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February 28, 1990 - Image 10

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1990-02-28

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Page 10- The Michigan Daily -Wednesday, February 28, 1990
MENTAL AND PHYSICAL REHAB LIE AHEAD FOR GYMNAST

Furlong faces

I

by Sarah Osburn
Daily Sports Writer
On February 11, after completing
a flawless beam routine, Christine
Furlong, a member of the women's
gymnastics team, prepared to throw
her dismount. It is the same
dismount she has done for the past
five years. She has practiced it, and
performed it in meets without any
hitches.
Nonetheless her routine is not
easy as risk is a central part of
gymnastics. On every event, a
college gymnast must execute skills
that require a complete rotation of
the body in the air (or a double
rotation). They must twist once,
twice, and sometimes even three
times before landing.
It's easy to see how even a slight
slip in concentration could lead to a
serious injury. Occasionally these
injuries occur even when a gymnast
is performing a move done close to a
thousand times before.
"I felt kind of tired toward the end
but I didn't think it was really a big
deal," she said. "I went to do my
dismount, I do a cartwheel then a
double full off, and I completely
missed my feet on my cartwheel. I
knew what was happening but it all

happened so fast that I didn't know
what to do. Before I knew it, I was
in the air, and then I landed on the
top of my head."
"When I did it I thought that I'd
hurt my arm," Furlong said. "They
kept telling me don't move, don't
move your neck. I kept saying it's
my arm not my neck. Then my arm
started to burn, I guess that was
because of a pinched nerve or
something."
The injury was actually diagnosed
as a fracture to the sixth vertebrae.
An injury of this kind conjures up
all sorts of terrible images, but
Furlong was lucky. She has to wear
a halo for only six weeks and then
will progress to a foam neck brace
and a full load of rehabilitation
therapy. She will then be completely
recovered, with no permanent
damage.
Though the the recuperation
time for her injury is a lot shorter
than for a torn knee ligament, the
mental aspect of the recovery is
harder to overcome.
"I tore a ligament in my thumb,"
Furlong said. "It has taken a long
time to heal but this (neck injury) is
definitely more psychological. If I
come into the gym and I see

long roa
someone wobble the wrong way, I
get scared. I just have a very big fear
right now. I can still see it
happening over and over in my
head."
The two and a half weeks since
the incident, has not provided
Furlong sufficient time to make a

d

back

"I love it and I want to go back,"
she said. "I've been doing it for
twelve years and it's part of me. I'm
just not sure if it's worth it."
Women's gymnastics coach
Beverly Fry is impressed with
Furlong's recovery. "I feel that she
is extremely tough, and she has dealt
with this much better than I'd
expected," she said. "I think that she
has pulled through the worst. She
has already been in the gym to help
out, and it has been only two weeks
since her accident. I think that is a
very good sign. I realize it's tough
physically and mentally to come
back and I will support any decision
she makes."
Despite her doubts for the future,
Furlong does seem to be coming to
terms with her injury. She is
comfortable talking about it and she
says it's because of all the support
she has gotten from her friends and
family.
"My mom (who lives in New
Jersey) is staying with me, and I am
so glad she is here because I really
need her, she helps me with
everything."I

Furlong

Seedings predicted for
Big Ten championships
by Jeff Sheran
Daily Sports Writer
The conclusion of the conference dual meet wrestling season greatly
clarifies the seeding for the Big Ten tournament March 10-11 at
Northwestern.
The Big Ten will qualify 49 wrestlers for the NCAA tournament, the
most of any conference, but still not enough according to many coaches.
Of those 49, the top four from each weight class automatically qualify,
and nine wildcards are selected based on difficulty of weight class.
*118 pounds - Northwestern's Jack Griffin, ranked fourth nationally,
will draw the top seed. Iowa should hold the second seed with fifth-ranked
Steve Martin. Jason Cluff (Michigan) will probably compete unseeded,
but this class should qualify five wrestlers.
*126 - Iowa's Terry Brands is the favorite here. Salem Yaffai (M),
who placed sixth in the Big Ten last season, is a good bet for fourth seed.
*134 - This is the toughest division in the conference. So tough, in
fact, that rookie Joey Gilbert (M), who asserted himself with victories
over then top-ranked Chuck Barbee and Olympian Ken Chertow, may go
unseeded. Iowa's Tom Brands is ranked first in the nation, hence he is a
lock for top seed, followed by Minnesota's Dave Zuniga, who is ranked
second nationally.
In Gilbert's favor is the fact that opposing coaches may want to seed
the first-year standout to avoid having their own 134-pounder meet Gilbert
early in the tournament. Six wrestlers should qualify from this class.
*142 - Possibly the weakest division in the conference, there will be
only four NCAA qualifiers here. Chuck Heise (Minnesota) and Troy
Steiner (Iowa) will occupy the first two slots. James Rawls (M) will be
unseeded.
*150 - The Big Ten is the strongest conference at this weight, with
Hoosier Brian Dolph (second-ranked nationally), Iowa's Doug Streicher
(sixth), and Badger Matt Demaray (seventh). Larry Gotcher (M) was
eighth, but he will probably go at 158. James Feldkamp (M), his
replacement, will compete unseeded at this weight, from which five will
receive at large bids.
*158 - Sam Amine (M) held the top seed until injuring his knee
earlier this month, but Gotcher may succeed his teammate as the
frontrunner. He and Jim Pearson (Indiana) tied, 1-1, so it is unclear who
will be favored. Gotcher captured the Big Ten title last year, but he did so
at 142. The determining factor might be how the senior co-captain fares
this weekend against Morgan State's sixth-ranked Chauncey Wynn. If
Gotcher wins, he's the top seed.
*167 - Northwestern's Brad Traviola (third-ranked) dominates this
mediocre class. Seventh-ranked Bart Chelsevig (Iowa) and Casey Graham
(Indiana) should follow Traviola, with Justin Spewock (M) seeded fourth.
No wildcards from this group.
177 - Another brutal weight class, where Gopher Marty Morgan,
Purdue's Mike McHenry, and Wildcat Mike Funk are all tough. Lanny
Green (M), is very capable of pulling an upset, and five wrestlers will
qualify at 177.
190 - Iowa's Brooks Simpson, followed by Fritz Lehrke (M), and
then it's open. No wildcards.
HWT - The toughest after 134, this will also be difficult to seed.
Jon Llewellyn will probably draw the top slot, followed by Jeff Balcom.
(Minnesota), and Hawkeye John Oostendorp. But 29-year-old rookie
Boilermaker LaRock Benford is undefeated in the conference. Phil Tomek
(M), should be unseeded, but there will be two wildcards from here.

decision concerning her future in
gymnastics. Even though the injury
has caused her fear, it has not
diminished the love she feels for
gymnastics.

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PROBATION
Continued from page 1
over remedying the situation.
"At the University of Michigan,
we believe that the right way is the
only way," he said. "We are
determined to restore and protect the
integrity of Michigan athletics."
While the investigation is now
concluded, the process is not yet
completed. The NCAA will review
the investigation to confirm its
thoroughness. Weidenbach did not
know what to expect but felt assured
by what was accomplished.
"I'd be guessing if I said anything
about the NCAA," he said. "We're
confident that we did a thorough job,
and I think the Big Ten is also
confident."
"I'm very pleased that it just took
a year. We had to talk to a lot of
people. When you do something like
this, you want to do it well."
The penalties will obviously
have a negative effect on the future
of the baseball program. Included

among the self-imposed penalties,
are the elimination of an assistant
coach position, limitations on the
number of scholarships over the next
two years, and restrictions on
recruiting. Off-campus recruiting is
illegal until August of 1990, and
expense-paid recruiting visits are
banned for the remainder of the
current academic year.
New baseball coach Bill Freehan,
who was present at the meeting, had
to confront the bleak future of his
program.
"I took this job knowing there
were major problems with the
program," Freehan said. "I did not
know the situation, but I was told to
expect the worst.
"For all intents and purposes,
this was as bad as it could be."
Sophomore pitcher Russ Brock
summed up the team's reaction at
last night's practice, "We were down
today. It kind of puts a damper on
things, but we'll live with it."
The harshest part of the
punishment, according to Freehan, is

the ban from post-season play.
"(The ban) affects the way I can
motivate team, and the way I can
talk to recruits," he said.
Weidenbach displayed confidence
in his new coach.
"I feel we have a baseball coach
who can overcome this," he said.
A committee within the athletic
department will assist Freehan in
doing everything by the book. In
addition, the University will report
to the NCAA at the end of each year
of the probation period.
"You can bet I will be
monitored," he said. "And you can
bet that if I have any questions that I
will ask the proper people."
Freehan promised to make
adherence to the rules his highest
priority while occupying his new
post.
"Compliance with every NCAA
rule is very, very difficult," he said.
"I took this job to get the cloud off
this program and help it through this
term."

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