The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, November 19, 1997 - 11
Blue runners steadily improve as NCAAs await
y Rick Freeman
Daily Sports Writer
In a sea of predominantly white uni-
forms, Michigan's plain, blue singlets,
adorned with simple block-Ms on the
front, are easy to spot during a race.
Fewer and fewer runners can see those
"Ms" as the No. 7 Michigan women's
cross country team is steadily improving,
and leaving more and more runners in its
In nine races this year, the Wolverines
have only once not had a runner place
The stars on the team have been con-
sistently stellar, while the rank-and-file
has steadily improved. Junior Katie
McGregor has finished first five times
and second three times. Big Ten
Freshman of the Year Julie Froud has one
first-place finish, and has placed in the
p1 0 in all of her other races. And
phomore Elizabeth Kampfe's first-
place finish - her first ever - in
Saturday's NCAA regional, was just
another in a string of consistent finishes
After the Spartan invitational on Sept.
20, coach Mike McGuire was under-
standably pleased with his team's 1-2-3
finish, but warned that the fourth and
fifth runners would need to close the gap
between themselves and the top three.
His words rang true the very next week
as McGregor, Kampfe and Froud once
again took the top three spots at the
William and Mary Invitational. But an
impressive team showing from host
William and Mary bumped the
Wolverines to second place.
The trend continued through the regu-
lar season until the Wolverines traveled to
Columbus for the Big Ten championship.
Two weeks earlier, after a third-place
finish on Michigan's home course, Froud
had commented on what kind of effort
would be needed from the fourth and
fifth runners in Columbus.
"They just have to run like hell," Fraud
They did. but so did Wisconsin. The
Badgers pldced six runners ahead of
Michigan's third. fourth and fifth finish-
ers to take the Big en title.
The Wolverines had overcome their
biggest obstacle, but they didn't win the
meet. McGregor captured the individual
title, but that was only gravy - the
Wolverines missed the main course.
Many good teams would simply roll
over in that situation. But the Wolverines
challenged themselves in their next race.
By placing four runners in the top 12
at the NCAA regional Meet last Saturday,
Michigan showed what kind of team it is.
The gap bet wecn Mich igan's third run-
ner, Froud, and the fourth. Lisa Ouellet,
was the smallest for the Wolverines this
year - five places.
Although once again nosed out by the
Badgers. the Wolverines were stronger
this time. After six Wisconsin runners
thundered past Froud in the last kilome-
ter of the Big Ten race, Froud was, to say
the least, upset.
"It bothered me that Wisconsin went
by me," Froud said.
Froud did let it go, but isn't forgetting
about Wisconsin altogether. The Badgers
were definitely on her mind going into
"This time I might try to sit behind
them and then at the end be like, 'OK,
you guys can kiss my ass now,," Froud
The Wolverines may not be extending
such invitations to the field at Monday's
NCAA championships, but there is no
doubt they will have some attitude.
"We want to prove that we're a sev-
enth-ranked team, if not higher," Froud
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edges out Katie
placing four run-
ners in the top
12, the ,-
Continued from Page 10
top-five in the nation in sales, right
up there with Michigan.
No wonder, then, that Ohio State
soon will have the finest athictte
facilities in the world. A $150 Mil-
lion renovation is planned for Ohio
Stadium, and a new state-of-the-at
arena is being built for hockey and
"It's really not fair what he's had to
go through, when you look at what
he's done," linebacker Kevin Johnson
said. "We lose as a team. The blame
shouldn't go to one person, even the
Still, questions curse Cooper. If he
can do all that he does, why can't he
beat Michigan? Why is he 3-13-2 in
his final two games of the season?
Cooper is left to defend hinislf
alone, denying any sort of mental
block or jinx.
"There's been a play made here, a
play made there, that's determined
the outcome of the game," Cooper
said. "I'm not one of these guys that
goes home every night with a
headache. I'm one of these guys who
likes to feel like we've had a good
year. We've won 10 football ganies
and I don't think many thought we'd
win 10 games. We've put ourselves
in a position to at least play forhe
championship for the third year in a
row. We've won a lot of football
games. I'm proud of this team."
Still, Cooper feels change is ied-
ed this week. In the word of
Michigan quarterback Brian Grie'e,
the rivalry gets so hot in its electric
blanket of hype, "you kind of have to
calm down instead of get pumped
up." So Cooper has drawn the shades
here this year in an attempt to nor-
malize the game and strip it of its
Senior Tackle, a traditional cere-
mony in which seniors hit the prac-
tice sled for the final time before the
Michigan game, has evolved into a
giant pep rally and drew more Than
20,000 fans last year.
But Cooper has closed it to the
public this year and has closed all
practices this week.
"The longer I coach at Ohio State,
the more I understand why Woody
Hayes did what he did, closing prac-
tice and avoiding (the media) like the
plague," Cooper said. "The trth
doesn't bother me. I don't like it, but
the only way we're going to do some-
thing about it is go win the game.,.
Don't endure it, enjoy it. Enjoy it.
"It's a great opportunity to coach
at Ohio State, to coach in the Ohio
State-Michigan game. If you don't
like what's happened, do something
about it -- go win the game. Thaw's
going to be my approach this week."
Continued from Page 10
usually plays only about half the game,
is an excellent rusher who could find
success similar to what Wisconi's
option quarterback Mike Samue1i d
against the Wolverines last weeknd
(49 rushing yards and a touchdom
Meanwhile, Germaine, who sarted
this game last year, is a more copvn-
tional quarterback who operates mu f
a pro-set offense. He has two attractive
targets on his wings, Boston and~ee
Miller, who have combined to rich
115 passes this season and cari}k
apart most secondaries."
"They have two outstanding quar-
terbacks," Michigan coach Lloyd Carr
said, "both of whom have different
skills and abilities. I admire what the
Ohio State coaches have done with
that two-quarterback system. There
are not too many coaches who use two
quarterbacks and are successful, but
they have been tremendously success-
Many who have followed Michigan
this season, however, would say that
passing games like Ohio State's have
been humbled by the Wolverines'
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