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March 04, 1993 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1993-03-04

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Page 8-The Michigan Daily- Thursday, March 4, 1993

Michigan's 134-pounder, Mike Mihalic, wrestles against Minnesota earlier this season. Mihalic and the rest of the
eighth-ranked Wolverines travel to Columbus for the Big Ten championships this weekend.

by Michael Rosenberg
Daily Sports Writer
Michigan's Jehad Hamdan (190 lbs.), whose sea-
son was cut short on Feb. 14 when he suffered a knee
injury against Minnesota, is recovering well from recent
knee surgery.
"I am rehabbing now," Hamdan said. "I still can't
walk on it but I can put a little pressure on it. I should
be ready to wrestle by August.
"In a way, I'm glad it wasn't that bad - that I didn't
have any ligament damage. They just cleaned out the
Replacing Hamdan in the lineup will be redshirt
freshman Kyle Steinacker. Steinacker's lack of experi-
ence may be a hindrance for Michigan coach Dale
Bahr's squad.
"Steinacker really isn't ready for this kind of
wrestling," Bahr said. "He's going to have a rough
Hamdan said he does not anticipate any continuing
knee problems next season. Hamdan's roommate, Sean
Bormet (158), had a similar operation last season and
has not experienced any pain this year.
I'M BETTER THAN YOU: No seedings have been
set yet for this weekend's Big Ten wrestling champi-
onships. The conference's 11 coaches will meet tonight
and decide the rankings.
"We sit down and argue and hash and fight and claw
and figure out who is going to be seeded," Bahr said.
There are five seeds for each weight class. The
coaches submit their own choices for the seedings, and
the results are then tallied.
YOUR MOM: One of the most interesting battles for a
number one seed should take place at 158 lbs., where
Minnesota's Mike Marzetta, Bormet and Ohio State's
Mike Schyck are the top contenders. This season,
Marzetta hammered Bormet, 7-1, while Bormet de-
feated Schyck twice and Schyck beat Marzetta.

Hamdan rehab
proceeding well.
"You could make an argument for any of them,"
Bahr said.
Ohio State coach Russ Hellickson agreed.
"Those three guys are real close," he said. "(Penn
State's Josh) Robbins is good, too, but I think it will
come down to those three guys for the number one
Bormet is not overly optimistic.
"I think I'll be number two, behind Marzetta," he
said. "I'm not too worried about it. We have NCAAs
coming up in two weeks. NCAAs are more important
than Big Tens."
The Wolverines are ranked eighth in the latest Amateur
Wrestling News poll. Five other Big Ten teams are
ranked - Penn State (No. 1), Iowa (No. 3), Ohio State
(No. 6), Minnesota (No. 7) and Wisconsin (No. 10).
Michigan was ranked fifth in the previous poll but
dropped after suffering defeats at the hands of Ohio
State and Minnesota.
OUTTA HERE: This will be the last Big Ten cham-
pionships for Michigan seniors James Rawls, Jason
Cluff and Lanny Green.
"I'm not too nervous about it being my last (Big
Tens)," Cluff said. "I'm just approaching it like any
other tournament."
Bahr said he expects all three wrestlers to qualify for
the NCAA tournament.
PLAYING FAVORITES: Iowa has won nineteen
straight Big Ten titles, but Penn State may be the fa-
vorite to win this year. The Nittany Lions are ranked
No. 1 in the country. Still, Bahr thinks Iowa coach Dan
Gable's troops will pull through and capture number
"Gable is the best coach in the history of the sport,"
Bahr said. "His kids always step up at Big Tens. I think
he'll find a way to win."
Iowa and Penn State tied earlier this season.

Men tumblers strive for stronig finish

UMA4 " BillI

by Scott Burton
Daily Sports Writer
Although the Michigan men's
gymnastics team has been in compe-
tition for over two months, the most
important chapter of the 1993 season
will be written in the next three
Only six teams east of the
Mississippi can qualify for the
NCAA Eastern Regionals, and bids
are handed out to the teams with the
highest average team scores, com-
piled from the top three scores dur-
ing- the season. As it stands right
now, the Wolverines' top three
scores on the season average to a
270.9, well short of the 275 average
that will probably be needed to
Fortunately for the Wolverines,
the squad still has three meets left on
the season to improve its team aver-
age. The first of these is against
Michigan State Sunday, followed by
the Michigan Invitational and the
Big Ten Championships.
"Our season starts Sunday," ju-
nior Royce Toni said. "Our backs
are against the wall and there is a lot
pressure on us. Right now, we don't
have the scores, but we are counting
on the next three meets to save us."
Although the Wolverines have
fallen short when competing with
the top teams in the nation this year,
Michigan coach Bob Darden has no

doubts that they can be one of the
top teams in the region. And no time
is better to prove this than the next
three weeks.
"We're ready. We have both
guns loaded," Darden said. "I'm
confident that we're heading for the
regionals. The team better be. If they
aren't they're going to be hurting the
next few weeks.
"Me and (assistant coach) Mike
Milidonis are really going to push
the team's confidence to a higher
level and the team's attitude to a
higher level," Darden added.
Apparently, Darden's attitude has
rubbed off on the team.
"I think the confidence level is
rising because the guys who have
been competing all year have been
getting a lot stronger," Toni said. "I
think if everyone stays healthy and
we get some key performances, we
can be 275-plus in all three meets.
And I think everyone believes that."
BACK IN ACTION: Michigan's
push for qualifying for the regionals
will be significantly aided by the re-
turn of sophomore Brian Winkler,
junior Jorge Camacho and Toni.
The three Wolverine gymnasts
have been out for most of the year
and their spots in the competitive ro-
tation had been filled by less-experi-
enced gymnasts. They are all ex-
pected to compete Sunday against
Michigan State and should give the

Wolverines an instant boost.
"These are three really big scor-
ing potentials for us in any number
of events," Darden said. "These guys
by themselves can probably impact
our team score by five points."
Winkler, one of the top gymnasts
in the nation last year, will join the
pommel horse team - a weak event
for the Wolverines - and give it a
much-needed spark. In addition, he
and Toni are expected to compete in
the high bar, parallel bars and still
rings. Camacho will immediately be
inserted into the floor exercise and
the vault teams.
Because only six gymnasts actu- 0
ally compete in each of the events
during a meet, the return of Winkler,
Toni and Camacho will bump others
out of the lineup. While this could be
a cause for conflict on the team, no
one has lost touch with keeping the
team ahead of the individual.
"Our return is not going to cause
any conflict at all," Toni said.
"Everyone has to take the same atti
tude that 'OK, we need our best six
guys out on each event no matter
who they are, no matter if they're a
junior, sophomore or freshman."
"We're all a team and we want to
do the best we can," freshman Chris
Onuska said. "No matter if you're
an upperclassman or freshman, we
want the best guy in any position."



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