The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, April '1, 2000 - 11
player to reach
400 home runs
DENVER (AP) - Ken Griffey Jr.
became the youngest player to hit
0400 major league home runs, con-
day in the fourth
C i nci nn a ti's
Griffey sent a
2-0 pitch from
Rolando Arrojo Griffeyj
into the left-
*field seats, a 378-foot blow.
It was his second homer of the
season and second in as many days.
He was cheered by the Coors
Field crowd and hugged by team-
mates in the dugout.
At 30 years, 141 days, Griffey
beat the previous mark, set by
Jimmie Foxx, who was 30 years;
248 days old.
Griffey's historic homer came on
the 50th birthday of his father, Ken
Griffey Sr. It was the fourth time he
has homered on his father's birth-
By Sarah Ensor and Richard Haddad N Daily Sports Writers
W L PCT GB
4 2.667 -
4 3.571 .5
4 3 .571 .5
3 4 429 1.5
1 5.167 3
W L PCT GB
5 1 .833 -
3 3,500 2
3 4 .429 2.5
2 4.333 3
2 5 .286 3.5
W L PCT
4 2 .667
HOME AWAY SK
0-0 4-2 Won 3
0.0 4-3 Lost1
2-1 2-2 Lost 1
2-2 1-2 Won 1.
0-0 1-5 Lost 5
HOME AWAY STK
5-1 0-0 Won 5
00 3.3 Lost 1
2-2 1-2 Lost 1
0.O 24 Wont1
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HOME AWAY STm
4-2 0-0 Won 1
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HOME AWAY STK
5-1 0-0 Won 2
00 33 Lost 2
1-2 2-1 Lost 1
3.3 0-0 Won 2
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01 2-5 Lost 2
HOME AWAY Sm2
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24 1-0 Lost i
00 2-4 Woni
t is often said that every journey
must begin with a single step. For
Michigan senior gymnast Sarah
Cain, it may be the final step that is the
After devoting her life to gymnastics
for the past 15 years, Cain is staring at
the final meet of her illustrious career.
In this case, that competition represents
a culmination of a career's worth of hard
work. In Boise this weekend, Cain and
the rest of the No. I Michigan women's
gymnastics team will compete for the
prize towards which their entire season
has been geared - the NCAA
Championship. With the championship
in the balance, Cain's career comes to a
close under the most desirable of cir-
A PROMISING BEGINNING
Cain's outstanding career had a rather
unremarkable start. Her mother enrolled
her in gymnastics classes at the age of
seven because several of her friends had
signed up. But such a bright talent soon
made herself known nationwide.
World-famous gymnastics guru Bela
Karolyi, coach of Olympic legends
Mary Lou Retton and Nadia Comaneci,
invited young Cain to move to Houston
to train to follow in his pupils' Olympic
"When Bela and all those people had
attempted to recruit her to move away
from home to train to be an Olympian,
she stayed at home in Grand Island and
trained in a small club, with a good
coach, but a relatively low-profile
coach," Michigan coach Bev Plocki
said. "She stayed home because her val-
ues were more broad than just the desire
to make the Olympic team."
Even in a small club in Grand Island,
Neb., Cain came close to realizing those
lofty aspirations. She was named a U.S.
National Team alternate member in both
1994 and 1995. But those near-misses
are no source of regret.
"I wasn't interested (in Karolvi's
offer)," Cain said. "I never even spoke
to him. I was pleased with what my
coach was doing for me, and how I was
"Granted, I missed the national team
a couple of years by a little bit, but I
don't think I would be here today if I
had ventured out and trained with him. I
don't regret that in any way."
Cain's decision to remain at home is a
testament to her strong family values.
Those values gave Nebraska a reason to
believe that its local star gymnast would
choose to be a Cornhusker.
"Nebraska really thought they had a
lock on her," Plocki said. "Sarah is a
very family-oriented person, and she is
a well-balanced individual today
because of those values. That's what
made Nebraska feel that they had a lock
"Thankfully for us, Sarah and her
parents were very interested in the best-
quality education she could get, in the
best-quality gymnastics environment
she could get, and we lappened to be
the best combination of those things"
To the Huskers' chagrin, Cain fell in
love with the school whose record
books she would eventually rewrite.
"I took four trips," Cain said. "Here,
Stanford, Utah and Nebraska. Michigan
was my first visit, and I Ibved it. I liked
the team, the coaches and the school,
and the academics were great, so it was
the complete package."
The fruits of Cain's decision were
reaped as soon as she stopped into the
gym in 1996.
"She came in as a freskman and was
a superstar, and it hasn't ever stopped,"
fellow senior Kate Nellans said.
Cain's performances affirmed the
libel placed on her shoulders from day
one. Co-recipient of the team's Most
Valuable Player award, she was the third
gymnast in Big Ten history to receive
both the conference's Freshman of the
Year and Gymnast of the star awards in
the same season.
The rest of Cain's career has included
more of the same, and such feats have
aTorded her the opportunity to enter the
NCAA Championships as the nation's
top-ranked all-around gymnast.
"Sarah is going to leave here as one
of the most decorated athletes in
Michigan history," Plocki said. "She has
made a lasting impression on our pro-
The Wolverines could capture the
first women's NCAA Chanpionship in
Michigan history this Friday, and if they
do, that trophy will outshine all others
and provide a crowning achitvement on
a glorious career.
LEADING BY EXAM4P.E
Whether in a meet or at practice, the
voices of Karina Senior, Christine
Michaud and other gymnasts are always
audible echoing throughout the arena in
enthusiastic support of their teammates.
As one of three captains, Cain prefers to
take a more soft-spoken approach to her
"She does very much lead by exam-
ple," Plocki said. "Sarah is not a growler
or a screamer, but she goes out there and
works hard every day and expects her
teammates to work as hard as she does."
Cain's influence, however uanderstat-
ed, is not lost on her teammates: They
aspire to match both her work ethic and
competitiveness, using the level Cain
sets for herself as inspiration.
"She comes into the gym with a great
attiudc every day, and is really an
exanple for all of us," Nellais said.
"Even when she was a freshm* and a
sophomore, her work ethic was dnparal-
Wolverines are a relatively young team,
the legacy of Cain's leadership will live
on in Michigan gymnastics through
those she has affected.
"She is a wonderful teammate to
have," Big Ten Freshman of the Year
Janessa Grieco said. "She's helped me a
lot to get through understanding what
college gymnastics is like. Sarah's a
great role model to have."
The benefits of Cain's role have been
reciprocal, as her teammates have
helped her to grow as a leader and as a
"It's been very easy to be a leader the
past two years, and all the years I've
been here, because of all the support I
yet from my teammates," Cain said.
"I've really enjoyed the role, and I'll
miss it I'm sure, but it's been a very nice
It's difficult to reflect on a career still
in the making, but as each day passes,
Cain must confront the reality that a
stage of her life is nearing completion.
Gymnastics isn't the only aspect of
Cain's life that is coming to an end: As
graduation looms, her collegiate experi-
ence is winding down as well.
Fortunately, that experience could not
have gone any better.
"I've had a great four years here -
gymnastically, personally, socially and
academically," Cain said. Michigan
"has been the complete package. I've
really enjoyed my experience"
The most rewarding experience for
Cain has been the one that accompanies
being part of a team.
"The team atmosphere and the team
experience is what I enjoyed most about
college," Cain said. "That's helped me
to grow and become a better gymnast."
In Plocki's mind, the stability that
Cain brings to the team is more memo-
rable than all the honors she accumulat-
"She's really come through in a lot of
clutch situations," Plocki said. "It's not
the time when she wins the Big Ten
title" that stands out.
"A lot of times it's when somebody in
the lineup before her screwed up royal-
ly, and she comes out as the last com-
petitor and really nails one and brings it
home for the team. Those are every bit,
as rewarding and more rewarding than
the individual accolades."
Because of her contributions to the
team as well as the nature of her per-
sonality, Cain is universally admired by
all that come in contact with her. In her
final home meet at Crisler Arena last
month, one adoring fan held up a sign
expressing those sentiments. "Sarah
Cain, Will You Marry Me?" his poster-
board begged, an example of Cajn'sasta-
tus as a deserved fan favorite.
"Sarah is a quality person in and out
of the gym," Nellans said. "She puts her
heart into everything. I've lived with her
the past three years, and I admire her so
THE FINAL STEP -
As Cain prepares to take that final
step, one goal remains. To go out on top
is the dream of every athlete, but that
dream comes true only for a privileged
few. At the NCAA Championships,
Cain has the chance do just that,
"It would be incredible" to send Cain
off with a national championship,
Plocki said. "It would be incredible for
all the seniors. I think it's Michigan's
turn. I'm feeling like this is our year."
Even if the Wolverines return to Ann
Arbor without the National
Championship in hand, it will not
detract from the luster of Cain's career.
"I don't think it's really hit me yet-that
we're going to be done," Cain said. "It
feels good - it'll be nice to be done. I
look back and don't regret a thing that
I've done, don't wish that I had accom-
plished something else."
Senior captain Sarah Cain performs her balance beam routine. Cain closes out her career this weekend as she and the No. 1
Michigan women's gymnastics team compete at the NCAA National Championships in Boise, Idaho.
W L PCT GB
5 1 .833 -
3 3 .500 2
3 3 .500 2
3 3.500 2
2 4.333 3
2 6.250 4
W L PCT'
4 2 667
4 3 .571
2 4 .333
NMLWET W L PCT
Arizona 5 1 .833
San Diego 3 3.500
Los Angeles 3 3 .500
San francisco 3 4 .429
Colorado 2 4 .333
KAsksOn, 6.Minnesota 5
Toroo at Ai.G'8si. ATE
CieeaNd at OAKLnao, LATE
0-0 Won 2
33 Lost 2
3-3 Won 1
3-4 Lost 2
2-4 Lost 1
MtLwATmEE 4. Florda 3
C'c~Aio 4. Atanta 3
Caao 7. Cincinnati 5
Armmna 8. iA. DtF&o 4
NHLAocuKA 9. New Yorin 7
St. Louis 8. Hai~sTOI7
W L. PCT GB HOME AWAY
5026.658 - 31-7 19-19'
47 29.618 3 308 17-211
4432.579 6 26-11 18-21
39 37,513 11 25-14 14-23'
3146.403 19.5 22-17 9-29
30 46,395 20 22-14 &32L
28 48.368 22 17-21 11-27'
Sarah Cain's career highl hts '
W L PCT
GB HOME AWAY STm
M Runner-up on uneven bars at 1997 and 1999 NCAA
M Four first team All-America citations in all-around ar
bars in 1997, 1998 and 1999
All-Around tide at Big Ten Championships in 1997
NCAA Regional all-around Championship in 1999
Floor-exercise title at 1999 Big Ten Championships
M Big Ten Gymnast of the Year in 1997 and 2000
Region V Gymnast of the Year in 2000
NCAA Regional Championships in vault, floor exerci
® Big Ten Championship record-holder in All-Around
Big Ten Championships in all-around, vault, and floor
Current No. I Gymnast in NCAA in all-around and,,
on une ,cn
,une ^ 1
Xf xercise I (\X
W L PCT Of
52 24.684 -
49 28,636 3.5
47 29.618 5
35 41.461 17
31 46.403 21.
A-PACiFIC W L PCT GE
LA Lakers 64 13831 -
Portland 55 21.724 8.5
Phoenix 49 27.645 14.
Sacramento 43 33.566 20.
Seattle 42 34.553 21.
Golden State 18 59.234 46
LA Clippers 14 62.184 49.
BuAtOL. 99. Atlanta 94
f P!upi 96Mia80
Trcr.nc W1. C . e arl 103
MuL.-A L-KLI104. Otamic87
B HOME AWAY STK
- 29-9 23.15 Lost 1
5 28.9 21-19 Won 2
25-14 22-15 Won 3
18-19 17-22 Won 4
.5 23-15 831 Lost 1
.5 21-17 10-29 Won 3
1 12-28 9-27 Lost 2
B HOME AWAY $TK
33.5 31-8 Lost 1
29-10 261 Won 1
5 30-7 19-20 Won 1
5 29-9 14-24 Lost 2
5 23.16 19-18 Lost 2
11-27 7-32 Won 1
5 10-28 4-34 Lost 12
Mi..usor 102. Detroit 100
NM Yes 83. Inicana 81
Seattle at LA LIiis,. lAP
portlan at U:, rT
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Dr. Ellen Zimmermann
Assistant Professor of
For an informal discussion