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February 16, 1998 - Image 16

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The Michigan Daily, 1998-02-16

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8B - The Michigan Daily - SPORTSMonday - Monday, February 16, 1998

Golder's first win is golden

By David DenHerder
Daily Sports Writer
On a day dedicated to the "Sweet Tooths" of the
world, the Michigan men's gymnastics team tasted
Big Ten victory for the first time in two years. And
how sweet it was.
The Wolverines (1-5) blew out No. 17
Minnesota, 226.85-222.575, en route to their first
dual-meet win under second-year coach Kurt
Golder.
"One fourth," Golder said after Saturday's meet
at Keen Arena. "One fourth of the routines today
were personal bests."
But personal records weren't the only marks
falling. Michigan had record team performances
on the pommel horse (38.0) and vault (38.45),
while establishing a season-high team-point total.
The outstanding performance may be attributed
in part to the team's week off before the contest.
Originally slated to take on No. 6 Ohio State in
Columbus last weekend, a scheduling change
allowed the 11 th-ranked Wolverines more time to
focus their energy on the Golden Gophers (0-4).
"It gave us a little bit of time. We focused more
on cleaning up some skills and perfecting skills,"
Golder said. "We were able to get away from the
grind of routine, routine, routine."
And that translated into an anything-but-routine
showing Saturday.
Michigan sophomore Jose "LaLo" Haro and
freshman Kevin Roulston tied for first at 56.9, giv-
ing the Wolverines a one-two punch in all-around
competition. Minnesota's Fang Lindsey placed
third in the all-around with a 54.75.
For Roulston, the score represents an all-around
personal best, and Haro showed signs of once again
emerging among the Big Ten elite. Despite lagging
0.9 off last season's pace, the Michigan co-captain
and All-Big Ten team member bested his score on
the pommel horse and came close to hitting a dif-
ficult routine on the floor exercise.

"le did his mount on floor in the warm-up, just
a few minutes before the meet started, and it was
perfect," Golder said. "That's a new skill, a new
sequence that he has to do to be competitive inter-
nationally.
"It's short-term versus long-term. In the NCAA
Championship, if we water down (the difficulty
level) now, he might be able to get a bigger score
right now, but when it comes to international com-
petition we're not going to win a championship. So
we're taking our lumps now."
Michigan redshirt freshman Tim Dehr also
raised some eyebrows Saturday. Dehr won the
vault with a personal best 9.75 and also recorded a
personal high on the pommel horse.
But just as it seemed everything was going
Michigan's way, the Wolverines received a scare on
the still rings. As freshman Kenny Keener went
into the dismount of his routine, one hand slipped
off the ring and he slammed into the mat below.
The impact was powerful enough to jettison one of
Keener's contact lenses.
"When he swung through the bottom, his hand
slipped, and the other hand slipped and he landed
in a heap on his shoulder," Golder said.
Despite the slip, Keener, Michigan's top ring
man, seemed to be all right.
"It could have been an injury," Golder said. "But
he came out of it OK and he did fine on the next
event."
Saturday's team score, which improved by more
than three points, could prove important as the
Wolverines attempt to qualify for the NCAA
Regionals in April. Qualification is based on the
average of one home team score, one away and one
at-large.
"We're going to be right on the bubble," Golder
said. "This will help our average. Hopefully, those
223s we got earlier we won't even use - and if
things go the way they should, we won't even count
this score."

WRESTLING
Continued from Page lB
and he is very, very quick?" Bahr said. "Airron went righ
after him, and almost took him down a couple times. But
with his speed, he just got out of it every time."
Possibly the most important loss for the Wolverines was at
150. Michigan senior Bill Lacure, who is ranked fourth in
the nation, lost to third-ranked Chad Kraft, 3-1, ater a last-
second take-down by Kraft. Last season, Lacure scored a 9-
0 major decision against Kraft.
"That was probably the difference in the match," Bahr
said. "We should have been up 13-4 at that point, but instead
we're up 10-7. That loss kind of took the wind out of o4
sails."
Bahr said this was the first time he can remember that all
three seniors - Lacure, Catrabone and Richardson -- lost
in a dual meet.
"Those are the big guns that we count on," Bahr said.
"They have all been All-Americans, and I don't think they
have ever all lost in the same match before."
Fortunately for the Wolverines, other starters are stepping
up. Warren and Logan are two guys the team is beginning to
count on for wins, Bahr said.
"Damion has been doing a super job lately, and the same
goes for Joe," Bahr said. "Both of them have been wrestlin
great, and we are starting to really feel confident with those
two weight classes."
Logan is currently on a six-match win streak.
"Ever since we returned from the National Team Duals,
Damion has been on a tear," Bahr said. "He is getting him-
self in a position where he could really have a good Big Ten
tournament and possibly an NCAA run."
The Wolverines' troubles look to be coming at an inop-
portune time as only one dual meet remains before the Big
Ten tournament. But Bahr said he sees the losses as a sourc
of motivation for the guys.
"When you are always winning, you tend to wrestle on
your laurels," Bahr said. "But with a slight taste of defeat,
you can get it together and spur yourself to motivate for the
Big Tens and NCAAs."
The Wolverines will conclude their dual-meet season on
Friday at 7 p.m. against Indiana. The match against the
Hoosiers will be the last at Cliff Keen Arena for Lacure,
Catrabone and Richardson.

MARGARET MYERS/Daily
Freshman Kevin Roulston led the way with a 56.9 as the Wolverines captured their
first conference victory of the coach Kurt Golder era.

Gymnasts tame 'Cats with perfection

0

By Vaughn Klug
and Nita Srivastava
Daily Sports Writers
Practice makes perfect, and perfection is
exactly what the Michigan women's gymnas-
tics team accomplished this past weekend
with three perfect scores in a lopsided win
over Kentucky.
The eighth-ranked Wolverines entered the
competition ranked below the Wildcats, but
now control the series with a 5-0 lifetime
record versus Kentucky. Sunday's meet at
Cliff Keen Arena marked a season-high score
for Michigan of 196.80. Kentucky struggled
throughout, finishing with only 191.60
points.
"Kentucky coach Little's comment after the
meet was, 'I apologize for our performance,"
Michigan coach Bev Plocki said.
The Wildcats' performance was lacking
throughout the meet, as they only secured one
top-three position, and even that was in the
form of a three-way tie on the uneven bars.
Michigan juniors Nikki Peters and Heather

Kabnick set the tone in the first event with
perfect scores on their vault routines.
"It's always a mood-setter when they settle
into their zone and nail an event," Plocki said.
"They went into the uneven bars feeling very
relaxed."
The groove Michigan settled into with the
vault translated into a first-place tie in the
uneven bars between sophomore Sarah Cain
and Kabnick, with scores of 9.850.
Both Cain and Kabnick have fully recov-
ered from their injuries and are now back in
the lineup for good - as long as they remain
healthy.
"We are still not at 100 percent," Plocki
said. "But getting people healthy has helped a
lot."
Each of Michigan's top four finishers in the
uneven bars earned personal bests for the sea-
son. Senior Lisa Simes and freshman Bridget
Knaeble finished directly behind Cain and
Kabnick with scores of 9.825.
Cain contributed a perfect 10 on the floor
exercise on her way to a first place in the all-

around with a score of 39.550. According to
Cain, the score was especially gratifying con-
sidering how tight the judges have been this
season.
"They're judging harder this year," Cain
said. "It's harder to get a 10, so I didn't expect
it."
Plocki said that her team's performanc
this past weekend made up for a rather subpar
showing one week ago in the UCLA
Invitational.
"I will not allow my team to make excuses
for UCLA," Plocki said. "They were not in it
mentally last week, but coming back and hav-
ing a meet like this assures us we are good."
Michigan has two weeks off to prepare for
its meeting with No. I Georgia on Feb. 28.
Plocki will be recruiting while the team will
take a three-day weekend to rest. In the mea
time, The Wolverines hope to build on this
weekend's performance.
"This is the best meet so far," Kabnick
said. "We're finally starting to put four events
together. We're peaking at the right time."

JOHN KRAFT/Daily
The women's gymnasts soared over Kentucky this weekend - high enough to prompt an apology from
the Wildcat coach. The Wolverines are back on track after a dismal performance against UCLA.

TENNIS
Continued from Page 11B
everything it could handle.
"Playing against the defending Big
Ten champions, they can just go for
it, there's no pressure on them,"
Michigan coach Bitsy Ritt said.

The Spartans went for it, and they
almost got it. The doubles matches
are played first in Big Ten meets, and
Michigan got off to an early 2-1 lead
over the Spartans.
Michigan's No. I doubles team of
Brooke Hart and Lund beat
Michigan State's Brooke West and
Isabell Oelze, 8-5, while the No. 2

doubles pair of Weggenman and
Moon dispensed MSU's Kelli Hayes
and Jamie Tannenbaum, 8-2.
Michigan State kept it close, though,
as its No. 3 doubles pair beat Boylan
and Harris.
Consequently, the Wolverines
needed three singles wins to take the
meet. This proved to be difficult, as
Michigan State came out firing.
Moon fell 3-6, 1-6 in her No. 5 sin-
gles match, and Boylan, already
down one set, lost a tiebreak in the
second set at No. 6 singles.
Michigan got its first singles win
of the afternoon when Hart beat West
at No. 1, 6-4, 6-0
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Things were looking good for the
Wolverines as Harris also came
through with a win at No. 3 singles.
Harris trailed five games to four in
both sets, but rallied each time t
take a 7-5, 7-5 victory.
With two matches remaining,
Michigan led, 4-3. Both Lund and
Weggenman won the first sets of
their matches.
But after leading three games to
none in the second set, Lund fell 6-4.
Weggenman also dropped her second
set, in a tiebreak.
So it came down to the third set of
both matches. Michigan needed one
Michigan State needed both.
Lund took another three-game
lead in the third set, this time 4-1,
but gave up a break and her lead was
cut to 4-3.
Lund held serve to take a 5-3 lead,
but could not break her opponent's
serve for the match. She served the
next game, though, and didn't give
up a point.
Michigan's victory was secur
with Lund's 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 win. W
Weggenman also took the early
lead in the third set, but she did not
allow a comeback.
She broke Tannenbaum's serve
three times, and did not give up a
break, taking a 6-0 victory in the set.
Weggenman's win gave Michigan
a 6-3 victory in the meet and a 1-0
conference record.

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