,16A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, March 12, 1998
Hardships become hardware for Blue
By Evan Braunstein
Daily Sports Writer
Before the Big Ten Championships last weekend,
Michigan wrestler Bill Lacure said that with all the
hardships his team had endured during this season, it
was due for some good fortune at the tournament.
Lacure's prophetic words were realized as the
Wolverines placed three wrestlers in the finals and cap-
tured two Big Ten titles, propelling them to a fourth-
place finish overall. Heavyweight Airron Richardson
and 150-pound wrestler Lacure both secured their first-
ever Big Ten titles, while sophomore Joe Warren placed
second in the 126-pound weight class.
The victory was especially sweet for Richardson,
who defeated Minnesota's Shelton Benjamin in the
finals. Richardson had suffered two previous losses to
Benjamin, including a 1-3 decision this season.
"The desire to face him was my motivation for this
tournament,' Richardson said. "He knocked me out of
last year's NCAA Tournament, so I was thinking about
him during the summer and all year long."
Lacure also avenged losses to opponents he faced
earlier in the season. He defeated Indiana's Kevin
Stanley, 6-4, and received a forfeit over Illinois' Eric
Siebert en route to the finals.
"It was a goal of mine to beat anybody that had beat-
en me before;' Lacure said. "I was disappointed that I
didn't get to wrestle Siebert. Now he will have the
upper hand if we meet at nationals."
In keeping with the way this season has unfolded, the
Wolverines suffered a few setbacks to accompany their
success. Freshmen Damion Logan injured his neck in
the quarterfinal round and was forced to withdraw.
Additionally, Jeff Catrabone, who is vying for the
national title at 167 pounds, was upset in the first round
and had to scramble for a fourth-place finish.
"The tournament really perfectly reflects our sea-
son," Richardson said. "All the ups and downs have
made this season feel two years long."
has had to battle
this season, the
have some good
fortune at the Big
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Eisner looks for 500th victory
By Mark Francescutti
Daily Sports Writer
Imagine something great, like win-
ning an NCAA dual match in tennis.
Now, imagine winning 500 of them.
Michigan coach Brian Eisner is look-
ing for that very accomplishment this
weekend when the Michigan men's ten-
nis team travels to the 1998 Boise State
Invitational today through Saturday.
Eisner has a career record of 499-216-
1 in dual-match action throughout his 35
years of collegiate coaching. Of those
victories, 424 came while coaching
Michigan. When he does earn No. 500,
he will only be the 20th coach in NCAA
history to do so.
Assistant coach Dan Goldberg didn't
notice that the team or Eisner was con-
centrating on the big No. 500 this past
week. But he is certainly impressed with
"It is a tremendous accomplishment,"
Goldberg said. "It shows what a great
job he's done."
More importantly for the Wolverines,
the Boise State tournament is a chance to
get back on track and look to the future.
No. 42 Michigan (3-2) lost two out of
three matches on its spring break trip last
week. The first was a 7-0 shutout at the
hands of 19th-ranked Virginia
Commonwealth. South Florida, ranked
67th in the nation, handed the
Wolverines their second loss of the sea-
"We didn't have all the six singles
players and doubles teams playing their
best" Goldberg said. "We certainly have
something to prove this weekend"
The eight-team field in Boise includes .
many dangerous teams. The host of the
tournament, 24th-ranked and top-seeded
in Boise State has already earned upset
victories over No. 2 UCLA and No. 6
Also at the tournament will be rival
Michigan State, giving Michigan a
chance to look at a team that it will face
next month during the Big Ten season.
looks to extend
winning streak to
four as they host
No. 9 Michigan
State tonight at
Cliff Keen Arena.
moefD SRLfE. R AL A
Men's gymnastics to
host Spartans tonight
By Jason Emeott
For the Daily
For any Michigan fan who loves the
storied Michigan vs. Michigan State
rivalry, tonight's matchup between the
No. 6 Michigan men's gymnastics team
and No. 9 Michigan State at Cliff Keen
Arena will have everything a bitter
intrastate rivalry should. The 7 p.m.
showdown will feature two of the
nation's top 10 teams fighting for poll
supremacy, recruiting supremacy and
even the right to a little cockiness.
"I'm a little concerned with our guys
taking Michigan State lightly."
Michigan coach Kurt Golder said. "If
there's anything I fear, it's our guys not
respecting them. It's going to take our
best performance to date to beat them."
Right now, it looks like the
Wolverines are ready to do just that. A
win at Stanford over spring break vault-
ed Michigan from No. 8 to No. 6 in the
polls and has the team rolling.
On top of that, the squad is excited to
take on the Spartans after Athletic
Director Tom Goss paid a visit to prac-
tice this week to give the team a pep
Golder said he is looking forward to
an extremely competitive meet, since
both schools are trying to solidify
NCAA East Regional berths.
"It's going to be very special. We
beat them early in the year at the Windy
City Invitational, and you'd better
believe they'll be coming after us,"
The third-seeded Wolverines are g
anteed three matches in the tourname
starting with their first opponent, 65th-
ranked Idaho. A Michigan win means
that it would move on to face the winner
of second-seeded Virginia Tech and
Indiana State. Other teams scheduled to
compete are fourth-seeded Southern
Mississippi and Drake.
Virginia Tech is in the same position
as Michigan, having lost two of its past
If the Wolverines can out-muster tl
first three opponents, they will reach the
championship final - which could even
pit them against the unseeded Spartans.
Goldberg does know, however, that
his team has a depth advantage because
the Wolverines will have all nine team
members available to play in Boise. This
also provides all of the team members a
chance to practice and prepare for the
start of the Big Ten season, whi
begins the following Sunday at O
By Stephanie Offen
For the Daily
Belleville Lake, home of the
Michigan women's crew team, is
probably the last place t
Wolverines want to be right n
With a negative wind chill and bitter
cold water, Belleville Lake will have
to wait a few weeks until the
Wolverines bear the cold and conm
pete in their first home race.
Instead, the Wolverines, returning
from spring break competition and
training in Florida are ready to once
again head west, away from the
freezing cold. They will start tl
season in Oak Ridge, Tenn.,
Saturday in the Lexus Invitational
This is only the team's second year
as a varsity sport at Michigan, but
they have already caught the eye of
the nation and received a No. 8 pre-
"This race will show us where we
stand," senior rower Tina Stutzman
said. "We feel fast right now, but that
is all relative. We will have to
how we match up against the ot
teams. Our winter training in Florida
definitely helped us, and will hope-
fully put us in a better position."
The Wolverines had a tough winter
training routine which helped them
prepare for this weekend's event. The
Wolverines were able to practice in
the water and train indoors. They
also were able to scrimmage agailst
other teams training for the upc4
This Saturday, the team will send
its top 20 rowers, who will be split
into two eight-person boats and one
Michigan will compete against
third-ranked Virginia, Wisconsin,
North Carolina, Tennessee and
Rochester. Wisconsin and Virginia
will only be competing in the four-
"I am upset that Wisconsin
Virginia won't be in the other
events," said Stutzman. "They would
both give us great competition'"
The Wolverines will also be look-
ing forward to a rematch with
Virginia, which will mark their first
home match of the season, on March
"This regatta is a preliminary
race," said Michigan crew co
Mark Rothstein. "It will hopefuy
gear us up for the tough match in a
few weeks against Virginia."
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