily,

Thursday, March 25, 1982

Page 9

IM phenom does it all

By SARAH SHERBER '
When most people think of Michigan
athletics, visions of Rose Bowls and
superstars come to mind. There is
another side to the sporting world
though, which cannot be seen at Crisler
Arena or Michigan Stadium-it is the
world of intramural sports.
But even in the friendly competition
of IM sports, some form of Superstar
emerges. Last year, John Witri
received the Earl Riskey All-Around
Athlete of the Year award. The award
is named in memory of Earl Riskey,
who devoted 40 years to intramural
sports. It is given to the male athlete
who most exemplifies the IM par-
ticipant by his dedication and positive
attitude towards the program.
WITRI IS a member of the Nit Wit co-
rec and Big Dog independent IM teams.
The Nit Wits just captured their third
basketball title, along with their first
innertube water polo championship.
They also have three softball and two
football titles to their credit. The Big
Dogs have not fared as well, though last
year they did win the softball cham-
pionship.
Along with the sports his teams have
won top honors in, the first-year law
school student has competed in many
other IM programs.
"I've run track, swam, played golf,

Law student Witri
grabs top honors

racquetball, one-on-one basketball.
I've played probably every sport at one
time."
IN ADDITION to his role as an
athlete, Witri doubles as a referee. In
fact, according to the IM staff, he is the
most competent official in the program.
and last year he was named the out-
standing official for IM sports.
Witri, who referees softball, basket-
ball, football, and volleyball, considers
his double feat quite an honor. "Since
I've been here, nobody's won both,"
said the IM standout.
Working as a referee and competing
in a sport has caused some problems
for Witri.
"SOMETIMES I found myself
coming off the court and reffing a game
with the person who just reffed my
game," said Witri, noting that he
sometimes isn't the perfect gentlemen
on the court to an official.
"I rarely get in trouble refereeing
against people I play against," he ad-
ded.

Witri's officiating is not limited to the
Michigan IM program. He is also a
referee for high school basketball in the
Ann Arbor and Detroit area.
"MY GOAL as far as. refereeing
is to officiate on a college level," said
Witri.
To do that he realizes that first he.
must become one of the best high school
referees in the state, and he was quick
to note, "I'm not even a good high
school referee yet."
The Earl Riskey award wag an unex-
pected honor for Witri. Though he knew
that he would be receiving the award
for officiating, he had no idea he was in
line for the Riskey award.
"I WAS REALLY surprised," said
Witri. "It was really an honor. I was
grateful for it."
Witri will not take credit for his
achievements. "A lot of it depends on if
you're playing with good athletes. I
was just fortunate enough to be picked
out."
Though he will continue to compete in
IM sports next year, he does have some
apprehensions about his future in the
program.
"THIS YEAR most of the people on

most of my teams are going to be
graduating - it won't be as fun next
year."
Even if the future does not seem so
promising, Witri has nothing but praise
for the IM and his experiences with it
"The most rewarding thing from the
IM program is the new people that I've
met and the new friends that I've
made," he said. "I've also developed a
skill at refereeing. If I become a
lawyer I'll still be ble to continue that.
WITRI ALSO noted that the efficien-
cy of the IM programs faculty has
made his involvement so rewarding.
"I think that the IM staff is the best in
the country;" said the all-arounder.
The intramural program conducts an
awards ceremony every year. Along
with the Earl Riskey Award, the Marie
Pete Hartwig Award is given to the
most outstanding women of the year.
Last year's recipient was Janet Kop-
meyer.
The awards are chosen after can-
didates are nominated by fellow
athletes. Last year'Witri was selected
over some 20 other IM participants.
The award ceremony for this year will
be held on April 22 at 7:30 p.m. in the IM
Building.

Daily Photo by JEFF SCHRIER-
IM STANDOUT John Witri juggles sports and officipting on his way to top IM
honors.

KERRSE WORDS
BY JOHN KERR

CANHAM CITES POLICY:
No AIAWs for Beckwith

A long trip to Omaha...
'M' batsmen to make it?
T'S NOT VERY hot there now, but in the summer the heat in Omaha, Neb.
can be excruciating. Even the cattle start to sweat. And when it gets that
hot, if one ventures near the stockyards, the stink of the cows is unavoidable.
But the people are used to it since Omaha, as well as being the nation's
largest meat-packing center, is also the world's second biggest cattle
market.
But for one week in early June, the city gains attention for something other
than its cows. The top eight college baseball teams in the country converge
on Omaha's Rosenblatt Stadium to play in the College Baseball World
Series.
And since Michigan baseball coach Bud Middaugh took the Wolverine job
two years ago, Michigan has been a regular participant in the Series
festivities. For the past two seasons, the Wolverines have captured their
regional tournament and made the trip to Omaha, and if it's possible to draw
any conclusions about this year's squad so early in the season, it looks like
Michigan is a good bet to return to Nebraska this June.
The Wolverines came back from Texas last Thursday with an 8-3 record,
the best a Michigan team had compiled on its spring trip since 1966. In the
two previous seasons, Michigan could register only 6-7 marks on the spring
trip and in 1962, when the Wolverines went on to capture the national title,
they won only four of 10 spring contests.
For sure, a good spring trip does not a season make, but unlike the
professionals' spring training, the college spring games are for real and can
be a good indicator of a team's potential.
"We go on a spring trip to play," said Middaugh. "It's not a fun trip. We go
down on business and try to add respect to the University. We go down to try
and show what talent we have."
Omaha tickets on hold
Middaugh, though; isn't ready to start doing cartwheels over the 8-3
record, let alone order the tickets to Omaha. "A lot of people say that it (the
spring trip) was successful, but we lost three games," he said, adding that
before he came to Michigan he had never had a losing record on a spring
trip. "The way I'm looking at it is that we're getting back to playing the way
I think we should."
And that is exactly why the Michigan team is looking so good right now.
Most of its games in Texas were against squads that had already played 10
or 20 games, and yet the Wolverines managed to turn in impressive perfor-
mances. Outfielder Jim Paciorek, second baseman Jeff Jacobson, center
fielder Greg Schulte, and pitchers Rich Stoll, Bill Shuta, Tim Karazim and
Gary Wayne all played like it was the middle of the season.
Paciorek, a legitimate All-America candidate,hpounded out five home runs
on the way to a .528 batting average, while Jacobson and Schulte hit .452 and
.447 respectively. On the mound, Stoll was 3-0 with a 2.05 earned run average,
and Karazim was 2-0 with an ERA of 0.00. Shuta won two games and Wayne
went 1-1 with a 1.50 ERA. Michigan's team earned run average was 2.13, an
unbelievable mark for college baseball.
The performance of the pitching staff was especially encouraging for
Michigan fans. With the departureof All-American Scott Elam who turned
pro after last season, many people had wondered who would pick up the
slack. With four pitchers starting off so well, that question has been put on
hold for now.
But Middaugh did see some problems with the pitching. "We walked too
many people in relationship to the strikeouts. We overcame that by having a
bit more offensive thrust," he said. The coach, though, was pleased with
another aspect of his team's play. "We played really good defensively.
Overall our defense was just unbelievable. To see that this early in the year
was encouraging."
Not counting the chickens.. ..
Encouraging. That is the key word. Overall, Michigan's spring trip had to
be encouraging for almost everyone involved. But no matter how much it
was so, Middaugh refuses to predict that his team will be back in Omaha.
"The team has goals-like any other team in the codhtry," he said. "Our
first goal is to be competitive in the Big Ten. If we can attain that, we'll jump
one step further."

SCORE
College Bsketball
NIT Championshii
Bradley 67,Purdue 58
NBA
Boston 136, Cleveland 115

i

By JESSE BARKIN
Sophomore gymnast Kathy Beckwith
has qualified individually for the AIAW
national championships in Memphis,
Tenn. April 1-3, but will not be able to
compete because the team is already
going to the NCAA championships this
weekend at Salt Lake City, Michigan
Athletic Director Don Canham said
yesterday.

Canham said that athletes at
Michigan can only compete in one
national championship. "We're an
NCAA school. We don't send people to
two different championships," he said.
"She (Beckwith) qualified for both and
the coaches (Sheri Hyatt) made the
decision.
CANHAM'S policy is simple enough

because one championship is usually all
that is possible, but this year is an ex-
ception. for the women gymnasts.
Because the team is undergoing a tran-
sition from the AIAW to the NCAA,
Michigan owns dual status and was
eligible to compete in both divisions.
The team qualified for the NCAAs with
its win at the Mideast Regionals two
weeks ago, but failed in its bid for the
AIAWs last week at Ohio State. Beck-
with was the lone Michigan gymnast to
qualify for the AIAWs.
Canham said that his policy was
stated in departmental memoranda,'
but Hyatt was uncertain. "I was
assuming that because he (Canham)
said we could go to the regionals, we
would be able to go to both nationals.
But the final statement was that we
would decide to go to one national and
that was that;" Hyatt said.
Women's Athletic Director Phyllis
Ocker explained that this decision was
not out of the ordinary.
"IT'S NOT an unusual thing for an
individual performer to check out of
nationals. It has happened before in
other sports."
Both Hyatt and Ocker agreed that
despite any confusion it would not be a
great hardship to Beckwith, citing, for
one, that the team is in the NCAA
championships. They also
acknowledged that preparing for and
going to the AIAWs would be too much
of a strain on her schoolwork.
"She's tired," said Hyatt. "She's
been missing a lot of school anyway
with both regionals and now nationals."
As an example, Hyatt noted that the
team would be in Salt Lake City from
Wednesday (yesterday) until Sunday.
Beckwith was not available for com-
ment.

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Daily Photo by KIM HILL
SOPHOMORE GYMNAST Kathy Beckwith, caught in the middle as the
women's sports teams switch from the AIAWs to NCAAs, will not be permit-
ted to compete in the AIAW Championships, although she qualified last week
at the Mideast Regionals.
Bradley tops Purdue,

!9.

6

7- 58,for

NEW YORK (AP) - Juniors Dick Mines
and Willie Scott scored 17 points apiece
to give Bradley the championship of the
45th annual National Invitation Tour-
nament with a 67-58 victory over Pur-
due last night.
The title was the fourth in the NIT for
Bradley, tying the Braves with St.
John's, NY., for the most champion-
ships in the tournament's history.
BRADLEY was regular season
champion of the Missouri Valley Con-
ference, but had been passed up for an
at-large berth in the 48-team NCAA
tournament.
Mines and Scott, who averaged less
than eight points a game as a
playmaker, led a balanced scoring at-
tack. Mitchell Anderson, the third
leading scorer in MVC history behind

NIT title
Oscar Robertson and Larry Bird,
scored 16 and David Thirdkill hit for 15
for the Braves, who finished with a 26-10
record.
Russell Cross, the 6-foot-10
sophomore center for Purdue, 18-14, led
the Boilermakers with 16. His opposing
centers, Donald Reese and Kerry Cook,
fouled out of the game.
Purdue never led after having an 8-6
edge in the first half. Twice, however,
they had an opportunity to take the lead
in the second half with Bradley ahead
43-42. But the Boilermakers missed
both of their shots.
Then, Thirdkill hit a three-point play
with 9:39 left to start an 11-2 run by the
Braves that gave them a 54-44 edge with
6:31 on the clock. The closest Purdue
got after that was four points, at 57-53
and 62-58.

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