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November 03, 1997 - Image 11

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-11-03

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

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Sports Desk: 647.3336

Sullivan runs to 4th Big

Ten title

By Rick Freeman
D)aily Sports Writer
COLUMBUS - Kevin Sullivan then
John Mortimer. Or maybe Mortimer, then
That's how the top two spots have
looked in all but one of the Michigan
men's cross country team's races this year.
That's how the top two spots looked at
Saturday's Big Ten championships held on
the rolling terrain of the Ohio State Golf
Course. But cross country is not an indi-
vidual sport, it is a team sport, and the
Wolverines needed strong performances
from the entire team in order to hold off
No. 5 Wisconsin, No. 6 Michigan State
and the rest of the Big Ten.
Michigan's dynamic duo finished first
and second - as they have in every race

McGregor wins women's title
as Michigan finishes second
Katie McGregor won her first conference
title and the Wolverines took second place
behind Wisconsin.
See Page 88.
but one this year. Sullivan captured his
fourth Big Ten title, a feat matched by
only two others. But they did not finish as
close together as they have in recent
meets. Sullivan finished 19 seconds ahead
of his teammate and 48 seconds ahead of
a seething pack of runners that threatened
to tarnish his individual title by stealing
the team championship out from under-
neath his Nikes.

Wisconsin, the second-place finisher,
took the fourth, fifth, sixth, and ninth
individual spots, but clutch performances
by Sullivan and Mortimer's largely unher-
alded supporting cast saved the day.
Sophomores Steve Lawrence and Jay
Cantin were able to overcome'their initial
concern and muscle their way to the sev-
enth and eighth spots, despite powerful
performances from two Wisconsin run-
"I was surprised that Wisconsin put
three guys in front of (Cantin) and
Lawrence." Michigan coach Ron
Warhurst said.
While four runners turned in their usual
solid performances, there are five runners
that score, and Michigan needed them all
to win Saturday.

"In cross country, you're only as strong
as your fifth runner," Warhurst said.
Michigan's fifth runner produced per-
haps the toughest effort of the day. Junior
Todd Snyder turned on the burners in the
last kilometer, passing several runners to
secure I11th place for himself and more
important, a Big Ten championship for his
"fie saved us," Warhurst said.
While Snyder's finish did not turn out
to be absolutely crucial, at the time it
seemed do-or-die to the Ann Arbor native.
Unable to catch one last runner, Iowa's
Chad Schwitters, Snyder carried a dis-
gusted grimace across the finish line,
two-tenths of a second behind Schwitters.
"I thought that was it," Snyder said. "I

Kevin Sullivan (left) won his fourth Big Ten title on Saturday.
John Mortimer (right) finished 19 seconds behind Sullivan.

cause for
By Kurt New
ally Sports Writer
Big Ten Champions - in 25 years the
Michigan field hockey team had never
been able to lay claim to this title.
But that all changed Sunday as the
Wolverines trounced Michigan State 4-0
to capture their first-ever Big Ten title.
Coming into this game Michigan
knew it could clinch at least a share of
the championship with a victory. The
Spartans had beaten the Wolverines in
heir first meeting this season, which set
e stage for what seemed destined to be
a classic battle between two fierce rivals.
The afternoon started on an emotion-
al note as the six Michigan seniors were
recognized before the game for their
contributions. Adding to the emotional
nature was an appearance by the pep
band for the first time all season.
Right from the opening whistle



Blue moves to 8-0 after
rolling over Gophers

By Nicholas J. Cotsonika
Daily Sports Editor
Without the emotion that energized
East Lansing last week or the hype that
will swirl soon around State College,
r7 Michigan 24 lived on
thoughts of
Minnesota 3 golden rings
and roses
Saturday. The fourth-ranked
Wolverines, flat but focused on the
future, took a 24-3 victory from a
Minnesota team notorious for deflating
overstuffed egos.
Twice in the past 30 years - 1977
and '86 -the Golden Gophers sullied
the season of a previously unbeaten,
highly ranked Michigan team.
Knowing that, Michigan coach Lloyd
Carr said he told his players they didn't

want any part of that history. They then
refused to suffer a letdown before
106.577 at Michigan Stadium, though
Carr said "there was no emotion before
the game, at halftime or after the
The Wolverines have captured the
Little Brown Jug I I straight years and
28 of the past 30, but more important,
they didn't fumble it at a critical time.
With victories at Penn State and
Wisconsin the next two weeks, the
Wolverines (5-0 Big Ten, 8-0 overall)
will go to the Rose Bowl for the first
time since the 1992 season and could
have a shot at the national champi-
"I want a ring," said Michigan two-
way man Charles Woodson, who
scored a 33-yard touchdown on' a
See GOPHERS, Page 4B

Win sets up match up of
unbeatens next week end

t was obvious that the emotion was-
n't there. The Wolverines ran out of
the tunnel onto the field Saturday
with less swagger and fewer fist

Helber shut out Michigan State, 40,
Michigan a share of the Big Tentitle.
1iCC for

pumps than
usual. They
barely jumped
high enough to
touch the 'Go
Blue' banner
waving above
the 50-yard
line. The
crowd was rel-
atively quiet,
despite all of
the alumni cel-

And it was acceptable. .
The Wolverines were somewhat
emotionless on Saturday because they
really didn't care about the game
against Minnesota. It's that simple.
Sure, Michigan wants to beat the
Golden Gophers every year to keep
the Little Brown Jug in Ann Arbor
and sure, it wants to win every game it
plays. They lacked a lot of their usual
desire because they had something
else on their minds, something much
more important.
The Wolverines' hearts and emo-
tions were focused on this week's
upcoming game at Penn State, and as
football players with feasible dreams,
it's normal to refocus energy where it
really counts -- as long as there is
enough left over to avoid letting
another game slip away.
See RUMORE, Page 58

Has It

and at times, it looked like the
Wolverines wished they were some-
place else.

Michigan co-captain Jon Jansen holds up the Little Brown Jug, which the Wolverines won for the 11th consecutive time.

;ers n

Ray is unquestioned leader of Michigan's secondary

By Pranay Reddy
Daily Sports Writer
Who would have thought that in
Alaska's frigid climate, Michigan's cold
offense would finally warm up?
Michigan (2-1-0 CCHA, 5-2-0 over-
all) doubled up Alaska-Fairbanks (0-4-0,
5-1) over the weekend, outlasting the
Nanooks 4-3 Saturday, following a 6-3
victory on Friday.
, Coming into the weekend, Michigan
coach Red Berenson was concerned
about his team's power play and penalty
killing units. And coming out of the two
games, his mind may be at rest - at
lea-at (in the~ nffencnve e~nd o-f the. ice.

By Alan Goldenbach1
[>aily Sports Editor
eadership in the athletic arena is supposed
to remain at a particular level.-Provide a lit-
le bit of motivation, encouragement or a
challenge. A simple pat on the back, a joking
insult, or even a moment aside with a naive rook-
ie will suffice. Rarely does leadership go further
than that.
Marcus Ray has taken the meaning of leader-
ship to a new level.
"Having him on the field is like having anoth-
er coach on the field," Michigan secondary
coach Vance Bedford said of his junior safety.
"He's taken on a huge leadership role since (co-
captain and linebacker) Eric Mayes went down
for the season. He's just tremendous."
In a secondary with no seniors, Ray has clear-

son as the unofficial spokesman and on-the-field
teacher of the group.
This year, more than ever in recent years,
Michigan's defense has been senior-deficient,
with only five fifth-year seniors currently on
the active roster, which means that many
underclassmen are seeing valuable time on /
the field, including some in starting
The secondary, although exception-
ally talented, is not immune to this
youth movement. Sophomore Tommy
Hendricks has taken over at the start- r
ing strong safety spot and injuries to
Weathers (who even himself, has only
seen rare backup action prior to this
season) have meant crunch-time
action for Michigan's trio of true

the veterans. Although
Woodson calls him the
"best secondary coach in
the country, Bedford can't
teach these youngsters
experience, Michigan expe-
rience, in particular, espe-
cially from the sidelines.
"I have to be a leader with
how I perform," Ray said,
"We rotate in so many young
players like Tommy Hendricks, James
Whitley, William Peterson and
DeWayne Patmon. I have to be a physi-
cal presence out there and show that if
I'm up to any challenge any of these
guys should be able to also.''
Ray takes pride in watching these
v,, nt a nl nv,-m .Am/pI nn h... .nt t*la c-ama

making more plays every week and the more
plays they make, the stronger a secondary we're
going to have.
"But we all have to keep this up. If they see
that I lost faith in us being able to make it to the
Rose Bowl, then they'll lose faith too. I can't let
them do that."
With Woodson, the All-American and media
darling, occupying the same secondary as Ray, it
is quite easy for young players to overlook the
intangibles that Ray brings to the team, and
instead seek to emulate Woodson's flair for the
glitz and gab. But Ray's biggest fan on the team,
and the one who certainly makes sure the rookies
follow Ray's lead, is none other than his room-
mate, Woodson.
"Without a doubt, he knows our defense better
than anybody else," Woodson said. "He is the
c-mnrtc miv Pin, PI ~r a,. riaxs.,4,



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