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February 02, 1998 - Image 15

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-02-02

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The Michigan Daily - SPORTSMonday - February 2, 1998 - lB

Illini, Lions humble
men's gymnastics

By David DenHerder
Daily Sports Writer
In what was supposed to be a fight
the finish, the Michigan men's gym-
nastics team traveled to Champaign
this weekend for a clash with Big Ten
rivals Illinois and Penn State.
Michigan (0-4 Big Ten, 0-4 overall)
entered Saturday's meet tied with
Illinois at No. 7 in the national polls,
but, in the end, neither the Wolverines
nor the Nittany Lions could overcome
an inspired performance by the
Fighting Illini.
Led by the all-around heroics of
avis Romagnoli, Illinois (2-1, 2-1)
breezed past the competition to record
its best meet of the year.
The Illini scored 226.800 points,
eclipsing second place Penn State (2-
2, 4-2) by more than two full points.
The Wolverines finished third at
Romagnoli was exceptional in the all-
around competition, winning all but one
the events on his way to a cumulative
.325. This season's high-score in the
all-around was previously held by
Nebraska's Derek Leiter with a 57.480.
Romagnoli "had a sensational
night," said Michigan head coach Kurt
Golder. "He was really, really good."
A late scheduling change threw No.
3.Penn State into the mix, giving the
Wolverines an opportunity for more
Big Ten experience before they host
the >conference championships in
"We're narrowing the gap on Penn
State, and that's a highlight," Golder
Michigan placed 2.35 points behind
the Nittany Lions last week at CLiff
Keen Arena, but reduced the deficit to
0.95 when they met on Saturday.
Freshman Kevin Roulston once
again led the Wolverines in all-around
competition, tying his personal best

with a 56.15. Roulston also had a per-
sonal high (9.55) on parallel bars.
Michigan co-captain Jose "Lalo"
Haro struggled to a sixth-place finish
in the all-around with a cumulative
Golder said Haro has potential for
excellence in the all-around but first
must eliminate mistakes. Haro's per-
formance on the parallel bars this past
weekend is a prime example of this.
Golder said.
"If he would have stuck his dis-
mount, I think they might have given
him a 10," Golder said. "He's just that
The only event not claimed by
Romagnoli on Saturday was the still
rings. Michigan freshman Kenny
Keener continued his unexpected
dominance in the event, recording a
personal best 9.70 to win. Keener also
topped his score in the floor exercise
with a 9.30.
Redshirt freshman Tim Dehr was
impressive on vault, notching a per-
sonal high 9.25, and sophomore Jesse
Coleman scored a personal best, at 9.0,
on the pommel horse.
Sophomore Bryan Pascoe competed
in three events but is still recovering
from a dislocated finger, an injury sus-
tained on the high bar in last week-
end's tri-meet with Iowa and Penn
Despite narrowing the point spread
with Penn State, the Wolverines
missed their high team score on the
season by 3/4 of a point. But that does-
n't seem to be affecting the team's
"They believed in themselves a little
bit more today," Golder said. "As the
guys were coming out of the locker
room, I heard some of them saying
things like, 'Next time we meet (Penn
State,) we're going to get them.' I hope
we do."

Kabnick's perfor-
mance in the all-
'>: " saround competi-
.. =tion led Michigan
to victory
Saturday at the
Michigan Classic.
Kabnick won the
event with a
score of 38.87ty
Wo men' mnneasts winbragg ing rights

By Vaughn R.Kug
For the Daily
The ninth-ranked Michigan women's gymnastics
team legitimized its national ranking with a victory that
earned them the right to call itself the state's best at the
Michigan Classic in East Lansing on Saturday.
The competition showcased the talent of four of
Michigan's finest women's gymnastics programs, or
more to the point, three of the nation's most skillful
Michigan captured victory on Saturday afternoon at
the Jenison Field House by defeating No. 17 Michigan
State, No. 21 Central Michigan and Western Michigan.
The Wolverines won with a team score of 194.750
points, bettering the Spartans' score of 193.350. Central
Michigan finished third with 190.450 points, while
Western Michigan struggled with a score of 185.900.
Michigan won the Classic for its second straight year,
and this victory was the Wolverines' fourth in the com-
petition's six-year existence.
The victory was propelled by the performance of
senior co-captain Heather Kabnick, who won
Saturday's all-around competition with a total score of

38.875. Fellow teammate Lisa Simes also performed
well, capturing second place in the all-around with a
score of 38.675.
Kabnick excelled after recovering from injury.
"We can count on Heather to be a great competitor
when she is free from injury," Michigan coach Bev
Plocki said.
The means to Kabnick's all-around victory were a
first-place finish in the floor exercise (9.925), a fifth-
place finish on the uneven bars (9.775) and a second-
place finish on the vault with a score of 9.825.
Kabnick's second-place finish on the vault was only
bettered by her teammate, sophomore Sarah Cain, who
received a score of 9.900. In addition to Kabnick's and
Cain's domination of the vault, Wolverines Nikki Peters
and Sarah-Elizabeth Langford secured third- and
fourth-place honors, respectively.
Domination on the vault is one aspect of competition
that the Wolverines have been able to count on through-
out the season.
"The vault is our strongest event," said Cain, who
was Saturday's top performer on the vault. "We usual-
ly score really well."

Victory over Michigan State was especially sweet,
considering that Saturday's meet produced was the
Spartans' highest team score of the season (193.350).
Despite the Spartans' No. 17 ranking, they recognize
the perennial intrastate dominance the Wolverines rep-
-We finished second te Michigan and we kind of
expected to," Michigan State coach Kathy Klages said
in a written statement.
On the beam, Michigan also did quite well, with Beth
Amelkovich and Bridget Knaeble sharing second-place
honors with scores of 9.875. Nichole Bills of Central
Michigan displayed a slightly superior effort with- a
first-place score of 9.900.
For now, Michigan heads back to the gym to practice.
"We will practice Monday through Thursday and
then it is off to L.A. on Thursday evening," coach Bev
Plocki said.
The team will travel to Los Angeles to compete in the
UCLA Invitational next Saturday at the Pauley Pavilion
in order to match their skills against those of the West
Coast's finest. In addition to battling No. 6 UCLA, the
Wolverines will face No. 16 Stanford, and Cornell.

Unbeaten Utah and Kentucky fall; Duke rolls

Roshown McLeod scored 23 points
as No. 1 Duke beat Georgia Tech,
90-69, yesterday for its 1 1th straight
win, setting up a No. I vs. No. 2
matchup with North Carolina on
McLeod's point total was two off
his career high, set earlier this sea-
son at Florida State, while Trajan
Langdon added 17 as Duke moved to
74-8 under Mike Krzyzewski when
ranked No. 1.
The Yellow Jackets were led by
Dion Glover's 20 points and Matt
Harpring's 19.
But Georgia Tech was forced to
play more than half the game with-
out Alvin Jones, the nation's second-

leading shot blocker who fouled out
with 9:25 left.
Duke's 15-point first-half lead
was trimmed to eight with 18:04
But the Blue Devils, whose
offense was perimeter-oriented in
the opening half, went to their fast-
breaking attack in the second half
during a decisive 16-5 run.
No. 14 NEW MEXICO 77, No. 3
Royce Olney hit a 3-pointer with
4.6 seconds left, capping No. 14
New Mexico's late rally and sending
No. 3 Utah to its first loss of the sea-
son, 77-74 yesterday.
Utah, the nation's last remaining
unbeaten major college team, had
one final chance to force overtime.
Drew Hansen's 3-pointer swished

through, but the officials ruled the
ball had not left his hands when the
clock expired.
New Mexico (16-3, 6-1 Western
Athletic Conference) overcame a 73-
67 deficit in the final 1:27.
The Lobos extended their home
winning streak to 38 games, second
in the nation to Kansas' 57 in a row.
Utah (18-1, 6-1) had its school-
record winning streak ended at 18.
Olney finished with 2? points. He
hit 6 of 7 3-pointers, including his
game-winner from 21 feet.
Jason Williams and Kenyan Weaks
each scored 24 points as Florida hit
12 3-pointers, the most ever by a
Kentucky opponent in Rupp Arena,
to stun the No. 7 Wildcats 86-78

Not only did Florida shoot a sea-
son-high 57 percent (12-of-21) from
3-point range, the Gators also beat
Kentucky at its strength in taking a
40-30 advantage in rebounds despite
foul trouble by big men Damen
Maddox and Greg Stolt.
Williams. who made his first
seven shots, finished with 8-of-10
shooting from the field.
He hit on 4 of 5 3-point attempts
and handed out four assists. Weaks
hit 7 of 14 shots.
Kentucky's Cameton Mills also
turned in a scintillating shooting
performance, hitting 8 of 14 shots
from beyond the 3-point arc in fin-
ishing with a career-high 31 points.
Florida trailed just once in the
game, 2-0, after Kentucky's Nazr
Mohammed's dunk to start the game.

chigan came Into Saturday's meet in Champaign tied at No.7 In the nation with
IIinois, but left disappointed, finishing behind both the Illini and Penn State.

Big expectations
for '' softball
The Michigan softball team, com-
in~g off three consecutive appear-
nces in the NCAA College World
cries, begin their season ranked
fourth in the preseason USA
Today/NFCA Coaches Poll.
The Wolverines, who are ranked
behind defending national champi-
on Arizona, Fresno State and
Washington, have never been
ranked higher that No.5 in any pre-
season or regular season coaches
Michigan begins its season Feb.
* in San Diego, Calif.
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