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November 01, 1999 - Image 15

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-11-01

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The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - November 1, 1999 - 78

Wisconsin dominates Big Ten meet

By David Horn
Daily Sports Writer
STATE COLLEGE - Wisconsin's
women would have surprised a lot of
people if it hadn't won the Big Ten
Cross Country Championship this past
Saturday. As it happened, the Badgers
surprised nobody, except perhaps by the
dominance they showed over the rest of
the field.
The fifth-ranked Badgers won the
meet with a 35-point showing, claiming
the first, second, third, ninth and 10th
individual spots.
Michigan, Minnesota and Michigan
State placed second, third and fourth
respectively, but none were within reach
of an undermatched Wisconsin squad.
Sophomore Erica Palmer won the race
with a personal-best time of 16:46:93.
She was followed immediately by team-
mates Erin Auferheide and Bethany
Brewster.
"I feel really well," Palmer said. " 1
__-I a~t~n+n.-__ t,., t,..+t,:t ".+ '

for the first mile and I didn't do that. I
just got really nervous and took off."
Palmer established herself early and
never looked back. With a first-mile split
time of 5:07 that shocked the State
College crowd, the top runner impressed
her team, her competitors and her par-
ents, who saw her race for the first time
since junior high school.
"Erica looks like she'll be a contender
nationally," Michigan coach Mike
McGuire said. "She looked today like
(last year's national champion, former
Michigan runner) Katie McGregor did
last year. If you run 16:46 on this course,
you're really moving"
By the second mile, things started to
come into focus. Palmer, Aufderheide,
and Brewster were runing first, second,
and third, respectively.
Minnesota's Rasa Michniovaite was in
fourth, 21 seconds behind Palmer, and
did not relinquish the spot. Michigan's
top runner Lisa Ouellet was running

Durocher and Indiana's Amanda Bell to
move ahead of her.
"I could have run better," Ouellet said.
"I can knock off Wisconsin's two or
three. At least at regionals I want to be
right there with them. We ran with a lot
of heart and courage today. By beating
Michigan State and Minnesota we did
ourselves a lot of good"
Michigan entered the weekend
unranked, and managed to upset
Minnesota and Michigan State, ranked
17th and 18th nationally. A 12th-place
finish by junior Katie Clifford and a
14th-place finish by senior Elizabeth
Kampfe helped the Wolverines edge out
Minnesota by three points.
"We thought that Michigan State was
going to be our battle," Minnesota coach
Gary Wilson said.
"We looked past Michigan and I said
to the kids that you just can't count out
Michigan. They've just got too much tal-
ent there. They came out and performed
' a . - A A .., L . - _

Second a
pleasant
surprise
for 'M'
WOMEN
Continued from Page 18
"Today, everyone just had their
heads on straight, and the great
thing is that we're only going to
get better."
While acknowledging the domi-
nance of the Badgers in general
and Palmer in particular, McGuire
was nevertheless very pleased with
his team's performance and sound-
ed optimistic about the rest of
Michigan's season.
"Wisconsin is the fifth-ranked
team, and they showed why today,"L
McGuire said. "Palmer is just a-
tough runner and a real talent. If
they can keep that team together,.
they're going to be very good.
"As far as we're concerned, this
was the biggest meet on our sched-
ule, and we were able to handle
ranked teams like Minnesota and.
Michigan State. We've got two
weeks until our next meet (NCAA'
regionals). We just have to use thit
result as a springboard into the rest
of our season."
615 E. Liberty off State
M-F 8:30-5:20 Sat til 4:20

JESSICA JOHNSON/Daiy Could do better on that last hill, but I'm fifth but aded in the final mile, as she today, and thats the sign of a true
No. 5 Wisconsin dominated the competition at the Big Ten Championships this pleased. The plan was to stay as a team allowed Michigan State's Cynthia pion."
weekend. The Badgers had five runners place In the top 10.
Big Ten meet just the beginning of rvalry for Michigan

wchai-

Jon Schwartz
y Sports Writer
STATE COLLEGE - At Saturday's
Big Ten Championships, cross-country
tems and fans spanning across the con-
fRgene were in attendance.
.Unfortunately, no one told the other.
eight teams that it was actually the
Michigan-Wisconsin meet - rather,
war. In truth, though, Saturday's meet
wS -only round one of the battle.
toime might call it cockiness, others
glism, but the teams' coaches, Ron
'arhurst of Michigan and Jerry
Schumacher of Wisconsn, feel that this
past meet and the ones to i Ilow are sole-
ly. for the purpose of pitting he two lead-
SECOND
Continued from Page 1B
the sophomore's first time in his career
4at e finished in Michigan's top ."ive.
"(Tnom) must have passed 10 to 12
guys, in the last half-mile," Warhurst
said. "Usually, guys can't do that."
Downin expressed his frustration at
seeing what seemed to be an insur-
mountable lead turn into a race whose
result was not immediately known.
"We thought we had this thing won,"
he said. "We thought we were the better
team."
Schumacher reacted similarly, feeling
*t after watching his two men cross the
finish line first, he could never have
expected how close it turned out to be.
"I think our guys did a heck of a job
rqponding to this." he said. "We're verv

ers of the Big Ten against each other.
"No one else can touch us," Warhurst
said. "It's going to be us and Wisconsin
again next time."
The Badgers and the Wolverines have
a mutual respect. The two teams have
been at the top of the Big Ten conference
and the Great Lakes region for the better
part of this past decade. And they are
both well aware of the challenges posed
by their opposing competitors.
"Michigan's a great team," said Matt
Downin, Wisconsin senior and individ-
ual champion at the meet. "Every year,
it's us and them. They always come and
they always race hard."
Little was expected of Michigan at the
excited about the outcome of this."
Despite the second-place finish, the
same was true of the Michigan runners.
"They're the fifth-best team in the
country, and I think we proved that we're
equal to them," Lawrence said. "The
only real difference is that we don't get
the championship, we don't get the ring.
Two points, that's such a small margin.
It's no big deal."
For the Badgers, trouble came at the
end when junior Jason Vanderhoof went
down with an injury after crossing the
finish line. While details were not avail-
able, it is unknown whether he will be
available for their upcoming meets.
Next up for Michigan is the NCAA
Great Lakes Regional in Terre Haute,
Indiana on Nov. 13, where they will
again face off against the Badgers as
well as the rest of the region.

start of the season, in comparison to
Wisconsin, who was returning their
entire starting seven from last season.
Michigan showed its abilities in the
regular season, but it all came down to
whether Michigan could compete with
Wisconsin in this meet.
It came down to two miniscule points.
"We ran better than we did last year,
comparatively," Michigan sophomore
Tom Caughlan said, "with guys that
weren't supposed to be half as good."
The championship meet came down to
the wire. To those involved, it was a care-
fully planned battle waged by Warhurst to
prove his runners' true abilities.
"He's a 'Nam vet," Caughlan jokingly

said. "I think that plays into his mindset."
Caughlan's explanation has a glimmer
of truth. Everyone around him, including
Warhurst, smiled and nodded in agree-
ment when Schumacher first attempted
to describe the race.
"It was war," he said. "That was
great."
From there, Warhurst was thankful
that he will never have to worry about
seeing Downin again.
"Congratulations," Warhurst told the
Wisconsin star. "I'm glad you're out of
here, but that was great."
All three men were trying to get them-
selves ready to face each other again in
two weeks at the NCAA Great Lakes

Regional meet. Both teams will stop at
nothing to point out that the relationship
between the two teams is quite good.
"Every single one of them, including
Coach Warhurst, are great guys,"
Schumacher said. "It's very serious, and
afterwards, we sit back and relax"
"They're good guys," Michigan's
Steve Lawrence said. "We still know that
they're our arch-rivals, though."
Only the top two teams at the region-
al meets qualify for the nationals, but
Warhurst and Schumacher seem to have
little doubt that by the time that the
NCAA Championships in Bloomington
come around, they could be facing a
decisive round three.

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