The Michigan Daily - Sports Monday - March 22, 1993 - Page 7
defend Big Ten crown
It's all in the horse for
men tumblers' success
by Thom Holden
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan women's gymnas-
tics team hosted the Big Ten cham-
pionships and the Wolverines were
not a particularly gracious host as
every other Big Ten team went
home dreaming of next year.
Nearly 3,000 partisan Crisler
Arena fans cheered and sang "The
Victors" as the Wolverines posted a
around title, competing as the final
gymnast on the final event: the
"I've been having nightmares
about that for two weeks," Wymer
said jokingly. "I was going to be the
last one on beam and I knew I was
really going to have to stick my
event. I didn't think about much and
I knew I just had to hit my set, and
so I knew no matter what happened,
I was going to be on."
Her confidence and steely nerves
came through, as Wymer nailed a
9.90 on the beam, sealing the con-
ference championship for the Wol-
verines and herself.
But the Michigan victory was not
all Wymer's doing. Sophomore Li
Li Leung had three very strong
performances - scoring a 9.70 or
better on all - while being the lead-
off performer in each of those events
for the Wolverines.
"That's a very key role taking the
lead-off position," Michigan coach
Bev Plocki said. "We have to put
our most consistent performer there,
who is going to start us of great and
get our enthusiasm going. She plays
a very key role."
"At first I didn't really like it,
but as the season has gone along and
I've seen how important the position
is, I've gotten really comfortable
with it," Leung said. "I love it."
Other top performers for the
Wolverines were freshman Wendy
by Scott Burton
Daily Sports Writer
After finishing the high bar - its
first event - at the Big Ten
Championships, it looked like the
Michigan's men's gymnastics was
having one of those days: inconsis-
tent performances, missed routines,
an underachieving score.
However, thanks to a standout
performance on pommel horse to get
them back on track, followed by a
solid performance the rest of the
way, the Wolverines were able to
regroup and had one of their best
competitions of the year.
Michigan finished fifth in the
championships with a score of
275.05. Ohio State won with a.
283.825, followed by Minnesota
(282.15) Michigan State (276.55),
Illinois (275.75), Michigan, 'Penn
State (275.025) and Iowa (274.45).
"We're really happy with the way
it ended up," Seth Rubin said. "We
started off rough on high bars, but
we pulled together well."
It was noteworthy that pommel
horse was the event to carry the
Wolverines. After struggling on high
bar to begin the meet, and perform-
ing solid, but not spectacular, on the
floor exercise, Michigan's fortunes
fell upon an event that had been a
sore-spot all year. Yet, thanks to a
week of practice dedicated to im-
proving the horse in time for the Big
Tens, the event participants sparkled
for the Wolverines.
"We grouped together after floor
and we decided we couldn't miss
again," Rubin said. "We got up and
went six-for-six on horse, which is
the first time that's happened since
I've been at Michigan. So it was fan-
tastic and we were really excited af-
"We stayed tough mentally and
kept our heads in the game," Rich
Dopp said. "We just went at it, no
holding back and came away
The season-high score on horse
could not be attributed to one or two
outstanding performances, but rather
to a solid all-around team effort.
Aiding the team's effort on the event
was the return of Rubin, who had sat
out most of the year with injuries.
"We had confidence in him after
his exhibition performance at the
Michigan Invitational (two weeks
ago)," Wolverine coach Bob Dardon
said. "He did equally as well and
was very sharp."
The Wolverines' impressive
score could have been even higher
had it not been for what the team
thought was unfair judging.
"We thought we got tough scores
all over," Rubin said. "We know we
were going to get screwed by the
judges - we just have to hit our sets
and we'll do the best we can do at
Junior Wendy Wilkinson competes on the uneven bars during the Big Ten
Championsips, which were held at Crisler Arena on Saturday.
192.925 to successfully defend their
Big Ten title Saturday.
Many of the usual big names
stepped up for the Wolverines, as
well as some not so well known.
Sophomore All-American Beth
Wymer defended her Big Ten all-
Marshall, who placed fifth overall
on the vault (her top event) with a
9.75, 10th on the uneven bars with a
9.70 and sixth on the all-around,
notching a 37.85.
Rookie Tina Miranda placed
third overall on the uneven bars with
a 9.80 and senior tri-captain Ali
Winski placed fourth on the floor
exercise, the top finish for Michigan.
Even with several fine perfor-
mances turned in by many of Michi-
gan's gymnasts, Plocki said there, is
room for improvement.
"We were almost a 193 today and
we counted about two points' worth
(of) falls, which means we weren't
at our best, but the important thing
was they (Michigan) hung with it
and fought back for every point."
Plocki said. "We're going to need a
better performance if we're going to
win at the regionals and even better
at the nationals."
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