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January 29, 1998 - Image 13

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-01-29

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The Michigan Daily - Thursday, January 29, 1998 - 13A

M' men's track seeks to
prove team is state's best

Rick Harpster
Sports Writer
In preparation for the Big Ten championships on Feb.
8, the Michigan men's track team is in action each of
se seven weekends preceding the event.
This Saturday, the team will complete the fourth leg
f that journey as it travels to East Lansing to compete
the Michigan Intercollegiates. Consisting only of
chools from within the state, the Michigan
tercollegiate offers the opportunity to battle for state
"There will definitely be a good representation of the
competing this weekend, so state bragging rights
at stake," Michigan's John Mortimer said.
Mortimer and his distance
Who's Best team have definitely had plen-
ty to boast about lately.
Who: The top track At last weekend's Red
teams in the state Simmons Invitational, Kevin
of Michigan. Sullivan set the Michigan
record with his time of 7:51.65
What: The Michigan in the 3000-meter run.
Intercollegiates In addition to Sullivan, Jay
Cantin and Mortimer have also
sere: East Lansing already qualified for the indoor
national championships.
When: Saturdy Cantin's performance (4:05.69)
in the mile run two weeks ago
at Indiana earned him a spot in
the NCAA championships,
hile Mortimer qualified with his 5000-meter time
13:48.47) in The Michigan Open on Jan. 10. Mortimer
'as named Trackwire Publications Athlete of the Week
>r his feat in the 5000-meter.
howing the depth of the distance squad, Steve
rence and Don McLaughlin finished first and sec-
nd, respectively, in the mile run at the Red Simmons
Although the distance squad has earned most of
lichigan's points, the sprinting team has made signifi-

"We're not going to run
any of our guys out now.
We're really just getting
ready for the Big Ten and
national championships"
- Jack Harvey
Michigan men's track and field coach
cant progress.
"There's no doubt the distance squad's success has
rubbed off on the sprinters," Michigan coach Jack
Harvey said. "They're continuing to work hard and
improve each week."
One of Harvey's top sprinters, Kevin Bowman, echoes
his coach's thoughts.
"We're working hard and continuing to get better as a
group," Bowman said. "Everyone is starting to run
faster, and we plan on continuous improvement."
Last weekend, Bowman finished third in the 200-
meter race with a time of 22.33, while Steve Jenkins
reached the finals in the 55-meter dash.
Although he hopes to prove that they are among the
state's elite this weekend, Harvey views the Michigan
Intercollegiates as preparation for the Big Ten and
national championships.
"We're not going to run any of our guys out now,"
Harvey said. "We're really just getting ready for the Big
Ten championships."
POLL PosiTIoN: Trackwire Publications recently
announced its men's Top 25 rankings. The initial poll
ranked the Wolverines ninth, higher than any other Big
Ten team.
The Michigan Intercollegiate will be Michigan's first
opportunity to show that it is worthy of this ranking.

With the threat of state rivals facing the Michigan men's track team on Saturday, the ninth-ranked Wolverines will be looking
to defend their pride, as well as win some bragging rights.

oo to
drop state
ly Kim Hart
)aiy Sports Writer
The battle for state pride in
women's gymnastics becomes a
ight to the finish in Jenison Field
louse this Saturday. Michigan will
aake the journey to East Lansing to
ace Michigan State, Central
Oichigan, Eastern Michigan and
Otern Michigan in the aptly-titled
higan Classic.
The competition could be fierce
or the Wolverines, who as of this
ast Wednesday's poll were ranked
elow the eighth-ranked Chippewas
nd the 15th-ranked Spartans.
Aichigan is ranked No. 17.
The Wolverines have had almost a
veek to heal from some minor
njuries and prepare for this latest
hallenge. The all-around contest
,once again be spearheaded by
he efforts of Bridget Knaeble, who
ermains as the only Wolverine
telthy enough to compete in all
"We're really excited about this
veekend's meet," Michigan coach
le Plocki said. "We are slowly but
ure y starting to feel better, so this
hould be a fun meet for us."
This is the first of three meetings
#een the Spartans and the
Volverines this season. The
partans have a 24-12 advantage in
he series but the Wolverines have
von the last three contests between
he schools.
Along with the efforts of Knaeble,
ve should see strong performances
rom senior Heather Kabnick and
ophomore Sarah Cain. Kabnick will
omp eteain at least three events -
}t, beam, and floor exercise. It is
,possible for her to become an
ll-around competitor if she is added
tbe uneven bars roster. Thesbars is
Cabnick's weakest event, but if she
eels strong enough and becomes
ne f the top six bar performers for
hete am, she could easily be added
> the list.
Cain will also compete in three
vents this weekend - the vault, the
en bars, and the beam.
Ahe Wolverines' are carrying the
omentum from last weekend's
meets, where they defeatedUtah at
tome and finished second to
eorgia ondSunday.
"We competed reasonably well on
unday," Plocki said. (The Michigan
lassic) "is always a fun meet for us
nd weook forward to this week-

The Daily's books are in!
A limited-edition first printing of The Michigan Daily's
book, "We're No. 1: The 1997 National Championship
Season," is now available at the Daily's offices at
420 Maynard St. and at select local retail outlets.
Get the most completecoverage available of
Michigan's football season along with breathtaking
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Continued from Page11A
But are they ready to go?
"They have ants in their pants," Urbanchek said.
Umm ... okay, sounds good. But won't the stars of the
team feel just a little tarnished after their recent travels?
Or will they bejust as excited to start the conference sea-
"They better be," he laughed.
Minnesota is Michigan's chief competition for the Big
Ten title, Urbanchek said, but Indiana boasts a formidable
lineup, especially in diving events.
Urbanchek said that he will need his swimmers to deci-
sively outpace the Hoosiers, because Indiana's diving
corps could take some events one-two-three.
To close out their afternoon with a resounding 'Hoosier
Daddy' the Wolverines will have to take the top places in
the swimming events.
It shouldn't be a problem according to Mark Lambert,
aquatics director and longtime observer of Big Ten swim-

ming and diving teams.
Lambert is responsible for the entire operation of
Canham Natatorium, and spends more time its the building
than the Wolverines do.
"I live here," he laughed.
The Hoosiers are "just a couple swimmers away" from
being able to compete with the Wolverines, Lambert said.
Freshman Matt Thompson said most of the competition
in his events -- the 500-and 1000-yard freestyle - will
most likely come from his own teammates, rather than
from the Hoosiers.
"It's good to see where you are," with the rest of the
competition and with yourself, Thompson said.
PACK THE POND: This weekend's meets - both the
women's swimming and diving team's home meets and t ce
men's-- come on parents' weekend for the swimming and
diving teams. Also. the athletic department is promoting
the meets with their "Pack the Pond" campaign. -.
"I invited like 15-20 friends, so if around 10-15 show up,
that's great," Thompson said, adding that most of the other
freshmen on the team have invited friends to the meet.


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