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January 24, 1994 - Image 15

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-01-24

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The Michigan Daily - SPORTSMonday - Monday, January 24, 1994 - 7

Men's gymnastics dominates Western

In preparation for its upcoming
meet at Illinois, the Michigan men's
gymnastics team fine-tuned its skills
and dominated every event in beating
Western Michigan, 279.95-261.20.
"Our goal for this meet was to get
a high 270 score," sophomore Bob
Young said. "We met our goal, and
didn't miss on many routines."
"(Our performance) surprised
me," Michigan coach Bob Darden
said. "We performed a lot better than
I anticipated. We came off a real tough
competition at the Windy City Invita-
"The intensity of routines was
down a little bit (at practice)," Darden
added. "But it didn't seem to suffer
here. Our hit consistency was way up,
and we only missed about eight rou-
tines, which translates into a much
higher score."~
Michigan was paced yet again by

Young, who won the all-around com-
petition with a score of 55.90.
The Wolverines, who had the indi-
vidual winner in every event, started
off winning the floor exercise, 47.25-
43.40. The squad continued to show its
superiority, taking pommel horse 46.80-
42.35, as it built an early 8.3 point lead.
The Michigan team's effort was
brilliant, as it netted the second-high-
est team score in the nation so far this
Coming into the meet, Michigan
figured to win by a large margin. Due
to this, the squad planned on trying
some new things, which included uti-
lizing its deep roster.
"We really retooled our lineup to
give some individuals opportunities
to compete and some individuals a
chance to rest some minor aches and
pains," Darden said. "The strength of
our program is the depth, and you
could see that tonight."
One gymnast who returned to the

lineup was senior Royce Toni, who
had been sidelined with back injuries
for the past couple of years.
"(His return) was incredible," se-
nior co-captain Seth Rubin said. "On.
parallel bars he was beautiful. He
really picked us up. Just to have him
out here after working so hard to
come back is amazing."
"We had a great crowd tonight,"
Rubin added. "They were loud and
were into (the meet) almost as much,
as we were."
Western Michigan was led by
Brian Franson and John Hamilton,
who took second and third in the all-
around with scores of 55.30 and 53.25,
Although the meet was far from
close, Broncos' coach Fred Orlofsky,
liked what he saw from his team.
"I was pretty pleased with what we
did," Orlofsky said. "As much as what,
I saw of Michigan, they've got a really
great team."

Sophomore Bob Young paced the Wolverines in their meet against Western Michigan this last weekend. Young, here
on the parallel bars, took the all-around title with a score of 55.9.

Track continues early season success{
Gardner,, Sullivan pace men's squad in victory over Lions, Spartans

men's track coach Jack Harvey has a
theory about the correlation of the
oscountry and track seasons.
He elivesthat the kind of year
the cross country team has, in the fall
is a direct indication of how success-
ful the track teams will be in the
winter and spring.
After Saturday's performance at
East Lansing, Harvey's theory may
begin to have a few, more supporters.
Following a Big Ten cross country
C hmpionship this fall, the Wolverines
ned the indoor track campaign with
a victory over Michigan State and Penn
State at their first scoring meet of the
The Wolverines won six out of 10
running events and three out of the five
field events, giving them a team score
of 73. The Nittany Lions finished sec-
ond (51) and Spartans third (35).
"We ran really well," Harvey said.
j~ was' expecting as many first-place
' 'fnishes. We competed really well."
Even though the Wolverines have
just started their indoor season, Harvey
says that with their added experience
as a team, the outlook is good.
"We're a heck of a lot better than
last year - we were real young," he
said. "We've got a real good fresh-
man class with (Neil) Gardner and
~Kevin) Sullivan. With the added ex-
rience of last year's freshmen, we're
a much better team"~
Gardner and Sullivan have already
contributed a great deal. Gardner coy-
Continued from page 1.
0 "He's a very mature, very cool
dude," setter Stan Lee said. "In times of
trouble, he keeps everyone sane. He's a
quiet leader, the type of guy who leads
by example. Though he may not know
it, he has the full respect of the team."
"Bill's a very positive person," out-
side hitter Justin MacLaurin said. "He
never goes into the tank. If his game
isn't going well, he'll get frustrated,
;giut he' 11 never get down on himself and
q'le'll be ready for the next play.
Seeley said his serious image is
"It's funny how the people I've met
here see me," he said. "I guess I'm
more mature for my age - I've been
through a lot. But people who know me
well actually thinkl'mkind of ... goofy.
"They probably would describe me
as very lighthearted with a serious
etreak. Whereas everyone I've met here
thinks I'm just serious and every once
in a while, you'll see the goofy Bill.
Off the court, Seeley enjoys wilder-
ness camping and playing the piano.
"I love being outside in the moun-
tains," he said. "Hiking, camping, riding
my mountain bike. I've spent some time
just out in the wilderness, in the middle of
nowhere, just living. It's nice to get away
sfrom all the seriousness of life.
~"Music is probably just as impor-
tant to me as athletics," he added. "I
taught myself to play the piano during
college. I've never had any formal les-
sons and my repertoire is limited, but
the instrument is a great source of so-
lace for me."

ered the 55-meter high hurdles in 7.46
seconds and leapt 22'8" in the long
jump - 1'7" farther than the closest
finisher - to win both events.
Gardner also tried the triple jump
for the first time, coming in second
with a jump of 48'l ".
"It wasn't one of my best perfor-
mances, but compared to my competi-
tion, I guess it was all right," Gardner
He added that the caliber of the
opposition in his first scoring colle-
giate meet didn't affect his perfor-
"It was just like any other meet.
That's how I took it; just go out there

and try to beat people," he said. "It was
kind of cool though, because it was
more intense."~
Sullivan, who first showed his
ability during the cross country sea-
son, had an impressive performance
The freshman won the 800-meter
run with a time of 1:50.98 which quali-
fies him provisionally for the NCAA
He also anchored the distance
medley relay, running a 4:05 mile to
overcome a half-lap deficit and help
the Wolverines to a victory in that
event. His time would have been good
enough to qualify him for NCAAs if

it hadn't been in a relay.
"Overall, I think (my performance)
shows I have a lot of strength right
now," Sullivan said.
"I'm right where I want to be now
and I think in the next couple of weeks
I should make automatic standard (for
NCAA qualification) in the mile."
With its first victory under its belt,
Michigan is now looking down the
road to the rest of the season. Harvey
says they still have things to work on,
namely conditioning.
"We're not in bad shape for this
time of year," Harvey said. "We're
going to have to have improvement to
be any kind of a factor in the Big Ten."

Women head of the class at Red Simmons Invite

The goal for the Michigan women's
track and field team has been to im-
prove with each meet. When the Wol-
verines hosted the Red Simmons Invi-
tational Saturday, they met their goal,
with several athletes coming away with
near personal bests.
Among Michigan's competitors at
the non-scored Invitational were Bowl-
ing Green, Central Michigan and East-
ern Michigan.
Shot putter Rhonda Meyers won
her event with a mark of 45' 11 1/2".
Finishing second was teammate Jeyna
Greiner at 45' 7 1/2".
Michigan coach James Henry said
he was the, most impressed with the
shot putters' performances.
"They set the tone for our team at
this meet," he said.

In the sprinting events, Tearza
Johnson broke her own school record
in the 200-meter dash.-with a time of
:24.8 1 .Richelle Webb won a very close
race in the 400.
The distance runners were perhaps
the most impressive in the meet. Molly
Lori dominated the 5000 as she fin-
ished with a time of 17:24.2.
Cross country All-American
Courtney Babcock set both an Invita-
tional and a Michigan indoor record in
the mile with a time of 4:39.1.
Babcock said she felt really good
and that her performance was a "good
confidence builder."
Senior Molly McClimon, a two-
time 1993 track All-American, also set
a meet record with a time of 9:19.48
seconds in the 3000. In doing so,
McClimon qualified for the NCAA
championships in that event.

Henry said Babcock and
McClimon' s performances were "phe-
nomenal" considering the lack of com-
petition to push them. Even still, he
was not surprised with their efforts.
"The distance always come
through," Harvey said..
Bowling Green's Jane Moller took
both the triple jump and long jump.
However, the Wolverines had the up-
per hand in the high jump.
Monica Black captured the event
over teammate Lynda Stuck. Both had
jumps of 5'" despite adverse condi-
tions. Black took the crown by virtue of
achieving the height in fewer attempts.
"The high jump team was a little
tight and tired," Black said.
The Wolverines continue their in-
door season next weekend as they com-
pete in the Eastern Michigan Triangu-
lar in Ypsilanti.

Michigan's Kevin Sullivan prepares to take the baton during this weekend's
competition against Penn State and Michigan State.

pretty even keel. On the court, in tense
situations, my control is by design.
It's almost hard to believe that this
quiet, refined person is one of
Michigan's most threatening "killer"
sensations. However, Seeley isn't pre-
occupied with instilling fear in the op-
position as a powerful outside hitter.
'To be honest, when I walk onto the
court, hitting is my third or fourth con-
cern," he said. "Some players' primary
role is to block and hit. Forme, it's passing,
defense, then being a steady hitter.
"There are plenty of guys out there
that can swing away and bomb balls.
I've seen teams that play to impress the
crowd. But when you're concerned
with how high you can bounce the ball,
other things fall by the wayside."
And Seeley has done just that. After
struggling through the preseason, he
took the forefront in Michigan's home

opener against Purdue, totaling 18 kills
and 23 digs in the match. He's expected
to continue leading the Wolverine of-
fense on the strong side.
Coincidentally, Seeley's resurgence
occurred after buying a new pai of
Mizuno Street Volleys.
"It had to be the shoes," he said,
reflecting on his shaky preseason per-
formance. "My preseason game was
quite an enigma. The biggest roller
coaster was my offensive game. It was
just lacking for a while.
"A little part of that may have been
the adjustment I had to make coming
from Brown, where I'd get 75 to 80
percent of the sets. At Michigan, where
we have a lot of talent and a wider
offense, I was seeing 10 to 15 percent
of the sets. It just took time to get into
a normal rhythm."
Seeley's collegiate volleyball ca-

reer actually began on the West Coast,
where he attended Berkeley his fresh-
man and sophomore years. In the midst
of some of the best volleyball in the
country, Seeley developed hi s individual
skills and earned a spot on Cal's 1991
National Club Championship team.
However, Seeley admitted his mini-
mal contribution to the team.
"I hardly played," he stated frankly.
"There were a lot of experienced up-
perclassmen on the squad, and the com-
petition there was incredible."
His junior year, Seeley transferred
to Brown and found a volleyball club
on the opposite end of the spectrum.
"The program was in trouble," he
remembered. "The team didn't have a
coach. They didn't go to nationals. It
was morejust for fun, that type of club ."
Seeley's leadership skills began to
emerge as he tried to establish a more
competitive program at Brown where
he earned All-Ivy honors.
"It was a frustrating couple of
years," he said. "Though the league
included three varsity programs, the
level of competition wasn't very high."
Seeley reflected on his growth from a
fledgling rookie to a volleyball veteran.
"At Berkeley, I was a young talent
with no refinement. I didn't know what
I was doing," he chuckled. "At Brown,
I was probably the best player on a
losing team, and I felt like I was bang-
ing my head against the wall. AtMichi-
gan, we have the chance to be a win-
ning team ... I have the chance to help
a winning team."~
Finishing his collegiate career as an
integral part of Michigan's squad, Seeley
is content with the role he is playing.
"I feel very comfortable playing
here," he said. "There's a fit between
what I want out of volleyball and what

Continued from page 3
the NCAA Finals only three years
ago and are head and shoulders above
the other seven Big Ten schools with
varsity women's soccer programs.
As the Big Ten begins its inaugural
season of women's soccer in the fall of
1994, the Wolverines can only hope
that solid preparation and a consistent
committment will make up for any lack
of experience. Belkin has already be-
gun to set the tone for her team.
"I met with (the club members) the
other day and we're going to start train-
ing on Tuesday and we'll train all spring.
It kind of gives them an advantage,
because they get to work with me, and I
get to learn their talent and what poten-
tial they have before the freshman class
gets in. I know there are players there

that can help out.
And recruiting is also well under-
way. Belkin says that the next few '
weeks will be critical in terms of
drawing top players to Michigan.
Belkin is more than optimistic
about the future of the Michigan
women's soccer program.
"I think it is going to take a lot of
hard work and recruiting to compete x
against the other schools," Belkin said.
"I just think Michigan has this kind of
tradition with it athletics and academ-
ics that it is going to be a place where
people look at first.
"I am hoping that there's a Big
Ten Championship in there within
five years."~
If her track record is any indicator;
however, there may very well be another
combination worth remembering.
Michigan women's soccer and

FE. q 11

Tile Office of Lccwderic~ulticulturcal
9nitiatives is now taiking applicaitions for
positions for the Kin glcklavezlparks
C'ollege Dayi Spring Visitation Program
Aplicatin dealine is Ir 2,94
Student leaders accompany visiting middle school
students throughout the day serving as guides
and role models while providing information about
the college experience. Student leaders usually
work in teams of three. They should be fairly out-
going individuals and have a keen interest in and
committment to helping students underrepresen ted

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