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September 08, 1998 - Image 64

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The Michigan Daily, 1998-09-08

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6E - The Michigan Daily - New Student Edition - September 8, 1998

Death of 'M' wrestler taints promising
season, leads to new NCAA policies

By Uma Subranuanian
Daily Sports Writer
For the members of the Michigan
wrestling team, the 1997-98 season was
one they will never forget. What started
out as a promising season soon was over-
shadowed by the tragic loss of teammate
Jefferey Reese.
Reese's death just prior to the start of
the season was due to dehydration and
heart failure caused by over-exercising in
order to make weight for an upcoming
match.
As a result, the season fell under a
heavy cloud and the Wolverines' dreams
of contending for a national champi-
onship dissolved as the wrestlers focused
on the death of a teammate.
"It definitely aflected our past sea-
son," Michigan coach Dale Bahr said.
"We definitely didn't finish as well as we
had hoped. It afected individuals who

justdidn't have good seasons. I think the
desire to compete was lost.'
While trying to cope emotionally, the
Wolverines still managed to finish 12th
at NCAAs and finished with three senior
All-Americans - Jeff Catrabone,
Airron Richardson and Bill Lacure.
So, the 1998-99 wrestling season will
be a rebuilding year for the team - with
regard to personnel and emotion.
Michigan lost a major portion of its
team to graduation in May and with the
missing athletes went a great deal of
experience. Now will be a chance for the
team's younger members to shine.
"We're really going to be a lot younger
now," Bahr said. "But, I think Chris
Viola, Otto Olsen, and Damien Logan
could all potentially have outstanding
seasons for us and maybe even be All-
Americans."
Bahr also has confidence in his fresh-

man recruits. Primarily he is looking to
get major contributions from Charles
Martelli, Illinois's top high school
wrestler last year, who will begin at
Michigan in the fall.
"I think we have a shot at having an
excellent year," Bahr said. "It's going to
depend on how everybody gels"
While eventually the younger
wrestlers will hone their skills and their
experienced teammates will come
through, the key for the Wolverines this
year will be to recover emotionally from
last season.
"We will never forget Jeff," Bahr said.
"I think about him everyday and it's the
same for many of the other kids. But,
we've still got to live. These kids have
goals and aspirations and they must still
go on.
"He's safely tucked away in our minds
and always will be, but time has a ten-
dency to move you along. That's what

we're going to do. He'll never be forgot-
ten."
In addition to having to adjust to new
teammates, the veteran Wolverines will
also have to adjust to new NCAA poli-
cies governing their wrestling.
Last year, three NCAA wrestlers died
as a result of their training habits. A cru-
cial part of wrestling is weighing theg'
exact amount in order to be able to wres-
tle in a particular weight class. In order
to prevent further tragedy, the NCAA is
in the process of changing the rules. For
instance, it has increased the minimum
weight class from 118 pounds to 125
pounds. Also, there is a seven-pound
cushion around the weight class.
"These new policies will be great;'
Bahr said. "The big weight cutters won't
be able to cut it on the mat. We're to the
point where the best conditioned and ARA STILLMA N/Da
most technical athlete will have an The death of Jefferey Reese stunned the Michigan wrestling team, but Bill Lacure
advantage now: persevered, struggling all season to retain his All-America status.

Kampfe, McGregor lead women harriers.

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By Rick Freeman
Daily Sports Writer
Track is an individual sport cross country is not.
It is also not only a way for track athletes to keep in
shape in the off-season.
"It's just something different," Elizabeth Kampfe
said of the one-race, one-distance sport.

McGregor won the
Ten title.
Michigan had
McGregor and 19
Julie Froud. Runne
distance events, lik
The rest of their te

Only each team's top five runners score points: one middle-distance sp
for first, two for second and so on through fifth. The And "it's a chall
team with the lowest combined score wins. Individual a race that is more
accomplishments alone cannot carry a team to victo- meters they're used
ry over the 5,000-meter course. Its not as if Mic
Michigan learned that in nearly every one of their their lack of depth.
races last season. Big Ten, and seven
At the Big Ten championships, in Columbus, Katie They've set their
Mortimer to return
for final season

c race, but Wisconsin won the Big
three strong runners, Kampfe,
97 Big Ten freshman of the year
ers who, in the outdoor season, run
e the 10,000, 5,000, 3,000 or 1,500.
am was made up of predominantly
ecialists.
enge for them," Kampfe said to run,
than six times longer than the 800
d to running.
chigan was seriously hindered by
The Wolverines took second at the
th in the nation.
sights higher for the 1998 season, a

season that "could definitely be awesome." Kampfe said.
Two returning upper class runners could fill the all-
important four- and five-holes. Michelle Slater and
Marcy Akard, sidelined with injuries for last season,
should be back for this season.
Akard has good credentials as a former cross: coun-
try All-American.
"Michelle has had an awesome indoor and outdoor
season," Kampfe said.
Allison Noe ran cross country in 1997, but inVer
few races. Kampfe said that she also has had i suc-
cessful track season. And if Michigan can put tog'eth-
er five solid distance runners for 1998, how would the
Wolverines feel about that'?
Awesome. of course.

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By Chris Duprey
Daily Sports Writer
The 1997 Michigan men's cross
country team was like a law associate
fresh out of college -- - it knew exactly
where it wanted to go, and how it was
going to get there.
The Wolverines had their path to suc-
cess laid out before the events started to
unfold. Michigan coach Ron Warhurst,
in a statement before the Wolverines'
first race of the year, Aug. 25, let every-
one know what he was demanding of
his talented squad.
"I expect a substantially improved fin-
ish at the NCAA Championships after
last year's disappointment," Warhurst
said. "Our goal is to win the Big Ten and
District meets and finish in the top five at
NCAAs."
'hose were lofty goals, even for a tal-
ented lineup such as Michigan's. But the
Wolverines had the horses to pull it off.
Senior Kevin Sullivan and John
Mortimer combined to make a lethal 1-
2 punch that would crush the strength of
opponents' packs. Jay Cantin, Don
McLaughlin, Steve Lawrence and 'Todd
Snyder were all beginning to get a grasp
on their roles as contributing runners.
Michigan swept through its five
scored invitationals, taking first place
in each one. While the Wolverines
always got solid performances from
the top of their lineup -- Mortimer or
Sullivan won the individual title in
every one - the 3-4-5 men were
starting to pick up as well. It looked
as if Michigan had the ingredients to

unseat the longtime Wisconsin
dynasty and win the Big Ten.
Things would not go perfectly for
Warhurst's team at Big Tens, however.
Snyder was suffering from a bout with
bronchitis and had been on antibiotics the
entire week in a noble attempt to run.
After a season characterized by dom-
inating performances, Snyder tossed a
bit of resiliency into the Wolverines'
recipe. Ile passed five runners in the
final 1,000 meters to seal Michigan's
13-point victory over the Badgers.
Sullivan set the 8,000-meter course
record at Ohio State with a blistering
23:42, and the Wolverines captured
their first Big Ten crown since 1993.
Following an off week, Michigan went
to the NCAA District IV meet in
Bloomington with hopes of qualifying for
the NCAA championships. Only two
teams would go, and assuming Wisconsin
would contend, the Wolverines were left
with little room for error.
Both Sullivan and Mortimer led the
race from the very start. Alter outlasting
an early challenge from Eastern
Michigan's Ben Reese, the tandem pulled
away, virtually crossing the finish line
together in 31:30 to take the top two spots.
Despite the presence of an agitated
Wisconsin team who had been smacked
by Michigan a couple of weeks earlier,
the Wolverines rolled to victory with 21
points. The district title was Warhurst's
first in his 24 seasons as Michigan's
skipper.
Finally, the team was down to the
final goal on Warhurst's hit list - fin-
ishing in the top five at NCAAs.
Apparently the NCAA pollsters had
gained respect for the Wolverines, too.
After starting the season at No. 5,
Michigan had silently risen to No. 3, a
few points ahead of Colorado.
The drama unfolded Nov. 24 at the

LOUIS BROW'N'/Daily
Running together worked well for Kevin Sullivan and John Mortimer throughout the
cross country season. The duo alternated with first-place performances all fall.4

NCAAs, where Sullivan and his gang
would be forced to go all out for the
first time all season. The senior put it
all together and ran the race of his
life in 29:01, but fell seven seconds
short of UCLA's Mebrahtom
Keflezighi and had to settle for sec-
ond place.
Mortimer's 29:44 gave him 11 th
place, but the Michigan pack that had
become so stable all year failed to stay
together. The stringing out of Cantin,
Snyder and Lawrence cost the
Wolverines any hopes they had of hang-
ing on to third place over the Bulfaloes,

and they settled for fourth.
Still, despite the minor disappoint-
ment, the Wolverines had climbed the
mountain. They had successfully com-
pleted Warhurst's list.
Michigan lost two key pieces of.its
lineup to graduation in Sullivan and
McLaughlin, but still plan to build on the
success of '97. One of the top priorties
for the Wolverines is to defend their-4Bi
Ten title at home.
Due to the rotating schedulo,
Michigan will have the honor of hosting
the marquee event of the cross country
season at the U-M Golf Course.

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