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November 18, 1999 - Image 16

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-11-18

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16A - The Michigat Daily - Thursday, November 18, 1999
Wrestlers grapple with exhausting routine

By David Edelman
and Scott Waldman
For the Daily
Michigan wrestling coach Joe
McFarland, along with his wrestlers,
take practice very seriously, to the
extent that nothing changed when
observers drop by for a typical prac-
Even when onlookersstep through
the Michigan wrestling room's door,
the team just glances and then
returns to their training.
Clad in gray t-shirts and black
shorts, yesterday the Wolverines held
their first preseason practice since
their successful weekend at
Michigan State.
Dedication is everything to them,
and to get through practice, they'll
need that dedication.
The Wolverines consistently drill,
and practice doesn't get any easier as
it goes along. The team begins with a
series of stretches, then it moves on

to drills, where their partner gives no
resistance. Then the partner gets a
chance to put up a fight against the
opposing wrestler's drills.
As the squad practices single-leg
and double-leg takedowns in teams
of two, McFarland made his way
around the mat, critiquing the form
of his team.
Once he spots a flaw in perfor-
mance, he claps his hands and all
eyes focus on him. Attention instant-
ly leaves the drills and moves toward
the center of the mat.
He then proceeds to demonstrate a
specific technique to the Wolverines.
They have little time for rest. The
wrestlers listen intently, and then
they go back to work.
Finally, the Wolverines try to repli-
cate their skills in all-out matches,
two minutes at a time in length, with
just seconds to rest in between.
And seconds are often all the
wrestlers have to rest during a period

of a match.
It is this constant drilling that
McFarland hopes will pay off during
matches. The more a move is prac-
ticed, the more it is ingrained into
the wrestler.
To be successful in the sport, itsis
necessary for moves to be instanta-
neous. This formulaic approach will
try to bring the Wolverines success
this season.
Conditioning is another vital fac-
tor to Michigan's success, which is a
necessity due to the exhausting
nature of wrestling.
Wrestlers endure three periods,
when they throw everything they
have toward pinning their opponent.
The last period, especially, can often
determine the outcome of a match, as
a better conditioned wrestler can
gain a point-advantage or a pin over
his opponent.
"You're lucky if you ever see two
state champions in the same room in

high school, but here you have many
state champions and All-Americans,"
senior Frank Lodeserto said.
"Sloppiness sure won't cut it here:"
It is integral that a wrestler has
enough stamina throughout the
whole match to ensure victory. But
the Wolverines don't only condition
every afternoon - they wake up
early to practice when the sun rises.
Early morning workouts develop
the discipline to keep the team in top
shape. Lengthy runs uphill and
through traffic push the wrestlers,
while Michigan students travel to
class with their mochachinos.
Sometimes the Wolverines carry
each other on their backs and run up
The sport is often defined by con-
ditioning and as a result, practice can't
be taken lightly.
"The first thing that freshmen tell
me is that they can't believe how
hard we work," McFarland said.

Grueling practices day after day prepare the Michigan wrestling team for matche
like this one last season against Michigan State.

Louisiana State players try to pick up and
recover from loss of fired coach DiNardo


By Chuck Corder
'the Reveille (Louisiana State)
He is the only coach you've ever have
had in college. When he recruited you,
he promised Southeastern Conference
championships and bowl appearances.
What happens when all that changes?
As much as they might not admit it,
Louisiana State players have been
dreading Monday's news for the past
two months now.
"Things just weren't going well, it
was just one of those kinds of seasons,"
said defensive lineman Johnny Mitchell.
"Everybody's disappointed. I think we
just didn't put things together."
The team had the day off from practice,
but Mitchell and running back Rondell
Mealey were available for comment.
Mitchell, a senior defensive captain,
said playing under Gerry DiNardo was
rewarding because he prepared you, not
only for each game, but for life off the
"Most people don't understand him
[DiNardo], until they have finished

playing for him," he said. "He prepares
you for the real world and I appreciate
Mitchell said he was unaware of
Monday's news, before he saw televi-
sion trucks and reporters waiting next to
the Athletic Administration building and
realized something was up.
Athletic Director Joe Dean said the
day off was unfortunate for the team, but
did say assistant coaches visited with
players during the press conference to
make players aware of what was taking
At Monday's press conference
Chancellor Mark Emmert thanked
DiNardo for caring so much about each
player and said he felt for the difficulties
the team has had to go through this sea-
"They've worked very very hard and
put in enormous hours, but they haven't
been getting the success they want,"
Emmert said.
Mitchell said the Tigers have to
remain focused on the last game of the
year in two weeks against Arkansas,

despite the absence of DiNardo.
"Each individual has to play for
pride," he said. "It's like getting into a
fight you want to win."
Mealey, another senior captain, said
the way Louisiana State has played this
season has rattled him.
"It's disappointing when you're going
out there and giving it your all and
everybody's not going out there giving
100 percent." Mealey said. "And if one
or two guys do it, it shows and it's
embarrassing that we are not doing a
great job out there."
He said he was disappointed the cir-
cumstances could not have been differ-
ent and hoped DiNardo could get anoth-
er chance.
Mealey said he did not get the feeling
from other players that there was any
tension between them and DiNardo.
"Coach is a good coach and the only
thing to complain about is how hard he
is on us," he said. "He likes to work his
team hard to get us ready for the game."
Mealey said the Tigers had plenty of
opportunities to win games this year,"but

ended up with a loss because certait
plays were not made.
He said he has been riding the role
coaster with DiNardo, is the early year
of his success, to the past two season)
"It's been a rocky one. When you'r
winning everybody's behind you ant
when you start losing you're the wors
coach in the world:"
Emmert stressed for Tiger fans ev
where to stick by this team during thi
time of transition, and to continue t
support them as new faces look to brim
back 1995's magic.
"One of the elements in making thi
decision is to make sure we can pu
them [players] in a position to win an
be successful," he said.
Mealey said he wondered how must
of the decision was prompted by f#
opinions and the constant booing heart
at each game.
"It's hard to swallow right now,'
Mealey said. "It's not easy because I'v
been here so long with this coach ant
now he is gone"

Too many poor defeats this season cost Louisiana State coach Gerry DiNardo his
job, despite his reputation for being a players' coach.

Davenport requires
three sets to advance



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NEW YORK (AP) - Hampered by a
strained left hamstring and bedeviled at
first by her hard-hitting opponent, sec-
ond-seeded Lindsay Davenport pounded
out a 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 victory over Amelie
Mauresmo on Wednesday night to move
into the quarterfinals of the Chase
Davenport, who won her sixth title
of the year this past Sunday in
Philadelphia, had her upper left thigh
heavily taped to begin the match.
Mauresmo, who upset Davenport in
the semifinals of the Australian Open
in January, didn't help as she kept
Davenport on the run along the base-
line with her powerful, penetrating
ground strokes.
Twice during the match - once in

the first set, the other after the open-
ing game of the second - the WTA
Tour trainer attended to Davenport
during changeovers. Each time shy
just talked to Davenport, who saic
she was in pain but decided to forego
additional taping.
In the day's first match, Hale
Decugis became the first seeded
player to be ousted from the elite sea-
son-ending, 16-player field.
It was a battle of close friend:
Huber was maid of honor at Halaid-
Decugis' wedding. That made no dif-
ference when they faced each other
on the blue court.
Huber only needed 44 minutes to
grab a quarterfinal berth, where her
next opponent will be Davenport.9

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