6 -The Michigan Daily - January 18, 2000 - SportsTuesday
Conditioning shines twice as
wrestlers outlast opponents
By Jqn Schwartz
Daily Sports Writer
MOUNT PLEASANT - Call it a result of good
conditioning. Call it an effective rebound from the
devastating loss of two stars. Call it an intense team
competing with fire.
Whatever it's dubbed, make sure to also call it a
two-win weekend for the Michigan wrestling team.
With an 18-17 home victory over Pennsylvania
- ranked eighth in the Amateur Wrestling News'
poll - on Saturday followed by a 21-15 Sunday
win at No. 18 Central Michigan, the ninth-ranked
Wolverines showed that, healthy or not, they are still
ready for the Big Ten season, which starts Friday.
Chalk that up to coach Joe McFarland's training
Throughout the weekend, the Wolverines proved
that weeks of rigorous training pay off, when they
found themselves tiring opponents out of matches.
"We made those guys look silly," 141-pound
junior Damion Logan said of the Quakers, as
Michigan forced them to use all of their timeouts in
the~meet. "They were just tired and backing up."
But the meets were never as close as the scores
suggested, as the Wolverines ensured that whenever
situations got dicey, they had the right response in
-With two bouts left against Penn and the score
tied 14-14, 184-pound Andy Hrovat ran up to the
mat and pulled out one of the team's three major
decisions of the night, 11-3, when the team needed
the bonus point the most. When Michigan 197-
pounder Joe DeGain lost a decision in the night's
final match, the extra point made the difference.
"My goal before the match was to pin the kid,"
Hrovat said. "But if I don't pin him, I obviously
have to get the extra team point and try to help out
the most I can"
Hrovat sustained his winning streak on Sunday,
when his decision against one of the Chippewas'
best wrestlers, Phil Baroni, in the last bout sealed
the victory for Michigan.
"He's a champion," Logan said of Hrovat. Baroni
After an undefeated showing at the Virginia
Duals, Logan continued his recent tear, winning in
both legs of the weekend. His major Saturday night
was followed up by Central's Chris Marshall's
injury default when the two got tangled up too close
to the mat's edge and ended up tumbling to the hard-
Marshall's early exit crowned Logan the victor of
the match to which the Rose Arena fans jeered rau-
Perhaps the most important bout at Central was
the first - DeGain against Chris Vike, one of the
Chippewa studs. A newcomer to the 197-pound
weight class, DeGain got his team fired up with a
Andy Hrovat's major decision over Penn's Craig Melcher clinhes the Wolverines' victory Saturday. On
Sunday, Hrovat extended his winning streak to seven by beating Central's Phil Baroni.
big 10-6 victory.
"Joe DeGain really got us going," McFarland
said. "We got the momentum on our side early."
But what dominated the weekend for the
Wolverines were the surprises that added up to suc-
cess. With a Joe Warren- and Otto Olson-less squad,
McFarland moved wrestlers into weight classes
where they didn't belong. In many of the fights, the
size discrepancy that favored the opponent was
enough to rule the Michigan wrestler out immedi-
ately. In others, questionable refereeing left
McFarland pacing the sidelines.
But Michigan persevered, particularly when 125-
pound true freshman A.J. Grant scored a major over
Penn's Kevin Rucci and Tony Holifield wiped the
floor with Central's Joel Trim for another.
"I had some kids step up" McFarland said.
"Outside of a few situations, we fought hard"
By Ryan C. Molony
Daily Sports Writer
MOUNT PLEASANT - If tie
Wolverines had gone down quietly.;, i
would have been understandable.
If they had put up a fight and still come
up short in the end, it would have been
If they had not only survived but con-
trolled their two weekend matches
against No. 8 Pennsylvania and No. 18
Central Michigan, all ofthis without their
two best wrestlers, it would have beep
surprising and probably impossible in the
minds of some.
Well, the naysayers never got t
Michigan wrestling team on the phone.W
And they shouldn't expect any call
backs. The Wolverines are thumping their
chests today, eyes focused on making
something happen instead of what hap.
pened to them.
Amazing, when you consider that
Michigan has been about as lucky with
injuries as Wile E. Coyote.
"Things didn't go all our way in every
match but everyone wrestled hard on ou
team and that's the biggest key rnght
now," Andy Hrovat said after saving the
bacon against Pennsylvania with a crucial
Attention wrestling novices - extra
points aren't just for skinny placekickers
anymore. Hrovat could have easily con
tented himself with a minor decision;
three points. Smartly, Hrovat knew that at
least six, if not eight guaranteed poins
were out of the lineup and a little nickel
and-diming for an extra point and a majo
decision could pay off.
And against Pennsylvania, it did. Half
the Wolverines were out of their seats at
the conclusion of this Hrovat match,
including Joe Warren - again relegated
to volunteer coaching duty.
"These guys are like my brothers
Warrensaid. "I'm out here to help as
much as I can:'
And synonymous with family is sacri.
fice. Joe DeGain knows exactly wha*
that's all about. The junior had to move up
from his accustomed 184 to 197 a couple
of weeks ago to give the Wolverines "a
chance to make up points.
And there DeGain was on Sunday, tak
ing out the 14th-ranked 197-pounder in
the country, Chris Vike, 10-6.
DeGain, who usually displays as much
emotion as the Terminator, threw his
headgear towards the Michigan bench in
triumph at the end of the match.
"I like the guys in our program righ
now," Michigan coach Joe McFarland'
said. "I like the way they fought."
With a story like this, who wouldn't?
i ,.. ,.... .
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