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March 20, 1989 - Image 14

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1989-03-20

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Page 14- The Michigan Daily - Monday, March 20, 1989

'M' finishes fifth at NCAA's

From day one of the 1988-89
Michigan wrestling season, the main
objectives for the Wolverines were
to win Big Ten and national titles.
The team had come up short at the
Big Tens, with a third place finish
behind Iowa and Minnesota. And last
weekend at the NCAA champion-
ships, despite strong early perform-
ances and overall team depth,
Michigan finished in fifth place.
Oklahoma State, which won its
28th championship and its first
since1971, finished first with 91.25
points. Arizona State (70.5), Iowa
State (63), Oklahoma (61), and
Michigan (53.25) rounded c the
top five. Conference members Iowa
(52.5) Minnesota (45.75) and North-
western (40.5), finished sixth,
seventh, and eighth, respectively.
"I think you just have to look at
the number of overtime matches to
see the amount of parity," Purdue
coach Mitch Hull said. "I just wish
the Big Ten did a little better."
- Though fifth place was where
Amateur Wrestling News forecasted
Michigan in its tournament rank-
ings, the Wolverines expected better.
"If we wrestle to our ability and we
get some breaks there's no reason
why we can't be right up in there,"
said Michigan coach Dale Barr upon
entering the tournament.
THREE Wolverines earned All-
American status, led by 158-pounder
Joe Pantaleo, who for the second

year in a row took second. 142-
pounder Larry Gotcher improved a
notch upon his fifth place showing,
while 134-pounder John Fisher
finished a disappointing fourth.
"I think he (Bahr) is pleasd that
everyone contributed by scoring
points but also feels for some of us
who didn't reach our expectations,"
167-pounder Mike Amine, last
year's national runnerup, said. "He
told me that he feels as bad as we
(Fisher and I) do about not reaching
our goals."
Oklahoma State, Arizona State,
and Iowa State were expected to
finish ahead of Michigan, but
Oklahoma, ranked tenth was
somewhat of a surprise. Michigan's
strong early round performance left
the Wolverines in second place after
Thursday night's second round. But
starting on Friday, the Wolverines'
title hopes quickly faded.
126-pounder John Moore went 1-
2 and was eliminated from the
tournament. 190-pounder Fritz
Lehrke won his first two matches
but losses in his next two to Chris
Short of Minnesota and to fifth-seed
Andy Voit of Penn State eliminated
Lehrke from the tournament.
Heavyweight Bob Potokar also
started out strong, upsetting 6th seed
David Jones of California State-
Fullerton. But two overtime losses
knocked Potokar out of the
tournament one victory away from
All-America status.
AFTER a loss to Iowa State's

top-ranked Tim Krieger, 150-pounder
Sam Amine defeated Ben Dagley of
Ashland University by a 15-0 mar-
gin. However, Amine was knocked
out after losing a close decision to
Division II national champion Dan
Russel of Portland State.
Like brother Sam, and John
Moore, Mike Amine lost an early-
round match to the eventual champ-
ion. In the third-round Amine met
Wisconsin's top-ranked Dave Lee,
who decisioned Amine 9-6. When
Amine lost his next match to 8th-
ranked Marty Morgan, he was out of
The fifth-seeded Gotcher won his
first two matches before bowing to
eventual runner-up Junior Saunders
of Arizona State. Gotcher then won
two of his next three matches to
finish in fourth place and earn All-
American status by finishing in the
top eight.
In a shocker, 134-pounder John
Fisher fellshort in3his quest to win
a national title when he was upset
by Oklahoma's T.J. Sewell 6-6 and
8-1 in the semifinals.
"(Iowa coach Dan) Gable reads
people's faces," said Melchiore, who
found himself in the consolations
after losing to eventual champ Sean
O'Day of Edinboro. "He looked at
Fisher and told me, 'He's down. You
better be up for this match."
Melchiore pinned Fisher in 1:19 to
earn third place honors.
"I knew that if I didn't beat him
this time I might never beat him.
After you lose to a guy four times it
gets hard. (If I speak to him) I'd say
it was a hell of a year. We went at it
this year. He still wears on my mind
when I see him."
Said Arizona State coach Bobby
Douglas: "I feel for everyone who

lost, not only John Fisher. I have
never seen a tournament like this in
my twenty odd years in wrestling.
These wrestlers gave all they had.
Fisher's loss was a heartbreaker, but
behind every heartbreaking defeat
there are success stories."
Douglas could have been referring
to Sun Devil 158-pounder Rick St.
John, who defeated Pantaleo in the
finals in a close overtime match for
his first victory in four tries against
St. John had nothing but respect
for Pantaleo. "He's a good wrestler. I
look forward to wrestling him. It is
a match to the very end every time.
"He's a very powerful wrestler,
like a pit bull. He's very hard to
wrestle. Imagine someone short and
strong coming out you. He just
keeps coming at you."



Re (Signing):
Olympic star Jackie Joyner-Kersee promoted the opening of the new
Meijer's store in Ann Arbor last Friday. Kersee is now touring the
country after retiring from competition.
Embattled Kentucky

coach resigns


Kentucky coach Eddie Sutton,
hounded by an NCAA investigation
of the school's basketball program,
announced his resignation Sunday
after four seasons.
Sutton told a national television
audience that he was resigning, "for
one reason - the love I have for the
University of Kentucky, for the
Kentucky basketball program and the
people of the Commonwealth.
"I know how important bas-
ketball is to the people of the state,
and I've decided for the good of the
program, for the fans, for the players
and most of all for my family, I

should resign at this time."
Rumors of Sutton's resignation,
or possible firing, had circulated
since last October, when the NCAA
announced 18 allegations of wrong-
doing against the basketball pro-
gram. Sutton was not named in any
of the allegations.
The investigation began after a
Los Angeles newspaper reported in
April, 1988 that a package sent from
UK assistant coach Dwane Casey tb
the father of then-recruit Chris Mills
came open in transit, revealing
$1,000. Casey has denied sending
the money and the Mills' have
denied receiving any.

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