88 - The Michigan Daily - SPORTSMonday - April 14, 1997
'M' tumblers to be tested at NCAAs
Despite top-ranking, Wolverines will face nation's best in Gainesville
By Jacob Wheeler
Daily Sports Writer
The time-honored phrase - if you do your
job, everything else will naturally fall into place
- held true for the Michigan women's gym-
nastics team last weekend.
That phrase and its connotations may be the
benchmark of a good gymnastics team like the
Wolverines, which focuses only on its perfor-
mance at the moment instead of looking up at
the scoreboard and worrying about other
Last Saturday, the Wolverines did their job,
winning the NCAA Central Regional and post-
ing a school-record 197.7 all-around score. The
victory gave the Wolverines an automatic bid to
this weekend's NCAA championships in
Gainesville, Fla. - along with four other
But more big news was soon to follow.
On the same night, No. 2 Michigan smashed
Alabama's string of 10-consecutive regional
titles. And No. 1 Georgia and No. 2 Utah -
tied with Michigan in national rankings -
stumbled in their respective regional champi-
onships, scoring far below Michigan's regional
The Bulldogs failed to win the Southeast
Regional and eventually settled for one of the
at-large bids by placing in the top seven of the
remaining teams competing in the five regions.
Michigan now enters NCAAs No. 1 in the
nation, according to the USA Today poll.
The top ranking means that the Wolverines
are allegedly the team to beat, but more impor-
tant, Michigan will receive the tastiest entree of
the entire feast. Michigan coach Bev Plocki's
squad will compete in the coveted Olympic
order during the preliminary round on
Like every home meet this season, the
Wolverines will compete on vault, bars, beam
and floor, in that order.
The No. I ranking may be misleading, how-
ever. Georgia was far and away the nation's best
gymnastics team all season.
(Georgia) is coming to
nationals feeling like
they're going to win."'
- Bev Plocki
After defeating preseason favorite UCLA on
Jan. 12, Georgia glided week in and week out
until last weekend. And the all-around score of
195.725 in the Southeast Regional was
Georgia's second lowest of the season - high-
er only than the season's first meet -and 1.535
below its regular season average. The stumble
was mostly due to three 'falls on the balance
The question now is: Will the Bulldogs falter
again, or was last Saturday just a fluke?
"All the teams at nationals are good enough
that they're not going to look back to just one
meet;' Plocki said. "They're going to look back
at how successful they've been the entire sea-
son, and Georgia has been No.1 the entire sea-
son. So the fact that they had one meet, which
happened to be regionals, where they counted
three falls, only proves them to be human.
"I guarantee you they're coming to nationals
feeling like they're going to win:'
If the Southeast Regional was a fluke, can
Michigan match the Bulldogs on a normal day?
The Wolverines recorded an all-time school
high at Crisler Arena - but Georgia has bet-
tered that four times this season. In fact,
Georgia's regional qualifying score was an
immense 197.297 - a comfortable 0.403 high-
er than the Wolverines.
Hence, things won't be as black and white as
they seem to be in Gainesville. The present No.
I may only stay there until the former No.1
returns to seize the crown.
If two single factors are in Michigan's favor,
they are the Olympic order and sophomore
Nikki Peters. Peters suffered two sprained
ankles before the Regional meet and was bare-
ly able to compete on the uneven bars at Crisle
But Peters' outlook at nationals is looking u
after a week of healing.
"She's doing very well," Plocki said. "As a
matter of fact, she tumbled (Thursday). If the
meet were tomorrow she would not compete,
because she hasn't been able to train a routine.
But being as that we still have a little bit of time
left, it's looking more favorable."
Peters value to Michigan is immense, yet the
subs filled in very nicely at Regionals. With
Peters healthy, the Wolverines have the nation's
best performer on the uneven bars and a tea
rankings entering NCAAs
Arizona State Midwest
Penn State Northeast
* Indicates winner of each of the five region-
ats (Central, West, Southeast, Midwest and
Sara Cain and her Wolverine teammates are teetering on the brink of a national title. The top-ranked
Wolverines travel to Gainseville, Fla. this weekend for the NCAAs. The Wolverines won the NCAA Central
regional by posting a school-record 197.7 all-around score.
College-aged Woods wins The Masters in record-setting fashion.
The Washington Post
AUGUSTA, Ga, - Tiger Woods fin-
ished with a fabulous final-round flour-
ish yesterday on his stirring 18-hole vic-
tory march to golf glory at The Masters.
There was not the slightest hint of a
fold, or even a falter, as the 21-year-old
shattered the 72-hole scoring record on
Augusta National's verdant fairways and
unforgiving greens to become the
youngest champion in tournament histo-
With a score of 4-under 68 yesterday
and a four-day total of 18-under 270,
Woods completed one of the most aston-
ishing performances in the annals of the
game less than eight months after he
"I've never played a whole tourna-
ment with my 'A' game, but this was
pretty close, except for the first nine
holes Thursday," Woods said before
1996 champion Nick Faldo helped him
put on the traditional green jacket that
goes to the winner, along with a
"My goal is to obviously be the best.
It's a lofty goal, and if I do, great. If I
don't, at least I tried."
This 61st Masters was all about histo-
ry, and Woods made plenty of that. He
set another mark by beating Tom Kite,
his closest pursuer and a runner-up here
for the third time, by 12 shots - the
largest major championship victory mar-
gin in the 20th century and three better
than the Masters record of nine posted
by Jack Nicklaus in 1965.
Woods also broke the Masters record
of 271 shared by Nicklaus (1965) and
Raymond Floyd (1976), on his way to
blazing another triumphant trail as the
first man of color to win one of the four
"I wasn't the pioneer," Woods said.
"Charlie Sifford, Lee Elder and Ted
Rhodes (groundbreaking African-
American golfers) played that role. I
thank them. I was thinking about them
and what they've done for me. I said a lit-
tle prayer and said thanks to those guys.
You are the ones who did it for me."
Elder, who was the first black player
to integrate the field here in 1975, flew
from his home in Pompano Beach, Fla.,
Sunday morning to witness Woods's last
round. Ron Townsend, the first black
member of Augusta National in '91, also
walked several holes in the teeming gal-
leries-Woods carried along with him.
"If Tiger Woods wins here, it might
have more potential than Jackie
My goal Is to
obviously be the
- Tiger Woods
The Masters champion
Robinson's break into baseball," Elder
said, just before his eyes welled with tears
as Woods walked to the first tee Sunday
afternoon. "No one will turn their head
when a black man walks to the first tee"
Said Townsend: "What he's doing is
great for America and great for golf. He's
just an amazing talent, and it's a pleasure
to watch him play."
As Woods walked around historic
Amen Corner on Sunday - that dicey
stretch from No. 11 through 13 where
many prayers are never answered - the
Hallelujah Chorus mounted for his
accomplishments from crowds standing
six and eight deep behind the ropes.
When he made a 15-foot putt for birdie
at the 455-yard 11th, a giant roar rose
from the gallery.
The decibel level reached a final
crescendo when he strode triumphantly
up the 18th fairway, smiling broadly and
waving his hat.
Waiting for him there for a 30-second
victory hug was his father Earl, who had
trained him for this moment before his
son was out of baby shoes. His mother,
Kutilda, a native of Thailand, walked the
entire 18 holes, a bright red headband on
her wide-brimmed hat the perfect acces-
sory for her son's favorite Sunday color:
"It's awesome" Woods said when
asked how he felt about his parents wit-
nessing his first major title as a profes-
sional. "I was thinking about my father
on the 10th hole. He'd say, 'Let's suck it
up, let's do it.'
"My father told me this could be the
hardest round of golf you'll ever play, but
if you'll just be yourself, it can be the
most rewarding you've ever played. He
Woods never came close to being
threatened yesterday. The lowest his lead
ever got was eight shots, when he
bogeyed the 360-yard No. 7 and slipped
to 14-under. His playing partner,
Costantino Rocca, who faded to a tie for
sixth, parred the hole and was at 6 under.
But by the time they hit the back nine,
Woods was up by nine, with the best still
yet to come.
Meanwhile, up ahead, just as Tom
Watson had said late Saturday, the only
remaining question yesterday was sec-
ond place. There was a spirited battle for
that profitable placing, with Kite, the 47-
year-old U.S. Ryder Cup captain, assur-
ing that position with a final-round 70
and a total of 6-under 288.
One last birdie at the 17th hole earned
Kite $291,600. Tommy Tolles, playing in
his first Masters, finished third with the
day's best round, a 67, that left him at 5-
Woods never really had to look at a
single scoreboard. If ever there was any
doubt that Woods could fulfill the
promise so long predicted for him by so
many, it ended here and now, Sunday at
Since posting a 4-over 40 in his first
nine holes Thursday, Woods played his
last 63 holes in 22 under, overpowering
the par 5s with his huge drives and show-
ing a deft touch around the greens with
wedges and a putter.
In all, Woods hit 13 of 18 greens in
regulation yesterday despite several wild
drives, though he also managed to hit 11
of 14 fairways. Woods birdie at the 11 th
got him to 16 under, and his birdie at the
485-yard 13th - with an eagle putt of 15
feet stopping a half-inch short - put him
at 17 under. At the 405-yard 14th, his sec-
ond shot sand wedge stopped eight feet
from the hole, and he made that to go 18
under, one better than the tournament
A weak chip at the 500-yard 15th cc
him a chance at another birdie when h
missed a 15-foot putt, and he had to save
par with a dicey five-footer. A tough two-
putt at the 170-yard 16th from 60 feet led
to another par, and he barely missed yet
another birdie when his 15-foot attempt
stopped an inch from the hole.
At the 18th, needing par to set the
scoring record, he hit his wildest-drive of
the day off to the left, flinching ever so
slightly at the top of his swing when t
heard the click of a camera from a near-
by photography tower. But Woods had
only 132 yards to the hole and a clear
line of sight to the pin.
He hit a wedge through a funnel of
fans, many of whom'slapped him on the
back as he walked toward the final green.
When he broke through the throng and up
the slope to the putting surface, his face
broke out in a broad grin and he waved to
the thousands lining both sides of the fai
Continued from Page 11B
other so closely that men's coach Jack
Harvey can barely tell them apart.
In one instance, Harvey even chose
Martin instead of Kevin to travel to
Florida for a relay. The problem? Kevin
had run a fast time that week and should
have been the one to travel. Martin
quickly corrected the error.
"I had to call him up and tell him,
'Wait a minute, I think you've got the
wrong person,"' Martin said.
Kevin and Martin's appearance isn't
the only thing that could cause confu-
sion. Besides having similar academic
goals - they share many of the same
classes and are both psychology majors
- the two also mirror each other in
many social aspects.
"We have the same interests in girls,
the same friends, the same everything,"
Kevin said. "But anybody can tell you
we have different personalities. There's a
good twin and a bad twin, and I'm prob-
ably the bad twin."
Kevin describes himself as the more
open and free-spirited of the duo, while
Martin has a much more laid-back,
When it comes to track, they are, in a
sense, equal and opposite - Kevin
being the better sprinter, but Martin
being the better long jumper. Martin
began competing in track before Kevin,
but Mrtin's success - along with a
ball - soon inspired Kevin to follow in
his brother's footsteps.
"I was playing basketball back in high
school,"Kevin said. "And I wasn't grow-
ing, and I saw (Martin) bringing home
all these medals. I figured I might as well
start running and see what happens."
Martin and Kevin are right on the
edge of being consistent scorers in the
meet. Ultimately, they want to perform at
a level where Harvey can depend on
them to score in important meets like the
Big Ten championships.
"My goal is to contribute to a Big Ten
championship," Martin said. "If it's one
point or a half-point, it wouldn't matter. I
just want to contribute to a championship.
That's my first and foremost goal."
Tonya and Marcella are in much the
same position on the women's team.
Neither of them travel with Michigan as
of now, although Marcella did compete
in the indoor Big Ten championships,
scoring a point in the pentathlon.
Marcella's seemingly small contribu-
tion to the Michigan effort proved quite
consequential - the Wolverines placed
second at Big Tens, barely edging out
Ohio State, 82-79. The point she earned
also gained Marcella her first varsity let-
ter - an accomplishment that did not go
unnoticed by her sister.
"It didn't piss me off," Tonya said. "I
tried very hard not to be jealous, I admit
that, but I would have never wished her
not to go. I was so happy she got to go.
Of course, it was hard for me that I did-
well, and I was so happy when she did.'
Marcella and Tonya aren't exactly
used to sitting out from competition.
They dominated their Class B high
school track team in Perry with either of
their names appearing five times on the
Perry High School track record boards.
They are currently working their skills in
the heptathlon in an attempt to carve
themselves a niche in the Michigan pro-
Instead of being disheartened, though,
the two enjoy and even expected the
extra effort demanded by a team like
"We had the opportunity to go to some
other schools where we would have been
hot shots from the beginning" Marcella
said. "We were heavily recruited by
some other schools, but we came to
Michigan because it was a good school
academically, and we knew we would be
The two are used to pushing each other
to perform to their highest potential in
everything they do, although they claim
there's no rivalry. That means pushing
each other very far; besides participating
in track, they each have a part-time job
and take classes at the same time, 12
credits for Marcella and 14 for Tonya.
"We're not competitive with each
other," Marcella said. "But we're very
competitive with ourselves, and we push
each other a lot to do the best we can and
make the other person the best they can
"Like in practice if one of us is run-
ning and one is going faster, it pushes the
other to keep up," she said. "It sets a
standard you always try to meet, so I
think it's helped make us much better.
We don't really compete, like I want to
beat Marcella, it's more like I want to run
as well as I can, and I know I should at
least run with Marcella.'
Marcella and Tonya have even used
their dual nature to help each other out in
a few instances. At the Michigan high
school track finals, Marcella accepted
the eighth-place medal that Tonya won in
the high jump so Tonya could warm up
for the 800-meter run.
They have also made use of their
advantage in an issue that has become
very pertinent of late - cloning.
"We went to different summer insti-
tutes," Marcella said. "They had a talent
show. We did a thing with finding the
key to genetic cloning. We had Tonya
snuck in, and we brought her out. I did-
n't tell anybody I had a twin or sister or
anything, so they were pretty surprised
when we brought her out and said 'Look
we found the key!'"
The two definitely seem to enjoy hav-
ing another copy of themselves around
- a point they made perfectly clear.
"We get tired of each other," Tonya
"But we get along really well," they
said - simultaneously, of course.
Being twins can often provide some
Tonya said, "sometimes I'll know some-
one Marcella knows, but it doesn't always
come up in casual conversation, 'Oh, I
have a twin.' So, I'm walking along to
class and someone will be like, 'Hey,
how's it going?' and I have no idea who
they are. So I'm just waving, saying 'Hi!"'
The Bowman twins have also taken
advantage of their similarities - but not
always in the most ethical of ways.
"Sophomore year in high school, I
took a test for Kevin that he wasn't real-
ly prepared for," Martin said. "I got a B
on his test. The next period, I had the
same test, and I got an A- on mine. So it
worked to both of our advantages."
The pair almost went on to grander,
even more illegal, projects.
"I tried to have him (take the SATs for
me),"Kevin said. "But he wouldn't do it."
"I could have," Martin admitted.
"But I just didn't want to take the test
again. It's not that I didn't want to get
Of course, being a twin provides
other, non-illicit, benefits, as well.
Besides helping each other in classes
and pushing each other in track,
Martin and Kevin genuinely enjoy
each other's company.
"People who have twins and they
don't get along with them - I don't
understand that;'Kevin said. "He's your
brother, you gotta live with him, he's the
closest person to you. It's a plus."
Despite words to the contrary from
many low-grade talk shows, as well as
finishing each other's sentences, but
also deny possessing any abnormal
"We spend so much time together,
do so much stuff together," Martin
said. "Our experiences are so much
alike that at a given time, in a given sit-
uation, we'll both be thinking the exa*
same thing ..."
"Or both be saying the same thing at
the same time" they finished - say-
ing the same thing at the same time.
Aside from gimmicks, jokes and
funny quirks, having a twin means
something significant to the Cornells
and the Bowmans.
Perhaps this is epitomized best by
one of Martin and Kevin's highest
track priorities. Their senior year
high school, Martin and Kevin's sprint
medley relay was seeded first at the
New Jersey high school state meet.
Martin and Kevin bumbled the baton
hand off between each other, and their
relay team finished a disappointing
"It's the only hand off we ever
messed up in high school;' Kevin said.
"It was our last one.
"All we want is to be able to hand o0
to each other one more time ..."
"... One more time;" Martin mir-
"... Just for closure;' Kevin contin-
"Yeah, just for closure, Martin