The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - March 22, 1999 - 3B
'M' wins in Florida
3y Chris Langrill
aily Sports Writer
The Michigan women's track and
field team definitely enjoyed its spring
break. The Wolverines just had to wait a
little longer than most other Ann Arbor
students to do so.
. Competing in their first outdoor meet
of the season at the Florida State Relays
m Tallahassee this past weekend,
Michigan got to enjoy the Florida sun
while starting on what it hopes to be
another successful outdoor campaign.
"We were at NCAAs (for the indoor
season) over spring break, so this was
really like our spring break," senior high
jumper Nicole Forrester said.
Forrester placed second in the high
jump with a leap of 5-feet-10-1/2 inch-
es. Two other tracksters also placed sec-
ond in their respective events - senior
Atiya Bussey finished with a time of
25.01 in the 200-meter dash, and junior
Brandi Bentley jumped 19-feet-10-1/2
inches in the long jump.
.Senior Nicole Keith and junior
Elizabeth Kampfe were the only
Wolverines to win events. Keith took
first in the shot put with a throw of 44-
feet-7-l/2 inches and also finished sev-
enth in the discus, with a toss of 123
feet. Kampfe garnered her first title of
1999, recording a time of 9:51.92 in the
But the real strength of this Wolverine
team may prove to be the middle dis-
In the 400-meter run, four Michigan
runners placed within the top eight.
Senior Angie Stanifer led the Michigan
pack with a fourth-place time of 56.94.
Sophomore Adrienne Hunter finished
fifth in 57.01 with junior Erica
Murdock close behind in sixth place
(57.07). Junior Heather Burcar rounded
things out, finishing with an eighth-
place time of 57.77.
Forrester, a leader returning from last
year's outdoor championship team,
noted the team indeed had a great depth
of 400 runners.,But more important, she
said, was the attitude which this year's
team seems to be carrying with them.
"We look pretty good," she said. "We
have a really good outlook so far. It's a
long season, so I hope it can stay like
Several freshmen competed in their
first-ever outdoor collegiate event.
Freshman Erin Massengale beat out
senior Keith in the discus throw, with a
third place throw of 130-feet-6-inches.
"I'm proud to be on this team,"
Massengale said. "This was such an
experience for me."
While Massengale enjoyed the sunny
Florida weather, she isn't naive enough
to think that there isn't going to be a lot
of pressure on her and the other
Michigan newcomers to perform well.
"There's a lot expected of us,"
Massengale said. "That only encourages
me to do well.,,
Final Four, F/it-style: Easy
Katie McGregor, who won a national championship in cross country this past fall,
hopes to continue her outdoor success during the outdoor track season.
Record set in season finale
By Dan Dingerson
Daily Sports Writer
EAST LANSING - Deja vu could perhaps be
the best way to describe Saturday's men's gymnas-
For the second straight week the Michigan men's
gymnastics team faced off against Michigan State.
The results were strikingly similar to last week's
meet in Ann Arbor, only this time the venue was
Again both teams notched season highs and
again Michigan edged the Spartans.
The Wolverines recorded one of the nation's top
scores of the year, winning 231.85 to 229.925. The
meet was the culmination of the regular season for
both teams and was also the last competition before
the Big Ten championships.
Although Michigan has been a strong team all
year, its performances on the road have not equaled
its performances at home. After recording its sea-
son best at Michigan State, the team will now be
seen as a legitimate force, even on the road.
"This serves notice to the judges that Michigan
is for real, those scores earlier in the year weren't a
fluke," Michigan coach Kurt Golder said.
The team was led by all-around performer LaLo
Haro. The junior recorded the highest score of the
season in the all-around competition with a 58.0
breaking his own previous record of 57.8.
His performance was highlighted by a first-place
finish on the vault and a share of first on the floor
exercise. But, Haro set the record because of his
consistency - his lowest score was a 9.5.
"It was really fun today to win," Haro said. "It
wasn't really my intention though, I just wanted to
score points for the team."
Haro's performance was strong enough to earn
him Golder's performer of the day award.
Following Haro in the all-around competition
was teammate Daniel Diaz-Luong. The freshman
set a personal best in the all-around scoring a.
57.875; good enough to top the previous Michigan
recor - but not enough to beat Haro. Diaz-Luong
did not win any events, but placed in the top three
in four out of six events.
Rounding out the top three in the all-around was
Michigan freshman Scott Vetere. His score of 57.6
was highlighted by a 9.875 on parallel bars - good
enough for first place in the event.
The Wolverines won four out of six events in the
meet, falling short only on the pommel horse and
high bar. Justin Toman shared first-place with Haro
on the floor exercise and Kenny Keener took first-
place honors on the still rings with a score of 9.875.
In a complete team performance, the Wolverines
only had two scores under 9.0 which shows the
team's strength from top to bottom in every event.
The meet also showed the versatility of the team.
The only weak point of the meet for the
Wolverines was their performance on high bar -
the only event in which the team did not score at
"We've got some guys coming back in the high
bar, and these guys competing are only a step away
from putting it all together," Golder said. "They're
right on the brink."
The team had a goal to score 232 points this
week after reaching 230 in their previous meet.
Though the final score was just short of that total,
the meet was still considered a success because
Michigan recorded its highest score during an away
The scores this week probably will have an
impact on the final rankings for both teams - per-
haps even vaulting the Wolverines into No. 1.
being sent to the Spartans, it was defi-
a vital nitely heard loud and clear.
junior "Competing against Michigan was
everything I always dreamed of, and
perfor- more," Michigan State freshman
nd the Meredith Reavill said.
ek in a It was Reavill's first opportunity to
perform in the series as she was out of
confi- the lineup during the first meeting this
ted to season.
ng and She'll get another opportunity next
week, as both schools try to create some
s, the more memories - post-season style.
hen I was a senior in high
school, I weaseled my way
into a couple of press-only
practice sessions for the Magic
Johnson Roundball Classic, an annu-
al all-star game that features the
nation's top prep basketball talent.
Posing as reporters from the Wildcat
Roar (the state's top high school
leaflet, er, newspaper, in my biased
opinion), a couple of friends and I
spent the better part of two days skip-
ping school, "on assignment" at the
practice facilities of The Palace of
Attending the event (legitimately)
were some outrageously talented high
school seniors. Current NBA stars
Stephon Marbury and Sharif Abdur-
Rahim were among the best. So were
former Michigan stars Robert Traylor
and Albert White. Kevin Garnett was
supposed to attend, but he canceled
because he was re-taking the SAT
test. Dick Vitale was there, chatting
up the players and making ____
a spectacle of himself.
The purpose of the Itt
event was to showcase Michig
some of the top prep tal- Stu
ent anywhere, so there a ch(
were dozens of other (jus- cele
tified) media members in S
attendance. It was all we
could do to try and appear Othe
respectable, if not profes- well,
sional - and even then, --------
we struggled. Mostly, we
just walked around and took pictures.
This was shortly after the Fab Five
had elevated Michigan basketball to
story-a-day status, and I remember
distinctly that all the television and
radio stations were doing interviews
with Traylor and White, both local
kids who were Michigan-bound.
Traylor was hamming it up, and the
cameras loved him. White struck me
as a little unimpressed by the whole
But there was another local guy
getting much less attention. Every
now and then someone would want to
talk to him, but for the most part, he
was left alone. When the players
broke up into groups by hometown,
he went with the Michigan contin-
gent. His name: Antonio Smith.
Yesterday, Smith grabbed his
1,000th career rebound as a Michigan
State Spartan. Oh, and his team
advanced to the Final Four, too.
Traylor, of course, had some great
moments in college basketball, but he
never got anywhere near a Final Four.
White left Michigan after getting
kicked off the basketball team. He
played for Missouri, and his team
was eliminated from the tourney this
year in the first round
Smith, however, went to Michigan
State - and eventually got some
friends to follow him to East
Lansing. And his team is still alive.
Actually, to call it "his team"
might be inaccurate, in some respects
- most would say it belongs to
Mateen Cleaves. Still, Smith has-
been the rock in the middle that
every great team needs. He does the
dirty work in the paint - he
rebounds, he plays tough defense -=
and occasionally, he chips in a few
points. He is not an all-out star, not
by any means. But he's a crucial part
of his team's success.
And I don't know him, but I have.
to admit that I've always rooted for:
him, ever since Magic's Roundball
Classic. He was one of the few play-
ers we pretended to interview, and lhe
might have been the only one who.
didn't seem to be above it all. He was
certainly a lot friendlier than Albert
White, that's for sure.
And so, maize-and-blue ties aside I
had an easy time rooting for Michigan
State yesterday. I've always rooted
secretly for Smith, and for a while, it
looked as though his college career
would end yesterday against
Kentucky. But when the
final horn sounded, the
ves Spartans were still alive.
an State And the camera caught
Jents Smith in a moment of
nCe to pure jubilation: He
brate scooped the ball from
°thing the floor, measured off
his steps and punted it
than, like a football. Hard.
ollege. Generally, the thing to
---------- do after a big win is fo'
throw the ball straight up
- not kick it into the nosebleed sec-
tion. But Smith booted it - and I
loved it. It was body language at its :
best; it was a physical shout of triumph.
And I know I'm not supposed to
say this, being 1) a Michigan student,
and 2) someone who has exceeded
his allotment of Cow College jokes
for one year, but I was equally happy
to see the Spartans advance. It's good
for the Big Ten, yes - but it also
gives Michigan State students a
chance to celebrate something other
than, well, college.
OK, so there's no shortage of rea
sons to be festive in East Lansing,
But in all honesty, the Spartans
proved a lot of people wrong thi:
year. Cleaves may still be the most.
overrated player in the country, but
the guy deserves credit. He's out-
standing in the clutch. They don't
have any real offensive stars - and
Final Four teams almost always do -
but they play well together, and they
In short, they seem like the kind of
team I'd expect Antonio Smith to be
on - hard-working, scrappy, deter-
mined ... and successful.
And now; after years of being the
guy nobody really needed to inter-
view, Smith is ... still the guy
nobody really needs to interview. B t
he's also in the Final Four. And I
hope he keeps winning.
- Jim Rose can be reached
via e-mail email@example.com .
The Michigan men's gymnastics team had a season record-
setting performance on Saturday against Michigan State.
State most rece
By Stephen A. Rom
Daily Sports Writer
EAST LANSING - The banner
hanging from the rafters of Jenison
'&ieldhouse read, "Thanks for the memo-
It was meant to be a showing of
appreciation for the five seniors who
would be competing in their last regular
season meet for the Michigan State
women's gymnastics team.
Over the past four years, those who
have frequented Jenison have witnessed
-those seniors flip and tumble their way
to countless victories.
But Saturday night's performance was
more like a flop and a stumble, that
prbably left many in attendance with a
enory they would soon like to forget.
Thanks to the five Michigan seniors
:Why led a fearless attack, Michigan State
:stfred its worse loss of the season,
197.100 - 181.600.
The drubbing of the Spartans brought
Michigan's record to 13-4 overall and 4-
1 in the Big Ten.
Having already entered the contest
with a postseason berth guaranteed, the
Wolverines had other concerns besides
raining on any Michigan State Senior
"Our main goal was to demonstrate
that we could achieve as good of an
away score. We accomplished that,"
Michigan coach Bev Plocki said. "Our
second goal was to create a positive
experience in this building that we could
take with us."
Because the Spartans are playing host
to next weekend's Big Ten
Championships, it was imperative that
Michigan clean up any dirty laundry that
the team might have been collecting dur-
ing the latter part of the season.
And they not only cleaned up - they
Michigan took every post-meet acco-
lades on the evening, securing the top
three spots in all events they competed
In addition, junior Sarah Cain was
awarded the title of all-around champi-
on, as she continued her dominance that
has earned her that honor for the sixth
time this season.
Another Wolverine that played
role in Saturday's victory, was
Knaeble executed near perfect1
mances on both the uneven bars a
floor exercise for the second we
"These results give us a lot of
dence,' Knaeble said. "We wan
maintain what we have been doii
keep going after the little things."
In their quest for details
Wolverines might have noticed ar
esting fact regarding the histor
their in-state rivals.
The Spartans led the series
entering Saturday night's contes
two teams' second meeting this se
And after the Wolverines
squeaked out a victory by a mer
points back at the State of Mic
Classic in February, this meet wa
haps an opportunity to show jus
they are ranked 31 places higher th
Spartans in the RQS polls.
And if indeed there was a m
Take a Sharat in the Dark
and read Mark My Words.
Thurays in Daily Sports.
...BECAUSE SHE CALLED
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And now she's saving so
much money on her
accommodation that she
can see and do a whole
Looking for a GREAT
Teach for The Princeton Review!
If you have ton scores on the