Tuesday, September 28 1999 - The Michigan Diy -13
High mileage promises big
results for men's harriers
Five Wolverines training upwards of 100 miles per week
Ryan C. Moloney
y Sports Writer
If you want to know how hard the
Michigan men's cross country team
has trained over the last two weeks,
look no further than one startling sta-
The distance from Ann Arbor to
South Bend, the sight of this
Saturday's Notre Dame Invitational,
is around two-hundred miles.
The distance covered in workouts
each of the top-five varsity
Wolverines in the past two weeks
leading up to the meet? Around 200
Why drive when you can run?
"We have five guys training
upwards of 100 miles a week,"
Michigan coach Ron Warhurst said.
"We haven't had that much mileage
in training for a long time."
Or at least not in the past five years
a period in which the Wolverines
were consistently ranked among the
This season Michigan returns only
two of its top five runners from last
Therefore, conventional wisdom
might point to less mileage on aver-
age for each runner on the team.
But Warhurst is determined to
queeze every last drop of potential
looks to rewrite'
its history thisf
Spartans have a
ecord of choking
out of the Wolverines, and 100-mile
weeks this early in the season is only
the first step.
"You can't go into every meet
ready," Warhurst said referring to the
Wolverines most recent finish -
fourth place at last weekend's Spiked
Shoe invitational. "Everybody likes
to beat Michigan, regardless of the
"We are pointing towards the end
of the season and that's why we've
got so many guys running high
Higher mileage is also building a
foundation for what many observers
didn't predict when the season started
- a stellar pack-running strategy.
"Nobody expected it," Warhurst
said, "but the way they're going we
could run four guys within 30 sec-
onds of each other."
Mike Wisniewski and Mark Pilja, a
previously unheralded duo, have
snatched the first two spots on the
team in the early going, a surprising
Senior co-captains Steve Lawrence
and Jay Cantin have started slowly in
comparison, but according to Cantin,
that's all part of the plan.
"It's just a matter of time before we
run with Pilja and Wisniewski,"
Cantin said. "We're just trying to
toughen up right now and get used to
Then there is the question of the
ever-crucial fifth runner who will
complete the varsity scoring.
There are four runners vying for
the spot - plenty of horses in the sta-
ble - but as of yet no individual has
Not this week, anyway.
"This early I'm not really con-
cerned about it," Lawrence said.
"We're lucky to have four guys who
can take care of that spot."
And while the position demands
just the fifth-best performance on the
team, it is possibly the most pressure-
packed job in the sport.
"I only need one out of the four,"
Warhurst said. "They understand the
amount of pressure involved with
being the fifth man, and at least one
needs to come through when it
But, as Warhurst points out, that
goes for everybody on the team.
"Cross country is a unique sport -
it takes everybody," Warhurst said.
"If you are the weak link in the chain,
you snap everybody. If you're off a
little bit, that's it - there are no quar-
ters in this, no timeouts."
And no rest for the Wolverines, at
least not right now.
country team has
recently - run-
ning nearly 100
miles a week.
JOANNA PIL at
EAST LANSING (AP) - Nic
wants to change history when1
takes on Iowa on Saturday. Especi
powerful Michigan waiting in th
And especially because the histc
"We're going to talk about one g
like last week," Saban said yester
weekly news conference. "We've o
en Iowa once in this decade, and w
beaten Iowa four times in the last
"We have a tremendous am
respect for the kind of toughness
kind of competitive spirit that lowe
players bring to the table. It's bee
lem for us and we need to addre
focus on it and get ready to pla3
From the history, Michigan Sta
played a very good game very oft
Saban had his figures right: Michi
has won only once against low
1990s - in 1993 - while los
State looks to rewrite
ck Saban And the 1980s are no better. Michigan (Illinois) proba
his team State had three wins while the Hawkeyes previous games
ally with triumphed six times and the teams tied mental errors p
e wings. once. lack of concenti
my is so The teams play again at 12:10 Saturday at ment."
Michigan State's homecoming. And the "We put ours
ame, just Spartans have the odds in their favor to with four turno
day at his improve on the record a little. tired in the fourt
rnly beat- Michigan State enters the game 4-0, 1-0 But while Sz
e've only in the Big Ten, and ranked 14th in the ment in the pa
20 years. nation. The Spartans are coming off a 27-10 words for the M
fount of win over Illinois. "We need to;
and the Iowa, meanwhile, is 1-2. It was idle last everybody on th
a football week, and its last outing was a 24-0 victory trying to gett
n a prob- over Northern Illinois. away a little bit
ss it and But Saban has been around long enough ning the ball be
y a good not to take any opponent for granted. "If we could1
"Iowa, I think, has a good football team," the year as eff
ite hasn't he said. "They have a young team that has point, and put t
en lately. improved a lot in the first three games." and big plays 1
gan State Nor is Saban completely satisfied with with the kind o
a in the his own team as the Big Ten season gets I think our offe
ing four into high gear. tently producti
"We had more mental errors in this game defend."
bly than we've had in the
s," he said. "And I think
robably come from a little
ration and-or a lack of judg-
elves behind the eight ball
vers ... I think we got a little
aban sees needed improve-
assing game, he has warm
ichigan State ground attack.
get everyone tied together,
he same page and everyone
his passing game squared
better because we are run-
tter," he said.
run the football the rest of
ectively as we have at this
ogether some of the passing
that we've had in the past,
f skill players that we have,
ense would be more- consis-
iye and more difficul to
cordially invites undergraduates to attend a presentation
on career opportunities in
Tuesday, September 28, 1999
University of Michigan