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February 09, 1994 - Image 10

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-02-09

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

10 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, February 9, 1994

Ski teams
perform
well over
weekend
By JENNIFER DUBERSTEIN
FOR THE DAILY
While most were sitting in their
warm rooms this weekend, the Michi-
gan men's and women's ski teams
were heating up the cold and ragged
slopes of Northern Michigan.
The Wolverines competed in the
Pepsi Collegiate Challenge at
Sugarloaf Ski Resort Saturday, and at
Caberfae Ski Resorts Sunday, to close
out their regular-season schedule.
Both squads came away with first-
place overall finishes for the weekend.
Matt Turner placed second in the
Giant Slalom with a time of 50.78
seconds. For the women, Amy
Portenga finished first with a time of
55.43, and Kelly Copeland placed
third with a time of 56.43.
Sunday, the teams continued to
perform well with several Wolver-
ines placing in the top three. Both
Bing Brown and Portenga finished
second in the Giant Slalom with times
of 53.13 and 57.40, respectively.
The women's team has placed first
in three of its four competitions, with
its only loss coming against Michi-
gan State. The Spartans and Notre
Dame have, in the past, been the tough-
est competition for the women skiers.
"They each have three strong ski-
ers," women's co-captain Amy Portenga
said. "The difference between us and
them is we have more depth."
Portenga, Copeland, Jennifer
Shorter, Nicole Sinclair and Carrie
Roeser lead, the Wolverines. These
five have consistently placed in the
top third of the 40-skier field.
The men's team is undefeated in
team competition, with depth being
its biggest strength.
"We've got five really solid ski-
ers," sophomore Jeff Gregory said.
With the regular season complete,
both teams are looking forward to the
upcoming divisionals.
"We skied decently this weekend,"
Matt Aeschliman said. "What we mainly
were doing was getting ready for
Caberfae's Giant Slalom hills before the
Divisional Championship Giant Slalom
race at Caberfae next weekend."
"We are hoping to be division
champs," Sinclair said. "It looks pretty
positive now."

,
v r z +

IN THE TANK:
Scheduling conflicts
penalize minor sports

CHRIS WOLF/Daily
minor sports

Despite being ranked consistently in the top five nationally, the Michigan swim team is one of several
that have welcomed fewer spectators as a result of scheduling overlaps with basketball and hockey.

Harding's fate for Lillehammer to be
decided by USOC next'Tuesday

LILLEHAMMER, Norway (AP)
- Tonya Harding's lifelong pur-
suit of a figure skating gold medal
could end next week at an Oslo
airport hotel, 110 miles shy of this
Olympic town and one week short.
The U.S. Olympic Committee,
troubled by Harding's links to the
Nancy Kerrigan assault, called a spe-
cial hearing for next Tuesday to
decide whether to bar the U.S. cham-
pion from the Winter Games.
If Harding is banned, her only
chance of competing in Lillehammer
would be through a court order.
The USOC's decision to con-
vene its Games Administrative

Board was buttressed by a 400-page
volume of evidence from a figure
skating federation inquiry, and by
Harding's own statements.
"It's not a matter of hearing
more, it's a matter of giving Tonya
Harding a chance to respond, which
she has not had a chance to do,"
USOC president LeRoy Walker
said.
He said Harding could submit
her case in person or in writing, but
hoped she would testify.
There was no immediate word if
she would.
Interviewed on NBC's "To-
day," Walker said the proceeding

was similar to an administrative
hearing.
"But we would like to present
her, in person, the charges and
grounds for charges that have been
leveled by the (figure skating) panel
to get her response."
"They want to talk to Tonya,"
USOC executive director Harvey
Schiller said. "I think it is a re-
sponse that is required by the
grounds surrounding the attack on
Nancy Kerrigan."
The inquiry will deal more with
"sportsmanship and fair play as-
pects rather than criminal culpabil-
ity," he said.

SAFRAN
Continued from page 9
Asked if he's ever seen the 6-foot-8
swingman do his Greg Louganis
imitation on the court, Fife replied
with a sheepish grin and shake of
the head.
"You could tell how important
the game was if Jalen (Rose) was
diving for the ball," Fife said.
But Rose did sacrifice his body
as few have ever seen him do. In
one sequence, he flung his body
toward the loose ball - not once
but twice. He continued his great
defensive efforts over the past three
games, shutting down Damon
Bailey and just about every other
Indiana guard.
Was something in the water?
Nope.
All he had to do was look eight

or so seats to his right. That was
more than enough for Rose. What
more inspiration could one need to
perform than his childhood best
friend and ex-teammate?
While the most massive ex-
Wolverine was in the den, it was
one of the smallest on the team who
demonstrated the white-hot
intensity best.
Fife may have hit only a single
field goal out of seven attempts - a
three-pointer from Webber's lap
with 2:48 left in the contest - but
he did not need to score on this
night.
He needed to play tough and
did. Fife had five assists and four
steals, and hit the deck at least three
times. IHe penetrated and dished off
to his teammates as if he were
serving up a seven-course meal.
So what?
He committed no turnovers in

38 minutes of play. Zero errors
from a point guard is something any
coach would take come Indiana,
North Carolina or Rinky Dink U.
But Fife should not be singled
out.
Olivier Saint-Jean completed the
Michigan sweep of the diving
events with his swan-like efforts.
Saint-Jean also went up for the ball,
instead of down, snagging six
rebounds and scoring eight points.
Leon Derricks added three
rebounds.
But there has to be another
reason than Webber for this
remarkable effort.
New shoelaces?
Uh-uh.
It was also a desire to play as an
entire team. Everyone on the roster
donned the Michigan jerseys for the
first time since the last Indiana
game.
"We just wanted to play ball and
get this all behind us," said Jimmy
King, who missed three games
since the first contest with the
Hoosiers due to illness and
suspension.
"It was the intensity of a Final
Four game. We were intense for 40
straight minutes for the first time
this season. The way we're playing
right now we're finally peaking."
The Wolverines have played
themselves into first place in the
Big Ten with a brand of basketball
that would pass any scientist's
examination.

By CHARLIE BREITROSE
DAILY SPORTS WRITER
The final home meet of the year
for the Michigan men's swimming
and diving team came and went
pretty quietly.
. Only a devoted 150 or so fans
turned up for the annual intrastate
clash between the Wolverines and
the Spartans. And of those
approximately 150 customers, only
about 50 were Michigan students.
The rest were friends, family and.
local high schoolers wanting to get
a glimpse of some of the world-
class swimmers that reside in Ann
Arbor.
But you can't blame the students
completely for the low turnout,
considering the meet was scheduled
at the very same time as the
Michigan-Kent State hockey game.
Even those students that may have
been interested in seeing the meet
probably would have gone to the
hockey game when given the
choice.
This, however, was not the first
time this scheduling conflict has
happened to Wolverine swimmers.
In fact, it was the fifth time that
a men's swim meet was scheduled
at the same time as or immediately
before a hockey or basketball home
game. Only the Stanford dual meet
was held without the shadow of a
major sport.
Close to 700 people filled the
Canham Natatorium stands to see
what was possibly the best dual
meet of the year - in the whole
country. And that was during the
coldest week in years.
But that was a No. 1-versus-No.
3 matchup, and if there had been a
basketball game the crowd would
most likely only have been half the
size.
This same problem of
concurrent scheduling has plagued
other minor sports teams. The
women's basketball team, which
could use a big crowd to help get
some victories, had two of its
biggest crowd-drawing opponents
scheduled against major sports
events. The Ohio State game was at
the same time as the Michigan State
hockey game, and the Penn State
contest was at the same time as the
nationally-televised Illinois men's
basketball game.
A final case in point is the men's
gymnastics team, which needs all
the support and publicity it can get
in its fight to stay alive. The
Minnesota dual meet in which the
Wolverine vaulters gained an
impressive victory was probably the
most important home meet of the
year.
However, most of the Michigan
sports nuts were down the road for
another important match - the
Michigan-Lake Superior State
hockey game.
The Michigan student body has

been accused of not caring about
minor sports. This accusation could
be valid, but it is hard to get a good *
assessment when many of the most
exciting events for the smaller
sports are up against the prime-
timers.
Michigan men's swimming
coach Jon Urbanchek said he and
his assistants sit down and make out
the home schedule two years in
advance.
But maybe times could be
changed. If the State meet had been
at 4 p.m. Friday afternoon, instead
of 7 p.m., the stands may have been
a little more full. What else does the
average student have to do on a
Friday afternoon - watch cartoons,
listen to music. Certainly not do
homework.
The one minor sport that is
growing in popularity is women's
volleyball. Cliff Keen Arena has 0
become a noisy place where a good
seat is scarce. Promotions such as
"Rock the House" have helped to
boost fan support.
Women's basketball is probably

Urbanchek

I

the fastest growing college sport. At
Michigan, however, a combination
of a struggling team and little
publicity has stunted the growth.
One solution that has been
suggested to help the women
hoopsters is to put their games right
before a men's game. Crisler Arena
fans currently sit around bored stiff,
groping for anything to entertain
themselves - including cheering
on Steve Fisher's son as he shoots
hoops between warm-up sessions.
If the respective schedule
makers can take a little time and get
together, all minor sports could
benefit.
WO MEN
Continued from page 9
the Spartans from rising above.500 in
the conference, they'll need to play
fundamentally solid basketball for a
full 40 minutes. 0
Any possibility of Michigan reach-
ing a plateau such as the .500 mark is
now mathematically impossible, so
the second half of the season is going
to be a chance for the Wolverines to
salvage a season that has been diffi-
cult for players and coaches both.
"I would have liked to be close to
.500,"Johnson said. "Obviously that's
not going to happen now, but rightS
now as long as we're getting better
every game, I'm not going to be to-
tally happy, but it'll be some consola-
tion."
Li %2i
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x Perarf16, 99
~u+sf..rx: Email cr Call .
Missy Bratsburg
763-3966
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