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January 27, 2000 - Image 11

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2000-01-27

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Thursday, September 23, 1999 - The Michigan Daily -- 1A

gymnasts Chicago-
bound once again

*tan Dingorson
ily Sports Writer
After toppling Big Ten foe Iowa and
reclaiming the nation's No. I ranking, the
Michigan men's gymnastics team heads to
Chicago for the second time in 15 days in
hopes of dousing the Flames of Illinois-
Chicago on Saturday.
The situation seems perfect for an upset:
the. Wolverines are on the road against the
No. 13 team in the nation.
Gymnastics; though, is not a sport of
iIts. UIC's top score is over nine points
behind the Wolverines' top score. The Flames
rising to meet Michigan would be like trying
to leap to the top of the Sears Tower.
Needless to say, there will be no Phoenix ris-
ing from Chicago this weekend.
So, the Wolverines will use the meet to
enter more gymnasts into the lineup and try
to improve their routines in preparation for
their individual competitions in the near
f re.
ryan Pascoe and Jesse Coleman both may
see their first action of the season, and
Michigan's three freshmen will continue to
crack the roster.
"This meet gives us a chance to highlight
some of the guys who don't get to compete a
lot," Michigan coach Kurt Golder said.
Individually, some of the gymnasts will
have the opportunity to refine their routines,

and experiment with new skills before they
perform them at the Winter Cup in two
The Winter Cup helps to determine who
qualifies for the U.S. National Team, and will
feature eight Michigan gymnasts.
"I was going to give Tim Dehr a rest, but
he is going to try a new element in his pom-
mel horse routine," Golder said. "He will be
using it in the Winter Cup, and he wanted to
do it so that if there was a problem, he could
have a redemption meet (the following week-
end) before doing it at the Winter Cup."
The matchup also offers the Wolverines' a
chance to improve in events in which they
have not been up to the bar. Although the
team has historically been strong on the par-
allel bars, it did not show against Iowa.
Golder was very disappointed with the event,
calling it the worst part of the the last meet.
After a poor showing on the high bar at the
Windy City Invitational, the Wolverines
rebounded by posting the third-highest high
bar score in the nation against Iowa.
"I still feel like we can be better. Our two
best guys are out of high bar, Daniel Diaz-
Luong and Justin Toman, and it forces the
other guys to step up their routines," Golder
Injuries have also impacted the team's per-
formance on the vault. Both of the All-
American vaulters have been injured thus far

Why go JWindy twice?
Whether it likes it or not, the Michigan
men's gymnastics team will be spending
its second weekend of the season in
Chicago, this time to face Illinois-Chicago.
Just in case Michigan coach Kurt Golder_
needs some help with his travel plans, here.
are a few things the Wolverines can do the
second time around in the Windy City:
* See the Jenny Jones Show (if they saw
Jerry Springer last time). Heckle show
guests as it becomes necessary through-
out the taping.
Make the short road trip to Evanston and
whip Northwestern in basketball, saving the
real Michigan basketball team a trip.
Go out for an all-you-can-eat night at
Pizzeria Uno. Charge the bill to one Dr. Tom
r Relive the classic "Adventures in
Babysitting" scene with Golder playing Sara
(Maia Brewton), hanging from a rope out-
side the diamond-shaped Stone Container
this season. Diaz-Luong will definitely not
return this weekend, and Brad Kenna is still
Of the gymnasts competing in the vault,
two are attempting new routines and have not
perfected them yet, although they have post-
ed good scores.
"We are very close on vault, we just need
to land it," Golder said. "We have been doing
it in practice, and now we just need to bring
that to the meets."
While the meet does not offer many exter-
nal challenges for the Wolverines, the team
has plenty of challenges to fan their internal

By Sarah Ensor
Daily Sports Writer
When the No. 3 Michigan women's gymnastics
team takes the floor of Cliff Keen Arena tomorrow
Friday, its toughest opponent may not be the foe list-
ed on the schedule, but rather its own tradition of
Although No. 17 Kentucky (1-1 overall) is a for-
midable opponent, Michigan's main objective for this
weekend's meet is not to defeat the Wildcats, but to
improve on its personal performance. To do so is a
challenging task after last week's record-
setting meet against Michigan State, TONI
when the Wolverines (2-0 Big Ten, 5-2
overall) scored a 196.750 and had seven Who: No.:
gymnasts achieve career-highs. vsheo. 17
"We need to stay concentrated on our Arena
performances and improve on what When: 7:30
we've been doing," Michigan coach Bev Admission
Plocki said. "We had a great meet all students
against Michigan State, so it's a lot to
ask to improve on those kinds of performances. But
we do have room for improvement and the biggest
thing that I am looking for is consistency. We want to
continue hitting the routines the way we have been."
The national rankings in women's college gym-
nastics are based on individual team performances
rather than on wins and losses. The Wolverines
already own the nation's highest single-meet score,
but hope to bolster their season average and pick up
a victory over Kentucky.
"Every time we go out (on the floor) we're going
out there to beat our score - our own score - from
the previous weekend," senior captain Sarah Cain
"There's no defensive strategy in gymnastics,"
Plocki said. "Regardless of who the opponent is, how
highly ranked or not, we have to stay focused on what

Bluegrass next for Blue

we have control over, which is our own performances
- because that always has to be the key."
This isn't to say that a meet against Kentucky is an
automatic victory. The Wildcats compete in the tal-
ent-rich Southeastern Conference, and routinely face
gymnastics powerhouses like No. 2 Alabama and
No. 4 Georgia.
"You can never take anyone for granted," Plocki
said. "Kentucky is a respectable team and I expect
them to come in here and (compete).
"The other thing is, like any sport - Lloyd Carr
says it, Brian Ellerbe says it - teams ark
GHT at their best when they face Michigan, so
we have to be on our toes and keep pay-
Michigan ing attention to what we're doing."
The Wolverines' other goal for the
weekend is to pack the stands at Cliff
.m. Keen Arena. Only 858 fans witnessed the
ree for meet against Michigan State, a statistic
disappointing to the gymnasts and coach-
es alike.'


"I want people to come and check it out and sec
how much fun it is" Plocki said. "I want the students
at the University of Michigan to find out that
women's gymnastics is a really fun event.
"They can get rowdy. I want them to be doing the
'Go Blue' cheers back and forth. I want them to have
nicknames for my athletes.
"Crowds at Georgia and Alabama and these kinds
of places are eight-to-nine-to-10,000 people routine-
ly. And there's a reason for that - gymnastics is
Cain agreed.
"It's our second home meet, and once again we're
excited to be competing in front of the home audi-
ence," Cain said. "We're hoping for a bigger crowd
this time, so anyone who wants to watch good gym-
nastics, come on out to Cliff Keen."

Wrestlers leave home to face two ranked foes

Dan Williams
Daily Sports Writer
The powers that be decided that the
Michigan wrestling team would be greet-
ed with various theme music from
'Rocky' as it takes the mat for each home
And the introduction has become
appropriate, as the team's season thus far
has mirrored the plot of the quintessential
sports drama in some aspects. The
Wolverines, although confronted with the
adversity of losing their two top wrestlers
to injury, have persevered against highly-
ranked opponents that appear to have
Michigan at its breaking point.
But the next challenge for Michigan
may far exceed those presented by
Clubber Lane or Ivan Drago. When
Michigan faces Illinois in the first of two
weekend road meets Friday, it may be
more than an uphill battle. It may be a
match they can't reasonably expect to win.
Included in the Illini's impressive mid-

season resume is an undefeated record in
dua! meets (8-0), an average margin of
victory of over 33 points, and eight
wrestlers ranked in the top 20 of their
respective weight classes.
Yet Michigan's concern with Illinois'
stats seems to be mild.
"I think we're ready for them, we had a
really good week of practice," Michigan
junior Joe Degain said. "I don't even
know what they're ranked. We're not
going to let it eat at us either way"
Michigan coach Joe McFarland con-
curred, saying that Michigan gains noth-
ing by preoccupying themselves with the
stature of the Illini.
"They're one of the best teams in the
Big Ten, but I don't think my guys are
intimidated easily," McFarland said.
"We're not even going to think about los-
The Wolverines could get a big boost if
senior Joe Warren re-enters the lineup
after being sidelined for four weeks with

a knee injury. Warren, who originally
thought he'd be back for last week's two
meets, is still experiencing some soreness
in his knee and is questionable for the
"Joe has been on the mat this week, but
we're still taking it day by day,"
McFarland said. "I'm hoping to have him
in the lineup"
Warren is confident he can perform as
soon as he is allowed to return.
"As soon as they tell me I'm okay to
go, I'm going to be right back in there"
Warren said. "I'm going to win for this
Michigan's second match of the week-
end, a Sunday dual meet with Purdue, will
present a unique challenge in itself.
The match will take place in a the bas-
ketball gym of Carroll High School in
Fort Wayne, Indiana. Purdue moved their
home meet two hours northeast of West
Lafayette to help promote wrestling in the
state of Indiana.

"It's a good wrestling area," Purdue
coach Jessie Reyes said. "We're trying to
get the word out there for Purdue
And good attendance is expected for
the first collegiate wrestling match ever to
take place in Allen County.
"We've had a pretty good presale of
tickets" Carroll High School coach Ed
Fox said. "We've got quite a few wrestling
schools. They've never had a chance to
watch a college match in this area."
However, the new location may add to
the challenge for Michigan sophomore
Charles Martelli. At the 174-pound
weight class, Martelli will likely wrestle
Purdue's John Fitch, a Carroll High alum-
ni, in front of a large crowd of his friends
and family.
Martelli isn't fretting about the unusual
"It gets me more excited to wrestle and
beat him on his home turf" Martelli said.
"It just puts more pressure on him"


DANNYXALCK/Oly Canham visit takes Hoosiers back in time
After his group won the mock rock competition for its rendition of "I Want It That Way,"
John Long (above) hopes to have the same success this weekend against DePaul. By Bran Galvin
SDaily Sports Witer over the last 17 years, and two of those conference' Urbanchek said of Indiana's succeeded in its own way.
fN P Just like Marty McFly once did, have been at the hands of the Hoosiers. Ryan Kosanic and Tom Davidson. "We're Michigan," he said. "We don
Indiana's men's swimming and diving Last year, Indiana took advantage of a The Hoosiers, however, haven't faced copy anyone."
team is about to take a trip back in time. flu outbreak in Ann Arbor to beat the the likes of Michigan's Josh Trexler, who The Wolverines carry along a histor


in Big Ten warmup

By Brian Steere
For the Daily
The Michigan men's tennis team
en* this season with one major goal
in mind - win the Big Ten title. This
accomplishment would be a fitting end
to the careers of four seniors who've
never experienced a championship sea-
son at Michigan. Senior co-captain
Brad McFarlane firmly declared his
expectations for this year's squad.
"Along with being the most talented
team that I've playedon, this year's
clu has the best chemistry,"
M rlane said. "And we feel that we
can come out on top."
No. I singles player Matt Wright
echoed the feelings of his fellow
"It comes down to believing in your-
self and knowing that you can get the
job done," Wright said. "I'd love to go
out with a Big Ten title."
Wright feels as confident as ever,
and believes that he's performing up to
hi, tential after taking second at the
Bi en Singles Championships.
"I'm playing well right now, and
hopefully, I can continue to win for the
team throughout the season," he said.
McFarlane plays doubles along with
fellow co-captain and roommate John

"John and I have a great time out on
the court, and I think that helps us play
better," Long said. "We both have the
right attitude which is important for a
doubles team."
The Wolverines began the 2000
dual-meet campaign with a convincing
6-1 victory over non-conference oppo-
nent Western Michigan. First-year
coach Mark Mees was pleased with his
team's performance.
"Despite starting a little slow in the
beginning our guys settled down nicely
and began playing some great tennis;'
Mees said.
- Next up for the team is regional
opponent DePaul, who'll invade Ann
Arbor on Saturday for a I p.m. show-
down at the Varsity Tennis Center.
Although Michigan has enough
seniors to provide much of the leader-
ship, this year's squad is relatively
young with three sophomores and three
new freshmen.
Each of the sophomores earned var-
sity letters a year ago and were an inte-
gral part- of the team's success. Ben
Cox, Henry Beam, and Danny McCain
all began their second years with con-
vincing straight-set victories over
Western Michigan. Cox added a dou-
bles win with senior Ron Nano to com-
plete the triumph.

On Saturday at Canham Natatorium, the
Hoosiers will revisit their glory days,
days that saw them win 20 consecutive
Big Ten titles, when they swim against
Michigan, the new dynasty on the block.
From 1961 to 1980, Indiana ruled the
Big Ten and often the nation.
Immediately after the Hoosiers' run,
however, Michigan returned to the top of
the conference, dominating the last two
decades to the tune of 10 straight confer-
ence titles from 1986-95 and an NCAA
title in 1995.
But over that time, Indiana has been a
thorn in the Wolverines' sides. Michigan
has only lost three Big Ten dual meets

Wolverines, who lead the all-time series
"They kicked us while we were down;"
Michigan coach Jon Urbanchek said.
This year, however, Michigan has seen
the dreaded seasonal flu come and go
with minimal impact, and the Wolverines
have a clean bill of health going into the
final month of the season.
"We killed the flu bug," Urbanchek
said of the virus that had kept several
Wolverines out of practice last week.
Even at full strength, Michigan still
has to contend with the red-hot Indiana
divers, who haven't lost an event all year.
"They may have the best divers in the

this week was named Big Ten diver of the
week for the fourth straight time.
"It is very tough to win both boards at
Michigan," Indiana diving coach Jeff
Huber said.
Back in the pool, the school that pro-
duced legendary Olympian Mark Spitz
figures to have its hands full with the
mighty Wolverines. Michigan is current-
ly ranked eighth in the nation, and does-
n't seem to be intimidated by the history
that Indiana brings with it. Even while
admitting that former Hoosier coach
James Counsilman's style has been imi-
tated by many current programs,
Urbanchek pointed out that Michigan has

Women's track going after in-state

of their own, as even Indiana will have to ..
be impressed by the number of banners ->
filling Canham Natatorium. Michigan .
has won II NCAA titles, tied for the the
most ever, and leads the conference in
Big Ten titles. And, as Urbanchek is
quick to bring up, the Wolverines are
constantly looking to improve on those
"Indiana is trying to get back to the
top," Urbanchek said. "We'll have to keep
repressing them."
This weekend's meet will have two
sessions and cover every NCAA event.
The first session begins at 10 am, with
the nightcap following at 5 pm.
ijust to competing on another school's '
having to stay overnight.
:s ago at Indiana, our younger runners
nervous because it was a new experi-
said. "The overnight stay can be very
ng until you become accustomed to
he dual meet at Indiana, the competition
g to knock off Michigan from an under-
he Michigan schools are small and defi-
t have the name recognition that the S
Michigan boasts," Bentley said. "When
gainst them, they are gunning for us."
ionships at the end of the season are the
But for one weekend, the Wolverines
ething else on their minds. :

Matthew Barbas
Daily Sports Writer
For the Michigan women's track team, the season is
a long climb towards the final race. While the athletes
compete to win at every meet, Michigan coach James
Henry stresses the final goal.
"I told the team that our top priorities are to improve
and to stay healthy," Henry explained. "Our final pri-
ority is to win."
But this weekend at the Michigan Intercollegiate in
East Lansing, the Wolverines might have different pri-
orities. In a meet featuring Michigan State, Eastern
Michigan, Central Michigan, Western Michigan and
Detroit, this competition is for more than personal
bests. This meet is for bragging rights.
"I am going to tell my teammates that this is for state
bragging rights," senior captain Brandi Bentley

emphasized. "And that we must show these other
schools what it means to be a Michigan athlete."
Unlike his athletes, Henry is downplaying the
importance of the rivalry. He is treating this week just
like any other week. The team is still emphasizing
endurance and power work and will not focus on tech-
nique until next month.
"We have had a week of intense training," senior
captain Erica Murdock said. "But that will not keep us
from having a solid week with many outstanding per-
The Wolverines are aiming to win this intrastate
competition for the third time in a row. At last year's
meet, Michigan got off to a slow start, falling behind to
Central Michigan. But in the end, the Wolverines tri-
umphed convincingly.
Henry likes this meet because it allows the younger

runners to ad
track without1
"Two week
were a littlet
ence," Henry
the wait.
Similar to t
will be lookin
dog role.
"Most of th
nitely do not
University ofl
we compete a,
The champ
ultimate goal.
will have som

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