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April 13, 1999 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 1999-04-13

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10 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, April 13, 1999

Men's gymnastics creates 'unofficial' rivalry

By Dan Dingerson
Daily Sports Writer
The school and team of Ohio State inspire
hatred throughout Ann Arbor and the state of
Michigan. ,
Wolverines are brought up to hate those who
wear the scarlet and gray and scream for the
Buckeyes.
In the world of men's gymnastics, though, there
is not much of a rivalry between the two schools.
But that might be changing soon.
Ohio State and Michigan have clearly been the
two best teams in the country this year. The two
are currently No.1 and No. 2 in the nation, with
Michigan holding the top spot.
In two weeks, the teams will meet for the fifth
time this season at the NCAA Championships in
Nebraska. Ohio State holds an edge over the
Wolverines this year, beating them in three of four
meetings.
That result is deceptive, though. Ohio State
gained two of those wins in the early weeks of the
season, before a young, injured Michigan team
found its place amongst the elite.
In the past two weeks the teams have split two
titles. At the Big Ten Championships in Iowa City,
Michigan won the title and Ohio State finished
third.
On Saturday in Illinois, Ohio State came out on
top, but only by .05 points. Michigan faltered after
gaining an advantage through its first three events
and missed its chance at scoring its best meet of

the season. Ohio State finished strong to snatch
the victory away from the Wolverines.
"If I had a choice between winning Big Tens or
winning here (regionals in Illinois), I would
always take Big Tens," Michigan coach Kurt
Golder said.
History is also not with the Buckeyes. Last year,
Big Ten champion Iowa lost to Ohio State at
regionals, finishing third. But the Hawkeyes,
along with Illinois, came back to top the Buckeyes
at the NCAA Championships.
The one thing that may keep the schools from
having a serious rivalry is the nature of the sport.
Although gymnastics is a competition among
teams, it is largely an individual competition. Also,
because one team's success only varies indirectly
with the success of other teams, rivalries are not a
focus.
"We go into a meet with a goal of performance.
We want to go out and try to perform our best on
every routine," Golder said. "We aren't thinking
about going out and beating the other team. We
think that if we perform up to our ability, winning
will take care of itself."
Although the teams don't focus so much on
rivalries, they do have an impact on the athletes.
Many of the gymnasts end up competing together
in clubs, or with each other on national teams.
Even without an official rivalry, one team may
gain an advantage. The two teams are the leading
candidates to grab the most impressive sounding
title of all - national champions.

AP PHOTO
AP Player of the Year Sophomore Elton Brand will reportedly announce that he will
enter the NBA draft and skip his final two years of eligibility at Duke.
Duke's Avery, Brand
lea ve school for NBA.,

DANA LNNANE/Daily
Big Ten rival Ohio State might be the toughest opponent for
Kenny Keener and the rest of the Wolverines at NCAAs.

Blue still undefeated

The Michigan Union Program Board and Mortar Board proudly present:
Faculty Wednesdays
Issuesf
f or thle o
U niversiy
with Prof. Lee Bollinger
President and Professor of Law
Wednesday April 14, 1999
12-1 pm
The University Club

By Raphael Goodstein
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan tennis team was liv-
ing on the edge this past weekend.
The Wolverines took a perfect Big
Ten record into the Hoosier state.
They narrowly escaped with perfec-
tion intact.
Down 1-0 to Purdue after losing
the doubles point, Michigan's singles
players won four of their six matches
to escape with a 4-3 victory.
"I think that today was huge for
us," senior co-captain Will Farah
said. "We've lost to them the last two
years that I was here and we just
knew that we would have to go out
and fight. We really didn't want to
lose to them."
The Wolverines moved Danny
McCain from the fourth singles spot
to the third for the match.
"Purdue has had their top four sin-
gles players play at different spots all
year," Farah said. "We used a lineup
based on what we thought they
would do to match-up against them."
McCain lost a close 1-6, 7-6, 7-5
match to Chris James.

John Long, playing in McCain's
fourth singles spot, won a straight-
set match over John Marshall, 6-4, 7-
6.
Other winners were junior Matt
Wright over Derek Myers, 6-3, 7-5,
Farah over Jamie Gordon, 7-6, 7-6,
and freshman Ben Cox over Evan
Hayes, 6-1, 6-0. Cox has an unde-
feated dual-meet record.
On Saturday. the Wolverines beat
Indiana, 4-3, a crucial win in keeping
Michigan's Big Ten title hopes alive.
The win over Indiana was impera-
tive because the Hoosiers were just
2-2 in the Big Ten. With No. 2
Illinois still looming on the schedule,
a loss to a mediocre Indiana team
would have killed any title hopes that
the Wolverines had.
But Michigan managed to stay on
track and beat the Hoosiers.
The scrappy Wolverines will now
have to travel to South Bend for an
out-of-conference battle with rival
Notre Dame.
"It's always tough to play on the
road," Farah said. "You aren't famil-
iar with the courts, the crowd is root-
ing against you, you have to travel, it
is never easy."
The Wolverines are staring down
the barrel of a loaded gun. The team
has to do what it has done all season
- put the last meet behind it and
focus on the next match.

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) - Elton
Brand, the consensus national player
of the year, will announce tomorrow
that he will forgo his final two years
at Duke and enter the NBA draft, The
Associated Press has learned.
A source close to Brand, speaking
on the condition of anonymity, con-
firmed yesterday that the 6-foot-8,
270-pound sophomore center would
become the first Duke player to leave
school early for a chance to play in
the NBA.
The school had said earlier yester-
day that Brand and associate head
basketball coach Johnny Dawkins
would hold a news conference tomor-
row at the school to announce the
decision.
Brand, who averaged 17.8 points
and 9.8 rebounds last season, was the
first sophomore to win the John R.
Wooden Award, presented by the Los
Angeles Athletic Club, and he was
also honored this season by The AP,
the Atlanta Tipoff Club and the
United States Baskel Writers
Association as national player of the
year.
The student newspaper at Duke,
The Chronicle, also reported yester-
day that sophomore point guard
William Avery had decided to forgo
the rest of his eligibility and apply for
the draft.
"Nobody has told me it is true,"

sports information director Mike
Cragg said.
The Chronicle, citing unnamed
sources close to the basketball team,
said Avery had decided to leave
school.
Attempts yesterday to reach Brand,
Avery and Dawkins were unsuccess-
ful.
Another source said freshman
Corey Maggette remains undecided
about his future, The Chronicle said.
Avery has met with coach Mike
Krzyzewski, who is recovering from
hip replacement surgery, The
Chronicle reported. The newspaper
said Krzyzewski is unaware of
Avery's final decision.
The potential loss of Brand and
Avery, coupled with the graduation of
seniors Trajan Langdon and Taymo*
Domzalski, would cost Duke much of
the core of the 37-2 team that reached
the NCAA championship, where the
Blue Devils lost to Connecticut.
However, the program has received
national letters of intent from four
high school seniors who were select-
ed to McDonald's All-America team.
Players who have announced their
intention to leave school early include
junior guard Steve Francis c
Maryland and junior forward Alber
White of Missouri.
Underclassmen have until May 15
to announce their intentions.

program board

Free Lunch Buffet and Admission
Seating Begins at 11:30am
First Come, First Serve.

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