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February 16, 1998 - Image 14

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-02-16

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6B - The Michigan Daily - SPORTSMonday- Monday, February 16, 1998
Split squad divides, then conquers

SyChris Duprey
Daily Sports WXriter
The Michigan women's track team entered the
weekend with a clear mission: divide and conquer.
w The Wolverines accomplished their goal, deliv-
ehitg solid performances all around at both this
weekend's Husker and Cannon Invitationals.
"Michigan coach James Henry took advantage of
the fierce competition at both meets by splitting
up the team, sending the distance crew out to
Indianapolis for the Cannon meet and taking the
sprint and field event squads to the fields of
Nebraska. Both meets were unscored, putting an
emrphasis on individual improvement in prepara-
tion for the Big Ten Championships on Feb. 28 and
Mar. 1.
-All in all, Henry was pleased with the effort the
Wolverines put forth.
"The purpose of the meets was to compete two
days straight," Henry said, indicating he wanted
his runners to experience competing with tired
legs the second day.
Despite the element of fatigue, the Wolverines
rose to the occasion at both meets, turning in some
of their best performances of the year.
The distance medley relay stole the show at the
Cannon Invite, setting the stage for the weekend
with a smashing performance. The quartet of Lisa
Ouellet, Adrienne Hunter, Sarah Hamilton and
Katie McGregor grabbed the spotlight, winning
the meet with a time of 11:13.
But that wasn't all. The relay team's perfor-
mance also earned the Wolverines the distinction
of holding the top time in the nation so far this

season - and earned Michigan an automatic qual-
ification for the NCAA Indoor Championships
this spring.
"The distance medley ran excellent," distance
runner Elizabeth Kampfe said. "It really helped us
to get excited for Saturday's events."
Kampfe turned in a solid showing in the 5,000-
meters, garnering a sixth-place finish with a time
of 16:47.
The Wolverines found success in the 3,000
meters as well. McGregor crossed the line in 9:25,
good for fifth-place overall. Tiffin Goodman and
freshman Katie Ryan also ran personal bests in the
3,000.
Ouellet continued her fine weekend with a 4:51
finish in the mile run. Her time was a personal
best, and it moved her closer to NCAA provision-
al qualification status.
Michelle Slater was only three seconds behind,
and freshman Lena VanHaren chipped in with a
5:05.
Meanwhile, the sprint and field event squads
enjoyed a successful day at the Husker Invitational
on Friday.
High jumper Nicole Forrester garnered by far
the best performance of the day, clearing the 6-
foot-I 1/4 bar to tie for third place. Forrester's
jump would have tied her with two others for first
place, but she was bumped down to third after los-
ing the tiebreaker.
To break a tie in the high jump, the athlete with
the fewest misses is given the higher placing.
It was still a breakthrough for Forrester, howev-
er, who indicated that she wasn't pleased with her

recent performances.
Forrester hoped to break into the 6-1 to 6-3
range, but she was unable to eclipse 6-0 until last
week.
Tania Longe found the going a bit rougher than
in her easy victories in the past few weeks, but she
still captured two respectable sixth-place finishes
in both the 55 and the long
jump.
The mile relay team pro-
duced a season-best perfor-
mance, earning a sixth-place
finish with a time of 3:46. The
Wolverines also tasted some
Big Ten competition. Purdue's
mile relay team won the race
and earned an NCAA provi-
sional qualification in the
process.
But the Boilermakers might
not dominate quite as much at
Big Tens. Henry thinks Purdue might spread out
its relay squad among many events.
The Wolverines will begin to taper for Big Tens
as soon as next week. While they are scheduled to
compete in the EMU Invitational next Saturday,
many of the runners may forgo the trip, giving the
second-tier athletes an opportunity to compete and
contribute.
"A lot of us are taking the weekend off,"
Kampfe said. "We're going to cut back a little
before Big Tens.
"We're going to do whatever it takes to win the
Big Ten title."

MARGARET MYERS/Daily
Katie McGregor and the distance corps spent their weekend at theCannon
Invitational, in Indianapolis, while the rest of the team traveled to Nebraska.

Big guns rest; harriers still firing

By Josh Borkin
Daily Sports Writer
Few were surprised with the results
of the Michigan men's track team's
weekend. The Wolverines finished in
second place - as expected - as they
hosted the Central Collegiate
Championships.
Michigan came into the meet with
several injuries in a week when coach
Jack Harvey wanted to rest some of his
"big guns" for Big Tens and NCAAs.
While many of the athletes performed
in just one or two events, the results
were nothing short of spectacular.
Michigan garnered four first-place
finishes and placed second overall
with 102 points, behind only rival
Eastern Michigan's 167 pts.
Friday night was "an inspiration for
me and the entire team," co-captain
and sprinter Brian Theisen said. The
men's distance medley relay earned an
automatic bid to NCAAs, with one of
the nation's best performances this
year.
Michigan's distance medley was
stocked with the best runners from
both the sprint and distance squads.
Jay Cantin essentially ran the first
leg of the 1,200-meters alone.
Michigan had hoped that Eastern
Michigan would supply a competitive

relay squad. The Eagles, however,
could not supply enough firepower to
keep up with Michigan.
Dwayne Fuqua ran an impressive
second 400-meter leg. Following him
was Don McLaughlin in the 800 leg.
The race was won thanks to a strong
start by McLaughlin in his leg, but it
was eight-time All American Kevin
Sullivan who ran one of the most
inspirational anchor miles this year.
Michigan needed 9:40 in the relay to
earn a provisional bid to NCAAs. But
it was Sullivan's 3:58 anchor mile that
"put us over the top," Harvey said.
"We felt Kevin would run around a
4:01 or 4:02 in the mile, but it was
Sullivan's time that was the difference
between a provisional and automatic
bid," Harvey said.
Eastern crossed the finish line sec-
ond, nearly 20 seconds later.
Sullivan has now earned three auto-
matic bids - in the mile, 3,000 and
Distance Medley - and a provisional
bid in the 800.
With the most recent bid, Sullivan
has decided to forgo his bid in the
3,000 at nationals, and instead join his
teammates in running the distance
medley.
While the distance medley stole the
show Friday night, Sullivan's distance

partner, John Mortimer, garnered ath-
lete-of-the-meet honors.
Mortimer returned to the spotlight
after being under the weather the past
couple of weekends.
He ran a comfortable 5,000 meters
in 14:14.34 and earned a first-place
finish by nearly five seconds. He fol-
lowed up the 5,000 meters with a Vic-
tory in the mile (4:12).
While this weekend gave the dis-
tance runners to rest, the sprinters used
this meet to run a variety of races an
polish up for Big Tens in two weeks.
Before the race, Brian Theisen said
it was the responsibility of the "ni&d-
range sprinters to step it up and eamrt
some points for the team."
On Saturday, Theisen backed up his
big talk with several big races. Theisen
finished second, with a 7:45 - his
best time of the year in the 55. On
Saturday, he recorded a personal best
in the 200 preliminaries (22.09), b
slowed up in the finals (22.19) for a
fourth-place finish.
"We will be ready," Theisen said.
"Although many of our runners were
injured, by the time of Big Tens, I am
not saying it's impossible.
"If everything goes perfectly, there
is no saying how high we could fin-
ish."

Michigan harrier
John Mortimer is
out from under
;he weather and
it showed this
weekend. The
Junior won ath-
lete-of-themeet
honors, Friday.
LOUIS BROWN/Daily

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