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March 18, 1996 - Image 16

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The Michigan Daily, 1996-03-18

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6B - The Michigan Daily - SPORTSMonday - Monday, March 18, 1996

Marshall goes out i
Miknock a

W By Nancy Berger
Daily Sports Writer
"h.In her last event in her last collegiate
x home meet, Wendy Marshall accom-
$< .Y' plished something for the first time in
her career. She scored her first 10.0 on
the floor exercise.
' With emotions at an extreme,
S'Marshall pulled off a highly charged
performance in Michigan's 197.00-
194.35 victory over Brigham Young.
Her floor routine left her coach and
fellow teammates in tears. In fact, tears
were ready to flow when the announcer
called Marshall's name and reminded
} the crowd that this was her last event at
home before the meet began.
"I was OK until Percy announced her
last performance," Michigan coach Bev
Plocki said. "I then looked at Wendy
and her eyes opened u"
As her name was being called,
Marshall was trying to hold back her
excitement as well as the tears that were
.. about to flow.
"I was ready tocry; I was more ex-
cited than nervous," Marshall said. "This
was my last impression in front of the
home crowd."
There seemed to be a consensus on
what type of impression Marshall left,
as the crowd held up yellow signs with
the number 10on them.
Impressing the crowd shouldn't be
that difficult for Marshall, given the
career she has had at home. This year
NOPPORN KICHANANTHA /Daily was only the icing on the cake, as
Marshall has established season highs
Lauren La Branche helped Michigan set a school record in the floor exercise in the team's final home meet of the season. and school records at all of her home

meets this year.
Saturday night against No.5 Brighai
Young was no different than any of
Marshall's other home meets as she
continued to rewrite the Michigan record
book. Marshall scored a career-best 9.9
on the uneven bars to accompany the
seventh perfect 10.0 of her career. Her
other six came on the vault.
Marshall's performance was almost
like a gift to the crowd for all of the fan
support she has received throughout
her career.
"Our home crowd is what I am really
going to miss," Marshall said.
Probably the person who will miss
Marshall and her fellow seniors, Dianna
Ranelli and Tina Miranda, the most will
be their coach. For Plocki, the three
seniors have been like a part of her
family for the past four years.
"This is the hardest meet I have,"
Plocki said. "I am with these kids ev-
eryday for four or five years. They are
like my own kids. This meet is like a
realization."
Michigan's meet against BYU was
especially hard for two of Plocki's old-
est kids. For Ranelli and Miranda, they
would have to revel in the accomplish-
ments of Marshall, the only senior that
was able to compete.
"The other two seniors were living
their last meet through Wendy," Plocki
said. "Wendy was competing as much
for them as for herself."
Both Marshall and the rest of the
Wolverines gave the two seniors much
to be proud of as Michigan turned in

nstyle a':
one of the best team performanes ever.
The fired-up squad turn ain the
Wolverines' second-highest 4:" score
ever with 197 points.
Michigan did even better In posog
school records on the uneven bars
(49.375) and floor exercise (49.475).
What made the Wolverines' perfor-
mance even more special was the fact
that four Michigan gymnasts swept.the
all-around with scores of 39.3 and
higher. BYU's closest competitor to a
Michigan gymnast in the all-around
scored a 38.925.
Junior Andrea McDonald topped the
field with a personal-high in the -
around (39.525). On her way to the al-
around title, McDonald also recorded
career-highs on the vault (9.9), uneven
bars (9.85) and floor exercise (9.95).
Freshmen Lisa Simes- and Beth
Amelkovich continued to be vital con-
tributors for Michigan. Simes finished
second in the all-around wi-39,45,
improving on her career-high of 39.4,
which she achieved against~G"otgia
last week.
Amelkovich has proved to-be a con-
sistent performer, as she tied Marshall
for third in the all-around and first on
the uneven bars.
Even though Saturday's imeet waE
the last homemeet ofthe season, Michi-
gan knows that there is plenty f gym-
nastics still left to be played,'especially
in the next couple of weeks.,
"Next week's meet will be itnpor-
tant," Plocki said. "We need some
away scores."

Wolverines' men's gymnastics team falls to Penn State in University Park

w By Sharat Raju
Daily Sports Writer
7 The Michigan men's gymnastics team might very well be
Penn State's good luck charm.
The fourth-ranked Nittany Lions, scoring a season high
226.4 points, defeated the No. 24 Wolverines (206.7) and
No. 18 Army (217.025) at University Park. Penn State's
previous season high of 225.575 came a week earlier at
New Mexico.
Michigan was there to see that meet, too.
The host Lions were quite rude to their guests, taking
either first or second in everyevent except the pommel
horse.
Steve McSparren and Joseph Roemer shared first place
on the rings with 9.75 points. McSparren also won the floor
exercise scoring a9.65, and took second on the vault (9.35).
Roy Malka and Brandy Wood also tied for first on the
high bar with 9.75. Thomas Ellefson placed first on the
parallel bars with a 9.625, and teammate Wood came in
second with 9.5.

Malka and Wood also placed second and third in the
all-around, scoring 56 and 55.65 points, respectively.
"We finished strong," Penn State coach Randy Jepson
said. "We haven't been (scoring that high) most of the
season."
The all-around winner, however, was not from Penn
State, but from Army. Steve Marshall scored a 56.875,
highlighted by first-place performances in vault (9.55)
and high bar (9.75).
He also received 9.55 on the floor exercise to claim
second place, and a 9.45 on the parallel bars to come in
third.
Marshall's fellow Black Knights Mike Sivulka and
Ben Hayward also did their share of work. Sivulka
scored a 9.7 in the parall'el bars to take first while
Hayward scored a 9.55 to take second.
Michigan (0-8) had a difficult time competing with
such impressive performances. In fact, the Wolverines'
team total of 206.7 is their lowest since January, when
they scored a mere 197.55.

"It's hard (for us) not to be.
down on ourselves,
especially when you look at
our record"
- Jason MacDonald
Michigan men's gymnastics' team member
"It's hard (for us) not to be down on ourselves, especially
when you look at our record," Michigan junior Jason
MacDonald said. "Overall, we're still trying to not get
down and work hard."
Positives can always be found, especially in an. indi-
vidual sport like gymnastics. Junior Flavio Martins came
through with a strong fourth place finish in the all-around
with 53.85 points, including a sixth-place finish on the

rings (9.4).
The highest Michigan finish was by sophomore
Tim Lauring, whose 9.1 on the vault was good etoug
for fifth.
Sophomore Jin Bin Im and Senior Chris Onua
improved on a couple of their season best scores.r
received an 8.3 on the pommel horse, bettering his 7.5
earlier this year at Ohio State. Onuska bagged a 9.05
on the high bar, improving on an 8.8 showing also al
Ohio State.
Aside from that, the results look pretty bleak fo
Michigan.
The Wolverines will try to break into the win col-
umn this week, when they host the Michigan Invita-
tional March 23 at Cliff Keen Arena. The meet won'
be easy for the Wolverines, though. They will fac
No. 3 Michigan State, No. 7 Illinois-Chicago; No
Brigham Young, No. 15 Temple and No. 17 Westerr
Michigan.
At least Penn State won't be there.

NBA sis

on

Derver'Y

f*1ar

9 T Apf

A -uysrAghr

sure hope I never have to work for
an employer like the NBA. Granted,
my jump shot, or lack thereof, is not
worthy of NBA consideration. But even
if I had the athletic talent, you can be sure
I'd have grave concerns working for an
organization that so blatantly disregards
the rights of its employees.
It is old news by now that Denver
Nuggets' point guard Mahmoud Abdul-
Rauf refused to salute the flag during the
playing of "The
Star-Spangled
Banner" for the
first 60 games of
the season.
Sometimes
he'd lurk back in
the lockerroom. r
Sometimes he'd JOHN
even stand, turn-
ing away from the LEROI
American flag. Out of
But it wasn't Bounds
until Wednesday,
after Denver talk shows started to make
Abdul-Rauf'sconscientious objection one
of the hottest media topics in the country,
that the NBA decide to abuse his First
Amendment rights.
Abdul-Rauf changed his name from
Chris Jackson five years ago, shortly after
converting to Islam. He was suspended
indefinitely without pay for not abiding to
a league rule that says players, coaches
and support staff "must stand in a digni-
fied posture" during the national anthem.
Forget for a moment that the NBA,
more conscious of its image than any
other professional sports league, disre-
garded every player who chews gum,
whispers, or jostles with teammates.
The league yanked out from under
Abdul-Rauf his freedom of expression,
the single most important right we have in
this country.
As a joumalist, I am deeply offended.
As an American, I am outraged. The U.S.
Supreme Court decided in 1943 that a
West Virginia statute requiring students
to stand during the Pledge of Allegiance

lar circumstances in the past."
The suspension is horribly similart
the International Olympic Committee's
decision in 1968 to strip American sprints
ers John Carlos and Tommie Smith o:
their medals for raising gloved fists it
support of black empowerment on the
medal stand in Mexico City.
If Abdul-Rauf continued to forfeit hi
$31,707 a game and filed a case in court
it probably would have been on the bii
ofthe federalstatutethatprohibitspri
as well aspublicbodiesto discriminateod
the basis of religion.
But in Colorado-a conservative state
where the commander of the Colorado
American Legion was quoted as saying
Abdul-Rauf's actions were "tantamount
to treason" and that he should. -enounce
his citizenship-Abdul-Raufscaseprob-
ably wouldn't fly in the courtroom.
But you know, that's not even
point. Legally, the NBA might be ableto
get away with ignoring the Constitution,
but it should have enough decency not to.
Fans criticize Abdul-Rauf for not be-
ing patriotic, for not saluting the Ameri-
can flag. Critics wish he would pay hom-
age to his country and respectanation that
allows him great freedoms.
The beauty of this country is that its
citizens have the right to both think and
speak freely - whether it is in ac
dance with majority opinion or not. .,
Dismissing others' thoughts or modes
ofexpression as extremejustbecauseyou
do not feel the same way is both pompous
and oppressive.
The United States is the greatest nation
on Earth because of the liberties granted
to its citizens. We have freedoms of po-
litical and religious expression without
fear of punishment -- unless. ourse,
you play professional basketball.
While others in McNicholsAienastand
in recognition of such freedoms, Abdul-
Rauf is exercising his. Abdul-Rauf said
his religion forbade him from standing
during the national anthem. He called the
American flag "a symbol of oppression
and tyranny" - something that incensed

I

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