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October 21, 1996 - Image 11

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-10-21

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The Michigan Daily - SPORTSMonday - October 21, 1996 - 3B

Women harriers
place fifth at home

BARRY

By Chris Farah
and Af Mohamadi
Daily Sports Writers
Coming into its only home meet of the
ason, the Michigan women's cross
country team wanted to prove that it was
better than the squad that lost to
unranked Eastern Michigan a week ago.
But at yesterday's Michigan
Interregional Invitational, the
Wolverines only continued a trend that,
leftunfixed, could cost them an appear-
ance in the NCAA championships.
Michigan had hoped to contend for
second place with No. 10 North
olina State, while at the same time
gmaining competitive with No. 8
Georgetown. The Wolverines, however,
only managed a disappointing fifth-
place finish in a field of seven.
Not only did they lose to the Hoyas
and the Wolfpack, who finished first and
second, respectively, but they also fell to
Bowling Green and Oklahoma State,
who tied for third.
"We were disappointed," Michigan
ach Mike McGuire said. "We were
Footing for the top two."
The Wolverines' strategy was to main-
tain. a tight pack throughout the race.
Althtough the runners were able to stick
together as planned, the group was
unable to move to the front of the field.
"We've got a pack,' McGuire said.
"We just need to be six to eight places
better. The last three minutes of the race
nothing positive happened for us. That
made the difference between us being
*rd and us being fifth."
Leading the pack for the Wolverines
was freshman Allison Noe, who finished

16th overall. She was followed by fresh-
men Marcy Akard and Elizabeth
Kampfe and sophomore Katie
McGregor, who placed 20th, 22nd and
23rd, respectively. Senior captain Jen
Barber (28th) and junior Mara
Guillemette (29th) brought up the rear of
the group.
Part of the problem may be the
absence of a standout runner able to fin-
ish in the top five. With injuries to expe-
rienced runners such as All-American
junior Michelle Slater, the Wolverines
lack leadership at the front of the race.
Noe said that Michigan has the right
formula for success, but has not been
able to pull together in the final stretch
of the races.
"We need to work on our finishes"
Noe said. "Our third mile has to be
quicker."
Besides improving its finishes,
Guillemette said that the team has to
have an aggressive attack coming off the
starting line.
"I think we have to be more assertive
in the beginning," Guillemette said.
"Someone in the pack has to take (con-
trol)"
McGuire said he is frustrated with the
turn the Wolverines' season has taken.
Michigan began the year ranked in the
top 10 nationally, but has fallen out of
the top 25 since the loss to Eastern
Michigan.
"It's really disappointing that we're
not getting it done at the end of the race,"
McGuire said. "A lot of that is that peo-
ple need to be more determined and real-
ize every point counts."

il men'svhoops
act together this J

get its
season?2

Tanya Manson's expression epitomizes Michigan's day yesterday. The Wolverines
struggled to a fifth place finish in their only home meet of the season.

Men's cross country finishes second aganm

A t least in one sense, the Michigan men's basketball team has some-
thing in common with the rest of college basketball this season.
"We're like everybody in the country," Michigan coach Steve Fisher
said. "We're immensely excited about the start of practice."
Other than that, few teams can relate to Michigan.
You see, few teams are under as much scrutiny as the Wolverines. They
are unquestionably one of the most talented teams in the nation.
Michigan returns four starters from last season (Maurice Taylor, Macco
Baston, Louis Bullock and Travis Conlan) and two others who saw signifi-
cant action, Robert Traylor and Jerod Ward. And junior-college transfer
Brandun Hughes is expected to push Conlan for the starting point guard
position.
With all of this talent, there are large expectations.
"When you're at Michigan, there's always pressure to measure up," Fisher
said. "There's pressure to perform. My concern is that (we) measure up to
my expectations."
He won't say exactly what those expectations are, but you can bet that he
wants more than the 17-14 and 20-12 records of the past two seasons.
Fisher landed the nation's top-rated recruiting classes in 1994 and 1995,
and all he has to show for it are back-to-back first-round exits from the
NCAA tournament.
A third-straight early exit is unthinkable for Michigan fans. But based on
the past two seasons, it's a distinct possibility.
Whether or not the Wolverines go further in the tournament this season
depends a lot on their best player - the junior forward Taylor.
"I feel like there's a lot of pressure," Taylor said. "To lose in the first
round of the NCAA basketball tournament, that's not like a normal
Michigan basketball team. It's up to us to come back and better our perfor-
mances from the last two years.
"There's a lot of pressure to do that."
Taylor, too, must be better than he was a year ago. He averaged 14 points"
and seven rebounds (both were team highs) but had a tendency to disappear
in big games -just like the Wolverines did as a team.
This season, the nucleus of the team consists of four juniors from the
five-member 1994 recruiting class. From the. moment the group arrived on
campus, it was hailed as the second coming of the Fab Five. The label
couldn't have been more unfair. But the 1994 group has yet to be even a
Good Five.
Taylor and Baston have been the best of the group. Conlan has been
mediocre. Ward has been a disappointment. And Willie Mitchell was a bust
and transferred to Alabama-Birmingham last spring.
Fisher needs more from the four returning starters this season.
"We're juniors," Taylor said. "It's up to us to make it happen."
if it seems Fisher has aged 10 years in the past two seasons, it's not only
due to his team's recent on-court woes. Last February, a number of
Wolverines, including Taylor, Traylor and Bullock, were involved in a roll-
over accident in Taylor's Ford Explorer. Traylor suffered a broken arm in
the single-car accident and was lost for the remainder of the season.
Since the accident, much controversy has surrounded the basketball pro-
gram. Some think Fisher gives his players too free a reign. Some think he
needs to be more of a disciplinarian both on and off the court. Some think
the ownership of Taylor's car needs more investigation.
Fisher is looking forward to this season, and for good reason. There
aren't many recent successes to reflect on.
"You don't deal in the past," he said. "Every year, it's different. Every
See PARADISE, Page 88

By Jacob Wheeler
Daily Sports Writer
*For the second straight weekend, the
Michigan men's cross country team
faced a couple of top ranked opponents.
After placing second last weekend at
the Murray Keating Invitational, the
Wolverines finished second again yes-
terday -- this time to North Carolina
State - even though they were running
at home.
"We had a big crowd," Michigan
coach Ron Warhurst said. "There must
Ive been more than a thousand people
there."'
A Michigan crowd on the Wolverines'
home course, however, didn't stop the
high-powered seventh-ranked Wolfpack
from rolling to victory.
One wouldn't guess the outcome, con-
sidering Michigan won two out of the
top three spots. But North Carolina
State's top five quietly stayed together
near the top, breaking up the rest of the
Old, and giving the Wolfpack enough
points to win the meet.
The fourth annual Michigan
Interregional meet yesterday featured
No. 10 Georgetown, Southern
Methodist, William & Mary, Tennessee
and Kansas State, in addition to North

Carolina State and the No. 9 Wolverines.
Sophomore John Mortimer won the
meet and senior Scott MacDonald fin-
ished third, but North Carolina State
controlled the middle of the field all day,
eventually winning 47-63 over
Michigan.
"We didn't come out as hard as I want-
ed us to," Michigan coach Ron Warhurst
said, referring to the Wolverine'runners
in the middle of the pack. "I was hoping
the guys would stay up in front."
Warhurst was trying a new strategy
yesterday in which his squad would bolt
out of the starting gate, instead of wait-
ing to make their surge. This new
approach was the result of last week
when the Wolverines were playing catch-
up the entire meet against Stanford.
"We should have started faster last
week,' Warhurst said.
Michigan did come out of the gates
quicker Sunday, but not quickly enough.
Only Mortimer and MacDonald held
their ground and finished high up.
"The new strategy was for the back
guys," Mortimer said. "(MacDonald and
I) just tried to do what we've been
doing."
Theysucceeded in doing that. The duo
has been the backbone of the cross coun-

We didn't come out as hard as I
wanted us to."
- Ron Warhurst
Michigan men's cross country coach

try team all season. Mortimer has won
every race he has competed in except for
one, and MacDonald has finished in the
top five in all but two of his races this
season.
"It felt good winning in front of a big
crowd like this," Mortimer said.
Mortimer was in a group of leading
runners early on in the race, but took
control at the three-and-a-half mile
mark. Georgetown's Brook Kintz fin-
ished second, a full four seconds behind
him.
Freshman Jay Cantin was near the top
with Mortimer and MacDonald early on,
but ended up finishing 20th.
Other Michigan finishes were Todd
Snyder (13th), Ryan Burt (26th), Dave
Barnett (32nd) and Jeff Beuche (37th).
Warhurst's favorite saying, "You're
only as strong as your weakest link,"
haunted the Wolverines yesterday.

Even though North Carolina State had
no one to match Michigan's top two, it
didn't have a weak link. Consequently,
the race was decided in the middle.
The Wolfpack runners won the meet,
placing runners at the fourth, fifth,
eighth, 14th and 16th spots, all within 44
seconds of each other.
While the Wolverines have come up
short recently, facing top competition
has built character. "These two meets
have really helped us prepare for the Big
10 championships," Warhurst said. "The
race will be between Wisconsin and us."

INTRAMURAL
SPORTS
PROGRAM

UPCOMING ACTIVITIES

FLAG FB
(Re Season)

Instant Scheduling: Tues 10/22 11am - 5:30pm IMSB
Entry Fee: $65.00 per team
Manager's Meeting (Mandatory): Weds 10/23 6/9pm IMSB
Play Begins: Thursday 10/24 at Mitchell Fields (Fuller Rd)

PRE-SEASON Entries Taken: Mon 11/11 & Tues 11/12 11am - 4:30pm
BROOMBALL Entry Fee: $30.00 per team
Manager's Meeting (Mandatory): Thurs 11/14 6pm IMSB
Tournament Begins: Sunday 11/17 at Yost Ice Arena

WRESTLING
MEET

Entries Taken: until Thurs 11/14 4:30pm IMSB (MainOf c)
Entry Fee: $5 for individuals/$35 for teams
Manager's Meeting (Mandatory): Thurs 11/14 7pm IMSB
Weigh-Ins: Monday November 18 9am - 3pm IMSB
Meet Dates: Tues, Weds & Thurs November 19, 20 & 21

ICE HOCKEY Entries Taken: Weds 10/23 11am - 4:30pm IMSB (Main Oft)
TOURNAMENT Entry Fee: $130.00 per team
Manager's Meeting (Mandatory): Thurs 10/24 6pm IMSB
0 Tournament Begins: Sun 10/27 @ Yost Ice Arena

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