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September 24, 1998 - Image 19

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The Michigan Daily, 1998-09-24

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I

The Michigan Daily - Thursday, September 24, 1998 - 19A

Mortimer plans
for repeat victory
By Jeff Druchniak
For the Daily
Michigan has been waiting for this weekend all year.
*'he Wolverines been practicing for weeks.
But the season will finally begin for the Michigan men's
cross country team this Saturday west of the Mississippi.
Friday morning, the defending Big Ten champions will
loard a plane for Missoula, Mont., the site of the Mountain
West Classic. Michigan will be joined by 13 other teams, and
will pop the cork on a promising season, after finishing
fourth in the nation last year.
7 Michigan coach Ron Warhurst, entering his 25th year call-
ing the shots for the Wolverines, thinks the field is just as
tough, if not tougher, than the one Michigan defeated at this
meet in 1997, winning the tournament in an upset.
*rhaps the most formidable opponent Michigan will face
is Oregon, ranked third in the nation.
"Last year they were the favorites, and we beat them by 30
points," Warhurst said. "I think they're a better team this year.
They have a new coach, the (former coach) from Wisconsin,
who's familiar with our personnel ... If we can finish within
30 points of them, I'll be very pleased."
The meet will also be attended by Washington State,
Brigham Young and Arizona.
Each of these teams could give Michigan senior John
imer fits if he plans to repeat as individual champion of
t meet.
Michigan returns every member of last year's team with
the exception of captain and four-year letterman Kevin
Sullivan.
The Wolverines will rely on veteran leadership from
Mortimer, Ann Arbor natives Todd Snyder and Don
McLaughlin, and juniors Jay Cantin and Steve Lawrence.
But Warhurst is looking for sophomore Mike Wisniewski
and freshman Mark Pilja to step up and contribute as well.
One of the challenges for the Wolverines will be adjusting
from the demanding practice regimen they have been
iiersed in while waiting for the season to start.

Seattle beckons cross country
McGuire, women's team 'excited' about trip westward

By Ryan C. Moloney
For the Daily
With the weather still warm in this
young cross country season and the
fifth-ranked Wolverines itching to
face some top-flight teams, women's
coach Mike McGuire came up with
the perfect solution: Take a trip out
west.
The Wolverines will travel to
Seattle for Saturday's Sundodger
Invitational.
"We're excited about going out
there," McGuire said. "It will pro-
vide us excellent competition and a
course where the times make sense
because it is established."
The race will mark the first time
this season that the Wolverines have
ventured outside their region.
"Our formula going into the
nationals is that the top two teams
from each region go automatically,"
McGuire said. "All else is made up
of a power formula which consists of
beating teams out of our region such
as Washington and Arizona State."
In addition, the team is looking to
bolster its own performance by run-
ning against some of the best

women's cross country teams in the
Pac-10 conference.
"Without question, the Pac-10 is
the best conference in the country in
terms of depth," McGuire said.
Stanford, the defending Pac-10
champion, has won the national
championship in each of the past two
seasons.
While Stanford won't participate
in this meet, two top conference
teams - Washington and Arizona
State - will provide ample competi-
tion for the Wolverines.
"We're ranked fifth, so
(Washington) can put another notch
on their holster if they beat us,"
McGuire said.
As usual, the team is led by peren-
nial front-runners Katie McGregor
and Elizabeth Kampfe.
The rest of the team, particularly
the fifth through seventh runners,
must step up their performances.
"They are improving," McGuire
said of the pack. "But we want to get
them closer to the front."
Third and fourth runners Katy
Radkewich and Michelle Slater will
concentrate on closing the gap

between McGregor and Kampfe.
Additionally, McGuire is anticipat-
ing quality performances from Julie
Froud and Katie Ryan.
"If Froud can improve more in this
meet she can get into the picture and
Katie Ryan is coming off a good
meet," McGurie said. "We've workeid
hard this year to improve and we
should do that."

LOUIS BROWN/Daily
John Mortimer is heading to Montana this weekend with one
thought on his mind - repeating as the cross country
champion at the Mountain West Classic.
"We've been training hard," Warhurst said. "It's too early in
the season to rest for a meet."
"Nonetheless, after a hard practice yesterday, he expected to
run light workouts today and tomorrow.
The 8,000-meter course will be negotiated by the I1 mem-
bers of Michigan's travel squad at 12:15 p.m. Saturday. Their
physical condition will be tested by both the opposition and
the environment.
"The terrain isn't so challenging, but the course is at high
altitude. There's one big hill that gets tough by the third time
you run it," Warhurst observed. And what preparations will
Warhurst's team make for these conditions? "Just get a good
night's sleep," he said.

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