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February 16, 1983 - Image 7

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1983-02-16

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The Michigan Daily

Wednesday, February 16, 1983

Page 7

Tracksters have a leader

Kazinec has women's
team in the fast lane

As opposed to a football player who
performs before 100,000 screaming
fans, a track athlete leads a lonely life.
While everyone knows how motivated a
player must get to compete on the
gridiron for three months a year, not
everyone knows about the special type
of student-athlete it takes to remain
team-oriented and competitive during a
nine-month track season.
Women's track captain Brenda
Kazinec is just such a team motivator
and competitor.
"WE ARE A team," says Kazinec,
who can usually be seen cheering for
teammates, when she is not running
herself. "I know if I'm cheering for
someone maybe I can help that person.
"I know what it feels like to have
someone cheering for me, it makes it
easier for me," she added. "So if I'm
there for them, maybe I'll help them
and maybe they'll be there for me."
The senior sprinter, affectionately

known to her teammates as "C.T."
(Captain Tiny), is one of the major
reasons for the revitalization of
women's track at Michigan in recent
years; a resurgence based on effort and
team spirit.
"SHE'S THE heart of the effort,"
said women's head track coach Francie
Goodridge. "It's a new effort for
Michigan, because we just really star-
ted to get competitive last year. She's a
big part of the raised team
Last year, Kazinec and teammates
rode that new wave of competitiveness
to a fourth-place conference finish in-
doors and a second-place Big Ten and
seventh-place AIAW finish outdoors.
Individually, Kazinec had a great
year in 1982, placing fourth in the 100-
meter, and fifth in the 2-00 meter out-
doors at the Big Ten finals. She also
gained All-American status by running
the anchor leg of the 4x100-meter, relay
team that took the Big Ten title in a con-
ference record time of 45.99 and

finished fourth at the AIAW champion-
THE SOUTH Euclid, Ohio native also
holds the Wolverine records in the 100-
meters (11.8), 300-yard dash (36.13)
and 300-meter dash (39.80), and has
been a part of eight record-holding in-
door and outdoor relay teams.
This year Kazinec, a finance major in
the business school, has had a fine
season, winning the 300-yard dash in a
trianglar meet with Saginaw Valley
and Western Ontario, and the 60-yard
dash and mile-relay at the Michigan
"Brenda improved all the way
through her season last year and has
been improving this year," reflected
Goodridge. "There's no question sprin-
ters are tough and that Brenda should
place in the Big Tens."
competition has come from teammate
Lorrie Thornton who has beaten her
three times this year in the 60. Still,
though, Kazinec is able to let the team
concept take precedence over her own
personal glory.
"(Lorrie and I) always run well,"
said Kazinec. "Sure I don't want her
to beat me, just like she doesn't want
me to beat her, but if someone's going

to beat me and it's going to be Lorrie, it's
As well as facing competition from
her own and other teams, Kazinec has
faced an international field and brought
home gold medals for the United States
in the 100- and 200-meters in the 1981
Maccabiah games in Isreal.
"I remember when I was getting the
gold," Kazinec recalled. "They played
the national anthem and all (the people
from) the United States were cheering.
I felt so proud to be an American at that

Daily Photo by JEFF SCHRIER
Sure she's small, but teammates look up to "Captain Tiny." Senior sprinter
Brenda Kazinec has given the women's track team much-needed leadership
this year.

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Twins taking tumbles together

Like brother, like brother.
Senior gymnasts Kevin and Mike McKee, twin
brothers from Toledo, look alike and have competed
together since childhood.
THE TWO LOOK so much alike that only close
friends can tell them apart, yet the McKees take it
philosophically. "You know darn well they're going
to get you mixed up," said Kevin.
Kevin described an incident in high school when a
teacher, even at the end of a school year, couldn't tell
the two apart. Kevin took Mike's place in class while
his brother returned a tuxedo after the senior prom.
Although the class knew what was happening, and
started laughing, the teacher didn't catch on.
Kevin started power tumbling at age six, a year
earlier than Mike. The childhood sport involves long
tumbling runs on a 92-footmat.
THAT BACKGROUND served them well in floor
exercise competition when they switched to gym-
nastics in tenth grade. Kevin currently ranks first

and Mike fifth in the NCAA Mideast region in that
In their younger days, too, Kevin always seemed to
finish just ahead of his brother. "When he finished
first," said Mike, "I came in second. When he was
second, I was always third:"
That led to intense competition. "There's always
been rivalry between me and him," said Mike.
"We're both pretty much equal except Kevin always
comes out on top."
THE REASONS for Kevin's superiority were his
one year head start and his exclusive devotion to
gymnastics. Mike spent a lot of time playing little
league football while Kevin attended summer tum-
bling clinics.
Thus, Mike has always had to play catch-up. When
both decided to attend the University of Michigan,
Kevin stepped in and competed right away while
Mike sat out his freshman year.
Now, both are important contributors to the
Wolverine team, competing in floor exercise and

vaulting, while Kevin also competes on high bar.
"THEY'VE GOT skills coming out of their ears,"
said gymnastics coach Newt Loken. Kevin won the
Big Ten championship last year and qualified for the
NCAA championships the last two years in floor
exercise. Mike finished tenth in floor exercise and
17th in vaulting in the Big Ten last season.
The rivalry, although it still exists, has faded a lit-
tle. "We know who's better," said Mike. "We just
joke about gymnastics."
"Every time he goes out there," said Kevin, "I
hope he hits his routine. We joke around, but it's all
This will be the last season of competition for the
McKees, and Loken expressed sadness at their
coming departure. "I have known them for prac-
tically all their lives," said Loken. "When they were
but seven-years-old they used to come up from Toledo
and practice with us. And now all of a sudden they're

Stop by this week and ask why.
Theta Xi
S. Univrsity at Washtenaw


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Daily Photo by JEFF SCHRIER



Many a McKee: From left to right, Kevin McKee, Mike McKee, Mike McKee
and Kevin McKee. Gymnastics has been a family matter for the seniors
from Toledo, who began tumbling at the ages of 6, 7, 7 and 6 respectively.


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