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February 05, 1996 - Image 15

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-02-05

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TRACK AND FIELD

The Michigan Daily - SPORTSMonday - Monday, February 5, 1995 - 7G

Women runners begin tune-up

By Jeremy Horelick
For the Daily
Whoever said the friendly spirit of competition has been lost
obviously was not at Notre Dame Saturday for the Meyo Invitational
in South Bend. The non-scoring event allowed the Michigan women's
track and field team to focus more on fine-tuning its skills for both the
Big Ten championships in three weeks as well as the NCAA champi-,
onships in March.
After crushing its intrastate competition at the Michigan
Intercollegiates in Ypsilanti last week, the squad arrived in South Bend
eager for a tougher challenge, which is exactly what it found.
The meet included more than 30 schools and a number oftrack clubs,
which afforded the team a good opportunity to see and compete against
a new group of athletes.
In addition, several Olympic hopefuls ran unattached, having no
affiliation with any university or club. As a result, many times and
distances that would ordinarily win first place at an exclusively
collegiate event were pushed down to fourth or fifth place. Still, the
team managed an impressive effort despite the fierce competition.
Senior Courtney Babcock, who set a Meyo record in 1993 for the
3,000-meter with a time of 9:19.5, challenged that illustrious mark
with a 9:26.5 minute performance. That time earned Babcock both first
place and an automatic bid for the NCAAs.
"I believe (9:26.5) will be one of the top six or eight performances
in the country," Michigan coach James Henry said. "I think shd's come
back to her All-American form."
Sophomore pentathlete Tania Longo sat out the triple jump and long
jump, but won the consolation final in the 55-meter hurdles with a time
of 8.03 seconds. While unattached athletes swept the top six spots in.
the final, Longe took home the consolation trophy with her second-best.
time, tops among the collegiate competitors Saturday.
"I got a little bit psyched up," Longe said. "When my start is good,
the rest is good."

Henry sees Longe as a potential 6.000-point scorer in the outdoor
heptathlon. Such a performance, Henry believes, would warrant her
serious consideration for a spot on the Olympic team representing her
native Norway in the games in 2,000. Longe's second-place finish in
the shot put (45-feet-6 1/4) and fourth place finish in the high jump (5-
feet-7) attest to both her versatility and excellence.
Senior Monika Black, who last week qualified provisionally for the
NCAAs in the high jump, followed up her stellar performance with an
encore of 5-fect-9 3/4, gobd enough once again for first place. In the
past, Black would skip the high jump at this event to avoid the strain
of turf jumping.
But the turf presented little trouble for the distance crew, in particu-
lar seniors Jen Stuht and Jennifer Barber. Both runners clocked in at
under 10 minutes, establishing personal bests in the 3,000. Barber's
time of 9:57.2 earned her fifth place overall, while Stuht fueled her
comeback effort with a 9:57.8 performance.
Other noteworthy efforts were turned in by senior Tearza Johnson,
who grabbed fourth place in the 55-meter dash (7.18 seconds) and
first-year high-jumper Nicole Forrester, who tied Longe and two other
jumpers for second place behind Black.
Additionally, the middle-distance crew looked sharp, with freshman,
runner Sarah Hamilton turning in a 2:55.26 second-place finish in the
1,000. In the mile run, Katie McGregor crossed the finish line in 4:52.98
capturing second place, with the sophomore tandem of Pauline Arnill and
Michelle Slater taking fourth and fifth place respectively.
Altogether the team has collected numerous awards for individual
achievement in all areas from throws and jumps to sprints and distance.
Remarkably, the athletes have retained a team spirit and sense of
camaraderie that will be essential as they head toward the Big Ten
championships in less than a month.
"The team's doing really well," Babcock said. "It was hard at first
because there were a lot of freshmen. (But) we all support each other
really well."

TONYA 5ROAD/Da0tY
The. Michigan women's track and field squad warmed up for Big Ten competition against tough
opponents at the Meyo Invitational in South Bend.

Men runners improve times on longer

k at S
By Avi Ebenstein
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan men's track team
headed'down to South Bend, saw, and
conquered. Michigan posted some
good scores, and returned to Ann Ar-
bor a little better prepared for the Big
Ten season.
Kevin Sullivan won the mile with a
e of 4:02.68. Junior Neil Gardner
paced second in hurdles at 7.42 sec-
onds, and Jon Royce won the high
jump 'at 7'1 ". Freshman John
Mortimer finished second in the 3,000
meter at 8:13. Michigan also won the
mile relay at 3:14.78.
"They were almost all ;mprove-
ments," Michigan coach Jack Harvey
said. "We went down there to get
better and we did."
Mhctimes were a bit deceptive be-
se the Souin Bend track has longer
straightaways but the athletes were
still pleased.

Guth Bend's Meyo Invitational

When you run by yourself, the pain
is magnified 50 times. When you're by
yourself, you are running fast"
- Trinity Townsend
Michigan track and field athlete

"We improved on our times and we
posted strong times," Gardner said.
"We are well prepared for any Big
Ten competition."
Senior Trinity Townsend noted that
the competition in South Bend helped
Michigan runners.
"I think some of the guys were in
better shape to qualify for nationals
with all the competition that was out
there," Townsend said. "It's tough
running by yourself."
Townsend explained the advantages
of competing against stronger run-
ners.

"When you run by yourself, the
pain is magnified SO times. When
you're by yourself, you are running
fast. With someone else, you are rac-
ing. You step on a track against some-
one, you aren't going to be thinking
about anything but racing."
Michigan now enters the Big Ten
race - ask the players, and they are
unquestioned favorites. "We should
beat any Big Ten team," Gardner said.
"Wisconsin has a good team but on
even a fair day, we will win."
Townsend agreed.
"We will win. We are that good,"

Fownsend added. "More people
should check us out because we will
win. You won't get frustrated watch-
ing us. I alwaysread the paperandsee
the basketball team or the hockey team
losing. That doesn't happen with us.
"We don't struggle, and we don't
mess up when we show up. Aside
from men's swimming, no team at the
University is as good at what they do
as we are.
"As for the Big Ten, Wisconsin is
good but I think the race will be tighter
for third place and down."
Scott MacDonald's optimism was
a bit more tempered. "This meet went
OK, but next weekend at Central
Collegiates is more important,"
MacDonald said. "We won't know
about the Big Ten for a few weeks."
Harvey seemed confident. "We
have enough depth. This weekend,
we play Purdue and MSU and well
see how that goes."

The men's track team is brimming with confidence after a successful weekend.

INTRAMURAL
SPORTS
PROGRAM
FANTASTIC!
UPCOMING ACTIVITIES
FREE THROW Entries Taken: Now and through the event Friday 2/9
CONTEST & Entry Fee: $5.00 per individual
3-POINT Format: Free Throw (50 FTs); 3-Point (25 shots/75 seconds)
SHOOTOUT Free Throw & Shootout Date/Times: Fri 2/9 11 a - 1Op

SWIMMING &
DIVING MEET
RELAYS
MEET

Entry Deadline: Weds 217 4:30pm

IMSB Main Office

Entry Fee: $35.00 teams/$5.00 individuals
Manager's Meeting (Mandatory): Weds 217 6pm IMSB
Meet Date: Thurs 2/8 at Canham Natatorium
Entry Deadline: Tues 2/27 4:30pm IMSB Main Office
Entry Fee: $22.00 per team
Events: 2-Mile, 880 (1/2-mile), 1320 (3/4-mile), Mile
Meet Date: Wednesday Feb. 28 at Track & Tennis Bldg

Remember to get your teams together and start practicing for the
IM activities that take place following Spring Break --
(Pre-Season VB, Volleyball, Mini-Soccer,
Racquetball - Sgls & Dbls, Table Tennis, Cross Country Run)

OFFICIATING OPPORTUNITIES

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