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February 28, 1994 - Image 11

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-02-28

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The Michigan Daily - SPORTSMonday - Monday, February 28, 1994- 3

.Men's track surprises at Big Tens
Freshmen shine as harriers capture first conference title in 14 years

For the Michigan men's track team,
the 83rd annual Big Ten Men's Indoor
Track and Field Championships this
weekend was a time for tears-tears of
Ovictory and joy, that is.
The track team hasn't won a Big
Ten Indoor Championship since 1982.
Over the years, the Wolverines have
steadily declined, hitting an all-time
low of 10th place in 1992. After their
eighth-place performance last year, the
team bounced back to take first place
this year in Ann Arbor with 91 points.
Ohio State took second place with a
*score of 87 points, followed by Illinois
Freshman Kevin Sullivan won the
3,000 meter run Friday with an NCAA
provisional qualifying time of 8:11.69,
while fellow freshman Neil Gardner
finished fourth in the long jump with a
distance of 7.60 meters.
That same day, the four-man team
of Nick Karfanta, Trinity Townsend,
.Matt Schroeder and Scott MacDonald
won the distance medley relay with a
time of 9:57.49. Two Michigan run-
ners, sophomore Sean Clancy and se-
nior Brian Smith, finished the pentath-
lon in fifth and eighth place, respec-
Thanks to these showings, the Wol-
verines held a commanding, 26-point
lead heading into Saturday's events. It
was a lead they would never give up.
Saturday, Sullivan won the one-
mile run with a time of 4:04.74, an
NCAA provisional qualifying time,
'l.ile MacDonald finished third with
4;07.56. Marko Koers of Illinois, who
led through most of the run, tired down
the stretch and finished second.
Both Sullivan and MacDonald said
they felt stronger on Saturday's run
than in Friday's trial run. This is re-
*flected in their performances, as
MacDonald cut more than four seconds
offc:his trial time, and Sullivan chopped
almost six from his previous run.
Michigan also had a strong show-
ing in the high jump.
"People don'tjump that well at Big
Tens," sophomore Jon Royce said. "It's
due to too much nervous energy."
None of that nervous energy could
be found in Royce, however, who won
*the event after jumping a whopping
x.19 meters, placing him as an NCAA
provisional qualifier. Michigan's Ben
Ludka jumped 2.09 meters, tying him
for second with five other competitors.
Freshman Neil Gardner, who fin-
ished first in the trial run of the 55-
meter high hurdles, came in second in

Michigan's Jon Royce attempts to clear 7-feet, 4 1/4 inches. He missed, but jumped 7-feet 2 1/4 inches earlier.

The R. H. Factor
Oympic coverage
subpar from any view
r the fourth consecutive February, I decided to spend my vacation
at home in Connecticut, recuperating from the stress and strain of
idterms and recharging for the final months of the semester.
Since it usually turns out to be the coldest seven days of the year or
winter storm Helen dumps a metric ton of the white stuff the first day I
return, I planned the usual house-bound itinerary. Nothing too strenuous,
mind you. Merely spend some time with the folks, have a few home-
cooked meals and basically see about as much activity as a snow plow in
San Diego.
While in the past I would spend most of my 168 hours at home looking
at the sorry New England weather and wishing I was instead soaking up
the sun on a golf course in Florida, I was actually looking forward to
being "trapped" indoors for the week. After all, the friendly administrators
at Michigan were such visionaries when they decided to schedule spring
break during the same time the rest of the country is celebrating the
Winter Olympics. (No matter what calendar you use, February has never
been considered springtime.)
Thus, with Sports Illustrated's preview issue in one hand and the
remote control in the other, I eagerly accepted the opportunity to "share a
moment with the world."
Well, afterwatching way too many Norwegians freeze their buns off
on Lillehammer's main drag - the Storgata - and far too many hours of
Greg Gumbel trying to look pretty in his dopey-looking sweater vests, I'd
just like to say that the world can have it's moment back.
The 17th Winter Olympiad was about as memorable as The Chevy Chase
Show. How sad is it that the only really enjoyable thing about the entire
event was watching David Letterman's Mom, Dorothy, capture the hearts of
the entire late-night viewing audience with her gripping interviews of
American Olympic champions. ("Hi David!")
For starters, the television coverage provided by CBS was even more
disappointing than seeing the Buffalo Bills appear in the Super Bowl
again. I hoped to be riveted by the drama of this quadrennial spectacle.
Instead all I got was a remedy for my insomnia.
With one or two headline events each evening, CBS constantly teased
viewers with tantalizing promos, only to finally show the anticlimactic
"big" event at 10:35 when half of America had already fallen asleep on
the couch. Thanks, Greg.
In the meantime, all one saw between 8 and 10 were features on
everything from the Norway's rampant troll problem to American troops
in the Arctic Circle. If you were lucky, you actually got to see some half-
day old Olympic action between- 10 and 10:35, the outcome of which you
already found out about on the CBS evening news. Thanks, Connie.
(Just an aside - when did the International Olympic Committee make it
a requirement for each athlete to have at least one major tragedy happen to
an immediate family member in order to participate in the Winter Olympics?
It seemed that every medal winner had overcome something horrible making
his or her achievement "that much more meaningful." The only escape from
this triumph over tragedy clause seemed to be for the 1,000 or so athletes
who had birthdays during the Games. Since my big day is in December, I
have decided to forego trying to be a member of the 4 x 7.5 km biathlon
relay team in 1998 out of fear that it will cause my brother to develop some
rare form of cancer. I'm just looking out for my family.)
And if the coverage of CBS weren't bad enough, you could tune into
TNT for its nauseating five hours in the afternoon. You know there's a
problem when the two studio hosts aren't even on the same continent as
the actual event their hosting. Thanks, Nick and Fred.
Actually, TNT had a chance to show many of the events live but due to

that event with a time of 7.37 seconds.
Gardner's performance was an im-
provement over his trial run time of
7.46 seconds.
The victories weren't over for the
Wolverines, however, as Karfontawon
'People don't jump that
well at Big Tens. It's
due to too much
nervous energy.'
Jon Royce
Michigan track team
the 800-meter run, with a time of
1:52.67. Sophomore Todd Burnham
kept up the pace in the 400 meter dash.
He came in third with a time of 48.70
Townsend came in third in the 600-
meter run with a time of 1:19.15. The
winner of this event, Minnesota senior
Norris Williams, tied the Big Ten meet
record he set one day earlier at the trials
with a time of 1:18.08.
It was after these showings that
problems started to arise for Michigan.
First off, no Wolverines qualified
for the shot put, the 55 meter dash or the
200 meter dash. The winner of the 200-

meterdash, Ohio State'sChris Nelloms,
set a Big Ten meet record and became
an NCAA automatic qualifier with a
time of 21.07.
Michigan's Toby Van Pelt came in
fifth place in the pole vault with a
height of 5.25 meters. Although this
was Van Pelt's personal best, it wasn't
enough to overcome winnerMarkBuse
of Indiana, whose vault of 5.50 meters
gave him first place and a spot in the
NCAA championship meet.
Gardner, who tasted from the cup
of victory, was to also sip from the river
of sorrow as he finished in fourth place
in the long jump, and then finished a
non-scoring seventh in the triple jump
with a distance of 14.81 meters.
Gardner, although chagrined,
wasn't totally disappointed by these
results, as various external factors con-
tributed to these lowerscores. He wasn't
originally expected to participate in the
triple jump.
After sophomore Winfield
Pollidore injured himself last week,
Gardner, the only other member of the
team with any triple jump experience,
filled his shoes. Also, Gardner was
given little recuperation time, as the
three events in which he participated

Sullivan finished anon-scoring sev-
enth in the 5,000 meter run with a time
of 14:49.17.
Michigan's 4 x 400-meter relay
team finished a non-scoring eighth with
a time of 3:27.13, despite a gutsy per-
formance by junior Felman Malveaux,
who was slowed by tendon injuries in
his left foot.
Illinois set a Big Ten meet record
and became an NCAA provisional
qualifier with a time of 3:09.32.
Much of the credit for the Michigan
victory must be given to head coach
Jack Harvey, who works to focus his
team more on the Big Ten meet than on
the NCAA championships, to be held
in two weeks.
"(The victory) has been great be-
cause it's been so long," Harvey said.
"We thought, coming into the meet, we
had a chance to do it, but you never
know. We thought it was going to be a
much closer meet and a lower-scoring
meet than it actually turned out to be."
Royce credits new freshmen blood
for adding some spice to the team's life.
He gives special credit to Gardner and
Sullivan foradding much-needed points
to the team's score. The freshmen com-
bined to score 22 points - nearly tying
last year's team total of 26 points.

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