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March 25, 1994 - Image 12

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-03-25

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12- The Michigan Daily - Friday, March 25, 1994

Blue tumblers roll into Big Tens
Men look to end fifty years of varsity status with conference title

have to overcome a tough Ohio State squad

The men's gymnastics team will
tomorrow at Big Tens.

'M' track opens outdoor
season at 'Bamra Relays

The No. 5 Michigan men's gym-
nastics team is trying to get a 19-year-
old monkey off its back.
That's how long it has been since
the squad won its last Big Ten title.
Competing in what appears to be
their final season as a program, the
Wolverines wouldn't mind ending it
with a bang.
"(Winning the Big Ten title)would
be a nice footnote for the whole tradi-
tion of Michigan," coach Bob Darden
said. "It would validate all our efforts
for the last 50 years."
This weekend, along with host
No. 10 Penn State, Michigan will
compete with second-ranked and de-
fending Big Ten champ Ohio State,
No. 7 Iowa, No. 12 Illinois, No. 14
Minnesota and No. 17 Michigan State.
"The conference historically has
been very competitive," Darden
said. "Any time you compete in a
Big Ten championship, you know
you're competing (against the
Although the Wolverines
finished fifth in the conference last
year, they have certainly turned
things around. The team is ranked
in the top ten nationally in every
Thanks to the performances of
Bob Young, Raul Molina, Rich
Dopp and Brian Winkler, Michigan
has moved from an average squad to
a contender.
Young stands 16th nationally in

all-around average with a score of
56.38 and sports a ranking of tenth in
the still rings (9.72).
Molina, a junior who holds eigh-
teenth place on floor exercise (9.69),
says the team is prepared.
"We're extremely ready," Molina
said. "At practice going through (our
routines), it looks too easy."
Dopp and Winkler, both juniors,
are tied for thirteenth on floor exer-
cise (9.72). Winkler also leads the
nation on parallel bars with a 9.77

Favored women prepare for fight from Penn State

Michigan needs strong efforts
from these four and the rest of the
squad to come out on top. Otherwise,
beating the opposition, in particular
Ohio State, will be a difficult task.
After nine meets, the Buckeyes
have scored lower than 280 once, and
that was in their first contest of the
season. With three of the top six all-
around performers - No. 1 Blaine
Wilson, No. 2 Kip Simons and No. 6
Drew Durbin - Ohio State is in great

position to repeat as conference
"(Ohio State is) the top of the
heap," Darden said. " To have three
guys (like Blaine, Kip and Drew gives
Ohio State) a lot of firepower."
The Buckeyes may be the best
team of the crop, but the Wolverines
did score a school-record 282.25
against them March 5 in Columbus.
With this added confidence on its
shoulders, Michigan knows it can
compete with the best.

It's back to work for the Michi-
gan women's track and field team.
After the regular season finale three
weeks ago and the NCAA indoor
championships, the Wolverines
begin the outdoor season Saturday
at the Alabama Relays in
Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Michigan is coming off its most
successful indoor season in over ten
years. The team captured the Big Ten
title and came in seventh place in
nationals, including a first place finish
in the distance medley relay.
The outstanding success the
Wolverines had in the indoor season
should help them out in this spring.
"Our indoor performance gives us
a lot of confidence," assistant coach
Patty Davis said. "We expect to do
well. There are more events added to
the outdoor season, which makes us
The Wolverines hope their
increased confidence will help them
achieve their goal of winning another
outdoor conference title. The team
also hopes to qualify as many athletes
as possible for nationals in June.
As for this weekend's meet, the
team plans to use it as an opener to see
how they do in such outdoor events as
the discus, javelin and heptathlon.
"It will be an experience," Davis
said. "There will be a lot of good
competition and we hope to see strong
performances from our squad."
- Brian Sklar

Perhaps no one is more thankful
for the recent days of sunny weather
than men's track and field head coach
Jack Harvey, whose team begins its
outdoor season this weekend at the
Alabama Relays in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
"We're probably a little better
outside than we've been in the past,"
Harvey comments. "We'vegotten more
outdoor practice than in years past."
Michigan isn't expecting many
real problems with the Alabama
Relays after its Big Ten win and de-
cent showing in the NCAAs. Many
plan to use this meet as a chance to
identify and improve upon their weak-
est points.
High jumpers Jon Royce and Ben
Ludka plan to treat this meet as a
learning experience.
"Ben and I are trying to define our
technique," said Royce, who won the
Big Ten high jump.
Junior Felman Malveaux is excited
about racing, especially since a foot
injury which weakened his Big Ten
performance in the 4x400 relay has
healed completely.
"I can't wait to get out there and be
able to give it my all without having
to worry about injury," Mal veaux said.
Neal Gardner has also fully recu-
perated from earlier groin and ham-
string injuries which somewhat ham-
pered his Big Ten performances.
"The injuries aren't bothering me
anymore," he said. "Everything's OK."
- Eugene Bowen

The women's gymnastics team
enters tomorrow's Big Ten Champi-
onship at Penn State as a heavy favor-
ite to win a third consecutive confer-
ence title.
In spite of their status, the No. 3
Wolverines aren't taking the
competition lightly. Host Penn State
(No. 12) will have a large crowd of
supporters helping it along.
"You can't ever rest on the past
meets in gymnastics," coach Bev
Plocki said. "If we start to make
mistakes we will open the door for
everyone else."
Many of the gymnasts competing
tomorrow were in the lineup last year
when Michigan set a Big Ten record
of 192.925.
Junior Beth Wymer had a record-
setting triple-Big Ten Championship
performance capturing the beam, bars


and all-around titles.
Sophomore Wendy Marshall
captured all-Big Ten honors as a fresh-
man, placing sixth in the all-around.
"I guess people look at women's
gymnastics as any other sport here at
Michigan," Marshall said. "We' re just
trying to catch up to the football team
who won (five conference titles) in a
Despite all the past experience of
this squad, Plocki has designed this
week's workouts to simulate meet
conditions. It is her hope that these
simulations will help the team deal
with the pressure ofa big competition.
"We are having the team warm up
in the lineup order and practicing like
its acompetition," Plocki said. "We're
practicing with crowd noise and
anything else we can think of to
simulate meet situations."
At this point in the season the
gymnasts have polished their routines

and posses the stamina to compete all
out, according to junior LiLi Leung.
"Physically were set and capable of
hitting all of our routines," she said.
"It's all a mental game at this point."
Sophomore Tina Miranda
concurred with her teammate that the
mental aspect of the competition will
be a key factor in the outcome.
"It's real important that we don't
let anyone break our concentration,"
Miranda said. "I think being away
and knowing Penn State is real hungry
will motivate us."
The coaching staff and team are
adamant that the future success of the
program depends on team unity.
Individual performances make up the
final score, but the focus always re-
mains on the team.
"We're not going to win unless we
go out there as a team," Marshall said.
"Keeping the team together is more
important than individual goals."


Continued from page 1
said. "I could see (Dolan) all the way.
I wasn't really expecting to be that
fast. I thought he was going to fade,
but he didn't go away."
In addition to Dolan's second-
place finish, John Piersma (third),
Chris Rumley (fifth), Marcel Wouda
(eighth) and Rodney Van Tassell
(16th) all scored in the event, giving
the Wolverines a temporary 59-47
lead after two events.
Michigan garnered another sec-
ond-place finish in the 50-yard
freestyle. Junior Gustavo Borges
stormed off of the block and came
home in :19.50. Stanford's Brian
Retterer, the top seed going into the
finals, squeaked out the victory with a
time of :19.45. Borges was pleased

with his swim.
"I wasn't too confident this
morning, but now I feel a lot (bet-
ter)," Borges said. "I swam a much
better race ... it's my best 50 (free)
In the final event of the night, the
400 medley relay, Michigan finished
with a season-best 3:13.71. However,
the time was only good enough for a
fourth-place finish.
Michigan only finaled in three
events, but there were some outstand-
ing swims.
In the 200 freestyle relay, Stanford
topped its own American record set
during the morning preliminaries.
Sophomore Joe Hudepohl anchored
therelaywithasplitof:19.01 en route
to the 1:16.93.
"There's no better way to start this
meet than with an American record,"
said Tyler Mayfield, who swam the
relay's third leg.
In the 200 individual medley,
Florida's Greg Burgess repeated his
victory from last year's NCAAs. Bur-
gess fell short of his NCAA record by
less than two-tenths of a second.
In the fifth event of the night, one-
meter diving, no Michigan divers
made the finals.

Continued from page 11
Big Ten selection last season, is 3-1
on the season with a 2.70 earned run
In the remaining games of the
series the Wolverines will face Scott
Mudd (4-1, 3.08 ERA), Brian
Partenheimer (2-0, 2.08) and Brian
Greene (2-0, 4.58), respectively.
Michigan will counter with Heath
Murray (1-2, 5.83), Ray Ricken (1-3,
3.82), Ron Hollis (0-3,7.13) and Chris
Newton (0-0, 5.82) on the mound.
Even though its numbers aren't
great, Freehan believes thathis pitching
staff has not been a team weakness.

"I think our pitching has been
good," he said. "Our infield defense
is causing some problems, especially
in key games and close games."
After a red-hot start at the plate,
the Wolverines' bats cooled off some
last weekend against Arizona State.
Michigan was shut out for the first
time this season in last Friday's game
against the Sun Devils.
To this point in the season, Scott
Weaver is tops on the team with a
.395 batting average and 10 runs bat-
ted in.
"We have the capability of being a
good baseball team," Freehan said.
"But we need to pick the ball up in the
infield, and we need to make plays
when we have pressure on us."


Continued from page 11
statistics would be more impressive if
it were not for struggles with the No.
1 ranked Boston University Terriers.
The Huskies lost five of six to the
Terriers, including 8-0 and 9-3
The Lakers are led by Blaine
Lacher, who recently set an NCAA
record with 375:01 consecutive score-

less minutes. That stretch included
five consecutive shutouts. Lacher
holds a record of 15-4-4, and has an
incredible 1.86 GAA.
"Michigan knows I can beat them,"
a dejected Lacher said after losing the
CCHA championship game.
If things go as planned, though, the
Michigan seniors will extend their ca-
reers by one week and the Wolverines
will. pack their bags to take one more
shot at reaching the promised land.


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