The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - February 7, 2000-- 7
After two weekend tests,
gymnasts go pass - fail
By Rohit Bhave
Daily Sports Writer
This weekend, according to
Michigan coach Kurt Golder, was a
preview of NCAA Championship-
le gymnastics. The top-ranked
Schigan men's gymnastics team
faced the second and third-ranked
teams on consecutive nights.
Golder has emphasized consisten-
cy and resilience to his gymnasts,
maintaining that, at the Big Ten
Championships, NCAA Championships
and the Olympic Trials, each would
have to perform his best on every
Following their sound defeat of
2 Penn State and Minnesota at
Fff Keen Arena Friday night, the
Wolverines hopped on a bus to
Columbus to face No. 3 Ohio State
in newly renovated St. John Arena.
Before the meet, many Michigan
gymnasts were excited to go to
Columbus and face the Buckeyes.
Sophomore Scott Vetere said he was
pumped because it was his first trip
"No one has beaten them at home
in five years," Vetere said.,
His virtuoso performances on the
parallel bars, rings and pommel
horse were not enough to help
Michigan defeat the red-hot
Buckeyes, as they edged the
Wolverines by .05, 229.95 to 229.9.
Vetere was unable to help Michigan
on vault and on floor exercise as a
result of a back injury.
In effect, the Wolverines' fortunes
in Columbus were a reversal of their
fortunes at Cliff Keen this past
Against Penn State, Michigan
responded to an early deficit by roar-
ing through its last four events, even-
tually posting an NCAA season
record 230.55 point total. Saturday.
night, the Wolverines raced out to a
two point lead after their first four
rotations, only to blow the meet with
a very poor performance on the
Michigan could only wait as the
Ruckeyes finished the meet with
their strongest event, the high bar.
Jamie Natalie eventually crushed the
Wolverines with his score'of 9:9 on
the final routine of the night.
Although disappointed with the
loss to the Buckeyes, Golder took a
positive spin on the defeat. He point-
ed out that the Wolverines' real goal
was the NCAA Championships, and
that this defeat should only motivate
them further towards reaching their
team and individual goals.
"This defeat is only going to add
fuel to the fire,"junior captain Justin
Several Michigan gymnasts
rose to the occasion against'
No. 2 Penn State and No. 3
Ohio State this weekend.;
Some outstanding performers:
9.95 - Pommel Horse at
" 9.925 -Parallel Bars at Ohio
9.85 - Rings vs. Penn State,
9.8 - Pommel Horse vs. Penn
9.9 - Rings at Ohio State
9.85 - Floor Exercise vs.
Penn State, Minnesota
9.8 - High Bar vs. Penn
9.85 - Rings vs. Penn State,
By Rohit Bhave
Daily Sports Writer
On Saturday, in a No. I versus No. 3
showdown determined by the closest of
margins, Ohio State's Jamie Natalie
stuck a dagger into the the Michigan
men's gymnastics team with a score of
9.9 in the meet's final routine, allowing
Ohio State to edge the Wolverines,
Coming off a resounding tri-meet
thumping of Minnesota and No. 2 Penn
State the previous night, the Wolverines
looked to roll out of Columbus as the
first team to defeat the Buckeyes at
home in five years. They nearly did.
Impressive event scores of 39.0 on
still rings, 38.675 on the pommel horse,
and 38.75 on the parallel bars were not
enough for Michigan. The Buckeyes
exploited their large advantage on the
vault and the high bar to overcome sev-
eral of the Wolverines' excellent individ-
Michigan received valiant efforts
from sophomore Scott Vetere and junior
captain Justin Toman. Vetere fired up a
9.95 on the pommel horse and a 9.925
on parallel bars while Toman performed
a 9.9 routine on the rings in his first all-
around meet of the season.
Coming into the last rotation, the
Wolverines led the Buckeyes by .075,
and were soundly beating Illinois, the
other participant in the tri-meet.
Michigan posted a competitive 38.75 on
the parallel bars, Michigan's strength
coming into the meet. Needing to score
a tough 9.85 just to tie, Natalie, ranked
'M' loses by closest of margins
second in the nation on high bar with a
season high of 9.925, hit a 9.9 routine.
Toman cited the Wolverines' abysmal
performance on the vault as the major
reason for their downfall, as Michigan
limped to a score of 37.025 on the event.
"We pretty much gave the meet away
on vault," Toman said
The night before in Ann Arbor,
Michigan defeated No. 2 Penn State and
Minnesota in a home tri-meet. The
Wolverines set a season-high in points
with a 230.55, defeating Penn State's
227.3 and Minnesota's 223.425. This
despite having only one gymnast, Toman,
individually win an event. Friday, the
Wolverines used their depth to wear out
the highly touted Nittany Lions.
After trailing Penn State after its first
two rotations, Coach Kurt Golder's team
turned on its championship form.
Following a scintillating 39.0 event score
on the rings, Michigan wrestled com-
mand of the meet from the Lions, trump-
ing their 227.3 meet score, as well as
"After the first two events, we decided
amongst ourselves that we needed to
pick things up," senior Tim Dehr said.
Sophomore Bred Kenna rebounded
from early-season struggles to score a
9.85 on still rings, tying te.ammate Scott
Vetere's mark on the event. Admittedly
over-anxious earlier in the season to
overcome his nagging injuries, Kenna
finally settled down to record his 4 itst
performance of the season.
Toman put up his best effort of the
year on vault, hitting a 9.7 using his
unconventional new routine. This came
in addition to his 9.85 score on the floor
exercise. But Toman, was dismayed at
his performance on the pommel horse,
as were the rest of his teammates.
Michigan put up a disappointing 37.85
as Toman, Dehr, and freshman Jamie
Hertza all fell from the horse. 4
Despite the hole they dug for them-
selves on the horse, Michigan upped its
intensity in the meet's last four event.
As Michigan's tumblers turned up the
dial, the Nittany Lions, boisterous and
enthusiastic in the beginning of the meet,
faltered mightily. They failed to top 38.0
in their last four events
In summing the meet, coach :Kurt
Golder expressed his satisfaction with
the score of 230.55, despite several
uncharacteristically low scores.
"Things are going along with the plan,
as we are hitting a little bit of a peak rigit
now," Golder said.
Although the Wolverines lost to Ohio
State Saturday night, they should retain
their No. I ranking for the third consec-
utive week, as a result of Friday's score.
at Santa Barbara
at Michigan State
Big Ten .
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