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February 22, 1996 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 1996-02-22

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I

10A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, February 22, 1996

U

Winless gymnastics
rivals set to face off

y John Friedberg
For the Daily
Rivalries: They make college sports
great.
The best, most bitter rivalries often
fall within the borders of a state. That
is what makes the men's gymnastics
meet Saturday special. The opponent:
Michigan State.
The Spartans edged Michigan
225.75-225.50. When Michigan State
sophomore Joe Duda brought the
house down with a Spartan record -
57.30 in the all-around last year.
The Wolverines are still looking
for their first win of the season when
they take on their intra-state foes Sat-
urday at 7 p.m. at Cliff Keen Arena.
Michigan is hoping to rebound from
its lackluster performance against
Minnesota last l
Sunday.6
"'We were flat; The n m
this meet got
away from us," ( h
Michigan coach
Bob Darden said very comj
after the loss.
"But the final and we're
score is right in dan ed
with our season ,
average, and if_
we continue to
train hard, the
scores will in-
crease to make us a competitive team."
Michigan is changing things this
week in preparation for the Spartans.
"We are doing more sets than usual
this week to improve our confidence,"
junior Flavio Martins said. "We are
also planning to change the lineup
this week, having the more consistent
guys go first. The meets with State are
usually very cpmpetitive, and we are
looking to find an edge."
In most gymnastics meets, the stron-
ger tumblers usually follow the weaker
ones. This shakeup is being made so
Michigan can gain team confidence.
Meanwhile, Michigan State comes
into Ann Arbor also looking for its first
win.
The Spartans are 0-2 in the young
season. In their last meet, Michigan
State lost a heartbreaker to Minne-
sota, 223.4-223.1. The defeat came
to the same Minnesota team that beat
Michigan, by more than 13 points
Sunday.
"I have heard that they have been

scoringswell and area very solid team,"
Martins said.
This is not the first time that the
Wolverines have seen the Spartans
this season.
Michigan State finished seventh at
the Windy City invitational, four
places in front of the Wolverines.
The Spartans are led by now-junior
Duda.
Duda has failed to reach the school
record that he set last year against the
Wolverines, but he has had several
strong performances this year.
Included in his efforts are his
school-record 9.85 on the parallel bars
against the Gophers and his strong
performances in the all-around.
Duda showed signs of his record-

breaking form by
sets with
) State are
ietitive,
looking to
f~e.
- Flavio Martins
ichigan gymnast

winning the all-
around against
Minnesota.
Duda is not
the only Michi-
gan State tum-
bler who has
been on a hot
streak as of late.
Sophomore
Ethan Sterk is
coming off
three season-
bests in the
Minnesota
meet, including

his top all-around score of the season
(55.15). Sophomore Keith Douglas
placed second on the vault against
the Golden Gophers, posting a ca-
reer-high 9.45.
Michigan is looking to rebound
from Sunday's effort against Minne-
sota.
"We had good perspective (Sun-
day), but it was just one of those
days," Michigan senior captain Chris
Onuska said.
Michigan can build on some posi-
tives from the Minnesota meet.
The Wolverines hit their sets on the
high bar, scoring a season high, 37.55,
in the process. This effort was strong
enough to move Michigan up to 1Ith
in the country as a team for the event.
The high bar has been Michigan's
most consistent event this season.
The match against Minnesota was
highlighted by season bests from
Martins (9.05),, junior Jason
MacDonald (9.6), and sophomore Jin
Bin Im (9.4).

DIANE COOK/Daily
The No. 11 Michigan men's gymnastics team hosts Intra-state rival Michigan State this Saturday.
Wveries among favoites
A*to take women's track titlAe'R

Ailing womwz
tumblers visit
Comnhuskers1
By Nancy Berger
Daily Sports Writer
Lincoln, Neb., won't be the only place that meml f
the Michigan women's gymnastics team will be v't g
this week. For at least three Wolverines, a visit tokhe
doctor's office was one of the destinations on .lr
schedules.
For senior co-captain Dianna Ranelli, an appoin .i t
with a physician will be the only gymnastics-riad
engagement for the week. Ranelli, whose season
against Utah Saturday, injured the anterior crutiatej2-
ment in her knee.
No prognosis is known as yet, but the injure
probably require surgery.
The severity of sophomore Heather Kabnick's i $y
is not clear, but the results of a bone scan will reli if
she has a stress fracture. If Kabnick is in fact suffz g
from a stress fracture, Michigan coach Bev Ploct-
pects the gymnast to be in rehabilitation for at lesta
couple of weeks. :
Almost a month has passed since freshman =ii
Peters went down with an unidentifiable injury .i e
Wolverines' meet against Minnesota.
"They have done a CAT scan and had X-rays dogE
didn't find anything," Peters said. "It is prob ta
muscle tear."
The muscle tear had been bothering Peters even when
she walked, but the pain has since subsided.
"I can walk and that is a step," Peters said. "Right now
I am on the bars and have gotten up on the balance beam."
While the prognosis for some looks better than for
others, the outlook for Michigan's meet at the Masters
Classic seems to be healthier than that for someof its
gymnasts.
Michigan will visit No. 8 Nebraska Sunday. The
fending Masters Classic champions will also host No.T7
Washington and Ball State. So far this season, the.Vol-
verines' average score has been well above the Huskers'
Classic winning score of 190.025 a year ago. Michigan
has been averaging 193.674 points per meet. -
Michigan's average was dramatically boosted after
upsetting defending national champion Utah in one of
the finest performances in the school's history. Michi-
gan hopes to duplicate its home success on the roa<LThe
Wolverines have averaged two points more at home than
they have at opposing sites.
"I am looking forward to getting a good away
score," Plocki said. "It is important to get a good
away score."
The doctor who examined the three ailing Michigan
gymnasts would probably have ordered a similar pre-
scription for the team at this point in the season.
Michigan's emphasis on strengthening its away sc.ores
will prove vital when the Wolverines have to travel to the
three most important events of the gymnastics season -
the Big Ten Championships, Regionals and NCAAs.
The team's emphasis on increasing its point tabulata
for future events reflects its primary focus at this stag
the season.
"I am not concerned with beating Nebraska, Washing-
ton and Ball State," Plocki said." I am focused on March
30th and beyond."
With the health of the team posing some dilemmis,
Michigan will have to hope that the team stays intactilong
enough to fulfill Plocki's long-range vision.
The best prescription for this ailing team requires a
dosage of three more gymnasts to step up and join top
performers Wendy Marshall, Andrea McDonal;:
Beth Amelkovich.
Freshmen Lisa Simes, Nikki Peters and Kathy Burke
have been key contributors all season long and couVd ill
the prescription perfectly.
"The younger kids have been the key to our success
this season," Plocki said.
Hobbled Michigan Gymnasts
Senior Dianna Ranell: anterior cruciate ligament inju y
out for season.
Sophomore Heather Kabnick: possible stress fractur;?
day-to-day.

Freshman Nikki Peters: possible muscle tear, day-to--
day.
Senior Tina Miranda: anterior cruciate ligament tear,..
out for season.

/UMMER EMPLOYmEfAT

By Donald Adamek
Daily Sports Writer
The big three should dominate the women's track
and field Big Ten championships again. Michigan,
Wisconsin and Illinois are poised to take the top three
spots for the fourth straight year.
As the defending champions, the Fighting Illini
have their work cut out for them. Even without
Cannel Corbett, the top performer at last year's
championships, Illinois appears to be the team to
beat. Last year's Freshman of the Year, Collinus
Newsome, has dominated the Big Ten in the shot put,
an event in which she holds the national high school
record.
The Illini have also excelled in sprints, recording
three of the top four times in the 55-meter dash this
year, and all four of the top times in the 200.
"It's really simple," Michigan coach James Henry
said. "Illinois is by far, probably, the favorite. Illinois
has dominated, over the last four or five years, the
sprint events."
The Badgers, last year's runners-up, are strongest
in their middle distance and long distance events.
Senior Kathy Butler is one of the nation's premier
runners in the 5,000 meters. Her time of 16:03.14 is
more than 20 seconds faster than the next best finish
in the Big Ten so far this season. She also holds the
best time in the mile this year.
Wisconsin has also done well in thejumps, and has
recorded the best time in the distance medley relay
this year. The Badgers will also have home (track
and) field advantage at noisy Shell Field.
"Wisconsin has outstanding athletes in every event
from the 800 meters on up," Henry said.
Among the other schools, Ohio State and
Indiana appear to be the strongest. The Buck-
eyes feature defending triple-jump champ Shandi
Boyd-Pleasant and are strong in most field events.
The Hoosiers return the Big Ten's best long

jumper in Aisha Shabazz and have solid depth in
the middle distances.
Indiana's depth does not compare to Michigan's,
though. The Wolverines are the deepest team in the
Big Ten and should place someone in the top five of
every event.
"We're the most balanced team in the Big Ten,"
Henry said. "We will have a representative in every
event, and that's only the second time that's been
done in our school's history."
Michigan will need that balance to score points
with second- and third-place finishes, to make up for
the probability that it will win few events. The Wol-
verines have a chance to win the 600 meters with
Angela Stanifer, the 3,000 with Courtney Babcock,
and all of the jumps with Tania Longe and Monika
Black.
One event that might prove crucial is the 200 dash.
Although the Illini boast the best four times ofthe year so
far, Michigan returns last year's winner, Tearza Johnson.
"Tearza Johnson is the defending champion in the
200 meters," Henry said. "We will need her to inter-
rupt the dominance that Illinois holds in the sprint
events. She is starting to come back to form (after an
injury four weeks ago). Last week was the first week
that she started to look like her old self again."
The Wolverines are hoping to pick up some points
in the sprint events even ifthe Illini take the top spots.
To make up for that, Michigan will rely on Illinois'
lack of talent at otherevents, with special emphasis on
throwers.
"After 600 meters (Illinois) doesn't have any ath-
letes that could possibly score," Henry said. "They
have one good thrower that won last year, but after
that we could take three of the next five spots and
make up for that."
The Illini are the solid favorites to win the Big Ten
but will have to ward off threats from Michigan and
Wisconsin to win the conference crown.

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