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February 23, 1998 - Image 16

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-02-23

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8B - The Michigan Daily - SPORTSMonday - February 23, 1998

World's elite outrun 'M' men runners

By Josh Borkin
Daily Sports Xvnter
The New Balance Invitational did not feature
Eastern Michigan or Notre Dame, as did most of the
Michigan men's track meets this year. This meet
included competitors from almost every continent on
the globe.
Michigan assistant coach Ron Warhurst entered four
of his top distance runners in the New Balance
Invitational on Friday. The 'big three' of Kevin
Sullivan. John Mortimer and Jay Cantin, along with
top 800-meter runner Don McLauglin, kept up with
some of the stiffest competition they've faced this year.
"The competition was a step above what we usually
face," Sullivan said. "It was good to Lave that compe-
tition, but it was nothing we weren't prepared for or
intimidated by."
The Wolverines were brought to the meet to show
that they could compete with some of the world's elite
runners. But they did not fill the expectations of sever-
al top finishes on Friday.
The invite-only meet was used as a warmup for the
Big Tens this upcoming weekend. Michigan was the
only university with representatives present at the
meet. Most of the runners were affiliated with either
Reebok and Nike, or were from countries such as
Somalia, Great Britain and Japan.
Sullivan, in his fifth year running for Michigan, has
accumulated countless top finishes and several nation-

al championship titles.
But on Friday, Sullivan stepped out of his realm and
entered a fast 1,000-meter run. Sullivan holds the
nation's best times this year in the mile and 3,000.
"I was trying to work on speed this week," Sullivan
said. "I'm not really used to running this event, and I
had a few problems adjusting to the pace."
Sullivan captured a fourth-place finish with a time
of 2:22, just a half-second behind first-place finisher
Steve Holman of Reebok.
"I was not pleased at all with my finish, Sullivan
said. "I am really working hard, soI am able to do well
in the postseason, but it just didn't go the way I want-
ed it to this past weekend."
After capturing athlete of the week honors last
weekend at the Central Collegiates, John Mortimer
continued to shine in Boston.
Mortimer, who is Sullivan's running mate, and
respected as one of the top three distance runners in the
nation, notched another record Friday night.
Mortimer led off the evening with the fourth-best
3,000 meters (7:56.11) in Michigan history. His
record-breaking time garnered a second place and the
best collegiate time at the meet.
Cantin finished in 10th-place with a time of 4:10. In
a meet in which the runners were expected to step up
due to the elite competition, Cantin had more excuses
than the other Michigan runners present at the meet.
"I was not at all happy with how I did," Cantin said.

"I was focused before the meet, but I came out flat. I
also have this infection with my foot which I'm taking
antibiotics for, and the rabbit didn't pace the race cor-
rectly. The rabbit didn't start off fast like I would've
Not only was Cantin upset with his performance, but
he was disappointed that he let Warhurst down.
"Of course Coach is disappointed with my results,"
Cantin said. "But there were a lot of reps and agents
around, and when you don't run well, it's embarrassing
for the coach."
DivisiON i SHOWDOWN: You probably couldn't tell
the difference between Friday's Eastern Michigan
Classic and a local high school track meet. The buzz at
the meet was: Which team would do well at Division II
nationals? Only a couple Michigan sprinters partici-
pated, and their opponents ranged from Division II
Ohio Technical College to Macomb University.
Although Michigan faced mainly Division II
schools, the Wolverines failed to even garner a first-
place finish in any of their events.
Sprinters Brian Theisen and Dwayne Fuqua finished
second (49.78) and third (50.00), respectively. Theisen
and Fuqua's times were comparable to the rest of their
times this season, despite their lack of interest.
"It was a tune-up meet," Fuqua said. "We just
didn't want to get hurt. All I'm saying, don't be
surprised if we come home with a Big Ten

Michigan's finest runners tested their abilities against some of the world's finest
athletes In the New Balance Invitational last weekend.

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Women's track uses
Classic as practice

By Rick Harpster
Daily Sports W riter
For the many Michigan students who
have big plans for spring break, this
weekend probably seemed somewhat
uneventful. The Michigan women's track
and field team can definitely relate.
With just one week left to prepare for
the Big Ten Indoor Championships, the
Wolverines made the trip across town to
compete in the Eastern Michigan Classic
on Friday.
Since the event was not scored, the
Wolverines really just used the meet to
gear up for next weekend's Big Ten
Championships at Michigan State.
Many of Michigan's top athletes took
the weekend off in preparation for the
big week ahead. These included All-
American distance runner Katie
McGregor and All-American high-
jumper Nicole Forrester.
Michigan coach James Henry felt the
Classic gave some of his athletes a
chance to rest and others the opportunity
to stay sharp.
The meet "gave some of our develop-
ing kids an opportunity to perform and
also gave some of the kids who will be
performing at the Big Ten a chance to
finely tune their performance," Henry
said. "We pretty much let the distance

and middle-distance runners rest, and we
gave the sprinters and hurdlers a race or
two just to keep their timing up."
Although this weekend marked the
first meet all year in which the
Wolverines did not have at least one indi-
vidual victory, many Wolverines turned
in strong efforts.
Most of Michigan's top performances
came in the field events. Nikki Keith had
the second-best shot put of the event (45-
feet-7 1/4), while Sarah Clauw delivered
her personal best in the weight throw
with a toss of 77-9 1/4, also good for a
second-place showing.
Henry also got strong perfor-
mances from his sprinters Friday
afternoon, especially in the 200-
meter dash. Atiya Bussey finished
third in the 200 with a time of 25.7
seconds, while teammate Sara
Bernard finished fourth (25.91).
In addition to its success in the 200,
Michigan also had two victories in a
semifinal heat in the 55 dash. Maria
Brown won her heat with a time of 7.16.
and Kenise Bocage was victorious in her
heat by running the 55 in 7.14. 0
Despite some successful perfor-
mances this weekend, there is no ques-
tion that all Michigan's focus will now
turn to the Big Ten Championships next

Continued from Page 31
common fan. He didn't come up with
really catchy sayings. Only "Holy Cow,"
and sonic other lamentations like "He
popped it up!" The most clever thing hie
would do is try to spell names back-
wards, like "Grace spelled backwards is
And he was the voice of an entire
young generation. I can't even count
how many times I would come home
from school, and turn on WGN to watchl
Transformers at 3:30, only to catch the
final innings of the Cubs game, hearing
Harry say, "The winning run is only 90
feet away!" or "I'm a Cub fan and a Bud
man and I hope you are, too!" years
before I knew what that meant.
Before the Cubs, Harry was the voice
of the White Sox, A's and Cardinals. But
my generation only knew him as the
Cubs' announcer. He was there for 15
years - nearly my entire life.
And now I'm positive my childhood
is over. I'm 21, I'm looking for a possi-
ble career path, and now the summer
voice of my youth is gone. But Harry's
death isn't just my loss, it isn't just the
loss of Cubs fans or even sports fans.
Harry's death is everyone's loss.
But Harry is immortal. He will live on
whenever anyone enjoys life, whenever
anyone watches baseball and whenever
"Take Me Out To the Ballgame" is sung.
His passion in life, his love toward his
job - that's something everyone should
try to imitate, or at least remember.
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Tanya Longe and the rest of the Michigan women's track team set their sights on
the Big Ten Indoor Championships next week.

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Friday and Saturday. Henry stressed that
the season up to now is history, and that
next weekend is the most important of
the season.
"I think we've come together and
peaked at the right time," Henry said.
"But now everything is in the past,
and it's just a question of whether or
not we can put it all together this
The Wolverines placed third at Big

Tens last year, but they hope to do better
this year.
"Our expectations are to improve over
last year," Henry said. "We can compete
among the top three teams, and we have
a definite shot to win it."
The most significant part of the
indoor season for the Wolverines starts
this weekend in East Lansing and ends
with the NCAA Championships in
Indianapolis on March 13-14.



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