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December 07, 1992 - Image 16

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1992-12-07

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Page 8-The Michigan Daily- Sports Monday- December 7, 1992

KING
Continued from page 1
placed King in the heavyweight
spot, a place where he is much more
comfortable.
Trost has been a significant help
in King's development. In his
seventh season as an assistant, he
has pounded on King for the
duration of practice and has taught
him more than a thing or two. The
former heavyweight champion has
paid close attention to King.
"It has really been helpful to
wrestle against Kirk Trost," King
said. "It is good to have one guy
beat on you everyday. I mean,
(Trost) is an animal."
All of the support of teammates
and coaches does not equal the
amount that King receives from his
father, though. Kevin King has been
there for his son since the beginning.
Kevin King travels to many of
Steve's meets and is Steve's biggest
fan. Steve knows that his father and
mother, Karen, will always be there
for him.
"My family goes to a lot of my
meets," King said. "It is good to
know that they are behind me."
Steve King began wrestling as a
seven year-old in Janesville, Minn.
He heard a neighbor talking about
going to wrestle and decided to tag
along. He really enjoyed himself and
performed well. It wasn't long
before his dad was sending him to
tournaments across the country.
King's background is really in
greco-roman and freestyle wrestling.
These two styles are completely
different from the styles of high
school and college wrestling. In
1990, at the Olympic Festival in
Minneapolis, King took the gold in
both greco-roman and in freestyle.
He repeated that feat in 1991 in Los
Angeles.
His varsity high school career
began in seventh grade. Saint Clair
High was very small, but renowned
for its wrestling teams. At the age of
12, King was wrestling against high
school upperclassmen. In his senior
year, he was a high school all-
American with national and state
championships. He finished as the
Notre Dame and Michigan, King
says, are very different places. Notre
Dame is a lot more conservative
with a much greater stress on
football. Michigan, meanwhile, is
doing more to support minor sports.
Minnesota state-record holder with
119 career pins.

And Notre Dame is minuscule
compare to Michigan's Ann Arbor
campus. King knew or recognized
almost every person that he saw.
This made the transition a little
harder.
"Notre Dame is even smaller
than it seems," King said. " It has
7,000 people and Michigan is much,
much bigger. You know everybody,
now I just know the wrestlers and I
don't feel like starting over."
On football Saturdays, King can
be found wearing either a Michigan
or a Notre Dame t-shirt. Because of
his continuing support of Notre
Dame, his teammates call him"
lucky charm."
And King was one of the few
Michigan students that was happy
I-

King
with the 17-17 tie between the two
schools in football. He was in
attendance Sept. 12 at Notre Dame
and decided to root for his friends on
the Irish squad, but for the Michigan
team as a whole.
"I was driving down there
wondering who to root for," King
said. "I have a lot friends on the
team, like (offensive lineman) Justin
Hall, but I thought I should root for
Michigan. It is kind of funny that it
ended in a tie."
King subscribes to the idea that
Michigan fans are as good as Notre
Dame fans, but they are just not that
loud. However, he believes that
Michigan's athletic program and fan
support is far better overall.
King has a lot to look forward to
in his first season as a Wolverine.
The most immediate will be when
Morgan State, Ferris State and
Lehigh come to Keen Arena on Jan.
9. He is excited about wrestling in
front of the Michigan fans and in a
good meet.
"At Notre Dame it was
frustrating, because we had either
lost or won by the time the match
got to me," King said. "I expect to

be in some really great matches that
I can contribute in. There is a spirit
here. You see your teammate out
there winning and you want to win."
After that King will have the
opportunity to wrestle the best at the
Big Ten championships at Ohio
State next spring. He has already
handily defeated Ray Mendoza from
Ohio State (6-1). King will be
considered one of the favorites in
Columbus, March 6-7.
An individual title and a national
team title are King's ultimate goal.
He really believes that both are
strong possibilities. He sees himself
and his team as top-10 competitors
in the Midwest and on a national
scale.
The distant future could place
King in the 1996 Olympics in
Atlanta. With his past efforts in the
Olympic Festival, King has more
than a legitimate shot of making it.
He plans on wresting in the 220
pound Greco-Roman category.
Greco-Roman is King's strong point
because it stresses upper body
strength. King is weighing in now at
240 so that he can compete with the
275-pound monsters of the Big Ten,
though he says he feels much more
comfortable at a set weight of 220
pounds.
No athlete is immune from
unexpected occurrences. King's
most embarrassing moment came
two years ago at a meet in Syracuse.
He was wrestling one of the nation's
top 190 pounders, Mark Kerr, in a
very important and serious match.
In the middle of the match, King
detected a large amount of laughing
coming from the stands and from the
cheerleaders. It wasn't until they
stopped the match that King realized
that there was a large tear in a very
bad spot in his singlet, the crotch.
As luck would have it, this
particular match was being televised
so King had to change. The official
sent him to the side of the bleachers
were he had to put on a completely
new singlet. Embarrassed, King
finished the match with a
disappointing loss. However, he
showed his willpower a few months
later, with a better singlet, by
defeating the same Syracuse
wrestler.
Steve King is a determined
wrestler with a bright future ahead
of him. The disappointmoint at
Notre Dame is long since gone.
Now, it is time to wrestle for himself
and for the Wolverines.

by Michael Rosenberg
Daily Sports Writer
In most sports, preseason games
are nothing more than hyped-up
practices. The participants don't go
all out, the coaches substitute freely,
and the matchups have little or no
effect on the regular season.
But in college wrestling, presea-
son tournaments are considered an
accurate measure of a team's poten-
tial. Teams that do well in the pre-
season become instant contenders,
and those who fare poorly become
question marks.
That's why Michigan wrestling
coach Dale Bahr is not taking the
Wolverines' eighth-place finish in
this weekend's Las Vegas Classic
lightly.
"It gives us a chance to regroup
and evaluate what we have to do in
the second season. We have to get
together and fix it together," Bahr
said.
Michigan totaled 50 points in the
meet, 49 behind champion Arizona
State. Nebraska finished second and
Iowa State placed third. Ohio State
(10th) and Michigan State (13th)
were the only other Big Ten teams
entered in the tournament. The
Buckeyes' result is misleading be-
cause two of their all-Americans,
Ray Mendoza and Kevin Randle-
man, did not wrestle in Las Vegas.
The Wolverines had no individ-
ual champions in the tournament.

Sean Bormet's second-place show-
ing in the 158-pound class was the
highest by any Wolverine grappler.
Bormet, the second seed, faced top-
seeded Matt Lindland of Nebraska
in the final. Bormet was defeated, 3-
1. Bormet improved upon a third-
place finish in Las Vegas a year ago.
Heavyweight Steve King, com-
pleting his first Michigan preseason
since transferring from Notre Dame,
finished fifth, second highest on the
team. King, the third seed, is re-
garded as an all-American candidate.
"We didn't have the type of per-
formance we expected. I think we
came out and had a couple of guys
not performing up to their ability
and I think that affected the rest of
the team," Bahr said.
All-American Lanny Green fin-
ished eighth. Fifth-seeded Serge
Mezherisky of Fresno State defeated
Green by a score of 6-5. Green, the
fourth seed, wrestled at 177 pounds,
the weight at which he had wrestled
his first three years at Michigan.
Green had dropped down to 167 for
the two previous tournaments the
Wolverines were entered in, but he
switched back after disappointing
performances.
The Classic's team title came
down to the final match of the tour-
nament. The heavyweight champi-
onship featured Todd Kinney of
Iowa State vs. Rulon Gardner of
Nebraska. Iowa State could have

captured the title with a Kinney win.
If Gardner had won by a fall, then
Nebraska would have won the
championship. In the end, Gardner
won, but not by a fall, so Arizona
State won the title.
"The tournament on the whole
was what I expected. It was an
NCAA-type tournament. Besides
Iowa and Penn State, the next five
teams in the country were there,"
Bahr said.
Iowa and Penn State are expected
to battle for the Big Ten title with
Ohio State. Penn State visits Ann
Arbor Jan. 16th.
The Las Vegas Classic was the
first tournament which tallied team
points. The Ohio Open and the
Northern Open (held in Madison)
were each individual tournaments.
The Wolverines fared better individ-
ually in each of those tournaments.
Michigan's fortunes have worsened
as the preseason has progressed.
"We had a great tournament in
Ohio and a pretty good tournament
in Wisconsin, but for some reason
the kids were down here," Bahr said.
Despite the disappointing presea-
son, the Wolverines are ranked 11th
in the country by the Amateur
Wrestling News. They start the
regular season Jan. 9 with home
matches against Ferris State,
Morgan State and Lehigh.

MICHELLE GUY/Daily
Michigan wrestler James Rawls captured seventh place at 142 pounds in the Las Vegas Classic this weekend.
Wrestlers wrap up preseason
'M'finishes eighth at Las Vegas Classic infinal exhibition

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