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February 17, 1997 - Image 15

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-02-17

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Continued from Page 1.B
formance in Pennsylvania.
Richardson hadn't qualified for states
as a wrestler until his junior year, and he
placed fourth that year, so he wasn't
expecting any wrestling offers from col-
leges when he signed with Morehouse.
"I was like, man, if I had just held out
a little longer, I could be wrestling at any
of these schools,' he says. "Wrestling
was always my first love, but I was
already bound to go to Morehouse to
play football."
After one semester, he knew
Morehouse wasn't a perfect fit. But he
had mixed feelings about transferring.
He wanted to leave but still liked the
} teachers and the small student body. In
the end, he decided to leave, because he
wanted to wrestle, and he wanted to be
closer to home, and chose Michigan over
. . .}.:.;Northwestern.
:<.:::<::.:::::::::::,:>>,: The move didn't pay off right away.
:..:.{:.Richardson lost his first two matches as
a Wolverine.
JOHN KRAFT/Daily "I was thrown in the fire right away,'
D was the only he says. "I was so afraid to lose, I could-
n't win. But I learned a lot from those
first two matches:'
A lesson he learned again this year
when he fell to top-ranked Kerry
McCoy. In Richardson's only dual meet
loss of the season, McCoy beat him 43
creak as the 75th in a 30-second tie-breaker.
ration continued. "I learn a lot whenever I lose a match;'
s announced and he says. "I would definitely be willing to
he wrestling mat as take a loss if I'm going to be able to learn
Victors!" from the match for the future:'
upset at the break," When first facing McCoy, Richardson
had two of our All- had to overcome an uncommon obstacle
on the mat, and we - McCoy is one of his heroes. Back
free of the last five home, Richardson even has a poster of
lity get the win." McCoy hanging on his bedroom wall.
peed its final five As a veteran, Richardson no longer
pounds, Michigan faces opponents in awe. Now his oppo-
n fell to junior Josh nents face him with fear. With a 32-6

The Michigan Daily -- SPORTSMonday - February 17, 1997 --78

dual record this year and more than 90
wins in less than three seasons,
Richardson is a major threat on the mat.
Anchoring the team at the heavyweight
position, he can often win or lose the
match for the Wolverines.
"He's like money in the bank,' said
Michigan wrestling coach Dale Bahr.
"He's won so many times in the past cou-
ple years when we needed him to.
Everyone is confident with Airron out
there when it counts."
As a leader, Richardson takes his role
very seriously. So seriously, that at the
beginning of the season, he took courses
to improve his leadership skills. Those
classes taught him how to be a leader in
the community and also with the team.
Richarson is an active member in
numerous volunteer organizations,
including SHARE, an organization
founded by six student-athletes includ-
ing teammate Bill Lacure. SHARE
sends Michigan athletes into local
schools to read books to children.
"Airron is always the first one to vol-
unteer and offer his time to these kids,"
Lacure says. "When other guys are

relaxing, Airron is always making time
for others and giving extra to those whi)
can't do it themselves. He is always oidt
in the community doing something.":
Still, Richardson isn't satisfied. He's
not satisfied with his grades and not sat-
isfied with being an All-American.
"I guess I'm past the All-American
thing, I don't wear it like a trophy}, he
says. "Being _an All-American is just' 4
stepping stone. I won't be satisfied; tea
say, I was an All-American in college,'
I'l be satisfied to say, I was the natiM~-
al champion in college,' but until then,
it's something to work for."
That, and a 3.5 grade-point averagt4,
then medical school in a couple years.:
"It's easy to be tired with days like lI
have, but you have to keep your eyes on
your goals," he says. "I know that I havO
to work to get the grades I want and..;.
to become the national champion"'
The wrestling lockerroom is under~-
neath the stands at Crisler Arena. And iii
Airron Richardson's locker there is. a
small piece of paper. It reads,
"Champions Don't Just Happen."
So he's going to make it happen.

Jdiibr Bill Lacure throws down Minnesota's Chad Craft on his way to a 940 major decision yesterday. Lacure
Wolverine to take a match, as the gophers downed Michigan, 28-10.
'M'fails to pas Bahrex


-Jordan Field
Daiy~ Sports Writer
.On the day Michigan wrestling cele-
brated its 75th anniversary, things did-
n~t exactly go as planned. In front of
nearly 60 alumni, the No. 11 Michigan
wrestling team fell to No. 3 Minnesota,
"This is very disappointing,"
Michigan coach Dale Bahr said. "We
knew Minnesota had a good team, but
re could have fought them harder. They
ive some very talented wrestlers on
that team, and they came out to win:'
The loss denied Bahr his 100th Big
Ten victory.
The Wolverines were handed a 6-0
lead as Minnesota forfeited the opening
118-pound match. But the Golden
Gophers were quick td take those points
back - and then the lead - with three
consecutive wins at the 126- 134- and
W2-pound weight classes.
Minnesota sophomore Pat Conners
dropped Michigan sophomore Chris
Viola, who was wrestling up from his
regular position at 118.
1nr the 134-pound bracket, Michigan
sopho~more Corey Grant battled junior
Troy- Marr into overtime. Neither
wrbstler scored a point in the overtime
pefihd, sending the match into sudden
death. Marr scored an escape and took
e match, 4-3.
W"I think Marr's win at 134 was really
a momentum-builder for the team,"
Minnesota head coach Robinson said.
"Conners gave us a good start coming
out at 126, and Marr really got some big
points on the board for us.'
The next match pitted 142-pound
.Michigan redshirt freshman Teya Hill
agaipst Minnesota junior captain Jason
Davids. Davids is the son of former

Michigan All-American Bill Davids,
who was in attendance as part of the
75th anniversary celebration.
"I was rooting for my son the whole
way," Bill Davids said. "It's great to be
back here, and I certainly have fond
memories and friends from Michigan,
but in this case, my heart is with my
Hill, still ailing from a knee injury
suffered last week in Indiana, struggled
in the first period and Davids held an 8-
2 lead going into the second period.
Davids never lost the lead and scored a
13-4 major decision over Hill to give
the Gophers their first lead of the meet.
"It was basically a decision I made
yesterday to let Teya wrestle," Bahr
said. "He looked much better in prac-
tice near the end of the week, and he is
our best wrestler at 142 pounds. Davids
is a good wrestler, and even at 100 per-
cent, Teya would have had a challenge
ahead of him:'
The 150-pound match showcased
two ranked opponents and was expect-
ed to be the best match on the after-
noon. Michigan junior tri-captain Bill
Lacure put his 23-5 record on the line
against Minnesota's junior Chad Craft,
who boasted a 20-2 record.
The match turned out to be a romp,
as Lacure shut out Craft for a 9-0 major
decision. Lacure 's win knotted the team
score at 10.
"I was nervous going out there,"
Lacure said. "He isn't ranked for noth-
ing, and I expected a battle today. I
calmed down a little as soon as I got
some points, and he seemed real timid.
"This is a big win for me, but in real-
ity, we lost the meet, and this win
means nothing."~
With the match tied at 10, the teams

had a 20-minute b
anniversary eel ebr
Each alumnus way
made a trip around ti
the crowd sang "The
"We weren't too u.
Bahr said. "We still]I
Americans yet to get
felt we could win th
matches and possibil
But Michigan dro
matches. At 158 1
freshman Otto Olson

611% 1w " %. fIt


Holiday, 1 1-9. Holiday was called for
stalling twice in the final two periods,
giving Olson two points, but it wasn't
enough to get the win.
Michigan tri-captain Jeff Catrabone,
ranked third nationally, was upset byE
No. 5 Zac Taylor. The 7-5 win gave
Minnesota a 16-10 lead.
"After the loss at 167, things really
began to fall apart," Bahr said. "The
ship was sinking."
Michigan freshman Joe DeGain
( 177) lost, 16-9, and at 190 pounds,
sophomore Frank Lodeserto was
pinned by junior Tim Hartung in the
first period.
With the score 25-10, the Gophers
had already clinched the win going into
the heavyweight match.
Even Michigan's All-American
Airron Richardson couldn't get it
together and fell in overtime to junior
Shelton Benjamin. Benjamin scored a
takedown and three-point near fall in
the extra period to cap off the victory
for the Gophers.
"Today was just a bad day," the
lone Michigan winner, Lacure said.
"This happens sometimes, and we
need to bounce back and learn from
this loss."

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