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October 01, 1998 - Image 14

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The Michigan Daily, 1998-10-01

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14A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, October 1, 1998

Lehigh beckons men's cross country
Warhurst looking for big things in 25th season as Michigan's coach

Freshman Matthews
delights 'M' golf

By Philip Maguran
For the Daily
Domination is a word often spoken around cam-
pus, usually referring to one of the major sports
teams, such as hockey or football.
One team that did not get much word of mouth
last year was the men's cross country team, which
undoubtedly had one of the finest seasons of any
Michigan sports team in recent memory.
Winning each and every one of their seven
scored meets leading up to the NCAA
Championships and placing a runner (either Kevin
Sullivan or John Mortimer) first in each one, the
Wolverines rivaled even the gridiron warriors for
the title of most dominant Michigan team.
Unfortunately for these competitors, the ending
was not quite as storybook as the one written in
Pasadena.
The Wolverines finished fourth at the NCAAs,
with Kevin Sullivan finishing the race in first
place overall, winning an individual title to offset
the pain of losing the overall one.
But last year's disappointment has fueled even
more desire in this year's Michigan squad, and
they hope to not only live up to last year's team,

but to surpass them.
Living in the past, however, is an easy thing to
do, and last weekend the Wolverines got their first
wake-up call that this regular season will be no
walk in the park. The sixth-ranked team finished
second overall, finishing far behind first place and
seventh-ranked Arizona in the overall standings at
the Mountain West Classic.
Redemption is close at hand, however, as the
Wolverines take their show on the road this week-
end for a Saturday morning run at the Paul Short
Invitational, held at Lehigh University. This
weekend will be the first time the Wolverines par-
ticipate in the annual event, which features 42
teams - including some Eastern powers like
Georgetown and Villanova.
Also running this week are fellow Big Ten mates
Penn State and Michigan State. The meet should
be an early gauge as to how well the Wolverines
can expect to perform at the Big Ten
Championships, to be held at the Michigan Golf
Course on Nov. 1.
Michigan coach Ron Warhurst says this season
has special significance to him, since it is his 25th
as Michigan's coach.

"It would be real nice to win it at home this year.
Twenty-five years ago my first team won it at
home, and a lot of them are coming back for a
reunion, so it would have significance."
The key for the Wolverines this weekend will be
finding consistency behind the top trio of John
Mortimer, Todd Snyder and Steve Lawrence, who
figure to be the top runners all season for
Michigan.Warhurst is looking for junior Jay
Cantin and redshirt freshman Mike Wisniewski to
have big meets.
The Wolverines are focused and dedicated, and
following last week's meet, the team woke up at 4
o'clock in the morning on Sunday for a 16-mile
run before returning by plane to Ann Arbor.
Warhurst does not see the early second-place fin-
ish as an indication for his team's season.
"It was only our first meet, and most of the
other schools have already run competitively," he
said. Wegre just now starting to get our legs under
us."
The drop from sixth to seventh in the national
rankings does not bother the team either, and the
major goal is to have a solid run this weekend and
build up confidence for the rest of the year.

By Rick Harpster
Daily Sports Writer
During the first two matches of the
fall season, the inexperienced
Michigan men's golf team knew that
it would learn a lot about itself.
Entering the season, Michigan coach
Jim Carras figured his five-man line-
up was going to consist of junior
Mike Harris and four other golfers.
But the Wolverines have seen a
young freshman post some low num-
bers during their first two matches.
True freshman Andy Matthews,
who placed 20th in each of his first
two collegiate tournaments, has been
a pleasant surprise for Michigan in
the early part of the fall season.
After we recruited him "I would
not have been surprised if he was in
our top five before the season ended,"
Carras said. But "I did not expect
him to break in this fast."
In the opening round of the
Northern Intercollegiate in
Minnesota two weeks ago, Matthews
fired a team-low score of 68 in his
NCAA debut. While some freshmen
may have grown complacent,
Matthews showed maturity beyond
his years by shooting 71 and 74 in the
second and-third rounds, respectively.
His total score of 213 (even par) at
the Northern Intercollegiate was sec-
ond on the Michigan team to Harris'
210. This was a remarkable showing
for a freshman who had to cope with
the pressure of making his first col-
lege start.
"Any time a guy plays his first
tournament, he'll be unnerved,"
Carras said. "That's true in any
sport."
After that weekend, Carras called
Matthews "the delight of the trip"
and looked forward to seeing how the
youngster would respond to his initial
success.

During the Iowa Invitational the
following weekend, Matthews expe-
rienced a roller coaster ride that every
golfer knows.
He opened the tournament with a
one-under-par 70, leaving him in sec-
ond place for the entire tournament
after 18 holes.
Unfortunately for Matthews, his
second round was not as memorable,
as he posted a score of 82.
"I knew that wasn't my game,
Matthews said. "I knew that I could
play better."
Showing his true character, the
freshman bounced back to card a 73
in the tournament's third and final
round. His ability to battle adversity
in Iowa symbolized Matthews' fierce
competitiveness.
"le just has a great personality
and always gives it his best," Carras
said.
Matthews has strong ties to
Michigan, as his father attended the
University, and his family has had
season tickets to Michigan football
games for several years. Carras refers
to Matthews as "a Michigan man."
As is common with most of
Carras' recruits, Matthews came to
Michigan because of its strong acad-
emic reputation and also works hard
in the classroom.
"The biggest pressure comes from
trying to balance schoolwork and
golf," Matthews said. "It's going
pretty well so far."
When asked about expectations for
the remainder of the fall, Matthews
did not speak of numbers. He simply
wants to enjoy himself.
"I just want to out there and have
fun" he said. "If you're not having
fun, you're not going to play well.
Matthews' and the Wolverines'
next tournament is Oct. 5-6 in
Franklin, Ind.

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