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December 09, 1996 - Image 18

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The Michigan Daily, 1996-12-09

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8B - The Michigan Daily - SPORTSMonday - December 9, 1996 1

GYMNASTICS
l 'M' tumblers work out ldnksII

By Eugene Bowen
Daily Sports Writer
Consistency.
Following the Michigan men's gym-
nastics Maize and Blue Intrasquad meet
Friday - the first meet of the season -
that was the word topping the list of
what the tumblers needed to work on.
"I was disappointed in the consisten-
cy," Michigan coach Kurt Colder said.
"But looking at the scores, and consid-
ering the fact that we're competing
under new (International Gymnastics
Federation) rules for the first time, I'm
pleased overall."
Senior co-captain Flavio Martins
also cited consistency as a goal for the
team.
"We must work on getting more dif-
ficulty in the sets and on our consisten-
cy," Martins said. "We're not going to
be doing big tricks too much, so if we're
going to win competitions, it's going to
be because of consistency."
Martins, who competed in the all-
around, had many bittersweet moments.
During his 8.95 pommel horse perfor-
mance, his legs dropped low on more
than one occasion. While he never fell
and his successful scissor half bolstered
his performance, his outing was more
of a tooth-and-nail fight with the horse
rather than a graceful flurry of move-
ments upon it.
His rings performance was most dis-
appointing, however. Martins's attempt-
ed pressed invert fell completely flat,
costing him a major deduction.
Martins's score (6.6) was the lowest of

the four Wolverines who tackled the
rings, while senior Edwin Ledgard's
9.25 performance was exemplified by
one virtually perfect maltese followed
by another, no less precise.
But it was freshman Jose Haro who
stole the night, as his crisp performance
on the rings earned him a 9.65. He
would again receive a 9.65 for his par-
allel bar routine. The scores were the
highest given at the Maize and Blue.
"(Haro) is an extremely exciting guy
to watcb," Colder said, citing the fact
that Haro, unlike the other Wolverines,
has seen international action. He com-
peted in the World Championships last
year on the Mexican national team.
But even Haro, who competed all-
around, was hurt a few times by judicial
deductions. On the floor, he received a
four-tenths deduction for performing an
extra layout. He stepped out once,
slipped on a front full and took a step on
a double full twist. But due to the high
difficulty of his routine and few other
flaws, Haro managed to earn a 9.05
from the judges.
On the high bar, his two Kovac
attempts (a highly difficult double-back
over the bar) ended in two falls, and two
major deductions. Later, his two reverse
hechts were followed by a failed gien-
ger attempt, which led to another fall
and another major deduction. His 7.0
score was the lowest on the high bar and
the second-lowest score given through-
out the meet.
Senior co-captain Jason
MacDonald's ankle, which was

stretched last season did not seem to -
affect his exercises on the floor (9.0) or
on the parallel bars (8.15).
But following his 9.0 layout on the
vault, MacDonald was limping visibly.
"My ankle's just sore," he said. "And
until I'm done with the sport of gym-
nastics it'll be with me. So I'll just push
through it."
Sophomore Randy D'Amura also
had problems with an ankle he sprained
in early November. The injury was one
of several that which contributed to his
6.6 performance on the pommel horse,
which included four falls and a weak
attempt at a scissors routine.
"I wasn't aggressive enough," he
said. "I lost intensity after the first fall."
Freshman Ethan Johnson was equal-
ly unhappy with his performances.
While he received an 8.55 on the rings,
he garnered only a 7.95 and a 7.5 on the'
pommel horse and parallel bars, respec-
tively.
"I need to get my confidence up," he
said. "This was my first college meet4
and things were a little nerve-wracking.
But things can only go up from here:'.
The team's total hit percentage was{
71.4 for the meet.
With 10 of the 16 gymnasts being
freshmen or transfer students, Johnson
said the team is still working on its col-'
lective chemistry.
"With this many new team members
you have to expect a few kinks and
glitches," he said.
"But once we get comfortable, we'l
definitely kick some ass."

The Michigan men's gymnastics team will have to work on its pommel horse routines once the Wolverines begin competing
against other squads. At Friday's Intrasquad meet, the scores on the horse accounted for some of the team's lowest.

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Women gymnasts test depth,
youth in search of starting six

1 I'4 ,

By Jacob Wheeler
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan women's gymnastics
team got its first taste of competition
Saturday in an intrasquad meet at Cliff
Keen Arena.
"We needed this;" coach Bev Plocki
said. "We needed to get out in front of
crowds and judges to see how we'd fare
under pressure."'
Despite stellar all-around perfor-
mances from freshman Sarah Cain and
sophomore Lisa Simes, the Wolverines
looked flat in the beam apparatus.
"It will take a few meets to get into
the swing of the beam," Plocki said.
"But I expected that because there's no
room for error there.
"Nevertheless, it was important to
get our mistakes out before the regular
season."

Cain and Simes were the top two
Wolverines in the balance beam appara-
tus and all-around scores. Cain finished
with scores of 9.825 on the beam and
39.275 in the all-around, while Simes
gained scores of 9.775 and 39.05 in the
same events.
"I'm very pleased with Sarah's per-
formance Plocki said. "She's going to
be a household name."
Cain's freshman class appears very
talented, but Plocki isn't prejudging its
potential.
"It's too early to tell yet how they'll
be because this was only their first col-
lege competition," she said. "It was
good for (Sarah Elizabeth) Langford to
get her feet wet, especially in the
beam.'
Langford received scores of 9.3 in
ae vault and the beam. If all goes well,

Write us. daily.letters@umich.edu.

this should be the second straight year.
that Michigan freshmen make signifi-
cant contributions.
Current sophomores Kathy Burke.
Simes and Nikki Peters each competed
in all four events Saturday.
Burke tallied a 9.625 in the beam and
a 37.275 all-around. Peters (38 all-
around) delivered the highlight of the
evening on the bar apparatus, with-a.
score of 9.9. Simes was an All-
American last year in the all-around,
while Peters received the honor in the
vault apparatus.
A deep and relatively young lineup is
especially important for the Wolverines
right now, with the injuries to captain
Andrea MacDonald and Beth
Amelkovich.
"We've got lots of depth this year,sd.
we won't need to rush their returns,"
Plocki said.
MacDonald has a stress fracture jn
her back that should keep her out of the
first few meets of the new year.
"We don't need to push her because
we know she can come back quickly,"
Plocki said. "We'll let her rest.'
Amelkovich is suffering from a mys-,
terious bone bruise on her foot. She still
competed in the uneven bars apparatus
Saturday, however, scoring a 9.4.
"She'll rest through Christmas and
should be back in most events for the
first meet" Plocki said.
Heather Kabnick also competed on
all four apparatuses Saturday. Th
junior received the team's top scores in
the vault (9.85) and the floor exercise
(9.825) to a number of "La
Cucaracha."
Kabnick's performance was not with-
out adversity. "Heather's fall on the
beam was a fluke" Plocki said.
Kabnick was an All-American in the
vault, floor exercise, and all-around last
year.
Michigan resumes action Jan. I lin'
West Virginia and starts the Big Ten
season a week later against Minnesota.
The Wolverines are searching for
their sixth consecutive Big Ten title, and
it appears they have the talent to do it.
But the regular season is a long way
away, and Plocki is undecided as to
whom her lineup will consist of.
"The starting six are completely openk
right now."
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