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February 18, 1994 - Image 11

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-02-18

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The Michigan Daily - Friday, February 18, 1994 - 11

.Blue tumblers head to
California competitions
Men battle injuries, weaknesses

Men's, women's track
travel to Big Ten meets
Men's meet to be in Ann Arbor

* Spring Break does not mean a
break from the action for the Michi-
gan men's gymnastics team. In fact,
the coming week is the busiest por-
tion of the season for the seventh-
ranked Wolverines.
They will compete against No. 12
Illinois-Chicago and Michigan State
on Sunday (2 p.m.) at UIC.
* Then, on Friday, Feb. 25, they travel
lo California to take on Cal-Berkeley,
UCLA, SanJose and Stanford atBerke-
ley. The next day they travel to Stanford
to take on the Cardinal again.
Coach Bob Darden noted that his-
torically his teams turn their season
around during Spring Break. This
year's team is an exception, he said,
because it's already doing so well.
"Our turning point this year was the
Minnesota meet," Darden said, refer-
*ring to the second meet of the season.
Although the Wolverines have
performed better at home this season,
they are quite comfortable with a trip
to Chicago. They beat UIC and Michi-
gan State at the Windy City Invita-
tional a month ago.
"Regardless of where the meet is
held, we are just gonna do a tremen-
dous job this weekend," Darden said.
"We need a good away meet."
Senior Matt Marsich said that if the
Wolverines do well at UIC, the success
should carry over to their California
"U-M gets bigger crowds than
most schools, and that keeps us
psyched up for home meets," Marsich
said. "But away, we tend to slip up if
one thing goes wrong."
One area of concern is the vault.
"The vault is probably our weakest
event," Darden said. "We probably will
not have developed our routines sig-
nificantly for the California meets."
But there are signs of better vaults
in the future.
"Ben Verrall is showing significant
improvementon thevault," Darden said.
"He makes you say, 'Wow, that event
might come around for us.'
The bad news is Verrall hurt him-
self in a pickup basketball game this
week and may not be able to compete
In addition to that injury, Darden
said the Wolverines have "aches and
pains across the board."
Michael Mott and Raul Molina have

heel bruises, a gymnast's nightmare
when it comes time to make a landing.
On a brighter note, Rich Dopp will
return to action after missing the Penn
State meet due to strep throat.
"That will be a big help to us,"
Marsich said. "Dopp is a real key."
Women to face
No. 6 Bruins
The women's gymnastics team
will travel to sunny California over
spring break to compete in the UCLA
Quadrangular tomorrow and the Cal
State-Fullerton Quadrangular Feb. 25.
The competition will include four
schools all ranked in the top 20.
Michigan moved up to fourth in the
national rankings afterlast weekend's
record breaking performances. UCLA
is ranked sixth, Arizona State is at the
seventh spot and Auburn holds the
13th position.
"We are looking at the UCLA
meet as the highlight of our regular
season," coach Bev Plocki said. "In-
stead of being ahead by a number of
points we will be within a half or a
quarter of a point with the other teams
during the meet."
The Wolverines have not had a fall
in the last three meets, and will attempt
to continue this consistency heading
into the bigger competitions.
"We want to worry about the things
we can control," Plocki said. "If we are
consistent and clean and do the rou-
tines we are capable of, then the scores
will come."
Plocki-feels that the team's future
scores will fall between the mid-193
to mid-195 range based on the level of
difficulty and proficiency of its rou-
Last weekend the team received
the same score (195.350) on both Fri-
day and Sunday from two different
sets of judges.
Junior Debbie Berman concurs
with her coach that the team should
concentrate on their own routines
rather than worry about the scores or
level of competition.
"This trip will be a change of at-
mosphere for us," Berman said. "It
will give us the chance to get away
and focus on our team."

The Michigan women's gymnastics team heads to California next weekend.
Again, men swmrs are
favorites for Big Ten title

While most of Michigan's stu-
dents leave Ann Arbor for spring
break, the men's indoor track team
will be staying right here for two
meets during the vacation.
"Most (ofthe guys) realize we have
ajob to do at Big Tens," Sullivan said.
"They know that we'll only be able to
do it if we stay here and practice and
work hard."
The firsi meet, the Eastern Michi-
gan Classic, is this Saturday at EMU. It
is anon-scoring meet so the Wolverines
won't be getting any revenge for last
week's one-point loss to the Eagles at
the Central Collegiate Championships.
They will, however, have agoodchance
to prepare for the Big Ten Champion-
ships Feb. 25-26 here in Ann Arbor.
"We're only taking about half the
group (to Eastern Michigan)," Michi-
gan coach Jack Harvey said. "We've
got some guys who are laying low for
the Big Ten, others need some prac-
tice. We're using it as a tune-up."
One team member heading to East-
ern this weekendis Sean Clancy. Clancy
will run the hurdles, and do the long
jump and shot put to prepare for the Big
Ten pentathlon, his lastmajor pentath-
lon competition indoors since it is not
an NCAA event.
"(Big Tens) will be the big meet of
the indoor season," Clancy said. Asked
if he felt confident about his upcoming
performancein theBig Ten meetClancy
responded, "Not really, not right now. I
hope I get better this week."
Harvey says the Big Tens are going
to be a strong meet.
"Ohio State is the favorite," he said.
"They're the defending champions and
they've got some surefire winners pri-
marily in the sprints, the quarter, and
the mile relay. On paper, they look like
the team to beat."
Last year the Buckeyes won with
113 points, 19 ahead of second-place
Illinois. Michigan finished 8th, with
only 26 points.
This year however, looks to be
"OSU, Minnesota, Illinois and
Michigan all have the ability, on paper,
to score 70 points," Harvey said. "Some-
thing has to happen favorably for one
team and disfavorably for another.
"It's going to be low scoring. I think
80 to 85 points is going to win it."
Asked if the Wolverines would have

an advantage running on their home
track Sullivan answered, "Hopefully.
A lot of parents are coming. It will
basically be a hometown crowd."
Harvey said, "Usually the home
team does have an advantage. There's
the crowd, you're used to the facilities,
and the kids will be fired up. It gives us
an edge."
Purdue to host
women's meet
The Wolverines will have their last
meet in preparation for the conference
championships at the Eastern Michi-
gan Classic tomorrow. Michigan will
face Penn State, Michigan State, and
Ohio State, in addition to EMU.
One of Michigan's goals tomorrow
will be to qualify the distance medley
relay team of Richelle Webb, Molly
McClimon, Courtney Babcock, and
Kristine Westerby for the NCAA
, Coaches said the team might switch
the lineup around at EMU.
For instance, the team's top hurdler,
Laura Jerman, who will be participat-
ing in the pentathlon and hurdles at the
Big Ten meet, will probably compete in
the 800 meters tomorrow.
Some of the runners who are very
close to provisionally qualifying for
the NCAAs will berunning their regu-
larevents. TearzaJohnson will be look-
ing to reach the standard, or qualifying
time, in both the 60 and 200 meters.
Like the runners, the field event
participants will also hope for a strong
showing in tomorrow's meet.
"I have been real pleased so far
(with the field event participants).
Pleased, but not satisfied," Henry said.
"We need to step it up."
In a meet last week at Michigan
State, high jumpers Linda Stuck and
Monika Black tied for second place,
behind Penn State's Holly Jones.
Shot putter Rhonda Meyers won
her event last week, but is still look-
ing for improvement heading into the
Big Ten meet.
Nonetheless, Henry is confident
about the Wolverines' chances next
week. "We need to stay healthy and
loosen up. If we get personal bests
(next week), we will win."

Minnesota's home pool advantage
may be the only thing standing in the
way of Michigan's ninth straight con-
ference title. The No.3 Wolverines will
travel to the University Aquatic Cen-
ter for the Big Ten Championships,
Feb. 24-26.
"I think Minnesota's chances are
better than anybody at beating Michi-
gan," Minnesota coach Dennis Dale
said. "And our chances are almost non-
The Gopher's small chance stems
from the fact that four of the top Wol-
verines will not shave down for Big
Gustavo Borges, Marcel Wouda,
Royce Sharp and Tom Dolan will look
down the road and concentrate on the
NCAA Championships in March.
Michigan head swim coach Jon
Urbanchek has great confidence in

these four swimmers.
"I think all of our guys who are not
shaving for the meetcan still win their
events," he said.
Wouda and Dolan will be key to
the distance and individual medley
events, the strengths of the Michigan
Wouda was the Big Ten Swimmer
of the Year in 1992-93, winning three
events at last year's Big Tens. Dolan
will swim the 500- and 1650-yard
freestyles and the 400 IM in his first
Big Ten meet.
"It's hard to say how I'm going to
do, but I'd like to do as well as I can
to get ready for the NCAAs," Dolan
said, adding that Michigan's rigorous
schedule helped prepare him for next
weekend's meet.
"We had to do a lot of racing, and
we had a lot of competition," Dolan
said. "We'll be used to the pressure.
That will help us (at Big Tens)."

.t r. __ ,.. _

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