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September 08, 1997 - Image 18

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The Michigan Daily, 1997-09-08

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8- The Michigan Daily - SPORTSMonday - September 8, 1997

CROSS COUNTRY

Redshirt freshman Froud first*
to finish line in season opener

By Chris Farah
Dale Sports Writer
One of the secrets to gaining the
upper hand in any kind of competition
is to understand the ways and strategy
of your opponent.
at came easy to the Michigan
wcien's cross country team Saturday
-yVolverines just had to look in the
mit p
>5 of the competition at Saturday's
Mitgan Open at the Michigan Golf
Coirse consisted of the Wolverines
theislves - along with some
Mi4li' an State and independent run-
net rinkled into the mix.
i: e end, though, even the little out-
sid; ompetition the Wolverines did
havet- their first race of the year didn't
maleamuch of an impacts Michigan
sw 'ihe top three places and took
sevwl~op-l 0 finishes in the unscored
:,shirt freshman Julie Froud
cll. first for Michigan with a time
of+ 25 for the 5,000-meter course.
"uhe's time was outstanding for the
fir, meet and the conditions,"
Micigan coach Mike McGuire said. "I
th(;11t she looked really good."
.dud was followed by two of her
ted iates ... well, sort of.
ti or Katie McGregor took sec-
ondfor the Wolverines at 18:34, but
thr-pi-place belonged to Elizabeth
Kapfe, a Michigan runner who was
off 1ially listed as unattached - rep-
re fng only herself- for just this
m;,.
Wnapfe's third-place finish is even
m impressive considering the cir-
cuwstances she was running under.
Aowding to McGuire, Kampfe recent-
y.l 0fered from an illness comparable
to6nonucleosis. It's not as intense as
mnIo but has the potential to become
more of a chronic condition.
"She looked really good," McGuire
MIrtimer
B oin Braunstein
D' orts Writer
while the Michigan men's golf team
was holding tryouts, the men's cross
country team hosted a meet. The only
tli4iunusual about this is that both
eV%,were held at the same place.
_e Wolverines placed three runners
irt top four Saturday at the
Mjigan Open, held at the Michigan
Gt;-Course. The meet was non-scor-
in4 ,id served mostly as a warm-up
ani chance to solidify the roster,
mn4.the same as a preseason football
gam.
Anyone can compete in an open
meet, and consequently, many
Wolverines ran unattached, allowing

said. "We're really monitoring her
training and a lot of other things right
now. We're monitoring her pulse rate
several times at night and in the
morning.
"She didn't wind down, she was real-
ly strong throughout the entire race.
Those are good signs that we'll have her
with us throughout the fall."
Spartans took the fourth and sixth
positions, but aside from that, the top
10 was entirely Michigan. Michigan's
Eileen Fleck finished between the two
Spartans for Michigan, while Katie
Clifford, Lisa Ouellet, Erin White and
Sarah Hamilton rounded out the top
10.
Despite the lack of competition, the
Michigan Open was hardly a walk in
the park for the Wolverines. Although
weather had looked promising the week
before the race, with temperatures hov-
ering rather consistently in the low 60s,
Saturday held more traditional August
weather.
The heat and sunshine combined
with the rolling, hilly terrain of the
Michigan golf course added up to some
difficult conditions - especially con-
sidering it was the Wolverines' first
meet of the season.
"It's Michigan, so we were due for
it," McGuire said. "I told the kids the
other day that it wasn't going to stay
nice and cool. It's tough enough open-
ing up out here on this course.
Everyone says, 'The breeze is great,'
when you're a spectator, but it doesn't
really do you much good when you
compete.
"The bottom line was the kids com-
peted pretty tough. They overcame
those conditions pretty well."
McGuire was also pleased with the
first outing of his top freshmen,
Clifford and White. Not only did the
two Wolverines have to suffer through
the same conditions as their team-

mates, but they also faced the anxiety
that naturally accompanies an athlete's
first collegiate race.
"The freshmen, it might have been a
little bit of a quick early pace for
them," McGuire said. "They fell off a
little bit, but then they hung in there
pretty well."
Although Michigan hardly had any
difficulty outdoing the few oppo-
nents it had, one of the top
Wolverines was busy, not running,
but riding around in a golf cart as she
observed the race.
Redshirt sophomore Marcy Akard,
Michigan's only representative in last
year's NCAA championships, is out
with a stress fracture she suffered at the
end of the outdoor track season.
"Her hard workouts right now are in
the pool," McGuire said. "Hopefully,
she'll be impacting our team the next
meet here, which is Oct. 19. She's
behind training-wise, but she's also one
of our best racers. We'll integrate her
back into the picture - I think she'll be
fine."
Even though a couple of Michigan
State's top runners didn't compete in
the open, McGuire got a good look at
the Wolverines' in-state rivals.
Not only is Michigan State a Big Ten
opponent, but it will also contend with
Michigan in the NCAA district compe-
tition.
The district meet determines which
teams will receive an NCAA champi-
onship bid.
"Their first kid (Leah Nilsson) was
1 th last year in the Big Ten, so she's a
good runner," McGuire said. "We need
to close our gap to our fifth runner, but
we go to State in two weeks, and we'll
be two weeks fitter.
"The course is a lot more forgiving
up there, the conditions will hopefully
be a little better and the times will be
faster."

WARREN LINN/Uaily
Michigan's Julie Froud found her stride at the Michigan Open on Saturday, winning
the 5,000-meter race with a time of 18:25. The season-opening meet consisted
mostly of Wolverines, along with a few runners from Michigan State.

follows wrong route, wins Open anyway

the team to enter as many runners as it
wished.
"I don't think (this meet) really has
any bearing on our season," Kevin
Sullivan said. "It was kind of a warm-
up, but it was more for trying to figure
out which guys are going to be running
each week."
Despite some unexpected heat and a
few wayward golf balls, John Mortimer
grabbed first place in the eight-kilome-
ter race. He finished with a time of
26:26, despite a slight directional error.
"Mortimer went the wrong way up
there," Michigan coach Ron Warhurst
said. "I told him to take off his sun-
glasses so he could see the white line."
Pushing Mortimer the entire way

was former Wolverine All-American
Gerard Donakowski, who tied
Mortimer for first place. Sullivan, who
seemed to be holding back most of the
race, showed a glimpse of his three-
time All-American form with a late
surge to finish a close third at 26:33.
Tom Snyder came in fourth at 26:51.
Sophomore Steve Lawrence and
senior Don McLaughlin crossed the
finished line 19 seconds later, followed
by Tom Stamboulian.
"None of us were out there killing
ourselves," Snyder said. "But it's hard
to take it too easy on this course."
This race decided which runners will
compete in the Jayhawk Invitational in
Lawrence, Kan., on Sept. 13. Warhurst

said he had a good idea of who he will
send.
"The top five people are going to
Kansas, and I'm going to make a des-
ignation as to who the next seven are
going to be," he said. "I pretty much
knew who the top five or six people
were" beforehand.
The 85-degree heat, however, was a
problem for many runners, with at least
one Michigan runner collapsing from
exhaustion. The Wolverines do not get
many chances to train in warm temper-
atures, so they suffered the conse-
quences Saturday.
"The course is tough, and on top of
that the heat sucks," Snyder said. "As
soon as I found out it was going to be

80 (degrees) this afternoon, I just start-
ed chugging down the water. Other
than that there's not much you can do."
This was the first meet for many
freshmen, and the conditions make
their debut any easier. Mike
Wisniewski was the top rookie, finish-
ing eighth with a time of 27:41.
"We've been training hard for two to
three weeks, and a few guys did not
respond well to the heat so they were
not up in the top 10 or 12," Warhurst
said.
"I thought Sam Dorri would run a
little bit better, but I think the heat got
to him, as well as redshirt freshman
John Bustic. Other than that, every-
thing was standard."

Kouchner-.
kavich: A
last name
proud to:
finish last
By Chris Farah
Daily Sports Writer
Michigan has served as the fertil:
training ground for some of the finest -
athletes in the history of men's colie
giate cross country. "
In the past, there were greats such as
Chris Brewster and Brian Diemer.
In the present, there are stars l*Ii
John Mortimer and Kevin Sullivan,
All-Americans and Big Ten chanpf.'
ons.
In the future, there will be ... D -vi
Kouchnerkavich?
Kouchnerkavich, a freshman in
Michigan's School of Engineering,
isn't highly touted. Kouchnerkavich
holds no college records, has won no
college races. He's not even on
Michigan team.
In fact, compared to even the most
minor contributors on the Michigan
men's cross country team,
Kouchnerkavich just isn't very good.
And he'll be the first to admit it.
But none of that stopped
Kouchnerkavich from competing at
Saturday's Michigan Open at the
Michigan Golf Course, where he ran
against Michigan's cream of the crop in
an unscored meet open to all comp
tors.
Did knowing he would get smoked
by the other runners stop him from run-
ning the 8,000-meter race? Did the idea
of getting embarrassed in front of spec-
tators - in public - make him hesi-
tate?
No. You see, Kouchnerkavich just
didn't care. He just wanted to have fun.
"I've been keeping track of the
(Michigan) cross country team over
summer, just seeing who's . "Ig~
Kouchnerkavich said. "I've a :rn.
ning some races over the sump; rit
ning with a friend back homer I)
"A friend of mine told mIn yMn,
can run the races at the college 1eveso
I just thought I might as well try it out."
Kouchnerkavich didn't have high
expectations before the race, and his
expectations were confirmed. He cam
in last, after taking an unpan't
detour.
"I screwed up somewhere when
was running the race," Kouchnerkavichi
said. "Somewhere I missed a turnoff on.
the last loop, and I actually ran almost'
an extra mile. To this day, to this
minute, I have no idea where that.
turnoff was.
"Actually, by the time I was done
there was no one there at the finish line.
I just kind of crossed it, and a coupl
my friends were there, but that was
about it."
Kouchnerkavich's time? According:
to him, somewhere over 35 minute.
The time of Michigan's John Mortimner,
winner of the race? 26:26 minutes.
Kouchnerkavich finished at least
five minutes behind the runner ahead
of him, but nobody will ever know the
exact time.
"I asked a guy if I could run'efor
the race, and he said, 'Just talkto
coach, I'm sure he'll let you r-gi,
Kouchnerkavich said. "Then g
sticker and wrote my name on it. I
guess at the end you were supposed to

turn it in (for an official result).
"But since there was no one there at
the end, I just crumpled mine up."
Does Kouchnerkavich have any:
hopes of joining the team?
"I seriously doubt it," he laughed.
Two of Kouchnerkavich's frien '
also attempted to run the race -"
Michigan student Kevin Jackson and
Brian Swanson, who resides in Grand
Rapids. Neither finished.
"They dropped out at the beginning,"'
Kouchnerkavich said. "Kevin hadn't
run all week, so I knew he wouldn't be
able to keep up. Also, they had run all
the way from the C.C. Little bus stop
and got to the golf course just five mil-
utes before the start.
"They were toast:'
Ultimately, though, Kouchnerkavich
was satisfied with his performance.
"It was a really hot day,"
Kouchnerkavich said. "But I had fun. It
was fun to see some of really good run-
ners, too - to see what the University;
has in their program. They've got a
really talented team.
"For the first 30 seconds I could
at least I could see them. After th,
they kind of took off."
He had fun. And for Kouchnerkavich,
that's all that really mattered.
"... By the time
was done there

; . t_
,
t" t jr ,/
L _i _
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