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March 12, 1990 - Image 17

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1990-03-12

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Iowa may wear black
but their fans are tops
by Jeff Sheran
Daily Sports Writer
EVANSTON - It was fitting that the Iowa Hawkeyes sported black
uniforms in their conference championship campaign last weekend. The
perennial Big Ten maulers captured their 17th straight conference title by
a staggering 29.25 point margin.
In effect, this was not a ten way affair, only two. Iowa vs. the rest of
the Big Ten. Like the evil stock character portrayed in cliche sports
movies, Iowa elicited the hatred of all who hailed from outside the
Hawkeye state.
And while the good guys could not surmount Iowa's team point total,
they found satisfaction on several occasions in the finals.
Northwestern's Jack Griffin (118-pound) initiated the battle by
coasting past the Hawkeyes' Steve Martin, 18-8. Though Griffin, the
returning Big Ten champ, was favored in the match, his victory sent a
wave of joy rushing through half the arena. The other half was silent,
which pleased anti-Iowans even more.
But the Hawkeyes prevailed in the second final, where Terry Brands
(126) reignited the faithful black and yellow who saw their local prodigy
rout Michigan State's Brian Smith, 20-7.
Iowans sat comfortably in their seats waiting for the Brands connection
to deliver, as the vengeful union put forth Minnesota's Dave Zuniga.
Tom Brands (134) held the number one national ranking throughout the
season, while Zuniga checked in at second. But Zuniga edged Brands, 6-5,
and thunderous applause rained down from the multi-colored rafters.
Fellow Gopher Chuck Heise (142), who advanced to the finals by
narrow margins, sought to maintain Minnesota's streak, but also to
silence the Hawkeye crowd. He did, defeating Troy Steiner, 6-4. And fans
from nine camps relished in the Hawkeye disappointment.
"We sometimes get envious," Heise said. "But it's not that anyone
wishes they were on Iowa, they just wish their team with their own guys
were as successful."
Iowa should be commended for its extraordinary fan support. More
Hawkeye fans graced the stands than for any other team, including host
Northwestern. But the Iowa team lends itself to being portrayed as the bad
guy. Aside from thoroughly dominating the conference and the nation
since coach Dan Gable assumed the helm, the Hawkeyes have continued
to assert a cockiness about them.
Gale took many Big Ten opponents, including Michigan, off his
schedule, citing their lack of competitiveness as a reason. Since the Big
Ten began naming All-League teams in 1984, Gable has coached 33 All-
Big Ten selections. The other nine have combined for 27.
Well, Gable may have a valid claim, as evidenced this weekend. But
as long as he and his Hawkeyes maintain their elitist image, the Big Ten
will remain the Big Two: Iowa and everyone else.
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Continued from page 1
In the finals, Iowa's Brooks
Simpson proved to be too much for
the senior co-captain, winning a 9-6
"Fritz went after him," Bahr said.
"But he has to learn to prevent his
opponent from scoring. He let the
guy take him down three times."
Larry Gotcher finished as the
runner-up at 158 pounds, losing to
Indiana's Jim Pearson in the finals.
Pearson scored the only takedown of
the match in the second period and
held on to win.
"I figured whoever got the first
takedown would win," Bahr said.
"Neither of these guys give up many
At 134-pounds, Wolverine rookie
Joey Gilbert advanced to the semi-
finals by beating season-long
nemesis Steve Hoffman of
Wisconsin, but then was pinned by
eventual champion Tom Brands of
Iowa. Gilbert then dropped his next
match to Indiana's Tony Hunter
which set up a showdown with
Illinois' Derrick Crenshaw for fifth
place in what was considered the
toughest weight class in the
Crenshaw took an early 4-point
lead, and it appeared that Gilbert
would exit on a three man slide.
However, the frosh phenom from
Orlando Park, Illinois reversed his
fortune to take an 8-7 lead. Gilbert
then iced the victory by pinning
Crenshaw with 55 seconds left in the
"It's a long season for a
freshman," Bahr said. "This is a very
physical tournament and it's tough
for a kid just out of high school."
Justin Spewock also qualified for
nationals by placing fourth at 167
pounds. Spewock defeated Paul
Reinbolt of Ohio State and Matt
Abab en route to a consolation
match with Indiana's Casey Graham.
Graham pulled out a hard-fought
victory winning by a 5-3 margin.
Despite the setback, Spewock

remained upbeat.
"This was a good tournament for
me," the senior co-captain said. "I
made the mistake of relaxing in the
control position and it cost me in
my losses. I'm happy things pulled
together though."
Bahr thought the Wolverines'
youth was a significant factor in the
outcome of the tournament. "I was
disappointed that some guys didn't
(qualify)," Bahr said. "This is the
first time here for a lot of guys and
it is difficult the first time."
Among those who made their
rookie appearances were redshirt
frosh Jason Cluff (118) and Lanny
Green (177). While neither placed in
the top six, both put in solid
Green faced the undesirable task
of taking on the second and third
seeds in consecutive matches. In his
first match, Green lost to
Northwestern's Mike Funk, ranked
fourth in the nation, by an 8-1
margin. This loss dropped him to
the loser's bracket but an upset by
Wisconsin's Keith Davison over the
third ranked Mike McHenry of
Purdue pitted Green against another
top five opponent.
Green came out tough against
McHenry and held a 4-3 lead entering
the final 10 seconds. McHenry then
scored a take-down to capture a 5-4
"I felt bad for Lanny because he
worked so hard," Bahr said. "But he
tried to wrestle defensively at the
end. Now he knows you can't do
Cluff made no mistakes in his
upset bid, as he knocked off Ohio
State's David Range, the number
three seed. Cluff then dropped his
next two matches, losing to
Indiana's Lance Ellis, 10-7, and
Purdue's Gabe Zurkelbach, 4-3.
Bahr hopes this year's
tournament will be a positive
experience for his young wrestlers.
"We should be tougher next year
because these guys have been here
once now. They know what they
have to do for next season.'

The Michigan Daily - Sports Monday -March 12, 1990- Page 7
S "e
Swimmers capture
fifth straight itle
by Douglas Donaldson
Daily Sports Writer
Once, they say, is luck. Twice is coincidence.
But what about five times?
With a wake of destruction behind them, the Michigan men's swim team
captured its fifth straight conference title March 1-3 at the Canham
Natatorium. That feat ties a school record set over fifty years ago when
coach Matt Mann led the 1931-35 squads to consecutive conference
"There's definitely a tradition here," explains co-captain Brent Lang. "It's
the whole mindset of what the University of Michigan swim team stands
for. We're not the loud and obnoxious type. We're hard-working, nose-to-
the-grindstone type of guys who know what it takes to do well, and know
how hard work pays off.
"It's the whole Michigan environment. As captains, Rick (Wilkening)
and I try to lead the team in the direction we think it should go."
Michigan coach Jon Urbanchek echoed those sentiments, saying, "The
seniors try to create a certain tradition, and when they leave, it carries on."
Michigan dominated the meet throughout, finishing with 697 points,
well ahead of second-place Minnesota (433). The meet consisted of 16
swimming events and three diving events, spread out over the three days.
The Wolverines took control of the meet at the sound of the first gun, and
never looked back. Michigan's display of aquatic excellence included placing
fifth or higher in each of the 19 events, en route to nine first-place finishes.
Lang was crowned Big Ten Champion in two events, the 50- and 100-
yard freestyles (:19.94 and :43.58). Mike Barrowman won the 200
breaststroke (1:58.00), but surrendered the 100 title to teammate Eric
Wunderlich (:54.94). Other first-place finishers included Rick Wilkening
(100 backstroke, :50.12), Steve Bigelow (200 backstroke, 1:48.72) and Bill
Hayes (10-meter diving, 690.15).
The conclusion of the meet saw the presentation of several awards.
Urbanchek won Big Ten Swimming Coach-of-the-Year honors. Although
appreciative, he expressed a bit of modesty in discussing the award.
"Personally, I thought that maybe the Minnesota coach should have won
it," he said. "We were expected to win the championship, but they did better
than expected. We have such good talent that it doesn't take exceptional
coaching (to do well).
"This is the first time I've gotten the award, even though we've won (the
Big Ten title) the last four years. In fact, I probably deserve it least this
year. But I do feel good about it, coming from my peers, even if it is five
years overdue."
Michigan diving coach Dick Kimball was recognized as Big Ten Diving-
Coach-of-the-Year. Artur Wojdat (Iowa) was named Swimmer-of-the-Meet
for his three first-place finishes, while Diver-of-the-Meet honors went to
Mark Lenzi (Indiana).
With the Big Ten championship safely tucked away, the swimmers can
finally focus their attention on what has certainly been in the back of their
minds all season: the NCAA Championship. The team has two weeks to
prepare for the NCAA meet, to be held in Indianapolis, Indiana, March 22-


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