The Michigan Daily -Sports Monday - March 9, 1992 -Page 3
Former world champion talks
about injury, skating future
Three-time U.S. champion (1987,
'89, '90),1990 world champion, and
1988 Olympian Jill Trenary has for
gears occupied a spot in the upper
echelon of women's figure skaters.
However, she suffered a major in-
jury during the 1991 skating season
which rendered her unable to com-
pete, and thus bumped her from that
vaunted pedestal. She has had a
brilliant amateur skating career, and
is a bit uncertain as to what exactly
her next step will be. She is sure of
ne thing, though, she loves to skate.
he is currently in the midst of a dif-
ficult physical and mental regimen
which will enable her to regain her
pre-injury form. Daily Sports Writer
Brett Forrest caught up with
Trenary at the second annual Skate
Michigan '92, held at Yost Ice
Arena, and spoke with her about her
Daily: What was your injury last
Trenary: In January of 1991, I
had a staph infection on my ankle.
So I had two surgeries on my ankle.
Since then, that same area of the
front of the ankle has given me some
bursitis problems. But it wasn't any-
thing as serious as the surgeries. But
once you have surgery, it is really
hard to get back into the swing of
(,_ D: Was it a big disappointment
not being able to defend your na-
tional and vworld titles and return to
T: Yes and no. Yes because it's
everyone's dream to win the
Olympics. It was my dream to go to
the Olympics. I've fulfilled almost
every dream except for that (winning
a gold medal). But, you know,
ere's a limit. We all have a limit. I
as in (international amateur com-
petition) a long time and I accom-
plished a lot. I think my body was
'l feel very strongly
about school figures. It
*vas one of the reasons
for me deciding to
retire. I think they're
the fundamentals. It's
the very basic, basic
saying 'This is your time, and now
move on to something else.'
D: Was it really difficult trying to
come back from that injury?
T: Yes, just mentally and physi-
cally, you lose a bit of an edge.
D: What kind of a physical regi-
ment do you follow in training?
T: I am more intense about my
off-ice training. More just for me be-
*ause I'm real athletic and if I don't
keep busy I just become so lazy and
crabby and horrible. So I do a lot of
running. I do a lot of Stairmaster.
And I do light weights for my upper
body. I'm pretty strict about it. I
maybe take off one day a week.
D: Do you train year round?
T: Yes. If I quit skating tomor-
row and never skated again in my
life, it would be my decision. I do it
*or me, and hopefully that helps my
skating and doesn't hinder it. Some
days it does hinder it. Like the other
day, I ran five miles in the moun-
tains and it was really difficult to
skate that night. And even the next
day, I still felt lousy. It got to me. I
just have to even things out a little
D: How much time goes into
practicing for one five-minute per-
T: A lot more than you think. In
fact, it's a little difficult for me to
come to a performance like tonight
because I don't feel as ready as I
want to be. I'm still happy to be per-
forming, but I like to give people my
It's gonna take another couple of
months before I feel back to my old
self. To make up a program, it takes
months, to get it underneath you and
just feel good about it.
D: Did people push you to be a
figure skater when you were
younger because you had the talent,
or is it something you always wanted
T: When I was younger, it was
just what I wanted to do because I
was really active and played all the
sports. Then I started to get better
and started to do a little work with
competitions and found out that it
was fun to win, and that it was a
And that's when people started
which I have access to as far as all
my expenses to do with skating -
which is a lot more than you think:
travel, dress, and equipment. So I
have access to that. But as far as us-
ing it to buy a car or for a house
payment, I can't do that.
D: So you are still considered an
T: Right now, sure. Oh yeah.
D: So what are your plans for
competing in Lillehammer in 1994?
T: I went to the Olympics in
Calgary in 1988. I'm thrilled about
it. And I won a world championship.
I'm not going to be one of those
skaters who just hangs on, trying to
live the impossible dream. I think
it's my time to do different things
I'm excited about it.
But right now I'm still eligible. If
some things would change between
now and Lillehammer, I would com-
pete. But if not, I highly doubt it,
highly doubt it.
D: What is your opinion on the
existence of the school figures in in-
ternational competition? Do you feel
that it is something that is really
down, there was no chance at the
gold. Is this a new trend? Are the
skaters of today not as good as the
skaters of, say, five years ago?
T: I'm pretty sure I know what it
is. It's that the girls now, and again
this is one of the reasons I've chosen
'I'm not going to be
one of those skaters
who just hangs on,
trying to live the
to get out of this, is that they're try-
ing a lot of difficult things. Some-
times it is very impressive and I'm
amazed at some of the things they
But then there is the big question
of what's enough. And what's the
difference between men's skating
and women's skating? Is this be-
coming more of just a jumping
game? Is it still a beautiful feminine
sport? What happens is you start to
see a lot of difficult triple jumps that
are tried or triple-triple combina-
tions. They just either don't have the
strength or the confidence to pull it
D: You started skating seriously
at age nine. Tonight in the show,
performing with you, is a nine year-
old girl named Britany Graham.
Most of the people who will come to
the show tonight will come to see
you. When you take a step back and
look at your career so far, do you
feel as if you have really made it,
that you have accomplished what
you always wanted to do?
T: I feel like I was just Britany's
age. I feel like I was just looking up
to the Dorothy Hamills, the Rosalind
Palmers. I can't believe that I am
here and maybe she's looking up to
me like I used to look up to them. If
she is, I'm thrilled.
D: That's funny that you should
mention Dorothy Hamill, because
she performed in this same show last
year. And now you're here ...
T: I just think that I accom-
plished a lot more than I ever
thought I would. But I'm also very
hard on myself. Sure, I would have
loved to have won the Olympics.
But on the other hand, I am a very
private person and I wonder what
that kind of fame would have been
I've tasted a little bit of it. People
just kind of go nuts sometimes for
athletes. And, you know, I like to be
able to go into the grocery store back
home without any makeup on, with
sweats and ripped jeans, and buy ice
cream and not have people say any-
thing. I like my privacy. But, yet, I
still enjoy skating. So I'm happy
D: What's next for Jill Trenary?
T: I'm doing a tour all of April
and May - the Tom Collins
Olympic and World Figure Skating
Tour. It's a real big deal and I'm ex-
cited about it. I really want to get
home and train for that. I'm looking
into doing some commentating. I
really want to take some classes this
summer, cause it's something I want
to do, and look forward to doing.
And then in the fall, I plan to do
some professional competitions and
maybe the Boitano-Witt tour, or the
Stars On Ice tour, whatever tour
would be willing to have me. And
maybe I'll teach some little rug rats
along the way. They're interested
and I think it's cute. So maybe I can
help them out a little bit. 4
NCAA Tournament pairings are announced next Sunday. If I were a
basketball team, I know who I wouldn't want to play.
We all know about Michigan's schizophrenic play this season.
Whether the team plays two inconsistent halves of a game, like it did at
Michigan State, or of a series, like it did against Wisconsin, Michigan has
been difficult to peg.
Inconsistency is the scourge of a young team. But come March -
tournament time -- inconsistency is the scourge of a favored team.
I can't imagine a coach in the land who'd be happy to be facing the
Wolverines in two weeks. Ranked 18th or 80th, Michigan is a scary oppo-
Except maybe Princeton's Pete Carrill. Carrill's prototype slow, half-
court, mistake-free team would likely frustrate Michigan into a shame-
fully early exit.
But the Wolverines are just erratic enough to beat any team they play.
They were in December, when they took Duke to overtime. They were
yesterday, when they upset No. 2 Indiana. And they will be next week,
when every game they play could be the last of their storied season.
Michigan dispelled many doubts yesterday - that it couldn't beat a
higher-ranked team, that it couldn't protect a lead - doubts which only
intensified after its last loss.
The Wolverines toyed with the idea of beating Ohio State earlier in the
week, until some late lapses nixed such a possibility. They knew they
could have pulled off an upset, they just didn't.
This is what seems to be the key to tournament play - knowing you
can win. It's foolish for a 16-seed to expect a victory over a top seed, but
it's even more foolish to expect defeat.
Chris Webber knows Michigan can win. "We can beat any team," he
says. "It's up to us."
Jalen Rose knows Michigan can win. "It's all a matter of mindset," he
says. "If we're concentrating, we won't lose."
Many times when it's been up to them, and when they needed to con-
centrate, they've failed.
But somehow, I envision the young Wolverines as the type of players
who have sat glued to the television every March since they were old
enough to crawl, just waiting for their go-around. It shouldn't be very
difficult for them to stay focused.
Much has been debated about their youth: The five rookie starters have
never experienced postseason play, some say; by March, others argue,
they're not rookies anymore.
One by-product of youth is invincibility. Bad in January. Good in
March. The same attitude that prompted defeats to Purdue and Minnesota
could inspire victories over Arkansas and USC.
Another by-product is ignorance. If they're supposed to lose, they cer-
tainly don't know it. They didn't know it against Duke, and didn't like it
once they learned.
But for the team to go far, Michigan coach Steve Fisher, a veteran of
two NCAA Tournaments, must adjust to his players better.
Too often he lets the players run wild without stepping in, or interferes
when they're gaining momentum. He must temper activity with passivity.
Fisher did this well as interim coach in 1989, the Wolverines' champi-
That year, Michigan succeeded in its self-titled mission to shock the
world. Imagine the shock if the 1992 team won it all.
The shocking part wouldn't be a Final Four victory. The shocking part
would be that Michigan played well enough to win for six consecutive
Jill Trenary displays the grace for which she is famous Friday night.
pushing me a little bit, saying that I
had something special. I never be-
lieved them and I still don't to this
day. That's what makes me tick -
I'm always going for something
D: Most people view figure skat-
ing as an amalgamation of athletic
power and artistic talent. How do
you see this working for you?
T: For me, I like combining them
both. The athletic part of it is a chal-
lenge. It's something that is really
fun to work on - the triples in prac-
The artistry of it is really fun for
nights like tonight where there are
no judges and there are no people
saying 'You have to do this. You
have to do that.' Just to skate well,
skate pretty and hopefully let the
crowd enjoy it, that's what is fun
D: Where does the money go that
you receive from this event?
T: It's kind of hard to explain,
because I'm not sure if I am still
considered an amateur or a profes-
sional. I'm still an eligible athlete so
that money can go into a trust fund
T: Everyone has different opin-
ions. I feel very strongly about the
school figures and I was very sad
when they were taken away. It was
actually one of the reasons for me
deciding to retire. I think they're the
fundamentals and I think it's very
important. It's edges. It's doing fig-
ure eights. That's what skating is.
It's the very basic, basic figure skat-
I miss doing them and I think it is
going to affect skaters, it may take
awhile, but I think it's going to af-
fect the basic abilities and the basic
stroking and edges of the skaters. I
think it would have to.
And plus that, it was a warmup. It
was a time to get your feet under-
neath you and feel your edges before
you went out there and did your
double axles and triple sows. You're
kind of going out there cold now.
It's hard. But hey, things change and
you have to go with it.
D: In the past few competitions, I
have seen skaters fall and still win
medals. If my memory serves me
correctly, in the past, if one fell
Michigan's Debbie Geiger performs her floor exercise earlierthis season.
Geiger and her teammates defeated Western Michigan Saturday at Cliff
*'M' Gymansts see mixed results: men fall to Buckeyes, women defeat Broncos
by Todd Schoenhaus
Daily Sports Writer
Despite losing to Ohio State in
Saturday's dual meet at Columbus,
the Michigan men's gymnastics
team has much to smile about. The
team proved that a school record of
278.65, established the weekend
hefnre in California was eertinlv
Winkler led all performers with a
9.90 and was followed by sopho-
more teammate Ben Verrall's 9.75.
The rings also provided a
strongpoint - senior Jim Round
scored a 9.55 and Winkler and
Verrall received 9.45s. Ohio State
could not be surpassed in the event
in which it averaged a 9.73. Rookie
Rich Dopp executed a praiseworthy
rntine on the hioh har 4ood for a
Ohio State's Jim Knopp.
The pommel horse was a surpris-
ing weakness for the Wolverine
squad. Senior Glenn Hill and
sophomore Seth Rubin scored con-
siderably lower than usual.
Sophomore Mike Mott's score of
9.50 provided the lone brightspot.
"Glenn had some errors in his
routine," Darden said. "Seth fell off
his monnt in the verv h'oinning and
by Joshua Marlow
The Michigan women's gymnas-
tics team returned home Saturday to
beat Western Michigan at Cliff Keen
Arena and maintain their unbeaten
home record. The Wolverines (3-0
Big Ten, 11-2 overall) improved to
6-0 at home by defeating the
place on the beam.
"They (the team) did great jobs,"
Fry said. "It is great to have people
like Alison Winski, Laura Lundbeck,
and Debbie Geiger to fill in. Beth
(Wymer) can't do it alone; we have
to be good all the way through."
And they were. Wymer, as usual,
captured first place in the all-around
with a score of 38.65. Winski fin-
Carfora said. "Our score is good,
though, because it means we can
drop one of our lower scores and
hopefully move up in the rankings."
Michigan is currently ranked
13th in the country and is seeded
second in the Central Region behind
only Alabama, a major improvement
over last year, when the Wolverines
ended up seeded 13th in the region.