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September 11, 1997 - Image 18

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-09-11

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18A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday September 11, 1997
xMen's harriers balance stars and depth

By Chds Farah
Daily Sports Writer
Two names are synonymous with
Michigan men's cross country in 1997
- John Mortimer and Kevin Sullivan.
But in team competition, scores aren't
determined solely on the basis of a
squad's top two finishers. Scores are
based on the placing of a team's first five
finishers, so as good as they are, Sullivan
and Mortimer need a strong backup crew
if Michigan is to succeed.
Enter Steve Lawrence, Todd Snyder,
Don McLaughlin and Jay Cantin.
Lawrence and Snyder are the principal
candidates for the third and fourth-man
slots while McLaughlin and Cantin will
probably duel for the fifth position.
Snyder, a junior, was the top high
school cross country runner in the state
of Michigan during his senior year at
Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor.
Snyder said that adjusting to the role of
supporting cast was difficult at first, but
he has learned to deal with his situation.
"It did (bother me) earlier in my fresh-
man year, and maybe a little bit last
year," Snyder said. "But you just realize
after a point that Mortimer and Sullivan
are just world-class guys. And I'd like to
be able to run with them, but it's just as

much fun watching them do well."
Sullivan said that although varying
levels of success can cause a divided
team, the Wolverines are very close.
That unity can be partially attributed to
the attitudes of Sullivan and Mortimer.
"I think (team unity would be an issue)
if John and I let it go to our heads and
walked around in the lockerroom with
attitudes like we were supposed to be
better than everyone else," Sullivan said.
"We both carry ourselves very well in
that we both get along with the guys. I'm
their captain, and I'm their teammate,
and I train with them every day, so I try
to stay on their level."
"I'm not the kind of person who real-
ly cares about the spotlight. I'd almost
rather not have it."
Snyder said they all have the same
goal - no matter who leads individual-
ly, Michigan comes first. But running in
the wake of greats like Sullivan and
Mortimer can get frustrating at times.
"I hope I can do my best to support a
team that (Mortimer and Sullivan) start-
ed out," Snyder said. "I just want to hold
up my end of it, so I don't really feel
overshadowed. But sometimes I'll want
to run faster than them and it seems like
they're going so easy, and I'mjust work-

ing too hard for nothing."
Because the cross country team is
smaller and more focused than the indoor
and outdoor track teams, getting the
attention of Michigan coach Ron
Warhurst isn't a problem.
"Ron takes care of all of us," Snyder
said. "Cross country is a little more inti-
mate" than track.
Getting attention must be even less of
a problem considering the great strides
Snyder has made since his freshman
year, when he finished a disappointing
159th at the NCAA championships.
"I'm a lot stronger and a lot smarter
now," Snyder said. "With the past years
of choking at nationals, the longer (train,-
ing) base and the greater age, 1 think I'll
be more consistent this year."
Despite Snyder's gains, a certain
amount of separation between the higher
and lower ranks of the team is inevitable.
As Sullivan continues to make strides
towards the championship form he pos-
sessed before an injury sidelined him last
year, the two stars will use each other to
make themselves better competitors.
Having Mortimer to run with "will
help a lot," Sullivan said. "The last year
I really ran against John in cross country
was his freshman year; and I was in bet-
ter shape than him at that point.
"But now we're pretty well on equal
terms, soit'll be interesting to see how
much it helps." Sullivan said his compe-
tition with Mortimer always remains
friendly ... well, mostly.
"There's joking around," Sullivan
said. "He broke one of my meet records
last year, so we're looking for a big

rematch there this year. It's a friendly
,.We're teammates as well as compet i-
tors, and we have to remember that
whenever we're training together.-
A little intra-team rivalry never hurt
- especially considering some of the
competition Michigan will face bef'ore
the Big Ten championships and nation-
als at the end of the season.
Saturday, Michi ian tr ia\ .s to
Lawrence, Kan., for. the Jaya ik
Invitational, and the Wolverines aren't
expecting to race against any national
"It shouldn't be too difficult," Snyder
said. "Just a good early meet to go down
and see how we're feeling in a race, and
not have to worry about too many peo-
ple getting in the way. It'll be light, but
we'll still have a race situation."
The lacking competition means tha*
Sullivan and Mortimer could very well
be racing against each other.
"I'm looking to do fairly well,"
Sullivan said. "I'm not exactly sure what
the competition is going to be like, but I
know I'm going to get a good race out of
Mortimer. I'm looking to finish some-
where up in the top, hopefully to win.
But if not, at least have a good race and
finish with the leaders. "We're traiin*
really hard now, but it will all lead up to
the Big Ten championships."
Michigan's well-rounded lineup -
two superstars with a supporting cast of
runners who could be stars at almost any
other school - means the Wolverines'
lofty Big Ten and NCAA goals may very
well be met.

The Michigan men's cross country team travels to Kansas on Saturday to com-
pete in the iayhawk invitational - a competition that is not expected to be

Colorado vs. 'M' turns*
into autumn tradition

The Colorado Daily
BOULDER, Colo. (U-WIRE) - So
what else is new?
It's September. The leaves are chang-
ing colors, and many of college foot-
ball's elite are in the middle of their pat-
sie-playing non-conference schedules.
For two of the past three years, that
can only mean one thing to college foot-
ball fans throughout the Rockies and the
Midwest: It must be time for Colorado
and Michigan to take center stage.
The two schools have knocked heads
only three times in history, with two of
those meetings in 1994 and 1996. Both
those times, the games have come down
to the final play from scrimmage.
Colorado coach Rick Neuheisel said
at his Monday press conference that he
hopes Saturday's game at Michigan
Stadium won't come down to his quar-
terback -this year, senior John Hessler
- having to heave a Hail Mary pass for
another last-gasp attempt at victory.
"Certainly it will be a big task to go
to Ann Arbor in front of 105,000, espe-
cially given what took place the last time
we were there," Neuheisel said.
This year, the Colorado-Michigan
game will attract a sellout crowd of
100,000-plus and a national television
audience. With Colorado at No. 7 and
Michigan at No. 13, both teams, once
again, are ranked in the top 15.
And this year, once again, both teams
are undefeated going into the intersec-
Continued from Page 16
Amy Helber.
"Julie is playing extremely well,"
Pankratz said. "She is a skilled and
smart player who finishes well."
The Wolverines are eagerly antici-
pating the return of four players -
Amy Philbrook, Kati Oakes, Kelly
Gannon and Ashley Reichenbach.
The four are currently representing
the United States in the under-21 Junior
World Cup championship in Seoul.
"Once they return they will be
faster, better and more skilled,"

tional meeting. Both 1997 records are a
bit misleading because the Wolverines
have yet to play a game and Colorado
has played only one.
Saturday, Colorado returns to the
scene of The Miracle in Michigan; th@
Sept. 24, 1994, game in which
Colorado quarterback Kordell Stewart
unloaded to Michael Westbrook the
most memorable pass in the program's
107-year history.
A lot has changed since that dreary
September day three autumns ago.
Neuheisel was in his first and only year
as quarterbacks' and receivers' coach
the last time the Buffs walked off the
grass of the Big House.
Senior tailback Herchell Troutman,
reserve in 1994 behind Heisman Trophy
winner Rashaan Salaam, knows how
important it will be to keep the 100,000-
plus crowd out of the game.
"Hopefully, we'll just go out and
silence the crowd," Troutman said
Monday. "It's a loud crowd because I
was there my freshman year."
Last year, a Michigan team ranked
No. 11 stormed into Boulder and upsO
the fifth-ranked Buffs 20-13. Colorado
limited Michigan to just 247 yards of
total offense in 1996, but 14 penalties
eliminated any chance of a late Colorado
comeback. "If you're growing up and
thinking of playing college football, this
is the kind of game you picture yourself
playing in," Neuheisel said.
Pankratz said. "They will add to our
versatility and depth."
So far, considering three of t4
missing players are starters, Pankratz
said her team is playing exceptionally
"We are playing pretty strong hock-
ey and will continue to get sharp,"
Pankratz said.
With the return of the four players,
the Wolverines are hoping to break
into the national rankings and stay
"We are bringing in internationaW
style, training and tactics, which
should make us more competitive,"
Pankratz said.





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