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February 26, 1998 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 1998-02-26

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10A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, February 26, 1998

Catrabone, Richardson and Lacure -
will 1998 be the year for the Big Ten?

.

By Evan Braunstein
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan wrestling team endured
more hardship this season than it ever could
have imagined. As a result, the team has
dropped 10 spots in the national rankings
since the start of the season and lost many
close matches to conference foes. Yet the
Wolverines maintain they are just as good as
any other team in the Big Ten. Next weekend,
they will get the chance to prove it.
The Wolverines travel to State College for
the Big Ten Championships to be held Mar. 7-
8. The two-day tournament will reveal once
and for all whether the Wolverines are as good
as they claim.
No. 14 Michigan will compete with the
country's best teams. The Big Ten boasts three
of the top five and seven of the top 15 teams.
The returning champion, No. 2 Iowa, will
be the favorite to grab the title, followed
closely by No. 3 Penn State and No. 4
Minnesota.
With so many good teams the conference's
best have beaten up on each other. Every Big
Ten team has at least two losses to conference
opponents this season.

"This is one of the few years where one
team has not dominated the conference."
heavyweight Airron Richardson said. "We
feel we can place as one of the top two teams
at the tournament."
The time may be right for the Wolverines to
challenge for the championship. Richardson.
along with fellow seniors Jeff Catrabone and
Bill Lacure, will look to improve on the
team's fifth-place finish last year.
"Although our dual-meet record doesn't
show it," Lacure said, "we have been right
there in all of our matches. "We're capable of
beating any of the teams in our conference,
we just need things to fall our way."
Last season, all three wrestlers reached the
finals in their respective weight classes but
failed. to win the title. Richardson said things
will be different this time around.
"I feel it is mine to win," he said. "Bill, Jeff
and I will all be thinking the same thing. We
know it's our last chance to win" a Big Ten
championship.
Lacure will most likely face wrestlers who
beat him earlier in the season. The 150-
pounder said lie welcomes the added pres-
sure. Lacure suffered defeats to Illinois' Eric

Siebert. Purdue's Mickey Griffin and
Minnesota's Chad Kraft.
"There is definitely an added element of
both motivation and pressure" he said. "But
it's a positive thing. I hope I face Siebert first
Griffin second and Kraft third."
Catrabone and Richardson, too, will proba-
bly face wrestlers who have handed them
losses in the past. Minnesota's Zac Taylor
decisioned Catrabone 2-1 on Feb. 14, and
Taylor's teammate, Shelton Benjamin, handed
Richardson a 3-1 loss in the same meet.
Sophomore Damion Logan and junior Joe
Warren also will be looking to place in the
first Big Ten tournament of their careers.
Usually, the top seven finishers in each
weight class are selected to compete in th
NCAA Championships from Mar. 19-21.
After struggling all season, the Wolverines
are looking to prove something next weekend
- both to themselves and to the rest of the
country.
"We have dealt with so much this season,
both on and off the mat," Lacure said.
"Things haven't really gone our way, but we
know we have a great team. I just feel like
we're due."
[SHOOTOUT
Continued from Page 9A
Senior Night festivities, the guard threw
several T-shirts into the crowd minutes
before tipoff. Those may have been his
most accurate shots, as Lisicky hit just
two baskets the entire game.
"I didn't want him in there in the
end," Dunn said. "I feel bad for hin tl
this was his last game at Bryce Jorda .
He means an awful lot to this program"
Lisicky's only 3-pointer of the game,
a baseline jumper on the right side of the
basket, came with just 12 minutes left,
when the Wolverines already had the
game well in-hand with a 22-point lead.

HLt FHU IU
Bill Lacure has made a habit of topping his competition, but has yet to get past the finals at Big Tens.
Next weekend at the end of spring break will be his last shot at a Big Ten title.

No break for baseball, softball

By Stephanie Offen
and Nick Koster
For the Daily
The Michigan softball team has set its sights on gold.
The Wolverines hope to capture the gold championship
when they compete this weekend in the National
Fastpitch Coaches Association's Leadoff Classic, which
is to be held in Columbus, Ga.
The baseball team will just look for its first victory.
After a tough start, the Michigan squad will look to turn
things around over spring break with a 10-game tour of
Texas. Last weekend, the Wolverines (0-2-1) ran into a
red hot Baylor squad (8-3-1) in the midst of a six game
winning streak.
Baseball coach Geoff Zahn will send Brian Steinbach
(0-0, 3.60 ERA) to the hill against Lamar on Friday.
After the weekend at Lamar, Michigan will head to
Sam Houston State on Mar. 2 to face the Bearkats (5-7)
in the first-ever meeting between the two clubs.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, the Wolverines will play a
pair of games against No. 20 Texas A&M before heading
to Rice to take on the ninth-ranked Owls (8-4) on
Thursday. Michigan will finish their tour of the Lone
Star State Mar. 6-8 when they play Houston.

The fourth-ranked softball squad finished in second at
the San Diego State Campbell Cartier Classic this past
weekend and will now brace for 19 other top-ranked pro-
grams that vere invited to participate in this week's tour-
nament.
including Michigan, there will be four of last year's
World Series participants in the tournament. Among
those teams is Sonth11 Carolina. the only team to beat the
Wolverines in last year's Classic. This year, Michigan
will face Nicholls St., Texas A&M, Arizona St. and
Nebraska.
"All of the teams we play will be very competitive,"
Michigan softball coach Carol Hutchins said. "Nicholls
St. gave us a great game last year, and Arizona St. is very
hot right now. This tournament only invites the most
competitive teams in the nation."
The tournanient is made up of five different pools that
contend for the oold. silver, bronze, yellow and green
championships.
Even though the team has done well so far, Hutchins is
reluctant to predict the outcome of this year.
"We have had a great start and we have a lot of poten-
tial," she said. "But potential is all we have until we
prove ourselves at the end of the season."

MICHIGAN (77)
.FG FT RES
MIN M-A MA O-T A F PTS
Conlan 34 2-2 0-0 2-3 6 1 5
Ward 28 6-14 0-0 3-7 1 2 1::
Traylor 33 7-13 2-2 4-17 6 3 16
Reid 31 3-7 0-0 1-6 3 3 6
Bullock 34 10-19 0.0 1-3 2 3 25
Taylor 1 0.0 0.0 0-0 U 0 0
Oliver 2 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0
Asselin 17 4-5 14 22 0 4 9
Smith 16 12 0-0 12 3 3 2
Szyndlar 1 0-0 0-0 00 0 0 0
Vignier 2 11. 0-0 00 0 0 2
Scott 1 00 0-0 0-0 0 0 0
Totals 200 3464 3-3 144121 19 77
FG%: .531. FT%: 1.000. 3-point FG: 615. .400 -
(Bullock 5-9. Conlan 11, Ward 02, Reid 0-3).
Blocks: 5. (Traylor 3, Vignier, Ward) Steals: 9 (Reid
3, Conlan 2, Traylor 2, Bullock, Scott). Technical
Fouls: None.

FILE PHOTO
In their first action of the season last weekend, Derek Besco and the Michigan
baseball team struggled in Texas against teams that have been playing for weeks.

Wolverines prepare for Minnesota

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SWIMMING
Continued from Page 9A
Other Big Ten teams might place
sprinters in the top five, which would
be detrimental to Minnesota. That is
where Michigan's overall advantage
lies.
- Urbanchek returns four Big Ten
champions from last year, all in dis-
tance events. Senior Derya Buyukuncu
is the defending champion in the 100-
and 200-yard backstroke races. Juniors
Andy Potts and John Reich will defend
titles in the 1,650 freestyle and the 800

free relay, respectively.
Michigan's iost important swimmer
is probably junior Tom Malchow. The
native of Mendota Hleights, Minn..
could severely annoy the Gophers all
weekend.
Not only did he leave home to join
the enemy, but Malchow could win as
many as four events. He holds the sea-
son's highest times among the two
teams in the 200 free, 500 free and 200
butterfly.
Most of the sprinting events will he
held today and tomorrow, which could
give the Gophers an early lead. But if

Michigan dominates in the distance
events as planned, the Wolverines
could win a majority of Saturday's
events and clinch their 30th title ii pro-
gram history.
A few little mistakes could make the
difference, though -- especially if they
come in the long distance events. In a
battle of strength vs. strength, both
sides must be perfect.
"A disqualification of one of the
five relays could cost us," Urbanchek
said. "One little mistake puts you out
of the running. So there's not a lot of
room for error."

PENN STATE (61)
FG FT RED
MIN M-A M-A OT A F P
Ivory 29 28 22 1-3 5 1
Jackson 6 0-0 00 1-1 0 0
Booth 29 7-13 4-6 2-8 0 21
Crispin 30 4 14 0-0 0-1 6 01
Lisicky 35 2-10 0-0 1-2 2 0
Walker 1 0-0 0-0 0-1 0 0 1
Branam 1 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 1
McGovern 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1
Crenshaw 1 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 1
Cline-Heard 13 1-1 2.4 1-1 1 1
Grays 15 1-3 0-0 11 1 0
Stephens 26 4-6 1-1 14 2 0
Stevenson 8 1-2 0-0 0,0 1 0
Witkowsky 5 1-1 0-0 1-1 0 4
Totals 200 23-60 9-13 13-28 18 8E
FG%: .383. F T/:.692. 3-point FG: 6-26,.231.
(Crispin 3-10, Lisicky 1-7, Ivory 1-6, Grays 1-2
Branam 01). Blocks: 2 (Booth, Witkowsky).
Steals: 11 (Booth 2, Crispin 2, Stephens 2
Branam, Grays, Ivory, Lisicky, Stevenson).
Technical Fouls: None.
Michian........- ............. 40 37 - 77
Penn tate--.........-..21 40 -61
At: Bryce Jordan Center
. A: 12.097

PT
7
0
18
11
5
0
0
0
0
4
3
9
2
2
61

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