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March 22, 1990 - Image 10

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1990-03-22

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Page 10 - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, March 22, 1990


by Jeff Sheran
Daily Sports Writer
The culmination of the collegiate
wrestling season begins today at the
NCAA Championships in College
Park, Maryland. The three day dou-
ble-elimination competition compri-
ses the elite wrestlers from each con-
ference, including 49 from the Big
Ten and 42 from the Big Eight.
Because only four Wolverines
qualified for the tournament, Mich-
igan, who finished fifth last year,
will not be vying for a team title.
But a strong finish from its repre-
sentatives could place Michigan
among the top ten teams nationwide.
The Wolverine qualifiers will be
striving for all-American status,
awarded to the top eight finishers in
each weight class.
Spearheading the Wolverines'
quest for a national champion is
190-pounder Fritz Lehrke (35-7-1).
Lehrke finished second in the Big
Ten behind Iowa's Brooks Simpson,
who defeated Lehrke at last year's
"Fritz didn't place last year, but
he wrestled a great tournament,"
Michigan coach Dale Bahr said.
"With his experience, he should do
very well."
Lehrke recognized his experience
as an advantage over his compe-
tition. "Half the guys are just happy
to be here. That puts me in the
driver's seat a little for my first few
The junior co-captain is a favorite
for all-American status, and will

leads Blue to

probably draw a four or five seed.
"Once I hit all-American, it'll take
some pressure off," Lehrke said.
"Then I'll be shooting for the title."
'I've wrestled in other
national tournaments
before. I prefer
wrestling in them
over my other meets.
If you're not here to
wrestle the best, you
don't belong here'
-Justin Spewock
Michigan wrestler
Another favorite for all-American
is Larry Gotcher (158). Gotcher (32-
11-2) is a returning two-time hon-
oree, placing fourth last year and
fifth two years ago.
"I'm one of eight or so guys that
can win the tournament," Gotcher
said. "But I think I'm a good bet."
Many agree that Gotcher's style is
tailor-made for the NCAA's.
"He's exactly what you don't
want your guy to face," said Joe
Seay, coach of defending national
champion Oklahoma State. "He's
tough and aggressive - he's got a
real good chance."
Justin Spewock (17-15-1) will
enter the tournament unseeded at 167
pounds. Spewock, who placed fourth
in the Big Ten, will be wrestling in
his first NCAA tournament, but has
five years experience on the Wol-

verine squad.
"Justin has the age and maturity
to do well, even if ne doesn't have
the experience," Bahr said. "167 is

in the year. But many like Gilbert's
chances in the NCAAs, because he
will be meeting first-time opponents
whom he can surprise.
"It always helps a freshman to go
up against new guys," said Zeke
Jones, all-American 118-pounder
from Arizona State. "He's in a tough
weight class, but if he has a great
tournament, he can win the title."
Bahr concurred. "It can't get any
tougher than the Big Ten (where
Gilbert placed fifth)," he said. "He'll
turn a lot of heads."
However, Gilbert does not set
lower goals because of his youth.
"I'm excited to be here, but just
because I'm a freshman, it's still not
enough," he said. "I'm looking to
win my first match first, then to be
As far as team standings are
concerned, the two premier contend-
ers are Oklahoma State and Arizona
State, the national champions the
past two years, respectively.
"I'm gonna give Arizona State
the slight edge," Bahr said. "Okie
State is more balanced, but in an
individual tournament, Arizona State
is so tough."
The two squads met four times
this season. The Cowboys won two
of the dual meets, while Arizona
State won one dual meet in Tempe,
AZ, and the Virginia Duals.
"It used to be whoever got the
most all-Americans usually won,"
Jones said. "This year it'll be
whoever puts the most people in the

Continued from page 1
Gerald Ford at the Deke fraternity
house. Earl Townsend founded the,
Victory Club and the Presidents
Club at Michigan.;
Montross played on the AAU,
18-and-under National Champion-
ship team with many of the current
Hoosier first-year players, who com-
prised the nation's top recruiting
class last year. Hoosier frosh point
guard Todd Leary played with Mon-
tross on Lawrence North's state
championship team last season.
Montross' girlfriend and friend, fel-
low Indiana prep superstar Damon
Bailey, will attend Indiana.
The Tar Heels possessed the
allure of tradition and a beautiful
campus which appealed to Montross,
an "outdoorsy type" according to the
Indianapolis News' Jim Russell,
who broke the news yesterday morn-
ing in a front-page story.
In addition, the Tar Heels have
reached the NCAA tournament
"Sweet 16" the past 10 years and
already garnered the nation's best
recruiting class, according to high
school hoops guru, Bob Gibbons. A
few months ago, Gibbons predicted
that the Tar Heels recruiting class
should be considered the "best ever"
if they landed Montross. Montross
reportedly became friendly with the
North Carolina recruits at summer
Montross was glad that the
intense recruiting period was finally
over. "I probably spent less time
than my Mom and Dad in this
recruiting process ... It never really
bothered me - all the people asking

me what I'm going to decide.
"I can now say to people I'm
going to North Carolina and wish
me luck."
The loss of Montross, who re-
ceived a phone call yesterday from
University President James Duder-
stadt, keeps Michigan's recruiting
class at three players.
The Wolverines have already**
signed 6-5 guard Jason Bossard of
Charlotte, MI, 6-9 Rich McIver of
Freeport, TX, and 6-8 Sam Mitchell
of Kalamazoo, MI. Michigan is
awaiting the decision of 6-9 Cleve-
land standout Joe Reid, and is not
expected to seek anyone else.
The three players Michigan has
signed are considered to be among
the top 100 in the country by most *
experts. McIver leads the Houston
area in rebounding and Bossard
averages 30 points a game.
Fisher was unavailable for com-
ment, but a staff member conveyed
his thoughts.
"He's (Fisher) disappointed, but
life goes on," the aide said. "He just
will try to do better things with the
kids we got. It's certainly a setback."


wide open, so I look for him to do
pretty well."
"I've wrestled in other national
tournaments before," Spewock said.
"I prefer wrestling in them over my
other meets. If you're not here to
wrestle the best, you don't belong
The final of the four qualifiers is
134-pounder true frosh Joey Gilbert
(36-10-1). Gilbert possesses an un-
orthodox style, often shooting for
takedowns from his knees.
He therefore met with less suc-
cess toward the end of the season,
largely because he faced opponents
whom he had already wrestled earlier


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One Bad Daughter:
Women's Contribution to Independent Film
March 22, 1990
Modern Language Building Lecture Room 2
4:00 pm
Admission is free

Student Rlumni Council presents:
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