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March 22, 1995 - Image 11

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-03-22

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

The Michigan Daily --Wednesday, March 22, 1995 -11
mark aoLgainst Motor City club!

By Chris Carr
For the Daily
The Michigan men's lacrosse team
is finally putting everything together
after a disappointing 1-2 start. The
* Wolverines showed great improve-
ment in last Wednesday's 26-2 anni-
hilation of Michigan State. The win
evened the team's record at 2-2.
But as its quest begins for a sixth
consecutive Big Ten title, Michigan
still has many obstacles to overcome
in its schedule.
One of these roadblocks is the
Motor City Lacrosse Club of Detroit,
which the Wolverines will face to-
night at Oosterbaan Fieldhouse at
10:30 p.m.
A little over two weeks ago, Michi-
gan was manhandled by Lake Shore,
23-11, and tonight's game could be as
difficult for the Wolverines as the
March 4 contest was.
"Motor City is similar to Lake
Shore," senior co-captain John

Kolakowski said. "The difference is
that in preparing for Lake Shore, we
knew their short sticks were strong.
Motor City, however, has an excel-
lent defense."
In previous games, most of the
Wolverines' problems were on de-
fense. But this contest should test
Michigan's offense because Motor
City's defense is not like many other
teams the Wolverines will face.
Three former All-American defend-
ers will pay a visit to Oosterbaan to-
night. One of them, Dave Morrow, was
the NCAA Division-I Player of the
Year at Princeton two years ago. Along
with Morrow, Motor City has two other
players that achieved All-American sta-
tus in college, one from Johns Hopkins
and another from Cornell.
"Their defense will cause a lot of
problems for our attack," Michigan
coach Bob DiGiovanni said. "We are
going to try some new things to take
their stars out of the game."

Expecting its attack to struggle,
Michigan will look to the midfielders
to create most of the scoring chances.
"We must generate offense from
the players not being covered by the
All-Americans," DiGiovanni said. "We
hope to keep them away from the ball."
This season's midfielders are one
of the strongest units the team has
seen in recent years.
"This is the first year we have felt
confident about three or four lines of
midfielders," Kolakowski said. "The
fact that we can put at least nine
middies on the field with confidence
will help us tonight."
Michigan hopes it does not per-
form as it did in the Lake Shore game
when the Wolverines were plagued
by bad defense and sloppy passing.
"Recently, practice has been a lot
smoother," Kolakowski said. "We
have been working on basic funda-
mentals such as passing and catching.
So far, it has paid off."

DOUGLAS KANTER/Daily
The Michigan lacrosse team faces the Motor City Lacrosse Club tonight at Oosterbaan Fieldhouse. The Motor
City team features Dave Morrow, the NCAA Player of the Year two years ago.

'Hamdan ends his career as an Ali-American

By Tim Smith
Daily Sports Writer
The wrestling mat in his basement
was Jehad Hamdan'splayground when
he was a teenager.
It was sold to him for a mere $150
from a neighbor whose own kids didn't
have a use for it.
But for him, it was more than a
mat. It was a treasure.
"It covered half of my basement,"
says the Michigan All-American of the
mat. "We would just go down there and
wrestle all the time."
The mat was the site of many tussles
for the 190-pound senior. He grew up
with six brothers and five sisters in a
tough section of Chicago before mov-
ing to suburban Lamont at age 14.
It was there in Lamont that he got
the mat, and it was in Lamont where he
found his talent for the game.
Hamdan's first real taste of victory
was in 1989, his senior year at Provi-
dence High School, when he became
the Illinois State Champion with a 53-
0 record.
But the road to glory in college was
not an easy one for Hamdan. It took a
lot of heartache and pain for him to
reach his goals.
After redshirting, he went 16-18-2
in his first year of competition, includ-
ing a fourth-place finish in Big Tens
and a trip to the NCAAs.
While his first round loss in the
NCAAs was a disappointment, it was
not nearly as upsetting as the two years

that followed, in which Hamdan didn't
even have a chance to compete at
nationals.
In his sophomore season, he im-
proved to 19-12 but injured his knee
against Minnesota late in the season
and missed the remainder of the year.
His woes did not end there.
After seemingly coming back from
the injury in his junior year and posting
a strong 14-6 record, Hamdan's season
was again destroyed at the end by yet
another knee injury.
But this time Hamdan continued to
wrestle with cartilage torn in half, and
he major-decisioned an Ohio State wres-
tler to ensure the Wolverines their only
Big Ten dual-meet victory of the year.
But after he gutted his way through
the match, he was done for the season.
"It was hard," Hamdan says of the
missed opportunity to compete in Big
Tens and (NCAAs) for the second
year in a row. "It was so hard. I knew
I had torn my cartilage just because I
had felt it before."
A medical redshirt would have been
the easy way out for Hamdan. His
scholarship would have been paid for,
and he wouldn't need to compete at
all in his final year.
But little did he know that a road
trip with some of the guys from the
team down to Chapel Hill to watch
their teammates at the NCAAs would
change his views dramatically.
"It was the turning point of my
life," Hamdan says of his trip as a

spectator to the NCAAs. "Before last
year's NCAA Tournament, I wasn't
going to wrestle.
"But I went to the NCAAs in North
Carolina and it was amazing. That
pumped me up so much, I said I'll be
damned if I'm going to go out like that
- giving up. There was no way.
"The day we came back from na-
tionals, I said I'm training my (butt)
off, and from that day until today, I
trained a full year."
Hamdan trained like he had never
trained before. He was going to be at the
NCAAs in 1995, but this time he was
going to be there as an competitor.
He worked out every day during
the summer. He spent his days run-
ning and lifting with the assistance of
trainer Darren Flagg.
"In the middle of summer, I was
ready to wrestle," Hamdan says. "I
just couldn't wait to start wrestling,
and as soon as wrestling (season) hit,
everything just started working."
His season highlights included two
takedowns in the final seconds against
Minnesota to register a much-needed
major-decision forMichigan. And more
importantly for Hamdan, his mother
Soad was able to watch him for only the
second time in his college career.
But it was a February match against
Ohio State that got him really focused
on the goals he had set way back in
March of last year.
"Before Ohio State, the season
seemed like it was so long," Hamdan

face Jeremy Goeden of Minnesota for
the fourth time this season in order to
advance to the All-American rounds.
Tied 1-1 after regulation, the match
went into overtime. One minor error,
and Hamdan would be going back to
Ann Arbor empty-handed.
"I shot a double at him and locked
him up," Hamdan says of the move that
was the turning point of the match. "I
lifted him and right when I lifted him,
I had a flash in my mind."
He thought of a lot things when he
picked up Goeden. He thought of his
yearlong struggle, he thought of the
honors he could soon reap, but what he
thought of first was that he had per-
formed that maneuver time after time
in practice. And now he was going to
use it to become an All-American.
"I swept his feet out from under him
and I just slammed him right on his
back," Hamdan says smiling, while
licking his lips. "The next thing I re-
member is looking up and seeing the
referee (signal the pin)."
And with that pin, the weight of
the world, which had been on his back
for three years, was lifted for good.
"Anything in the world could hap-
pen to me right now and Ijust wouldn't
care," Hamdan says, "because I did it."

SWIMMING
Continued from page 10
out that despite Wenzel's lack of time
in the national spotlight, motivation
has never been a problem for him. The
high level of competition in practice
has always given him something to
strive for.
"I opted (to go to) Michigan be-
cause I would be able to swim with
Olympic medalists and NCAA cham-
pions, and I thought it would be the best
place to improve my swimming,"
Wenzel says.
In only a few days, Wenzel's en-
durance will be tested once again. But
at this point, his performance is irrel-
evant. He has already passed the ulti-
mate endurance test.
He has survived three years in one
of the most grueling sports there is,
competing with the top swimmers in
the world.
He has reached the top of a moun-
tain that he has chosen to put in his path.
"I think that (participating in the
national championship) was one of my
major goals and reaching it is one of the
greatest achievements of my swim-
ming career," Wenzel says.
"I really set this as a goal this
year because we have the chance to
win NCAA Championships and I
wanted to contribute to my team's
(victory)."

Hamdan
says. "But after Ohio State, (the Big
Tens and NCAAs) were right in our
face."
At the Big Tens in Bloomington,
Hamdan captured third place, quali-
fying for NCAAs.
After losing to longtime nemesis
Emilio Collins of Michigan State in the
NCAA quarterfinals, Hamdan had to

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