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April 10, 2000 - Image 17

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2000-04-10

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The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - April 10, 2000 - 7B

Women's split squads
struggle with elements

Divided and conquered
Without its heralded sprinters,
Michigan finished last out of five teams
at the Purdue Invitational. Here's the

Dark horses step up for 'M' track

By David Mosse
Daily Sports Writer

By David Edelman
Daily Sports Writer
When the Wolverines are divided, the
women's track team cannot stand. This
-oved true last week when Michigan
,ent its top sprinters to compete in the
prestigious Texas Relays, leaving the
rest of the Wolverines to fend for them-
This past Saturday at Purdue, the
remaining Wolverines competed in hor-
rendous conditions - a struggle in its
own. Not only did the partitioned team
face some of the fiercest competition in
the Big Ten, but Michigan faced some
of the harshest weather that nature could
,Ive thrown.
The end result: An overall exhausting
team performance with noble individual
finishes from an array of athletes at both
The battle of Purdue at the Rankin
Outdoor Track and Field Complex
seemed like more of a conflict between
man versus nature than man versus man.
"We faced temperatures of 10 and 12
degrees below zero, and winds of
redible speeds," coach James Henry

Although Michigan finished a disap-
pointing last out of the five teams at the
Purdue Invitational, Henry remained at
"Based on the circumstances of not
having our whole team present, and con-
sidering the horrible weather conditions,
the team got some good performances
at the meet," said Henry.
The Wolverines, who scored 129.5
points, finished behind first place Ball
State along with Central Michigan,
Penn State and Purdue.
But aside from Michigan's finish, the
invitational served more importantly as
a first-class practice towards the ulti-
mate goal -placing in the top three this
season at the Big Tens; a feat which the
Wolverines didn't accomplish at
"The meet was good practice for us,"
said Henry. "We got to compete against
the horse that dethroned us during the
indoor season."
Considering the team's struggles with
the weather, Michigan had an impres-
sive performance from freshman Rachel
,Sturtz, who took first place in the 800-
meter run with her season best time of

Ball State
Central Michigan
Penn State


"She's been a very gutsy and deter-
mined athlete," said Henry. "It seems
like she has been competing on the team
for more than a year. She is the epitome
of our freshman squad and is a leader of
this team."
Other stellar performances came
from Michigan's top athletes in the
southwest, competing in the Texas
Relays at Myers Stadium.
Enduring the elite competition,
Brandi Bentley ran a personal-best time
of 12.16 in the 100-meter dash and
placed fifth in the long jump with a leap
of 20' 2 1/2". The Wolverines also ran
away with the second-fastest mile in
Michigan history.
"We are still looking at the long run,
said Henry. "It's going to be a big
stretch, but we are motivated to place in
the top three this season."

The Michigan men's track and field
team received some strong perfor-
mances from unexpected places at the
Duke Invitational. Squaring off
against a highly competitive field, the
Wolverines gave a solid showing by
posting seven top-five finishes and
two individual victories.
With two of its key performers
sidelined (jumper Oded Padan and
distance runner John Mortimer) and
several others having disappointing
weekends, the meet might have
shaped up as a disaster, if not for the
success enjoyed by some not so her-
alded athletes.
Spearheading the charge was
sprinter Derrick Applewhite who is
off to a flying start in the outdoor
campaign. Applewhite notched his
second victory of the young season by
winning the 1 10-meter hurdles.
Not to be outdone, senior Steve
Molnar captured first place in the
100-meter dash and was runner-up in
the 200-meter dash, delivering a per-
sonal best (21.83). Sophomore Josh

Sellers capped off an impressive day
for the sprinters by placing second in
the 400-meter hurdles. Molnar's and
Sellers' strong showings were espe-
cially crucial as usual standout Ike
Okenwa was disqualified in the 100
meters for a fall start.
"Ike has been injured lately and
hasn't been able to compete at his
best," said Molnar. "It's important for
other guys to step up."
The Wolverines vaunted distance
team had a relatively quiet week. The
major highlight came courtesy of
sophomore Mike Wisniewski who
finished third in the 5000-meter run
with a personal best 14:10.78. All-
Americans Jay Cantin and Steve
Lawrence placed 13th and 26th
Sophomore middle distance runner
Jeremy Schneider took another crack
at breaking the 1:50 mark in the 800-

meter. Schneider has flirted with the
mark all season and Saturday was no
different. Schneider's time of 1:51 left
him disappointed but not discour-
"I know he can break that," coach
Ron Warhurst said. "If he keeps work-
ing hard it will happen one of these
Pacing the field events was junior
thrower Nick Rogers, who placed
fourth in the shot put with a mark of
53'7 3/4".
With the absence of Padan, sopho-
more Bob Arnold competed in the
high jump, finishing l11th.
The non-scoring meet afforded
Michigan another opportunity to
shake off the rust and prepare them-
selves for the more prestigious meets.
Next week the Wolverines sojourn
to Walnut, Calif. for the final non-
scoring meet of the season.

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