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April 21, 1997 - Image 15

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-04-21

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The Michigan Daily - Monday, April 21, 1997-15
-DeGraw places 4th on floor, becomes All-American

By Sm Rontal
Daily Sports Writer
The sole Michigan representative in yester-
day's NCAA men's gymnastics championships,
Tim DeGraw, did what no other male Wolverine
has done in five years - he became an All-
* Placing fourth in the only exercise in which he
competed, the floor, DeGraw beat Olympian
Blaine Wilson in the NCAA final in Iowa City.
DeGraw's score of 9.75 was good enough to
surpass Wilson, who won the all-around title.
-He was so close to being the national cham-
pion;' Michigan coach Kurt Golder said. "But,
the field was very tight.'

DeGraw put up his best routine of the season
on Saturday, landing his difficult tumbles. He
also was aided by having the last draw in his
California won the meet with a score of
233.825, which beat the second place finisher,
Oklahoma, by more than a point (232.725). Iowa,
favored by many, finished third.
DeGraw finished behind Iowa's Brian
Hamilton (9.825), Oklahoma's Andy Howard
(9.8) and Jeremy Killen (9.7875).
For DeGraw, Saturday was a day of firsts. He
had never been to the final before and had never
won an All-America award.
Those two accomplishments are remarkable

for a Wolverine whose team didn't win a dual
meet all season.
"The All-American title will give Tim more
confidence, and make him more well-known next
year," Colder said. "That should improve his
scores greatly with the judges next year."
Having an All-American greatly improves
Michigan's status for next year, according to
The reinstatement of scholarship money does
not hurt the Wolverines either. With the the extra
scholarship the men's team received this year,.the
Wolverines were able to capture DeGraw and
Jose "LaLo" Haro.
Haro had a great season under his belt, ranked

seventh in the all-around going into the NCAA
Unfortunately for the Wolverines, however,
Haro placed 11th in the preliminaries, and failed
to qualify for the finals in any event.
"The only thing I am upset about is LaLo,"
Golder said.
Not making the finals not only frustrated
Golder, but also Haro himself, who spent the rest
of the weekend watching from the sidelines.
"It was hard for LaLo to watch the competition
when he knows that he can beat the guys com-
peting,' Golder said. "But all I heard were com-
pliments about him from other coaches?'
The contributions that these two have made to

the men's gymnastics program is immeasurable,
but coaching has also played a part in the success.
In Golder's first year at Michigan as coach, he
already has an All-American to brag about.
"A lot of coaches have coached a while and
have never gotten an All-American'" Golder said,
"So I am happy to have done it in my first year."
As for next year, Golder has set his standards
high for the Wolverines.
"I want to get them to nationals as a team,"
Golder said. "But it depends on recruiting:"
Michigan is far from ever winning a national
championship, but not from contending for an
NCAA berth.
"We are on our way back,"Golder said. ;

Deceiving sequence of events
troubles Blue women tumblers

By Jacob Wheeler
Daily Sports Writer
The best way to catch a rabbit in the
wild is to set up a trap, find a big juicy
rrot, dangle it in front of the rabbit,
en pull back the bait and close the trap
door at the last minute.
The poor rabbit thought it had just
found a free gift, when all of a sudden,
it titrns out to be nothing more than a
slap in the face.
What appeared to be a big juicy treat
to the Michigan women's gymnastics
team early on this weekend eventually
spelled doom for the Wolverines, who
finished fourth at the NCAA champi-
Wships - 0.65 points behind champi-
on UCLA.
After finishing fourth overall in
Thursday's preliminary rounds and
cualifying for the championships,
Michigan drew Olympic order for
Friday's competition. The Wolverines
would compete, in order, on the vault,
uneven bars, beam and floor -just as
they had during the regular season.
And like a big juicy carrot, that's usu-
sly a good thing. Michigan was unde-
feated at Cliff Keen Arena this year and
won the Central Regional champi-
Continued from Page 13
accomplishments this year and its ability
to-compete with the nation's best.
"I'm extremely pleased with the way
the kids have done the whole weekend,"
locki said. "If you talked to any coach,
they would all tell you that the pairing of
the teams and the closeness of the com-
petition was unlike any other Super Six
championship we've ever had before. The
difference between (Michigan and
Georgia) was .10 of a point. A .10deduc-
tion is a shoulder shrug. That's how
minute the difference is."
Though Georgia failed to win the
NCAA team title, little could prevent it

onship at Crisler, with a record-break-
ing 197.7 all-around score, just two
weeks ago - all in that order.
But Michigan coach Bev Plocki real-
ized that the Olympic order would
eventually spell doom for the
Wolverines at the NCAA champi-
onships. Tied with UCLA heading into
the evening's last apparatus, Michigan
finished its season on the floor - and
didn't get any carrots in the process.
The floor exercise - usually a solid
event for the Wolverines in the regular
season - received lower scores across
the board at the championships.
Teams averaged a 49.3 on the vault
and bars on Friday but only a 49.0 on
the floor.
"Having to end on the events that
,were being the most tightly judged
ended up being a disadvantage for us,"
Plocki said. "UCLA ended on their best
event, which is the uneven bars. We
were tied going into the last rotation,
but us ending on floor and them ending
on bars made a very big difference."
In the end, Michigan found itself
stuck in a cage at the conclusion of the
championship, looking out at UCLA as
the Bruins hopped away with carrots in

their mouths and smiles on their faces.
But the Wolverines would not go com-
pletely hungry. There was some bait left
at the bottom of the cage - it wasn't a
big juicy carrot, but it still tasted good.
"Our team did an absolutely out-
standing job and I'm very pleased with
their performance,' Plocki said. "I'm
just proud to say that we were on the
podium and we've been on the podium
three out of the last four years, and 1
think that's quite an accomplishment."
Fourth-best in the nation is quite an
accomplishment and, unlike the poor
doomed rabbit, the Wolverines will get
plenty more shots at the prized juicy
Michigan is young and its strength
lies in its youth. Sarah Cain - far and
away the team's best performer all year
- is only a freshman, and she will
inevitably get three more shots at an
NCAA title.
"Eighty-five percent of our team or
better are freshmen or sophomores,"
Plocki said. "We've got a great group of
freshmen coming in next year. I think
that the next three years are going to be
stellar years for Michigan, as long as we
can stay healthy."

Payne, Carr move
on to Cmcmnati
From Staff Reports
Although their days wearing winged helmets are over, for-
mer Michigan football players Rod Payne and Will Carr will
still be teammates this fall.
Both were drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in this week-
end's NFL Draft.
Offensive lineman Damon Denson, chosen by New
England, was the only other Michigan player selected in the
draft. Linebacker Jarrett Irons, projected by several draft ana-
lysts as a third- or fourth-round pick, went undrafted.
Payne, the first Wolverine to be selected, was the 16th pick
of the third round. This year's draft marked the first time since
1991 that a Michigan player was not chosen in the first round.
Denson, projected by some to go as early as round two or
three, slid to the fourth round. Carr was not chosen until the
seventh and final round of the draft.
Payne was rated by many as the best center in the draft, and
pre-draft projections listed him as a possible first-rounder. As
it played out, the 6-foot-4, 292-pounder went later than an*ci
Irons can still latch on with a team as a free agent before the
start of next season. Other Michigan players considered lo W
potential free agent signees are offhnsive tackle ThomaS
Guynes, placekicker Remy Hamilton and defensive backs
Woody Hankins and Chuck Winters.

Michigan's Will Carr will now get paid for taking this kind of
abuse. He was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals, yesterday.

No surprise, Pace is Draft'


1st nick


from dominating the individual champi-
onships. Saturday, two out of the three
highest vault and floor exercise scores
belonged to the Bulldogs, and Georgia's
Jenni Beathard won the uneven bars title.
The Wolverines placed competitors in
every apparatus championship, but none
came away with a title. Freshman Sarah
Cain came the closest, falling to Beathard,
9.95-9.9, on the bars.
Ironically, it was another Wolverine,
Nikki Peters, who was ranked No. I on
the bars all season and expected to win
the championship on Saturday. But
Peters, who finished sixth with a 9.825,
was still recovering from two sprained
ankles suffered days before the regional

Michigan advanced to Friday's Super
Six team championship after finishing
second in the evening session of
Thursday's preliminary round.
The Wolverines were expected to win
the evening session, but Arizona State
shocked everyone, defeating Michigan
196.275-196.2, and single-handedly
eliminating defending NCAA champion
Alabama from the tournament.
"There's a great deal of pressure for the
athletes Thursday," Plocki said. "If you
take Thursday lightly you end up like
Alabama and Utah - not even in the
competition. So I was very pleased. We
did have to count a couple breaks, but it
was mostly due to nerves. We eliminated
those mistakes on Friday night."

NEW YORK (AP) -Some of college
football's biggest stars had plenty of time
to kill during the first day of the NFL
Troy Davis, second in Heisman
Trophy voting, was taken in the third
round by New Orleans but the player
who won the trophy, Florida quarterback
Danny Wuerffel, was still available when
NFL teams ended the first of two ses-
sions after the third round Saturday night.
Several big campus heroes had to wait
until the second round to hear their
names called.

That was not the case for Orlando
Pace - the biggest name and one of
the biggest in size at 6-foot-7, 340
pounds - was taken No. 1 by the St.
Louis Rams, as expected. He is the first
offensive lineman taken No. I in 29 years
- since Minnesota went for Ron Yary
with the top pick in 1968.
The Seattle Seahawks seemed to reap
the most from this draft, trading up to get
two of the top six picks - cornerback
Shawn Springs, Pace's Ohio State team-
mate, and offensive tackle Walter Jones

of Florida State.
San Francisco, shopping for a yOung
quarterback for the first time after nqarIy
two decades of Joe Montana and Steve
Young, took Virginia Tech's Jim
Druckenmiller with the 26th pick of thi
first round.
But Jake Plummer, the ArizonaStat;
quarterback who took the Sun Devils to
within a game of the nationaldp
onship, didn't go until 42nd overall He
gets to stay home, however, a second
round pick of the Arizona Cardinals, who,
play in Sun Devil Stadium.

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