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April 08, 1996 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily, 1996-04-08

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The Michigan Daily - SPORTSMonday - Monday, April 8, 1996 - 3B

Crew dominates sole home regatta

By Dan Stillman
Daily Sports Writer.
In its only home regatta of the sea-
son, the Michigan crew team cruised
past Michigan State and Mercyhurst
this weekend in a tune-up for next
weekend's Big Ten championships.
The Wolverines won nine out of the
* races Saturday on the Huron River.
Michigan's women swept all five of
their events, while the men's team's
only loss came in a second-place fin-
ish 'to Michigan State's varsity four.
In the final events of the day, the
men's and women's varsity eights de-
feated Mercyhurst and the Spartans,
who finished second and third, re-
spectively, in both races.

The closest race of the day went to
Wolverines' men's junior varsity
lightweight eight. Michigan edged the
Spartans by 0.3 seconds (10:06.5 to
10:06.8). Mercyhurst finished a dis-
tant third with a time of 11:03.3.
It was the novices, though, that
made the strongest showing, accord-
ing to Michigan men's coach Greg
Hartsuff and women's coach Mark
Rothstein.
The first novice women's boat won
its race by 26.4 seconds while the
second boat defeated two Spartan en-
tries in its event.
On the men's side, the first novice
eight (7:28.1) topped Michigan State
(7:39.6) and Mercyhurst (7:41.5). The

second novice eight also won its event.
"I'm more pleased with the novice
men," Hartsuff said. "The varsity boat
won, but they didn't have a particu-
larly good row."
The only Michigan boat not to win its
race was the men's varsity four, which
finished second to Michigan State.
The regatta, which had more of a
scrimmage atmosphere to it, served
as a warm-up for the next month of
championship regattas, starting with
next weekend's Big Ten champion-
ships in Indianapolis.
The women and men look to do well
in the always-prestigious varsity eight
races during the championship run.
"Keep an eye on the (men's) varsity

eight," Hartsuff said. "It'll be inter-
esting to see how we do against Ohio
State. Wisconsin is the more respected
opponent, though."
Hartsuff also expects a good perfor-
mance from the novice this weekend.
"(The novice) are poised to take the
silver or gold. They'll be fighting
with Wisconsin," Hartsuff said.
Rothstein expects tough competi-
tion from other schools as well.
"Things have changed in the Big
Ten; Iowa and Ohio State have var-
sity programs now," said Rothstein,
coach of the soon-to-be-varsity
women's squad. "We have a shot of
winning (the varsity eight race). We
could also finish fourth."

MARSHALL
Continued from Page 1,
develop her routines in the other three
events (uneven bars, balance beam
and floor exercise), and has blossomed
into one of the top all-around com-
petitors in the country.
"Wendy was not the most highly
;soiht after recruit in the country,"
*higan coach Bev Plocki says. "She
Was an excellent vaulter from day one,
and what we saw in her was a lot of
xtential. We really thought that she
iould become a great college gymnast,
and that is exactly what has happened."
Last season, Marshall was a first team
A-American in the all-around, on the
balance beam and in the vault. So far this
season, she has been named Big Ten
gymnast of the year, captained Michigan
' a record-tying fifth consecutive Big
n conference title and won the confer-
ence vault championship.
The list of Marshall's accomplish-
ments and records is far more extensive
than this, but her contributions to the
team extend well beyond high scores.
"I think the thing that makes Wendy
stand out, even more so than what she
does competitively," Plocki says, "is
the level of enthusiasm that she has
& the sport,theteam and Michigan."
Marshall is easy to spot during
Michigan meets because she is so
animated. After a good routine, her
smile radiates with such sincerity that
you know it is not just an act for the
judges. It is simply genuine excite-
ment over her performance.
When a teammate is competing, the
loudest audible cheering voice prob-
ably belongs to Marshall.
"She isjust so enthusiastic," Plocki
W's. "Even spectators that don't know
who she is will pick her out of a group
of people, just because she is con-
stantly smiling, clapping, yelling or
cheering for somebody, or offering
her support."
Marshall says that is just some-
thing she does.
"My role is to keep everybody
happy," she says. "That's my specific
al. If you don't look happy, I'm
ing to make you smile."
Marshall smiles most of the time,
and she laughs a lot too. Her laugh is
not giggly, but sincere like her smile,
and it comes just as easy.
"If you are not having fun doing
something, why are you doing it?"
she says simply.
Her biggest source of fun is gym-
nastics. She followed her older sister
Tammy into the sport, and Marshall
ys had Tammy not gotten hurt, she
would have had a good shot at the
Olympics. After she was injured, the
older Marshall was still able to get a
scholarship to Massachusetts.
"She was just as good as any Olym-
pian. She was awesome," Marshall
says of her older sister. "I never
wanted to be in the Olympics. That
was never a dream. My dream was to
o to college, get a scholarship and
a good job."
So far, she has already accomplished
two out of three. As far as the job goes,
Marshall loves children and is studying
tobeaphysical education teacher. Some
day she wants to be a principal and own
a child day care center.
"All last year to promote our sport,
and to promote that we were hosting
regionals, we went to the schools and
did little presentations and skits on
anastics," Marshall says. "I loved
Ong that, kids came over and asked
forautographs, and that's great. Just
txhake a kid smile makes me want to

nile for the rest of my life."
After home meets, Marshall and her
eammates sign autographs for any kid

ance before the home crowd.
Marshall's final home performance
was probably more dramatic than pres-
sure packed, but she has proven she
can handle those situations as well.
The first 10 of her life came during her
sophomore year on the vault in the re-
gional meet, a tremendous feat in itself.
Then last year when Michigan hosted the
regional meet in Chrysler Arena, and the
pressure was on to repeat her perfect
score, Marshall delivered.
"I was the last person to go, and I
wanted our team to end on high," she
says. "I worked all week, I remember,
just to stick those landings. I know if I
stick it I can go 10. It's a possibility in
my future, so it is worth working for."
Saturday Marshall will get a chance
to three-peat on the vault when the
Wolverines compete in the central re-
gional championships in Baton Rouge.
The pressure will be on again, but
Marshall's main goal is a team victory.
"I want to win regionals as a team,
now more than ever. We've never
done it before, so why not?" she says.
Even if they don't win the meet, the
Wolverines will likely score high
, enough to qualify fornationals for the
fourth straight year.
Although she admits to being a little
nervous during national champion-
ship meets, Marshall says that for the
most part she is able to deal with the
pressure. Predictably, her method is
to just have fun.
"It's fun. It is so much fun," she
says. "You go up for that last routine,
and it's your last routine. Why not do
the greatest one ever? That's what we
say to each other, there is no other
motivation than that."
Marshall's attitude has rubbed off
on her teammates, and is evident in
their performances.
"Athletes from the club level (re-
cruits) watch us compete, and the thing
they say is, above so many other teams,
when the Michigan team is compet-
ing, we look like we honestly enjoy it
and are having fun," Plocki says. "It
doesn't look like we are under pres-
sure, or strugglingor worried. People
want to be a part of that, and Wendy
has been a large contributing factor to
why we are that way."
Marshall will only be a contributor
at Michigan for two more meets, but
they are the big ones. Asked about the
Wolverines' chances to win it all this
year, Marshall smiles, and with a
twinkle in her eye says simply, "We
can win it."
The way she says it, and the expres-
sion on her face reveal such complete
confidence in herself and her team-
mates, you can't help but like their
chances if you are a Michigan fan.
But regardless of how the Wolver-
ines fare the next three weeks in
regionals and nationals, you can be
sure of two things. Wendy Marshall
will have fun getting there, and she
will go out with a smile.

.fox puck mmi k A*one
more di appoitkzg comet
T hey say it's the "hottest new star" in the league. The future of the
N HL.
It's a puck.
A puck?
Of course the people saying this work at Fox Sports. That explains a lot
right there.
And that oh-so-bright star they're referring to is the not-so-bright idea
known as Fox Trax. In layman's terms: The-really-annoying-blue-dot-that-
is-just-behind-the-puck-and-not-on-it-where-it's-supposed-to-be.
This isn't new, I know. Fox debuted its multimillion dollar invention in
January at the league's all star game.
At the time it was a blue dot on top of the puck, and when play was along
the near boards the blue dot looked like a hat for some woman in the third
row. It was kind of like the William Kennedy Smith trial on ice.
The most amusing aspect of the invention, though, was the orange comet
tail that trailed behind especially hard shots.
The purpose was to make the puck easier for viewers to follow. The
result was the general annoyance of most everyone who saw the game.
So Fox shelved the puck. Some of us had hoped for good.
Then, last week, it returned like yesterday's burrito. And with about the
same effect.
It was new and improved according to Fox. They replaced the blue dot
with a simple white glow around the puck. The comet stayed, but suppos-
edly only after really, really hard shots. Or so our announcers told us.
You know what? The puck still stinks.
I tried. I gave it a chance. I watched the first two periods of the Trax
return. I got a headache.
The glow is still annoying, and the comet still makes the game look like
it should be shown on Fox Kids, Saturday morning between Spider Man
and The Tick. Of course, those silly fighting robots that show up after goals
don't exactly help.
You have to wonder: If this is what Rupert Murdoch can do to hockey,
what could he do to a sport he understood?
It is obvious Fox doesn't get hockey, and that's one of the reasons Fox
Trax is so annoying.
If someone at Fox knew something about hockey they would have
pointed out that the puck is not the only thing moving on the ice.
There is a lot that goes on in a hockey game without the puck, and I don't
mean fighting. But there are big hits, back-checking, forechecking; plays
develop and plays are broken up. All of which is missed because your eyes
are forced to follow this'little glowing dot around the rink.
Admittedly, I'm what you would call a hockey traditionalist.
Like a bad third-world government, I still don't recognize the Central
Division. It's the Norris and always will be.
I've been called Canadian because I prefer a good hockey game over
baseball.
So, as someone who grew up watching and playing hockey, this whole
illuminated idea is kind of insulting.
I've always been able to follow the puck just fine, thank you.
Apparently Canadians have too since the Canadian Broadcasting Corpo-
ration, the people who bring you Hockey Night In Canada, never plan on
using this cutting-edge technology.
I will give Fox credit for trying to widen hockey's television audience in
the United States. It is just going about it the wrong way.
Sell the public on the game, not a gimmick.
The game is 10 times more exciting than the NBA is today, and with the
playoffs just around the corner, the game can sell itself.
Unfortunately Fox isn't going to let that happen. The playoffs will be
nothing but another opportunity to showcase the network's latest toy.
The NHL's "hottest new star" will be on display until the Stanley Cup is
given away.
I just hope the real stars aren't taken out by a stray comet.
- Ryan White can be reached over e-mail at target@umich.edu.
Enjoy spring with
We keep you cool on warm April nIghts.
Whatever that means.

NOPPORN KICHANANTHA/Daily
Wendy Marshall may be standing alone here, but it was the crowd that stood In
her honor when she finished her final home meet with a perfect 10.

who wants one, which usually takes at
least a half-an-hour. Marshall says en-
joys this because it reminds her that her
sport and her team are appreciated,
something she doesn't always feel from
the University community.
"We were second in NCAAs last
year and some people don't even know
we have a gymnastics team here.
That's upsetting," Marshall says, no
longer displaying her trademark smile.
"I don't know how to change that."
She may have a legitimate gripe
about a lack of attention. The school's
first appearance in the national cham-
pionship meet was during Marshall's
freshman season. The Wolverines fin-
ished ninth overall. The next year
they improved to fourth, and last sea-
son Michigan was second, on'ly .225
of a point away from a national title.
This year the team has been ranked as
high as No. 3.
"Well, after we win our national
title this year, everybody should know
who we are," Marshall says laughing,
unable to stay upset for very long.
Another thing Marshall doesn't stay
for very long is inactive. She lists her
hobbies as water-skiing, working with
children, going to the beach, fishing
and playing pool.
"I like to do things. I love all activi-
ties, I may not be great at them, but I
love to do them. I have to be doing
something, always. I can't just sit
down."
Marshall hasn't had to sit down
during a meet for the past two sea-
sons, because during that time she has
competed in the all-around at every
meet. Her constant presence and con-
sistent performances have been espe-
cially important this year, because the
Wolverines have been ravaged by in-
juries. By mid-February, fellow se-
niors Dianna Rannelli and Tina
Miranda had both suffered career-end-
ing knee injuries.
"I look over and they are standing
there, and I want them to be out there

more than anything," Marshall says. "I'm
not just competing for myself. After ev-
ery meet I say, 'That bar routine was for
you,' or, 'That vault was for you,' and it
really is, it genuinely, really is."
Marshall had to compete for both
her injured classmates on senior night,
March 16 against Brigham Young.
She was the last competitor of the
evening, and a Michigan victory had
already been secured. With her par-
ents looking on from the stands, she
performed a flawless floor routine
that earned her a perfect 10, the first
one she had ever received on the floor.
Understandably, Marshall says it
was difficult to keep her emotions in
check before the routine.
"I was just about to cry, and I said
to myself, 'OK, let's just go out with
a smile."'
When she finished, the crowd gave
her a standing a ovation, not just for the
last performance, but for all the perfor-
mances over the past four years. And
although she would have undoubtedly
received the ovation no matter what the
result, you couldn't help but feel like
this was the appropriate ending, the
senior getting a 10 in her last appear-

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