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March 06, 1992 - Image 12

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1992-03-06

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Page 12-The Michigan Daily- Friday, March 6,1992

'M' hitters regroup,

SPORTING VIEWS

Sullivan Award turns
into popularity contest

travel to L
by Tim Rardin
Daily Baseball Writer
The Michigan baseball team,
which heads out to Las Vegas this
weekend after enduring an eight-day
trip to Florida over spring break, has
logged frequent-flier miles aplenty.
Unfortunately, victories have not
come in such generous quantity for
the Wolverines.
Michigan lost seven of its eight
games in Florida, with the lone vic-
tory coming against St. Leo, 11-7.
The good side of this 1-7 record lies
in the fact that five of the seven
losses were decided by no more than
two runs.
Coach Bill Freehan, though
disappointed with the record, saw
some bright spots in addition to the
problem areas for his young club.
"I think we learned that we've
got to improve in a lot of areas to be
a good baseball team," Freehan said.
"Individually, we saw some pluses,
especially from some of our veteran
players. We also saw some areas that
we need to work on.
"We learned the importance of

as Vegas
the little things, the fundamental
things, and how important they are
in close games," Freehan added.
"That's what we did not do. In five
of those losses, we actually had op-
portunities to win in the last inning."
The Wolverines must now re-
group as they head to Vegas to play
a pair of doubleheaders against
Nevada-Las Vegas and San Diego
State Saturday and Sunday. The
Rebels currently sport a 12-7 record,
while the Aztecs are 11-5.
"It'll be tough competition, espe-
cially for a young team," Freehan
said. "We are faced with the realiza-
tion that 18 of the 28 players we
took to Florida had little or no expe-
rience with Michigan baseball. We
just need to dwell on one key thing
- improving every time we go out
on the baseball field."
With players still vying for start-
ing positions, Freehan intends to
juggle the lineup a bit this weekend.
"I will probably continue to ex-
periment a little," he said. "I hope to
have a starting lineup set by the start
of the Big Ten season."

by Andy Stabile
Daily Sports Writer
INDIANAPOLIS - It may be more than
ironic that with the disintegration of true ama-
teur athletics, the integrity of its most cele-
brated award may also be falling by the wayside.
Monday night, Mike Powell was awarded
the 1991 Sullivan Award at the Indianapolis
Westin Hotel. With the announcement of his
name, this prestigious award lost some of its
sparkle.
The Sullivan is given each year by the
Amateur Athletic Union to the nation's out-
standing amateur athlete, based on qualitites of
leadership, character, sportsmanship and ideals
of amateurism.
Some athletes, like last year's winner,
wrestler John Smith, lay claim to the award
without much notoriety. For others like
Olympians Eric Heiden in 1980 and Greg
Louganis in 1984, world-wide fame preceded
their Sullivan Award distinction.
The common tie is this: the winner of the
Sullivan Award is the best and most deserving
amateur athlete of the year. Unlike the reputa-
tion of the Heisman Trophy, or a Presidential
campaign, the Sullivan is not a popularity con-
test. Or was not. Not until this year.
This year Mike Powell won the award.

Powell is most famous for his long jump of 29
feet 4 1/2 inches at the World Championships in
Tokyo last summer. In fact, athleticly speaking,
Powell is only famous for that jump. Powell's
achievement is spectacular by all means, but it is
just one jump.
In the shadows of Carl Lewis his entire ca-
reer, Powell beat Lewis one time and broke a
world record in doing so. Bob Beamon's world
record in the long jump was the most talked
about in sports, but it's Lewis who gets credit
for that. It seemed only a matter of time until
Lewis soared past Beamon's near iconical mark
of 29-2 1/2, the standard since 1968. He did in
Tokyo, 29-3 1/4. Powell went further.
If you put six monkeys in a cage for six-mil-
lion years, one will eventually write Shake-
speare, or so the addage goes. Powell is an
immensely talented athlete, but he might have
been lucky. Eventually someone was going to
break Beamon's record. Lewis didn't. Powell did.
But let's talk about some athletes who did -
more than once. Ex-Michigan swimmer Mike
Barrowman not only owns the world record in
the 200m breaststroke - he breaks it like
toothpicks. Barrowman has set the mark five
times in a row, lowering it some four seconds
since his onslaught began four years ago. Track

star Michael Johnson runs the two hundred me-
ters. Although he doesn't have the world record,
like Barrowman he has owned the distance since
1988.
Freestyle skiier and Olympic gold medalist
Donna Weinbrecht has been best in her business
ever since freestyle skiing was recognized as a
sport. Going into his Olympics, boxer Eric
Griffin is a world champion three years running
and may be the first person ever to make the 106
lbs. weight class popular. Although it is impos-
sible to empirically determine the 'best of all
time' in these sports, Weinbrecht and Griffin de-
serve mention.
As for Powell, his record-breaking leap may
have made him a finalist for the Sullivan award,
but the subsequent media exposure locked up the
victory.
Although Barrowman was thrilled to be a
Sullivan finalist, he could not help but think
about the 2,200 person voting panel's selection
process. "It's like picking between apples and
oranges," Barrowman said of choosing a winner
from the ten finalists. "But the Wheaties cover.
Arsenio. You just can't compete with that."
Funny, could these athletes have actually
somehow competed for the award, cereal box
covers and talk shows wouldn't much matter.

IThe Third Annual
Pre-Med
Students'
Symposium
"Taking Medicine into the
Twenty-first Century"
Featuring Keynote Speaker:
Dr. Eugene Oliveri, M.D.
Saturday, March 14, 1992
9:00 a.m. - 3:15 p.m.
North Campus Commons
Information and registration forms available at
Career Planning & Placement
3200 Student Activities Building:
Pre-Medical Club Office, 4319 Michigan Union;
or by contacting Alyson Miller 665-4778 '
Pre-registration by March 9 is strongly encouraged

Symposium
Topics
Medical School
Preparation
Medical
Specialties
Issues in
Medicine

1

Sponsored By
Pre-Med Club
Career Planning and Placement
LSA Student Government

F.

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