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January 26, 1999 - Image 10

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-01-26

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MEN'S NCAA
BASKETBALL
(1) Connecticut 78,
GEORGETOWN 71
(21) Texas Christ. 72,
TULSA 62

WOMEN'S NCAA
BASKETBALL
(13) Duke 92,
FLORIDA STATE 75

PRE-SEASON NBA
BASKETBALL
Indiana 79,
CHICAGO 71

ax mwuym
SI'O rIFS

Tracking 'M' teams
Check out the women's swim team tomorrow as they
host Michigan State at 6 pm. The event marks the
first meet in a week for the No. 9 Wolverines and the
first to be held in the renovated Canham Natatorium.

Tuesday
January 26, 1999

10

'Young 'M'
Despite loss of three
By Chris Grandstaff
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan wrestling team entered
a lot of questions.
Could they recover from the loss of
Americans?
Were they too young?
Would it even matter, given the strengt
As the season reaches the midwayl
mined group is racking up more praise a
questions.
Michigan has replaced all-American
Airron Richardson and Bill Lacure w
ranked in the top 20 in their respective
and as No. 9 nationally as a team.
The Wolverines have been led all yea
lower weight trio of senior Chris Vio
junior Joe Warren (133) and sophomor

wrestlers surpass season expectations

all-Americans, Wolverines still manage to
(141). They are ranked sixth, sixth, and seventh in the
country respectively in their classes.
J the season with "Those are the guys that jump-start the team,"
Michigan coach Dale Bahr said. "They've been great all
three senior all- year."
The upper half of this year's squad has also been solid.
Sophomore Otto Olson is ranked seventh at 174, fresh-
h of the Big Ten? man Andy Hrovat is ranked 15th at 184, and junior Frank
point, this deter- Lodeserto is ranked 18th at 197.
nd victories than The accolades earned by this year's team are even more
impressive when you consider the level of competition
s Jeff Catrabone, that they are going up against.
ith six grapplers This week's Amateur Wrestling News magazine has
e weight classes, seven Big Ten teams ranked in the top 25, with
Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, and Michigan all cracking the
r by the fantastic top 10.
la (125 pounds), "We are in the best wrestling conference in the coun-
e Damion Logan try, bar none," Bahr said.

rank among top 10 in nation
So how is this young team holding its own?
The answer may lie in the team's chemistry.
"The guys this year really work as a team," Bahr said.
"The tricky part about wrestling is that it's an individual
sport within a team competition. These guys really care
about each other and that's not always the case in
wrestling."
Whatever the case, this year's team is proving to be a
lot of fun for Bahr, who is in his last season as the
Wolverines' head coach.
"These kids are young and wanting to prove them-
selves," Bahr said. "I've really enjoyed this group of kids.
It's just a lot of fun coaching because we are young, had
no expectations, and have kind of a carefree attitude."
They've also proven themselves to be national con-
tenders, and the only question college wrestling fans are
asking at this point in the season is 'just how far can this
Wolverine team go'?

DAVID ROCHKIND/Dai
The Michigan wrestling team was able to rebound by defeating W
Wisconsin on Sunday, after being tangled up by Minnesota on Friday.

Brooks looks to
wake up docile
Crisler crowd
By Josh Kleinbaum
Daily Sports Editor
Tom Brooks glances out his window, with Crisler
Arena, his pet project, looming large on the horizon.
You can almost see Michigan's directory of mar-
keting and communications looking through the
roof; into the arena, where a game is going on and
Michigan is winning and the Maize Rage is in full
force. Students surround the court, wearing their
bright yellow T-shirts, screaming at the top of their
lungs, harassing the Illinois squad. The Illini are
6bviously affected by the Rage, which has turned
" isler Arena into one of the most intimidating home
courts in the nation. They miss free throws, take ill-
advised shots, commit turnovers. Michigan is just
starting to put the game away when Brooks snap
back to reality.
When Michigan actually does face Illinois on
Thursday at 8 p.m., Crisler Arena is more likely to
resemble the morgue it's known as then the lions den
that Brooks envisions. But he's working hard to
change that. In comes the Rage.
The Rage began earlier this month, when 500 stu-
dents were given bright yellow T-shirts to wear to all
of Michigan's games, transforming them into Ragers.
"We're trying to give the fans an identity," Brooks
said. "The main thing to impress is that it's not a one-
shot deal."
At the Ohio State home game a week later, more
shirts were given out to students who weren't wear-
ing them.
But Brooks' program encompasses much more
than T-shirts. A preliminary glance around his office
shows that much.
Below the window sits a maize and blue sign
declaring, "Brian Ellerbe Autograph Session, 1-3
p.m." Scattered throughout the desk are brochures for
Michigan basketball tickets - season tickets, the Big
Ten Mini-Ticket Pack and more. Behind the desk sits
a mock Lansing State Journal, with "Beat Michigan"
filling two pages in a bright green, lifted from
Michigan State's Breslin Center during the
Michigan-Michigan State game a few weeks ago.

Women's gymnastics
vaults to No. 12 with
victory over UMass

By Vaughn R. Kug
Daily Sports Writer
Earning the best score of the sea-
son and the eighth-highest in school
history, the No. 12 Michigan gym-
nastics team toppled unranked
Massachusetts 194.675-190.875 on
Sunday.
The win at Boyden Gymnasium
in Amherst moved the Wolverines to
3-1 on the season. Meanwhile, the
victory gave Michigan its second
road win of the season.
Misfortune struck the Wolverines
during warmups, however, when
junior Kate Nellan suffered a sea-
son-ending injury to her Achilles
tendon.
Nellan, who also struggled with
injury during the '98 season, will
require surgery in order to recuper-
ate in time for next season.
"We were all shocked," tri-cap-
tain Sarah Cain said.
"It was hard to concentrate dur-
ing your event after your teammate
goes down."
While understandably troubled
by Nellan injury, it in no way ham-
pered the Wolverine performance.
In fact, the injury, and adversity that
it created, actually served to moti-
vate the team, Cain said.
Michigan set the tone for the
meet on the vault by securing all six
top-places and recording a team
score of 48.900.
Leading the way was Cain who
placed first on the vault with a
9.850.
While Cain also finished first on
the balance beam and tied for first-
place in the floor exercise, Bridget

Knaeble was the all-around winner
with a score of 39.225.
Knaeble outdid teammates Cain
and Lisa Simes scores of 38.875 and
38.425, respectively.
"Bridget had a great meet from
every angle," Michigan coach Bev
Plocki said.
"She hit all four of her events and
in doing so she seemed to stabilize
the team's performance.
Knaeble finished second on the
balance beam helping her team
achieve the highest beam score of
the season.
Finishing third on the beam was
freshman standout Mellisa Peterson.
"I was very happy with Mellisa's
performance," Plocki said.
"Hopefully this will build confl
dence in her that will carry on
throughout the season."
As opposed to weeks past where
Michigan experienced difficulty on
the beam, Plocki was pleased with
her teams turnaround.
"The beam is a very mentally
demanding event," Plocki said.
"In light of problems earlier in
the season, it was nice to see tl@
team hang together like they did.'
Senior Nikki Peters took first
place on the uneven bars, the only
event the Minutewoman won, with a
score of 9.875.
Ultimately, coach Plocki was sat-
isfied with her team's performance,
yet still sees room for improvement.
"While it is most satisfying to
come away with out highest team
score of the season," Plocki said.
"We still need a meet where10
hit all four of our events."

DANA iuNNANE/Daily
Tom Brooks, Michigan's director of marketing, hopes to wave goodbye to low student tumout at basketball
games. With Brooks' aid, the University hopes to implement a series of promotions to pack Crisier Arena.

Next to that, a copy of Half-Court News, a newslet-
ter distributed by State students bashing the
Michigan team, also taken from Breslin.
Brooks has put together a comprehensive plan of
promotional giveaways and marketing to put life into
Crisler Arena. Against Illnois on Thursday, Fox
Sports Interactive and The Edge radio station sponsor
a poster giveaway, and a Playvision, Fox Sports
Inveractive's game system, will be given away.
During the course of the season, Brooks has planned
giveaways ranging from posters to tuition to a car.
Part of the plan is to make halftime more enter-

taining. Against Ohio State, the Belle Tire ineptly
attempted to go one-on-one with the Detroit Lion
when Detroit-area sports mascots took on corporate
mascots in a game of hoops.
When Brooks compares Crisler to Yost Ice Arena,
where fans are considered the rowdiest in the land,
and Michigan Stadium, which sells out with more
than 100,000 fans every game, Brooks sees an
incredible amount of untapped potential."The foot-
ball and hockey teams feed off of the crowd," Brooks
said. "Michigan basketball fans are intelligent fans.
We can do that with Crisler."

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