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February 03, 1994 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-02-03

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8 - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, February 3, 1994


Track teams look to qualify for NCAAs
Split men's squad heads to South Bend, East Lansing for weekend competitions

Kevin Sullivan finishes the last leg of the world record medley relay last
weekend. Wolverine runners are hoping to qualify for NCAAs this weekend.
Skers hit the slopes
in northern Michigan

For the first, and perhaps only, time
in the 1994 men's track and field in-
door season, the Wolverines' coaching
corps will be at two different meets on
the same day.
Michigan assistant coach Ron
Warhurst will accompany nine ath-
letes to the Meyo Invitational at Notre
Simultaneously, head coach Jack
Harvey will lead an entourage of 19 to
the Spartan Relays at Michigan State.
The 28 athletes are competing forquali-
fication for the NCAA Championships
to be held during the second week of
Two hopefuls for the national com-
petition, freshman Kevin Sullivan and
sophomore Scott MacDonald, will be
competing in the mile at Notre Dame.
Both are positive that they will make a
good showing.
"There's a larger track, so it's a lot
easier to run on," Sullivan said.
It's doubtful that any size track
wouldhbe a problem for Sullivan, who
won the 800-meter run in 1:50.98 at
East Lansing two weeks ago. This time
made him a provisional qualifier for
the NCAA meet.
He also anchored the first place
distance medley relay team, running a
time which would have qualified him
for the NCAAs if it had been in an
individual race.
MacDonald, while also shooting
for a spot in the NCAA meet, has high
personal aspirations.
"I'd like to break four minutes," the
native of Canada said.
Also receiving a great deal of atten-
tion is sophomore Jon Royce, a provi-
sional qualifier for the NCAA champi-
onship meet.
Royce is one of two high jump-
ers traveling to Notre Dame (the

other is junior Ben Ludka). He be-
came a provisional qualifier in the
event by jumping 7'2" at Eastern
Michigan in January.
For Royce to become an automatic
qualifier for the NCAA, he must jump
a height of 7'4", which he has been
unable to clear to date. However, Royce
is confident that he will make it.
"I'm good," Royce said. "I should
be better. I've improved enough to be
Harvey says that a jump in the high
7'3"range will very likely enable Royce

to qualify as well.
Freshman Neil Gardner will also be
making waves on behalf ofthe Wolver-
ines, only he will be doing so in East
Gardner has been an integral part in
the team's improvement. In his first
appearance at Michigan State, he won
both the 55-meter high hurdles and the
long jump. He will be competing in
those two events this weekend.
Gardner injured his hamstring three
weeks ago and pulled a groin muscle
last week, said his biggest fear is that he

Women strive to achieve championship form at Meyo Invite.

As the cold Michigan winter drags
on, the Michigan men's and women's
iki teams continue to heat up the slopes.
The men's team has won every
meet it has entered and the women's
.eam has lost only one. This weekend,
the Wolverines are focusing their at-
tention on the Midwest Collegiate Di-
vision meet of the United States Colle-
giate Ski Association.
The competition, which only in-
:ludes the giant slalom, will be held at
:he Sugarloaf and Caberfae Ski Re-
;orts in northern Michigan Saturday
and Sunday, respectively.
Michigan will compete against a
field that includes Michigan State,
,Northern Michigan, Ferris State and
central Michigan.
On the men's side of the slopes, the
Wolverines are led by Bing Brown and
lim Schaefer, who have both domi-
nated their respective events, the sla-
orm and giant slalom. The duo has
yarned the top medalist position in ev-
ary one of Michigan's victories.

"We've had a good team nucleus,
and with some added transfer students,
we've really developed some depth,"
Brown said.
With most racers having competed
in national competitions and with U.S.
developmental ski squads, the men's
team looks forward to more success in
the near future.
"We'rereally dominating right now,
and we've got the potential to go a long
way," Schaefer said.
On the women's side of the moun-
tain, the Wolverines should face stron-
ger competition, especially from rival
Michigan State.
"I expect us to win barring any falls
or last minute surprises," sophomore
Jen Shorter said.
Women's team captain Amy
Portenga is enthusiastic about this year's
squad, and said she expects that the
type of courses the team will face this
weekend will be beneficial to the team.
"The longer hills (especially at
Caberfae) will help us with our times
and (our) performances should be a lot
better," Portenga said.

All season long the Michigan
women's track and field team has
strived for improvement.
Now that the Big Ten champion-
ship meet is only three weeks away,
and the competition is intensifying, the
Wolverines are pushing to reach prime
Saturday, the team will get an op-
portunity to show just how far it has
come as it faces Big Ten foes Purdue
and Iowa, in addition to host Notre
Dame, at the Meyo Invitational in South
Bend, Ind.
The invitational will also give
Michigan a chance to see what type of
effect its recent, more focused prac-
tices are having.
"We're just getting off our strength
and endurance base and getting more
into speed," Michigan coach James
Henry said. "There has been more in-
tensity lately."
One goal that the Wolverines have
for this meet is for some of its runners
to achieve automatic qualifying times
for the NCAA Championships. The
distance medley team of Kristine
Westerby, Richelle Webb, Jessica
Kluge and Karen Harvey are deter-

won't be able to perform to the best of
his abilities due to injury. Despite his
trepidation, Gardnerremains a favorite
in his events.
Harvey has no qualms in splitting
the team this one time.
"Neither of the meets are timed. If
they were, we probably wouldn't do
this," Harvey said. "I'm looking for
(overall) improvements in perfor-
However, Harvey expects to return
to Ann Arbor hailing the coming of a
myriad of NCAA meet qualifiers.

mined to reach the standard.
"They (the distance medley relay
team) need an outstanding perfor-
mance," Henry said. "Westerby and
Kluge will step things up this week-
Also striving for automatic quali-
'We're just getting off
our strength and
endurance base and
getting more into
speed. There has been
more intensity lately.'
James Henry
Track coach
fying times will be Molly McClimon
and Courtney Babcock. McClimon,
who has already qualified in the
3000 meters, will be running the
5000 meters. Babcock, who won
the 3000 meters last week at Eastern
Michigan, will be running the same
event in South Bend.
Another athlete who is coming off
of a strong meet is Laura Jerman.
Jerman, who usually competes in the

pentathlon, won the 55-meter hurdles
last week in impressive fashion.
Saturday, Jerman will be running.
the hurdles and mile relay for the Wol-
verines. She could have her hands full
as Notre Dame brings a strong hurdling,
corps to the meet. One runner who
could present problems is Erica,
Peterson, who finished second at the,
World Junior Championships in the*
400-meter hurdles.
Michigan's sprinters look strong
heading into this meet. Last week, the
team received what Henry called an
"outstanding performance by Tearza
Johnson." Johnson won both the 55-
and 200-meter dashes by comfortable
margins at Eastern Michigan.
Webb, who finished second last
week in the400meters, will berunning
the 55meters in addition to the distance
In the shot put, both Rhonda Meyers
and Jayne Greiner are looking to place
as high as last week. At EMU, Meyers
finished first and Greiner third.
"We still need to continue to step it
up," Henry said. "Out of that will come
new NCAA qualifying times."
"Michigan could present a problem
for everyone in the meet," said Notre@
Dame coach Joe Piane.

'M' volleyball hosts Collegiate Classic at CCRB

Michigan fans will get a chance to
see some of the top volleyball teams in
the midwest this Saturday when the
men's volleyball team hosts the Colle-
giate Classic Tournament at the Cen-
tral Campus Recreation Building
(CCRB). Play begins at 9 a.m. on Sat-
urday and will continue throughout the
Thirty teams from around the coun-
try will participate in the tournament,
including powerhouses Graceland-a
small college in Iowa - Iowa State,
and Illinois State as well as all Big Ten
teams except for Minnesota and Pur-
"This is probably one of the most
elite tournaments in the country be-
sides the Midwest Championships,"

Michigan coach Pam Griffin said.
"Twenty-four teams were originally
invited, and the rest of the spots have
been filled since Christmas Break."
The tournament will bedivided into
six pools of five teams with the top two
teams from each pool advancing into
the quarterfinals. Michigan is seeded
second in their pool behind Graceland.
Despitehavinga 1-3 BigTen record,
team members feel optimistic heading
into Saturday.
"We'vealways played very well in
tournaments," junior setter Stan Lee
said. "I think it's because we know
we're supposed to play well."
Senior outside hitter Bill Seeley
agreed with his teammate.
"In a tournament setting, we get to
see a number of different opponents
which gives us a chance to work on our

unity of focus," Seeley said. "Playing a
lot of matches helps us to focus on one
common goal."
Focusing on one common goal has
been a problem for the Wolverines
throughout this season. It began with
three losses including a blow-out at the

been here," Griffin said., "I think that
we are focusing on the right things
The Wolverines will be relying on
a talented line-up which has included*
some surprises. Griffin pointed to the
performance of senior outside hitter

'This is probably one of the most elite
tournaments in the country besides the Midwest
Championships. Twenty-four teams were
originally invited, and the rest of the spots have
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hands of Ohio State and an unexpected
loss to Tri-State. However, the team
was able to pick up the pace for the
Indiana Tournament, finishing second
in a field of 24.
Michigan heads into this tourna-
ment coming off a weekend where it
lost to Michigan State before beating
"Consistency has been a problem,"
Lee said. "We need to play more as a
"We're working more on our men-
tal game than we ever have since I've

Pam Griffin
Men's volleyball coach'
Mike Rubin.
"Mike has become a great hitter
and passer," he said.
Lee mentioned freshman middle
blocker Brad Yeager's strong perfor-
mance thus far.
"He's improving with every prac*
tice," Lee said. "Bill Seeley has (also)
stepped up as the go-to man. He's very
strong mentally and we can always
count on him."
"We feel really good about this
weekend because we'll be playing at

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