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September 20, 1999 - Image 17

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The Michigan Daily, 1999-09-20

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The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - September 20, 1999 - 78

Blue harriers 'Spike' weekend
invitational in Happy Valley

Michigan third at State College
But runners confident that training will bring late-season edge

ByArun Gopal
Daily Sports Writer
Prior to its trip to State College, the
Michigan women's cross country
team had a mission - to become
familiar with the course which will
host the Big Ten Championships later
this fall.
This weekend the Wolverines
dominated the field in the Spiked
Shoe Invitational and familiarized
themselves with its twists and turns,
breezing to first place with a score of
30 points.
In contrast, second-place Bucknell
tallied 67 points, with host Penn State
finishing a distant third with I Il
Michigan was again paced by
junior standout Lisa Ouellet, who
finished second overall with a time of
17:43. Senior Elizabeth Kampfe
came in fourth in 18:12, followed by
junior Katy Radkewich in fifth place
at 18:19.
"Our first race this year (against
Michigan State) we were a bit con-
servative, but this time out we had a
good front-runner so our times were
better," Michigan coach Mike
McGuire said. "Overall, it was a
good performance."
According to McGuire, the
Wolverines went to State College
with a "checklist of things to do".
One of the items on the list was to
familiarize themselves with Penn
State's course where the Big Ten
Championships will be staged in
"The girls were able to get a bit of
a feel for (the course)," McGuire
said. "They didn't think it was that
tough during warm-ups, but I think
that they had more respect for it after
running in the meet. They've made
some subtle upgrades, and it's a pret-
ty difficult course."
In lieu of a dominating lead runner
such as Katie McGregor, the
Wolverines also wanted to work on
running closer together because the
pack time is imperative in cross
country. McGuire said he felt the
team succeeded in achieving this
"We wanted to keep a closer pack
going in, and (Saturday) we had a 33
second gap between our first and
fifth runners, which isn't bad,"
McGuire said. "I think we're capable
of doing 20-25 seconds from runners
one to seven."
This year, with a large crop of
freshmen, Michigan will be looking
for stellar performances from its
group of upperclassmen. This week-

By Ryan C. Moloney
Daily Sports Writer
A third-place finish in Saturday's
Spiked Shoe Invitational in State
College might seem like a bit of a let-
down for the Michigan men's cross
country team - especially in light of
the impressive first-place showing by
the women's team.
But when the team scores were
announced, James Madison the win-
ner with 46 points, Georgetown sec-
ond with 50 and Michigan third with
62, the mood was neither somber or
jovial. Just another day at the office.
"We were kind of indifferent," co-
captain Steve Lawrence said. "We
knew that three teams were about the
same going in and we gave it a good
James Madison? No offense to the
mighty Dukes but Michigan has been
a top 10 team for the better part of the
Make no mistake, Michigan wanted
to win the meet - but third will do
for now. The reason? The Wolverines
are in the bulk of their mileage sched-
ule right now and should improve as
the season wears on
"We will beat those teams by the
end of the season," Lawrence said.
"We aim towards the end and it really
doesn't matter to us what we do
Junior Mike Wisniewski covered
the 5.2-mile course in 25:46.78 -
good enough for third place overall
and first on the team.
"We performed well for the first
time out," Wisniewski said.
Finishing second for the
Wolverines was Sophomore Mark
Pilja in 26:00.72, good for eighth
overall. Jay Cantin, Steve Lawrence
and Tom Coughlan rounded out the
top five.
Last year, neither Wisniewski or
Pilja ever finished with Cantin and
Lawrence with much regularity. The

finishes by Wisniewski and Pilja
marked the second time in as many
meets that the two have finished one-
two on the team - a fact Wisniewski
"Steve and Jay aren't anywhere
close to the fitness level they'll be at
in a month," he said. The pack
"should be a lot tighter after another
month of training."
Presently, the Wolverines are train-
ing at an exhausting clip of 100 miles
a week. When the season reaches its
stretch drive, a la the Big Ten, region-
al and NCAA championships, the
team will be down to 50-60 mile
Not to say Pilja and Wisniewski
didn't earn their positions Saturday.
Their emergence signals the end of an
era at Michigan.
In the last five years, one or two
superstars would snag the first two
finishes in a meet leaving little slack
for the rest of the team to worry
Nowadays, the Wolverines can ill
afford to let anybody wait in the
"Mark was a phenom in high
school," Lawrence said. "There's no
doubt in my mind that he will be a
superstar here before too long.
"Mike wasn't a star in high school
- he was a bit of a question mark last
year but he came on strong in the
Lawrence further added that
Wisniewski "had a good track season
and it's carrying over to now."
The key, as is always the case in
cross country, will lie with the fifth
man - the last varsity scorer. Tom
Caughlin captured the position
Saturday, but the spot, and the team's
performance over the season for that
matter, is still in question.
"There are about four guys who are
interchangeable at that spot,"
Lawrence said. "They all have pretty

cgchs Top 25
Preseason Top 25, as of Sept 14
(first place votes in parenthesis)
Team Pts. Prev.
1 Arkansas (10) 394 1
2 Stanford (5) 384 2
3 Colorado 339 3
4 N. C. State 338 8
5 Wisconsin (1) 335 6
6 Northern Arizona 289 7
7 Providence 279 10
8 Arizona 264 11
9 Oregon 242 5
10 James Madison 210 9
11 Michigan 190 4
12 Michigan State 174 12
13 Minnesota 157 24
14 Georgetown 142 19
15 Butler 140 16
16 Princeton 139 17
17 William & Mary 138 13
18 Alabama 136 -
19 Weber State 133 -
20 lona 132 23
21 Arizona State 113 -
22 Dartmouth 105 15
23 Oklahoma State 78 14
24 Tennessee 63 21t
25 Iowa 62 21t
Also receiving votes: Missouri 32,
Brigham Young 29, Washington State
29, Duke 23, Portland 18, Bucknell 17,
Washington 17, Montana 13, Notre
Dame 10, C. Michigan 7, South Florida
6, Southern Methodist 5, Colorado State
4, Miami (Ohio) 4, E. Michigan 3,
Farleigh Dickinson 2, Villanova 2,
Georgia 1, Navy 1, Ohio State 1.
good ability and we're fortunate to
have that"
And if all goes as planned, they will
only get better as the season goes on

Senior Elizabeth Kampfe, here in 1998 postseason action, finished fourth
overall in State College this past weekend.

end the Wolverines got them.
"Elizabeth Kampfe was much bet-
ter than she had been, and Katy
Radkewich was solid as usual,"
McGuire said. "Erin White had been
fighting an upset stomach, but she
ran through it. We also got another
competitive effort from Katie Ryan"
With the season just barely under-
way, the team is looking to make con-
sistent improvement from week to
As the year progresses towards the
conference and national champi-
onships, the Wolverines will have to
continually refine and upgrade their
performance to meet the challenges
that come their way.
"Jane Martineau had been fighting
an illness and didn't finish-the race,

so that was our one setback,"
McGuire said. "Other than that, we
had a good showing. There was some
form of improvement throughout the
team this weekend."
Although Ouellet led the way for
the second straight event, the rest of
the Wolverines' finishing order was
rearranged after the season's first
loss. The lack of a set pecking order
didn't bother McGuire.
"Our order changed a little bit, but
I'm not too concerned,' McGuire
said. "The most important thing for
us was to tighten up our pack, from
one to nine.
"We're stepping up in level of
toughness, starting next week at
Indiana, and the girls know that the
job's never totally done."

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