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April 19, 1994 - Image 20

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The Michigan Daily, 1994-04-19

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20 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, April 19, 1994

Blue pair bids for NCAA crowns

By JOSH KARP
DAILY SPORTS WRITER
Raul Molina and Rich Dopp will
experience a bit of deja vu this week-
end.
The two head to the NCAA Cham-
pionship in Lincoln, Neb. to compete
individually. Molina, who qualified
on floor exercise last year, returns
with hopes of moving on to the finals
in the event. Dopp returns to the hori-
zontal bar with the same goal.
"We want to really end the season
with two individuals in the finals,"
Michigan coach Bob Darden said.
"That would continue the success of
the team."
The No. 7 Michigan men's gym-
nastics team achieved plenty this sea-
son. Strong victories over Big Ten
foes Minnesota and Penn State were
just some of the accomplishments that

the team enjoyed. And although the
team fell short of the championship,
Molina's and Dopp's advancement
more than makes up for it.
"This is the culmination of their
season," Darden said. "We've set a
lot of goals, and we've had a very
strong season."
Besides the six competitors from
each team that will be at the meet, the
top three all-arounders and top-three
individuals from regionals also qualify
for each event. From the 48 gymnasts
who compete in each event, the eight
best move on to finals.
Molina will be joined on floor
exercise by all-arounders Danny
Akerman (Temple), Jim Foody
(UCLA), Goncalo Macedo (Illinois),
Steve Marshall (Army),Steve McCain
(UCLA) and Plaz Puljik (New
Mexico). James Lewis (Army), Spen-
cer Slaton (UCLA), Greg Umphrey
(UCLA), Shannon Walker (Illinois-
Chicago) and Trent Wells (Califor-
nia) all advanced in the event indi-
vidually.
"Raul just has to get a clean set to
get to finals," Darden said. "He's been
really focused on eliminating any
small errors that he might have had

during the normal season on his rou-t
tine."
Akerman, Foody, Macedo,
Marshall, McCain, Puljik as well as
individual qualifiers Brian Ottenhoff
(Minnesota), Greg McGlaun (Illi-
nois), Mike Cline (Air Force), An-
drew Mason (California) and Ritchie
Ellis (Brigham Young) join Dopp on
the horizontal bar.
For the two Wolverine gymnasts
to do well, Darden says its all in their
heads.
"It's just being mentally on top of
their routine," he said. "Just to make
sure that once they get started on the.
routine, they know every moment
they're going to make and have that
locked in."
Molina says that he's confident he
can give his best performance. And as
long as he gives it his all, Molina
doesn't mind if he misses advancing
to the floor exercise finals.
"I think the only downer that I
could possibly experience would be
not performing up to my expecta-
tions," Molina said. "If I don't hit my
routines, then I might be a little upset.
But really, I have nothing to be upset
about."

Rich Dopp will perform on the horizontal bar at the NCAA Championships in Lincoln, Neb., this weekend.

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