The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - March 15. 1999 - 78
Senior gymnast honored
Continued from Page 1B
As the Wolverines were finishing on
the parallel bars, it didn't look like they
were going to reach 230. Justin Toman
and LaLo Hato sealed the score and vic-
tory by performing two excellent rou-
tines to end the meet. Toman scored a
9.8 to win the event and Haro followed
Woman also won the parallel bars with
a9.8. Michigan won four out of six
events, with Daniel Diaz-Luong scoring
a 9.85 on the pommel horse to win the
event.-Scott Vetere rounded out the top
scores with a 9.9 on the still rings, earn-
ing him Michigan coach Kurt Golder's
performance of the day award.
Michigan State was led by Tom
Housley, who won the floor exercise
with a score of 9.725 and shared the
'mt with teammate Jeff Moomaw --
v scored 9.65.
In addition to winning four events, the
Wolverines took all three of the top spots
in the all-around. Haro won the event
with a 57.575, followed by Vetere and
Thd recent goal was to score a 230,
but the closest the team has come was
three weeks ago against Massachusetts,
when Michigan scored a 229.275.
"Scoring the 230 is important because
the team knows now that they can do it
in the big meets. It's not like climbing
Mt. Everest - we've been there before,"
Golder said. "I think that this team can
score a 232, so we have a little room for
The team's high point of the day might
have been the score of 230, but probably
it was the celebration for Randy
D'Amura. D'Amura is a co-captain and
the only senior on the team. He was hon-
ored before the meet.
"Today made me feel like I've done
my job. I've got them behind me, and I
feel like they are a team," D'Amura said.
"I feel like my senior leadership is work-
D'Amura had a full range of experi-
ences in his four years on the team. His
first year, the team was winless. This
year they are one of country's top teams.
He has performed under two coaches,
legendary Newt Loken and Golder.
"I think that we went 199 my first
meet my freshmen year, so that's a 30
point swing;" D'Amura said. "This year
people have been saying 'look out for
Michigan.' For me to have been a part of
something that has improved so much,
and for me to have had an effect on that,
that really means a lot to me."
Missy Petersonrsaw the seniorsabid goodbye to Cliff Keen Arena with a double-
dual meet victory over Rutgers and UCLA.
Women score season-high
meet featured the observation )f Senior
W OM EN and Alumni Days, which brought with
Continued from Page 1B them a building of yestervear's heroes.,
never lay claim to such a title. watching the young gymnast.,
But in the end, all they were able to do "I didn't feel any extra pressure. I love
was listen to "The Victors" parade leading off," McWatt said. "I wantcd to
through the loudspeakers and marvel as get the seniors going and get the other
the Wolverines live up to that title. team members rolling as well"
Something else worth marveling over One senior who got rolling was Lisa
was junior Sarah Cain's perfect perfor- Simes. If Senior Day wasn't exciting
mance on the vault. Beginning with a enough for the veteran, she got an added
back handspring onto the horse, she exe- - jolt, hearing her home country's national
cuted a breathtaking Yureochenko, half- anthem played for the first time ever.
off, layout front to earn a 10. "It caught me off guard," Simes said.
What was even more remarkable was "I was expecting to hear the Amen can
the fact that she hit the jump under less one. When they started singing 'O
than favorable conditions. Canada,' I thought 'Oh my god!"
Only seconds after witnessing Once she regained her composure. a
Rutgers gymnast Josie Bokara take a teary-eyed Simes set out for her final
hard fall off the end of the balance beam performance in Cliff Keen. And she
right in front of her, Cain had to begin made it count, as she secured herself the
her sprint to the vault, with the fallen title of all-around champion.
gymnast still lying on the mat. "I'm really excited to have my last
Bokara was all right. And so were the performance be such a good one. It was
Wolverines, as they took the early lead just a bonus," Simes said.
and never gave it up. Although the victory marked their
As impressive as Cain's feat was, 11th of the season, it was really a day of
there were others who shined that night. firsts for the Wolverines.
Freshman Erin McWatt kicked off They scored their season-high total
Michigan's performance on the uneven team total. Then they earned a single
bars with her own stellar performance. event season-high with the 49.575 points
Much like Cain, McWatt was also scored on the vault. And finally they
under stressful circumstances. Saturday's grabbed their first 10 of the season.
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May 3, 1999 -September 3, 1999
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meet sweet for seniors
By St.phen A. Rom
Daily Sports Writer
for, five Michigan gymnasts, Saturday's victory again
national powerhouse UCLA brought with it far greater mea
ingthan the accomplishment normally would.
It was their final meet in Cliff Keen Arena. And their sw
song sent them soaring.
* season-high team score of 197.400 was just what th
needed in preparing to embark on a lengthy postseason jot
ney. Their travels could take them to some of the sar
heights they have enjoyed in past years.
During their careers, seniors Kathy Burke, Be
A 3elkovich, Lisa Simes, Kristin Duff and Nikki Peters ha
earned themselves numerous accolades that will ensure the
a place in Michigan gymnastics histo-_
Besides the many team accomplish- GYMNASTI(
nts that they have captured, their Commentary
i vidual performances have been the "-----------.."
fuel to the fire that will continue to burn well after they a
gone. Because of a strong freshman class that has had t
privilege of observing these veterans all season lot
Michigan is ensured that the future of the program will be
Some things, like work ethic and dedication, the freshm
learned by observing their leaders directly, but most thir
were absorbed through late night stories on the team plan
.Here are a few recollections that supplied the most lev
on those long flights:
Canadian native Lisa Simes became the first Wolver
to score two perfect marks in a single meet. In 19
against 1ah State, she scored '10's on the vault and balan
heamto stake her claim in the history books.
U Also not to be denied was Nikki Peters, who represent
Michigan by becoming the only gymnast in history to hi
perfect 10 in NCAA Championship competition. In additi4
theNew Jersey native has eight other perfect '10's in her st
U Beth Amelkovich overcame knee surgery during the+
season to again help lead the Wolverines into the postseas
a top-10 ranking. Besides her many accomplishments
the sport, Amelkovich has a mile-long record of acader
honprs to her record.
'I guess this was a dream," Amelkovich said. "It was ve
fortunate to have all this happen. It was great."
As proud as everyone is of the accomplishments of the
Continued from Page 3B
Kimball said that it was nice to have
NCAA trip wrapped up before the
last event of the meet rolled around.
"It takes the edge off. They didn't
have to do anything great on the plat-
form," Kimball said. "At that point, we
just wanted to get to the NCAAs, but
it's a very difficult event."
The Wolverines still performed pret-
ty well on the platform, with Wilmot
coating to a second-place finish at
4j5.50, and Trexler scoreing a 447.75
In his 40th season as Michigan div-
ing coach, Kimball gets another oppor-
tunity to showcase his talent at the
nutional championships with two
divers that have a real opportunity to
=a4 some waves.
'don't know how the other divers
'din°-n the different regions, but our
g should perform pretty well at
NCAAs," Kimball said.
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i LOUIS BROWN/Daily
ity No matter how you look at it, the Michigan women's
gymnastics team has had a memorable season.
997 veterans, the athletes themselves have mixed emotions.
nce "I'm sad. We had a great career here, the five of us. I'm
going to miss them," Burke said.
ted Someone else who is gong to miss them is Michigan coach
t a Bev Plocki, who suddenly realizes she has many shoes to fill.
on, "One of the judges reminded me that four of our six per-
tel- formers on the floor (exercise) are seniors, Plocki said. "It
makes you wonder who is going to step it up next year."
off But first things first. The Michigan seniors still have a job
son to do as they will lead their team into to the Big Ten
in Championships, the NCAA regionals and the NCAA
mic Championships for the final time.
Nikki Peters has a message for anybody that feels Michigan
ery isn't ready for the trip to Salt Lake City, Utah, to vie for the
honors of national champion.
ese "We'll be there, with bells on"
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