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February 14, 2000 - Image 19

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2000-02-14

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The Michigan Daily - Monday, February 14, 2000- 9B

*Women's track hits
final straightaway

By David Edelman
1aiy Sports Writer
_ Expectations seem only to be on the
rise for Michigan's women's track and
field team as the squad attended the
prestigious Cannon Invitational in
Indiana on Friday and Saturday. The
competition, which marks the teams
second to last meet of the season
before the Big Ten Championships is
one of the most distinguished indoor
track and field meets in the country.
More than fifty schools travel anually
from across the nation to compete
*longside sponsored athletes from
Adidas, Reebok and Nike. An almost
Olympic atmosphere is invoked -
and this year's competition was no dif-
"This is by far the highest level of
competition that the team has been up
against," Michigan coach James
Henry said. "Not only is this the high-
est level of competition we have faced
iis season, it provides us with one of
"e best indications to the strength of
our team."
The select members of the team,
which included experienced senior
and freshmen athletes alike, placed
favorably against some of the best ath-
letes in the world.
"At a competition like this one there
are so many girls of the same caliber
ityour races," senior distance runner
Lisa Ouellet said. "With 13 girls in

my heat I was elbowed, and hit. You
had to fight for every inch of space."
The competition was just as fero-
cious for many freshmen.
"It's kind of intimidating running
against such strong athletes," said
freshman runner Carley Knazze, who
ran the 400-meter dash this weekend.
"Every time I run, I look for my time
to go down. Although I was a little
disappointed the competition is a
good indication of your skill."
It was this attitude that fueled
Michigan's success. One week before
the team proved their supremacy with-
in the Big Ten when Maria Brown and
Katie Ryan ran away with the fastest
times in the conference in the 200 and
5,000 meters for the season.
Now a week later other runners
have followed in their footsteps. At
the Cannon Classic, Katie Clifford's
time of 9:43.39 in the 3,000 meter run
currently ranks as the best time in the
Big Ten. Senior middle distance run-
ner Lisa Ouellet, who expressed that
she was originally hesitant about run-
ning the mile, had an extravagant per-
formance this weekend.
"The mile was really a nemesis for
me," said Oullet. "Although I was ner-
vous I felt really comfortable in the
race (Meyo Invitaional)."
Despite her fears, Ouellet's time
placed her fifth in the Big Ten for the
season. Her,aspirations to qualify for
the NCAA Championship were ful-

The next lap
Feb. 19 Silvetston Invitational,
Ann Arbor.
Feb. 26-27 Big Ten Chanmpionships,
Bloomington, tntd.
Mar. 3-4 Alex Wilson Invtational,
South Bend, lnd.
Mar. 10-11 NCAA Championships,
Fayetteville, Ark.
Feb. 19 Silverston Invitational,
Ann Arbor.
Feb, 26-27 Big Ten Championships,
Bloomington, Ind.
Mar. 4 lowa State Invitational,
Ames, Iowa..
Mar. 10-11 NCAA Championship
Fayetteville, Ark.
filled in Indiana.
Other solid performances came
from an array of athletes. Regine
Caruthers' time of 55.78 in the 400-
meter run currently ranks third in the
Big Ten Conference and Mary Akard's
performance in the 5,000 meters
places her fourth.
"We had another good weekend in
terms of performance, I was very
pleased," Henry said. "The team con-
tended well with the Big Ten schools
that were in attendance - Wisconsin,
Ohio State, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan
State all competed."
The Wolverines are psyched to hit
the final straightaway of their season.
"It comes down to heart, courage,
and how much you want it," Ouellet
said. "We have done everything it
takes to be where we are. We are
ready, we are definitely ready for

By Ron Garber
Daily Sports Writer
MT. PLEASANT - The banged up
Michigan men's track and field team
posted a disappointing fourth-place fin-
ish Saturday at the Michigan
Intercollegiate, but left encouraged for
the upcoming Big Ten Championships in
Indiana. While injuries and illness kept
the Wolverines from hanging with the
winners from Eastern Michigan, several
strong performances in the field events
and sprints kept the Wolverines close.
Those who could stay healthy per-
formed well, especially in the field
.events. Sophomore Brent Sheffer and
junior Charles DeWildt continued their
domination of the pole vault by finishing
first and second respectively while near-
ly clearing 17'5", which would have
qualified them for the NCAA
"They've been great," said Michigan
coach Ron Warhurst said. "I think
they're a little too concerned with quali-
fying though. I'd rather have them go I-
2 in the Big Tens.'
In the weight throw, Patrick Johansson
posted his best throw of the season and
finished second, while Nick Rogers fin-
ished seventh in the shot put.
Freshman Ryan Stevenson also
impressed, setting personal records in
each event of the heptathlon.
While these performances were some-
what anticipated, the Wolverines got an
unexpected shot in the arm from sopho-
more Oded Padan. In his first meet all
season because of injury, the triple,
jumper shockingly finished third with a

leap of 47'7 1/4". A tough competitor
who is never satisfied with his perfor-
mance, Padan was unusually giddy.
"It's very good to be back," Padan
beamed. "I really think I'll be able to
jump well at Big Ten's."
The unexpected points scored by
Padan were not enough though, as sever-
al Wolverines suffered setbacks on the
Senior Jay Cantin may be able to run
a sub 4-minute mile, but he has a hard
time keeping up with the children he
works with while studying to be a
teacher. He sprained an ankle in class
Friday and started poorly in the 800-
meter run.
Despite the injury, Cantin was able to
make up for his slow start and pass near-
ly the entire field in the race's final lap.
He finished second, and learned from
the experience.
"I really had a hard time getting out,"
Cantin said. "At least now I know that
I've got some kick!"
Juniors Mike Wisnieski and Josh
Sellers, also had rough days. Wisnieski,
suffering from a cold, struggled in the
mile and the 3000. Sellers withdrew
from the 400, pulling up lame with


Injuries, illness slow men's track

Steve Lawrence won the mile and
sophomore Jeremy Schneider and senior
Steve Moffat finished 1-2 in the 600. All
Schneider could think about was the Big
Ten meet.
"I have high hopes," he said. "I've
been running well and I feel like I'm as
good as anyone in the conference right
Sophomore sprinter Ike Okenwalthe
first athlete to come to Sellers' side4fter
his injury, put a disappointing ending to
a day on which he seemed snakebit.
Earlier in the day, after winning his
preliminary heat in the 60, Okenwa ran
through a seem in the mats set up to
allow the runners to stop.
Somehow he averted injury andcgme
back to win the 200 and take second in
the 60.
He was not so lucky in the 4x400.
With only one lap remaining in his heat,
Okenwa clutched his hamstring and col-
lapsed to the ground.
"I tried to change gears and it just
tightened up," Okenwa said. "I think it
looked worse than it was. It's just a little
sore tight now."
The diagnosis for Okenwa was just
cramps. He will be kept out of practice
for a few days and then will re-evaluate
his situation.

All was not

lost though, as senior


Padan own worst critic in return from injury

By David Mosse
Daily Sports Wrter
MT. PLEASANT - Atzbany!
The common hebrew expression
caning grumpy was playfully used by
Michigan track coach Ron Warhurst to
describe triple jump specialist Oded
Padan - an athlete who is notorious for
being his own harshest critic.
Yet the fact that Warhurst was direct-
ing any piece of commentary towards
Padan is reason to smile. Following a
two-month absence, the sophomore
made his return from injury on Saturday
night in Mount Pleasant at the Michigan
Last season, the native Israeli, created
a huge splash by scoring several victo-
ties in the triple and long jump cate-
.gories. At the Big Ten Championships,
Padan, like many of his teammates, was
a victim of inexperience and performed
well below his best form.
This season Padan figured to be a cat-
alyst on a Michigan team that was

expected to challenge for the Big Ten
crown. With the arrival of a new field
events coach, Rick Deligny, the stage
was set for a breakout season.
But in November. while prepping for
the indoor track season, Padan made the
mistake of training too hard.
"I tried to take my training to the next
level," Padan said. "I tried to be dynam-
Padan committed a no-no by training
on his jumps, a very physically demand-
ing form of training which can place
great pressure on the leg. It was too
much pressure for Padan, who suffered a
stress fracture on his upper fibula.
The injury meant Padan was relegated
to spectator status for the first five meets
of the season - an extremely difficult
position for a man who loves to com-
"It's tough sitting out and watching
the other guys," Padan said. "I missed
being out there."
The frustration served as a motivating
force for Padan, who was furiously reha-

bilitated for the past two months in
hopes of making it back for the final
stretch of the indoor season. Padan, like
many other field event specialists, has
benefitted greatly from Deligny, who
has instituted a more rigourous training
"We do a lot more running than they
did last year," Deligny said. "It's impor-
tant for all the athletes, not just the run-
ners, to be in good shape and well con-
Saturday in Mount Pleasant, all the
work paid off as Padan made his return
to the Michigan line-up. The results
might seem unimpressive - he placed
third in the triple jump and 10th in the
long jump.
But for now, all that matters is Padan
is a part of the team again.
"This was the first time I jumped in
the last two months, Padan said. "I did-
n't want to risk getting hurt again."
Padan, who led the triple jump for
much of the competition, blamed his
poor finish on a lack of fitness.

Following his final jump, he claimed he
had trouble concentrating. His criticism
of his own performance only served
greater notice that Padan was back.
"iHe's never happy," Warhurst said.
"Oded always seems to be complaining
about something,"
As for the remainder of the season,
both Padan himself and Warhurst still
believe he can be a valuable contributor
to the Wolverines' cause.
"I think I can score in the Big Ten,;
Padan said. "It's just a matter of keeping
up the hard work."
Deligny went a step further, feeling
Padan is still capable of achieving the
ultimate prize, a berth in the NCAA
"All it takes is one good jump,"
Deligny said. "I still think he has that in

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