Page 10 -The Michigan Daily -Thursday, November 16, 1989
Weidenbach runs to success
Former Wolverine swimmer makes it big as a marathoner
Vice President Dan Quayle and House Speaker Tom Foley look on as
Polish Solidarity leader Lech Walesa celebrates his stunning Griddes victory.
Unfortunately for Walesa, authorities later discovered that Barb Tessen was
the actual winner with her only mistake coming in the Penn State-Maryland
Tessen will be able to celebrate her stunning victory over lunch or dinner
for two at O'Sullivan's Eatery and Pub on South University (limit $12).
Don't forget to drop off your own picks at 420 Maynard by Friday.
by Jonathan Samnick
Daily Sports Writer
Lisa Weidenbach's running career has taken a series of unexpected twists
and turns, unlike the familiar roads she trains on everyday at her home
outside Seattle, Washington. Her latest turn has left her with a victory in
the 1989 Chicago Marathon.
Not bad for a former All-Big Ten swimmer.
Weidenbach, formerly Lisa Larsen, came to Michigan on a swimming
scholarship. She graduated a member of the cross-country team, about to
embark on a professional running career.
In 1984, she married Bill Weidenbach, also a former]
Michigan runner and the nephew of Senior AssociateI
Athletic Director Jack Weidenbach. She now goes by
Lisa Weidenbach instead of Lisa Larsen Weidenbach as
she did for a few years. "I made the change from Larsen
Weidenbach because I just didn't have enough room on
my entry form at races to put everything in there."
After a full year of swimming at Michigan in 1980-
81, she was invited to the 1980 Olympic swimming
trials. Those trials were later cancelled because of the
U.S boycott in Moscow and Weidenbach was left with
her first summer off from training.
DURING the summer between her first and second
years at Michigan she took a trip offered by her
Geology 116 class that sent her out to Jackson Hole,
"It was seven weeks out there without a pool, so I
just started running. So I ended up running like five
miles a day," Weidenbach said.
When she returned to Michigan, she consulted with
her coaches and decided that she would try to run cross-
country in the afternoons and train for swimming in the
mornings. That lasted for about three weeks.
"Then I had enough," Weidenbach said. "Which did I We i d e n b a
enjoy more, going swimming at six o'clock in the
morning or did I like running in the afternoons? So I decided to join the
cross country team on a whim, I mean it happened in a fit of frustration. I
look back and I can't believe I had the courage to do it."
The decision to change from swimming to running was actually a tough
one. Weidenbach's courage paid off, but not immediately. In her first few
months she didn't even make the traveling team. She spent a lot of time
filling out papers applying for financial aid and giving back her swimming
By the end of that year however, she made the cross-country team and the
following year she qualified for the national championships in cross-
country, thereby earn-ing back a scholarship.
"Once I quit swimming and decided to make the commitment to running,
things started happening for me very quickly," she said.
The 5'10", 128-pounder is generally considered to be one of the better
athletes among women runners. So it is no surprise that she was able to
make the transition from swimming to running.
WINNING at Chicago has marked a comeback of sorts for Weidenbach
who, in her previous race in April, the Boston Marathon, "hit the wall (the
point in a race where a runner experiences cramping and physical
exhaustion) really bad at twenty-three miles," and finished off the pace.
Considered a pre-race favorite in both Boston and Chicago, it was
important for her to comeback and win. In Chicago she never hit the
"runner's wall," instead she set a personal record of 2:28:14.
"When I hit the wall in Boston, it was personal pride that got me
through the end of the race," Weidenbach said. "I was invited there, I was
one of the favorites, people were expecting me to do well.
"I just put my head down and I wasn't thinking
about anything else other than the fact that 'I'm gonna
finish this race.' I forgot all about the money and all
about how fast I was going, it was just crossing the
Crossing the finish line before anyone other woman
has been something Weidenbach is trying to make into
a habit. In 1984, she won the Montreal Marathon. In
1985, she won in Boston, and she now possesses back-
to-back Chicago titles.
For all of her success in city-sponsored marathons,
Weidenbach has not fared well in the big races that
would place her into marathon-running's elite. In the
1984 and 1988 Olympic trials she finished fourth by 44
seconds and 48 seconds, respectively.
MISSING the Olympic team by one spot in her
last two tries has made Weidenbach eager to try again in
"The first time (in 1984) I was really excited, here I
was just out of college, and finishing fourth in the
country was pretty good to me," she said. "It didn't
dawn on me how close I had come until I was actually
i c h watching the Olympic Games and seeing how much fun
everybody else was having, and I was sitting at home."
"'88 was much more of a disappointment," Weid-enbach continued. "I
knew that I was a better runner than I had performed at the Olympic trials. I
felt that I should have been on the team; I thought, 'Gosh I'm better than
that.' It was just a real disappointment not being able to go to Seoul."
The next Olympic trials are a long way off in 1992. Weidenbach has
been getting a lot of attention for her past failures, and considers herself the
"sentimental choice" to make the team that goes to Barcelona, Spain.
Weidenbach has just finished her running year with the victory in
Chicago. She'll continue to train over the next few months and then begin
training early in 1990 for her next marathon, probably London in early
April, a race she has never run before.
In the meantime, Weidenbach will work on "the endurance phase" of her
training, which includes weight training and high mileage, running the
hills, "You know the real fun stuff."
Saberhagen grabs second Cy Young
Michigan at Minnesota
Notre Dame at Penn St.
Colorado at Kansas St.
S. Miss. at Alabama
Memphis St. at Florida St.
San Diego St. at Miami
Oklahoma at Nebraska
Indiana at Illinois
UCLA at USC
Mississippi at Tennessee
Auburn at Georgia
East Carolina at Pittsburgh
Clemson at S. Carolina
Virginia at Maryland
Kentucky at Florida
N'western at Michigan St.
Iowa at Purdue
Wisconsin at Ohio St.
Utah at BYU
Virginia Tech at NC State
Friday, November 17
Monday, Nov. 27
Tuesday, Nov. 28
Friday, Dec. 1
Monday, Nov. 20
Tuesday, Nov. 21
Wednesday, Nov. 22
Wednesday, Nov. 22
NEW YORK (AP)- Bret Sa-
berhagen of the Kansas City Royals
won his second Cy Young Award in
four years on Wednesday, beating
Oakland's Dave Stewart with ease.
Saberhagen, a 25-year-old, right-
hander who went 23-6, got 27 of 28
first-place votes from a panel of the
Baseball Writers Association of
America and one second for 138
Stewart, the Most Valuable Play-
er of the World Series, got the other.
first-place vote, 24 seconds and three
thirds for 80 points.
Saberhagen, who won the Cy
Young in 1985, led the majors in
victories, earned-run average (2.16),
winning percentage (.793), com-
plete games (12) and innings (262 1-
3). He threw four shutouts, three
three-hitters and two four-hitters.