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March 16, 1998 - Image 17

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-03-16

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

ichigan pri(
than personal
8y Josh Borkin
Daily Sports Writer
The University of Michigan is known for being
th. academically and athletically superior. That's
'ty 10-time All-American Kevin Sullivan said he
came to Michigan. But in Indianapolis this past
weekend, neither academics or athletics were the dri-
ving force behind any of the Michigan medal win-
ners.
What Kevin Sullivan and Katie McGregor dis-
played in their races was a sense of pride and tradition
-not for themselves, but for the school they repre-
sent.
I had been a spectator during the football team's
tional championship run, the basketball team's
shocking upset over Duke and the recent Big Ten
basketball championship. I have seen the rich
Michigan tradition upheld by all of these athletes.
Before each individual, came dedication to maize and
blue.
Many think these ideals of tradition only thrive in
the "true team" sports at Michigan.
The races completed by
these two athletes would send
rack shivers up the spine of any
ommetary true Michigan fan. Kevin
Sullivan started the evening
off by winning the mile run
with a riveting finish.
In°1994, Sullivan lost to Arkansas' Seneca Lassiter
in the outdoor mile. When Sullivan's chance to defeat
Lassiter came the following year, Sullivan could only
watch, sidelined with an injury. Saturday was the first
time since '94 that the two rivals would face each
other again.
For most of the race Sullivan ran in the front pack,
t never took over the top spot. Coming around the
teal lap, Sullivan and Lassiter began a dead sprint.
The Michigan fans had erupted, realizing that this
mace would be decided by hundredths of a second.
The final straightaway was no less electrifying
than Charles' Woodson's heisman-winning punt;
return. Sullivan ran the final 10 meters neck-and-
neck with Lassiter and Colorado State's Bryan
Berryhill.
The most highly decorated Michigan runner ever
threw his upper body across the finish line to capture
*t another award.
Spectators and even the normally unemotional
race officials gave each other looks of amazement.

TRACK

The Michigan Daily - SPORTSMonday - March 16, 1998 - 9B

le bigger deal |

achievement

"1 wanted to do it for
my teammates and
11Michigan"
- Katie McGregor
NCAA Champion
It wasn't Sullivan's astounding finish that amazed
me so much as it was that he immediately ran over to
his teammates and grabbed a Michigan flag to carry
and wave along his victory lap.
Sullivan ran the lap elated, constantly reminding
the crowd that he was a Wolverine. Sullivan's team-
mates sang The Victors while their All American
teammate enjoyed his victory.
Sullivan's didn't put down the flag when he fin-
ished his victory lap. He climbed up to the pedestal
and draped the block-M around his body.
I flashed back to Brian Griese proudly doing the
same thing in front of 100,000 screaming fans after
the Ohio State victory.
Sullivan was only celebrated by friends, family and
teammates, yet the significance of his accomplish-
ment was no less.
While football's popularity will always be greater
than track, both Griese and Sullivan share the same
love and drive - to win for Michigan.
McGregor, too.
Near the end of her 3,000 meter run, I was disap-
pointed that McGregor seemed to have given up so
easily. She had dropped to fifth and as my hope for
a top finish was fading, she found her stride and was
sprinting around the final turn. Just like that
McGregor improved four places, and now was a sec-
ond ahead of the competition.
Katie McGregor had won the race in the best time
of her career, in one of the "most exciting finishes in
track history," as Coach Mike Mcguire put it. As a
reporter, I have to be objective. Yet my love for
Michigan athletics could not be suspended during her
race. To a Michigan fan, her victory in Indianapolis
was as memorable as any Rose Bowl win or NCAA
basketball title.
Like Sullivan, McGregor grabbed the flag and ran
her victory lap holding it high. She exited the track

LOUIS BROWN/Daily
Kevin Sullivan proudly shows off his Michigan colors and NCAA Championships trophy after winning the
mile run in Indianapolis . Sullivan carried the flag as he made his victory lap.
and was surrounded by reporters. Wolverine."
She said it all when she told them: "Coming While the two runners ran individual races
around the turn I felt that if I were going to do it, this Saturday night, their unity was sewn together by a
was going to be it;' McGregor said. "But more maize and blue twine. Both Sullivan and McGregor
importantly, I wanted to do it for my teammates, and ran inspired and determined- but mainly for the flag
Michigan. All I can really say is - It's great to be a they waved.

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Burton and Lurie Towers
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For more information:
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NCAAs
Continued from Page 1S
of the meet. The Wolverines ran an
11:03, which broke the NCAA cham-
pionship meet record. Michigan fin-
ished seven seconds in front of sec-
ond-place Wisconsin.
"By the time that Sarah handed off
to Adrienne we had established a siz-
able lead," assistant coach Mike
Mcguire said. "I am so proud of the
girls. They ran a flawless race, and
their results could not be any better."
McGregor's running mate,
Elizabeth Kampfe, also garnered All-
America status as well. Kampfe fin-
ished seventh in 16:35. Kampfe, like
Mortimer, finished with a time that
was not up to the standards of past
performances.
Unlike the men, the women sent
two field participants to the NCAA
meet. Junior high jumper Nicole
Forrester finished in a tie for sixth
with a leap of 5-11 1/2, and earned
All-America honors as well. The only;
Wolverine competing this weekend
not to earn All-America honors was
senior Tania Longe, who competed in
the triple jump and finished 15th with
an effort of 40-4 3/4.

Just as Sullivan ended the night for
the men with a tremendous victory in
the mile, McGregor captured first
place honors in the 3,000.
"M1y whole strategy was to run an
evenly paced race," McGregor said.
"However, near the end I had a lot in
me, and a lot of determination to win.
Coming around the final turn, I just
sprinted right through the line. This
weekend, in whole, was just amazing."
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r----s

LOUIS BROWN/Daily
Kevin Sullivan edges out Arkansas' Seneca Lassiter at the finish to win a national
championship in the men's mile run Saturday in Indianapolis.
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