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December 02, 1988 - Image 20

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1988-12-02

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4

Page 20- The Michigan Daily - Friday, December 2, 1988
Skiers jump

0
into season

BY MARK KATZ
While the campus of Michigan has only
experienced moderate snow flurries to this point,
a University club that thrives on snow has been
practicing ardently since October.
The Michigan ski team has been meeting and
practicing regularly for two months to get in
shape for the beginning of the 1989 season in
January. The team, which is coed, but skis a
separate men's team and women's team at meets,
is eager to hit the slopes for another season.
This year, the women are hoping to match
their third-place finish in the nationals last year,
while the men are looking forward to the
emergence of some talented first-year skiers on
their five-member starting squad.
"We're coming off a great season," said senior
women's co-captain Laura Witty. "We have two
skiers returning from last year's A team (the five-
member first team), including myself and the
other co-captain (senior Marie Claytool). Also,
we have a lot of really good freshmen to fill the
final three spots."
ACCORDING TO senior men's co-captain
Bill Seduin, the men's team is equally
enthusiastic about the upcoming season. "Last
year we were ranked tenth nationally, but suffered
a disappointing elimination at the (regional
finals) when three of our skiers fell during their
runs," said Seduin. "This year, though, we have a
strong team, including a lot of freshmen from
upper Michigan as well as New York."
Seduin and fellow co-captain, senior Steve
Linck, have been the top-ranked skiers on the
club since coming to Michigan.
The ski team, presently composed of 65
members, practices four days a week during the

fall to gear up for their two-month season, which
includes meets every weekend during January and
February.
"Dry land training started in October," Witty
said. "Two days a week we play soccer to develop
our foot coordination. The other two days we do
calisthenics, and circuits, which are a sort of
human slalom through the Arb. One person runs
through the Arb, swerving around trees, while
the others try to follow. Circuits are great for our
agility and stamina, as well as foot
coordination."
THE TEAM organizes all practices and
meets themselves, as their club status does not
allow for the allocation of funding for a coach.
When the season finally begins, the team
devotes all its time to meets. Every Wednesday,
the club races at nearby Mount Brighton against
teams from local colleges and universities.
"For the most part, we consider the
Wednesday meets just a good chance for
practice," Witty said. "It is a prime opportunity
to let people who aren't on the A and B teams
get a chance to race."
The real tests for the team come on the
weekends, when it competes in statewide meets
and sometimes travels to Minnesota and
Wisconsin to ski. The team usually hosts their
"home" meets at either Crystal Mountain in
Traverse City or Caberfae in Cadillac, Michigan.
The meets last the entire weekend,
encompassing two slaloms on Saturday, followed
by two giant slaloms on Sunday. Seduin
explained that the giant slaloms put more
emphasis on speed and gliding than do the
slaloms, which key in on the more technical

aspects of skiing since the gates are closer
together.
WHILE THE TEAM enjoys the op-
portunity just to get away from Ann Arbor for
the weekends and pursue a sport that many
members did not think possible upon entering
Michigan, their ultimate goal is, of course, to
reach the national finals of the National
Collegiate Ski Association (NCSA), an
association which includes 90 percent of all
college teams.
"To make nationals, we first have to
concentrate on winning our division, which
includes 20 teams from Michigan and Ohio, as
well as Notre Dame," said Linck, who has led
Michigan to the division championship the past
three years. "If we win, we advance to regionals,
which includes 50 teams in the Midwest. A first
or second-place finish there will take us to the
NCSA nationals in Lake Tahoe."
Win or lose, ski team members still
appreciate the chance they have to ski
competitively on the college level.
"Everyone on the team learns a lot about
skiing by racing," explained Linck. "It's good for
our skiers at all levels. The team can provide a
competitive arena for advanced skiers, plus it's a
lot of fun and gives our inexperienced skiers a
chance to learn how to ski better."
Since the team is a club and therefore does not
enjoy funding, the team sponsors a ski swap
every year for the public, their only source of
money. At this swap, new and used equipment
for cross country and alpine skiing is sold. This
year's swap will be held tomorrow from 9 a.m.
to 9 p.m.
I ' e E E E EEtEd K

Associated"Press
Baby, its cold outside.
Cincinnatti defensive back Chris Barber, hopes to thaw out
in time to help the Bengals clinch the division title against
the Chargers on Sunday.
r-

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