The Michigan Daily - SPORTSMonday - Monday, March 11. 1996 - 5B
indoor season finale letdown
for men and women runners
By Kim Hart
For the Daily
The Michigan men's and women's
indoor track seasons came to an end
ts past weekend at the NCAA In-
door Track and Field Championships.
Courtney Babcock and Monika
Black of the women's team and Neil
Gardner and the distance medley re-
lay team, consisting of Trinity
Townsend, Jeff Wood, Scott
MacDonald and Kevin Sullivan of the
men's team represented Michigan at
Opening day looked promising for
both groups. The preliminary heats
f4 the running events called on
Courtney Babcock and Neil Gardner
to pull both teams up in the standings.
Courtney Babcock finished first in
NCAA Indoor Track and
heat one of the 3,000-meter run with
a time of 9:27.38. The time was a
season best for Babcock and guaran-
teed her a spot in the finals. Babcock
was looking to repeat as an NCAA
champion (1994 distance medley re-
lay),, but she finished fifth overall
with a time of 9:13.84.
Neil Gardner finished sixth in his
heat in the 55 high hurdle preliminar-
ies with a time of 7.46 seconds.
The finish qualified him for the
semifinals in which, with a time of
8.01 seconds, Gardner grabbed sixth
place. The time did not qualify him
for the finals.
Monika Black finished the high
jump in a tie for 11th place with
Rainia Turner of Kentucky with a
jump of 5-feet-8 1/2 inches. The top
finisher in the high jump was Najuma
Fletcher of Pittsburgh who cleared 6-
feet-0 3/4 inches.
The senior men of the distance med-
ley relay team finished second behind
Nebraska with a time of 9:32.28.
Overall, the Michigan women ended
the indoor season in an eight-way tie
for 33rd place with 34 points. The
NCAA champion was Louisiana State
University for the fourth year in a row
with a total of 52 points.
The men finished in a three-way tie
for 31st place with a total of eight
points. George Mason finished first
with 39 points.
team of Scott
and Jeff Wood to
finish at the
Track and Field
'M' women gymasts fall to Bulldogs
No. 7 Wolverines come within a half-point of upending top-ranked Georgia
By Nancy Berger
Daily Sports Waiter
Judging from Georgia's deep-rooted gymnastics his-
tory, the Lady Bulldogs probably have taken a lot more
bites out of their opponents than McG2ffthe Crime Dog
has taken out of crime.
The Michigan women's gymnastics team found out
} Saturday night at Cliff Keen Arena that Georgia's bite
Slives upto its fierce bark. The No,-I Lady Bulldogs (I11-
1) edged No. 7 Michigan (13-6), 196.85-196.425, as the
k sellout crowd of 1,841 watched Georgia take a bite out
3.:~ of the Wolverines' 47-meet home winning streak.
Michigan wasn't as con-
eem edabout Georg ia's tough______
f *growl and national reputa-
tion as they were about turn- E eryon
ing in some of their own im-
pressive performances U OS n uog
"Most ofall, Ijust wanted -w
to make it a competition,"
r Michigan coach Bev Plocki
said. "I really didn't antici- our upsflon
pate a win, but Iam proud of
the kids for hanging in and Michigan
making it a meet."
Michigan not only barked
just as loud as the Bulldogs but also took an even larger
bite out ofthe school record book. The Wolverines set an
all-time team record on the floor exercise with 49.45
paints and tied the school record of 49.2 on the uneven
Michigan's score on the uneven bars was highlighted
by the fact that it came within .05 of a point of the
country's top uneven bars lineup.
If competing against the best gymnasts on bars wasn't
WALKER VANDYKE/Daily enough for the Wolverines, their intimidating opponents
Michigan tied a team record of 49.2 on the uneven bars Saturday. are also ranked first in the vault. Georgia freshman Karin
Lichey became the first gymnast in NCAA history to
score a perfect 40.0 in the all-around in a meet against
A Michigan gymnast would probably be thrilled with
achieving such perfection, but the Wolverines are con-
tent with their score and would gladly take their perfor-
mance against Georgia anyday.
"It is a really good confidence booster," Michigan
freshman Lisa Simes said. "When you have more people
doing things, it starts getting exciting.
The excitement has already reached sen ior co-captain
Wendy Marshall,, who is currently ranked 10th nation-
ally in the all-around.
Marshall c onti nues to break
t S , all of her career-highs in each
ha tevent, including the all-
around, which she has set this
s. We season. Saturday night,
Marshall received her sixth
perfect 10 on the vault and
n recorded personal bests on the
floor exercise (9.95) and all-
Beth Amelkovich around (39.6).
vomen's gymnast Simes and fellow fresh-
man Kathy Burke seem to
have also caught the excite-
ment bug as each have stepped up and have begun to
assume larger roles for the team. Coming off a stress
fracture in her shin, Simes recorded a personal-best
39.4 in the all-around and tied for first on the uneven
bars (9.9). Burke set a career record in the all-around
with a 38.9.
With five gymnasts in the lineup, Michigan's early
season injury troubles seem to be behind them.
"Things are really coming together for us," Michigan
freshman Beth Amelkovich said. "Everyone has their
ups and downs, we definitely want to have our ups now."
If their meet with Georgia is any indication, Michigan
seems to be on the up and up.
"We have had a couple down meets but it .hasn't
ruined our hopes," Simes said.
The No. 7 Wolverines ended their spring break with a.
close loss against top-ranked Georgia.