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March 17, 1997 - Image 16

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The Michigan Daily, 1997-03-17

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88 - The Michigan Daily - SPORTSMonday - March 17, 1997

Blue tumblers improve, but
not enough to douse Flames

By Jacob Wheeler
Daily Sports Writer
No matter how hard it tries, the
Michigan men's gymnastics team
just can't seem to beat anybody in
two-team, head-to-head competi-
tions.
Friday's 223.625-222.1 loss to
Illinois-Chicago sent the yearlong
tailspin to an 0-6 dual meet record.
But things aren't as bad as the big
goose egg in Michigan's record
would lead one to believe.
A promising "I" can be seen, get-
ting larger and larger as one zooms
in on the scenario. This "I" is getting
bigger and bigger each week for
Michigan.
The "I" stands for improvement,
which the Wolverines have strived
for this season. Friday, Michigan tal-
lied its best score of the year, beating
its previous high of 221.1, which
also came against the Flames.
The highlight of the evening came
on the parallel bars, on which
Michigan recorded a season high
38.1 and bettered the Flames by 0.65
on the apparatus.
Jose "LaLo" Haro led the
Michigan charge with a 9.85. He is
ranked 18th in the nation on the bars.

The Wolverines also improved
drastically on the pommel horse, one
of their notoriously weak events.
Only LaLo and Ethan Johnson
topped nine, with scores of 9.3 and
9.2, respectively.
Those performances helped to pro-
pel Michigan to a 36.1 - an overall
season high on the apparatus. And it
was just enough to beat Illinois-
Chicago's 35.95.
"Our improvement on the pommel
horse was significant," Michigan
coach Kurt Golder said.
"Those kind of performances
should give us some confidence
going into the Big Ten champi-
onships. I think we'll do a really
good job."
The difference in the meet, howev-
er, occurred on the rings, vault and
horizontal bar.
Michigan was quite simply blown
away, losing by scores of 0.875, 0.45
and 1.3 - big discrepancies in gym-
nastics. Illinois-Chicago finished off
their victims with a superb 37.85 on
the bar.
All six Flames scored at least a
nine, led by No. 9 Shannon Welker's
9.75.
LaLo, a one-man wrecking crew

during Friday's first five apparatus-
es, led all scorers with a 9.55 on the
floor exercise and a 56.4 on the all-
around.
Haro also led the Wolverines with
scores of 9.3 on the vault and the
pommel horse and a 9.45 on the still
rings.
But LaLo proved that he was
human after all on the day's final
apparatus. He gave way to
Michigan's Ed Ledgard and his 9.2
on the horizontal bar, as the Flames
put Michigan on rocks.
With the Big Ten championships
only a week away, however, the day's
improvement couldn't have come at
a better time. Michigan may come
away from Minneapolis with another
zero in the win column, but Golder
hopes that the "l" looms even larger
next week.
"We're not concerned about plac-
ing at the Big Ten championships,"
he said.
"We are concerned with increasing
our hit percentage and decreasing the
20-point margin from first place we
had at the Big Ten championships
last year. I'd like to see that margin
cut in half this year."

MARGARET MYERS/Daily
Jose "LaLo" Haro, above, led the Michigan men's gymnastics team on the parallel bars in Friday's loss to Illinois-Chicago.
Haro contributed a score of 9.85 to the Wolverines' overall score of 38.1- their season high for the bars.

The Asian American Ar Societ/
at the University of Michigan
cordially invites
you to attend
the reception
of
The1th
A ian American Art 5how

SENIORS
Continued from Page 18
with three perfect scores on the
vault. Sarah Cain and Heather
Kabnick recorded the other 10s,
along with Simes.
The Wolverines slipped a bit there-
after, however, recording two breaks
on the uneven bars and three on the
balance beam, as their lead dwindled
to 1.05 midway through the meet.
"We were very pumped up on the
vault," Plocki said. "That might have
been what made us a little shaky on
bars.
"Vault is everything you've got,
but on bars and beam you have to
have your adrenaline in check. If
you're too excited, that could act as a
negative thing."
Michigan put the meet away with a
solid 49.275 on the floor exercise.
Cain put the Aggies on ice with a
9.95 on the floor, yet her dismal per-

formance on the uneven bars, 8.875,
hurt her overall numbers. However,
those numbers continue to astonish.
Entering Saturday, Cain was the sec-
ond-best women's gymnast in the
nation - as a freshman.
"I just came in wanting to 'help out
the team," she said. "But I keep hav-
ing fun out there, except for my fall
tonight."
Despite Cain's season-long glory,
it was Simes who stole the show
against the Aggies. The sophomore
recorded an all-around score of
39.725, far and away her best ever.
Heather Kabnick didn't have a bad
meet herself.
The junior recorded her first per-
fect vault score of the season even
though she didn't compete on the
apparatus until mid-February.
Kabnick ended up with the meet's
second-highest all-around score, 39.
Andrea McDonald appropriately
set the tone for the evening as one of

1 can't imagine not being here next
year. I was a little bit teary-eyed at '
the beginning of the meet, but I was
all smiles by the end."
-Andrea McDonald
Michigan women's gymnast

Friday, March 21, 1997, 7pm-10pm
at Trotter House
Guest Speaker: Monica Chau
(Mixed Media.Artist/Professor)
Performance: Descendents of the Monkey
Free Admission and Catered Food.
Everyone Welcome.
For more information, please contact:
Annie Chen 997-0387 (anniec@umich.edu)
Caitlyn Cao 434-3188 (choubc@umich.edu)

the senior co-captains competing in
her final home meet. The four-year
letter-winner began Michigan's vault
entourage with a solid 9.85. The
underclassmen followed her lead the
rest of the way.
"I can't imagine not being here
next year," McDonald said. "I was a
little bit teary eyed at the beginning
of the meet, but I was all smiles by
the end."
Bev Plocki certainly wasn't crying
after the affair. Saturday was Plocki's

150th victory as a coach at
Michigan.
She owns almost three times a&
many wins as the program's second
most successful coach.
"It's important that I've been able
to be this successful here," she said.
"But I look at the team's success
overall as being more important.
This year's senior class will probably
have been Michigan's most success-
ful class over the years at the NCAA
championships."

God

Wilmot dives to surprising first place

By John Friedberg
Daily Sports Writer
Big Ten swimming has seen its share of upset per-
formers. Minnesota's Big Ten championship in 1996
was big. But it may not compare to the events at the
Zone I diving meet this weekend.
Michigan sophomore Brett Wilmot won the ten-
meter platform event at the meet. Wilmot and the rest of
the Wolverines werejust hoping to qualify a diver in the
top three in any of the three diving competitions.
"i knew it was possible to make the top three, but I
was really surprised with winning," Wilmot said.
"Really, I didn't think that a victory was possible."
Wilmot edged out two divers from Ohio State, as
Mike McIntyre and Brett Bortoloussi rounded out the
top three. McIntyre and Bortoloussi both finished
ahead Wilmot at their dual meet last month. But when
it really counted, Wilmot came up with what he called
the best meet of his life, scoring a 512.60 and winning
by more than 10 points.
"When I saw that McIntyre was getting scores in the
nine range, I thought I was in trouble," Wilmot said.
"But I really didn't miss any of my dives."
"I knew that he had a chance to succeed," Michigan
diving coach Dick Kimball said. "But his victory was a
bit of a surprise."
Following Wilmot in the top 10 were fellow
Wolverines Al Fleming and Josh Trexler. Fleming fin-
ished fifth with a 409.60 on the platform while Trexler
captured seventh, scoring 382.90.
"I thought, for the most part, all of our divers did a

pretty good job this weekend," Kimball said. "All of
them are young,and we needed a good meet to prepare
us for the U.S. Zone meet the first weekend of April."
Michigan's trio of Wilmot, Fleming and Trexler com-
peted in two other events as well.
In the one-meter event, Wilmot was the only
Wolverine in the top 10 with his ninth-place finish.
Fleming followed in 17th place with a 415.40, and
Trexler, competing in the Zone meet for the first time,
took 23rd scoring 382.90.
None of the field could catch Mike Collier of
Indiana,as he out-distanced his nearest competitor by
almost 44 points, winning with a 539.40.
The three-meter competition saw no Wolverines in
the top 10. Ohio State's McIntyre outscored the field by
over 30 points with his 559. Wilmot, again, was
Michigan's top finisher in 12th place. Fleming tookl9th
at 420.65 and Trexler was 26th at 394.20.
Since Wilmot qualified for the national champi-
onships on the platform, he will be able to compete in
all three of the diving events next weekend. He should
be in a position to provide the Wolverines with valuable
points as they try to recapture the national title.
All of the male qualifiers for the national champi-
onships were Big Ten divers. Joining Wilmot, Collier,
Bortoloussi and McIntyre are Peter Gil of Iowa, Isaac
Bjorklund of Minnesota, Chris Good of Ohio State and
Chad Hepner of Michigan State.
Women divers were also present at the Zone meet.
While the Michigan women did not qualify for any
bids, Kimball was still pleased with their performance.

"All of these divers are young and needed a good per-
formance for their confidence," Kimball said. "This
should get them prepared for the U.S. meet and next,
season."
The women's competition started Thursday withom
three-meter springboard. All three Michigan divers f'
ished in the top 25. Sophomore Jill Unikel was the top
Wolverine, placing 19th with a 377.55, followed by
teammates sophomore Val Pochron and freshman
Hanna Shin in 21st and 25th, respectively.
Michigan received two top-10 performances of the
platform from Unikel, who placed seventh, and Shin
who grabbed a ninth-place performance behind Ohio
State's Sharon Wong, who narrowly won the competi-
tion over teammate Carrie Ziebarth.
In the one-meter springboard, Shin was the top
Michigan finisher taking 15th. Five spots behind l*
was Pochron in 20th. Unikel completed a trend finish-
ing 25th.
Andrea Berg of Minnesota took the title edging out
Jennifer Dixon of Indiana, 411-408.55.
The women's qualifiers included Trostel, Ruebl,
Wong, Zietbarth, Berg, Carrie Hansen of Minnesota
and Jenette Stephenson Baker of Ohio State.
Wilmot is the only Wolverine to qualify for the
national championships. By competing in Minneapolis
he gained what could be a huge advantage.
"Everywhere you dive, the environment is differer$
Wilmot said. "The lighting, the feel of the board every-
thing. I'll already know those things when we come
back."

I __________________

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