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March 23, 1990 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 1990-03-23

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Men's Swimming
NCAA Championships
Today and Tomorrow
Indianapolis, IN

SPORTS

Women's Gymnastics
Big Ten Championships
Today and Tomorrow, Time TBA ,
Varsity Arena
Page 10

The Michigan Daily

Friday, March 23, 1990

NO. 1 HOPES END FOR GOTCHER, LEHRKE
Wrestlers foiled at NCAAs

Big Ten championships
Women's gymnasts shoot to escape cellar

by Jeff Sheran
Daily Sports Writer
COLLEGE PARK, MD.- After
one day of competition in the
NCAA Wrestling Championships,
two of Michigan's four qualifiers
remain alive. Ironically it is the two
without previous tournament
experience.
134-pound frosh Joey Gilbert,
seeded tenth in the tournament,
thrashed Fresno State Jon Pierro, 16-
4, in his consolation match.
"Joey looked sharp," said Joe
Pantaleo, Wolverine graduate
assistant and NCAA runner-up at
158 the past two years. "Guys tend
to relax in the tournament when they
get a lead, but he stayed tough."
Also remaining viable was senior
Justin Spewock (167), who defeated
Bryan Flint of Tennessee-
Chattanooga, 8-6, in his consolation
match.
"Justin won because he stayed
intense through the whole match,"
Pantalco said.
However, Larry Gotcher fell short
in his quest to repeat as three-time
All-American. Gotcher dropped his
158-pound consolation match, 5-4,
to Purdue's Dave Walter. He had
beaten Walter at the Big Ten
Championships two weeks ago.
Junior Fritz Lehrke was also
unable to advance. The fifth-seeded
Wolverine lost his consolation
match to Bucknell's Bryan Burns,

Gilbert
11-5.
In his second match Gilbert faced
Indiana's Tony Hunter, the fifth
match-up between the two this
season. Gilbert, who had initially
hoped to face non-conference
opponents for as long as possible,
lost to the seventh-seeded Hunter, 8-
7.
"I'm disappointed, but he's a real
good defensive wrestler and he
knows how I wrestle," Gilbert said.
"My goal is still to be all-American
(top eight). And maybe I'll wind up
beating him for third place."
Gotcher's second-round match
offered a defensive display, his style
of wrestling. But he could not score

a takedown against Cal-State
Bakersfield's Jeff McAllister. and the
match ended in favor of the fifth-
seeded McAllister, 3-2.
Lehrke faced Randy Couture of
Oklahoma State, the twelfth seed.
The two wrestled to a physical 6-6
tie at the end of regulation, each
pummelling from a neutral position
to score their takedowns. However in
overtime, Couture prevailed, 2-1, to
nullify any chance of a Wolverine
national champion.
Gilbert had won his first-round
match with Jerry Hickey of
Southwest Missouri, 11-4. The true
frosh did not score his points by
implementing his unique style, but
rather by working for defensive
takedowns and riding time.
"I thought Gilbert showed real
poise out there," coach Dale Bahr
said. "I don't know how far he'll go,
but regardless, he's a money man."
Gotcher scored a 4-0 victory over
Wilkes' Merrel Neal. Seeded twelfth,
Gotcher shot off the first whistle and
controlled the match for the entire
seven minutes.
"There was a zero on his side of
the scoreboard, and that's the way I
like it," Gotcher said. "I knew once I
got a takedown in the first period
that that was it-the match was
mine."
Spewock, unseeded at 167,
squared off against seventh seed John
Kohls of Brigham Young.

by Dan Zoch
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan women's gymnastics team hosts the
Big Ten championships this Friday and Saturday night
at Varsity Arena - an event they've been preparing for
all season.
The Wolverines, spearheaded by first-year coach
Beverly Fry, have been longing to wipe away the
memories of last year's seventh-in-a-field-of-seven
finish.
"My team is ready," said Fry. "We are taking the
approach that we have nothing to lose and everything to
gain. Even sixth place is an improvement over last
year."
Coming into the tournament this year, the
Wolverines are ranked fifth in the field of seven
competing Big Ten teams. The squad is led by top all-
around performer, first-year gymnast Debbie Geiger and
sophomore gymnast Diane Armento, who is currently
ranked in the top ten on the vault.
The dark horse Michigan team faces fierce, if not
overwhelming, competition this weekend from
Minnesota, Illinois, and Ohio State.
Marie Rothlisberger, the 1989 Big Ten and NCAA
Central Region all-around champion, leads top-ranked
Minnesota into the tournament. The Golden Gophers
have won the Big Ten championships the last two
years and are heavily favored to repeat again this year.
Ohio State used to be the preeminent women's
gymnastics team until Minnesota came of age two years
ago. Last year, Minnesota barely edged out Ohio State
to win the Big Ten championship and keep their
fledgling dynasty alive. Of Ohio State's past
performances, Fry said, "They've always been a
contender."
However, Illinois may be the only team with a
realistic opportunity to topple Minnesota. The Illini are
the current leaders of the Big Ten and they've posted the
top four all-around team scores of the season, each of
them above 187.00 points. The Wolverines, in
comparison, have averaged near 182.50 points this
season.
"Illinois has the top four scores (in the Big Ten),"
Fry said, "and I wouldn't be surprised if they beat

0

JUOSEJUARMaily
Michigan gymnast Wendy Comeau (foreground)
practices on the balance beam as teammate Janna
Jeffries (background) looks on.
Minnesota."
Fry doesn't want the Wolverines to be counted out,
though. "This tournament should be so close, so
competitive. The Big Ten offers the highest level of
competition and it should be a real dogfight. And it
helps to be at home."
The Wolverines will start the competition on the
floor exercise, an event that Fry has mixed emotions
about. "It seems that the first event you do is always
the toughest, but normally, our best scoring has been
floor."

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