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October 30, 2000 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - October 30, 2000 - 38

'Madison course kind to

Wisconsin;
SECOND
Continued from Page 1B
"This is probably Erin's best race ever since she's
been here," McGuire said.
Other finishers for the Wolverines were junior
Katie Ryan, who came in 25th and Jane Martineau,
who placed 30th. "Martineau's race was okay, but
after that we had a drop-off," McGuire said.
The team title seemed within Michigan's grasp
going into the race, but those hopes were dashed
when Wisconsin placed four runners among the
top 10 finishers.
Jazwinski, who had been Michigan's best runner
this season, did not run as well as expected in the
'meet.
"Jazwinski was very much affected by the first
mile. In particular, it is common that in cross coun-
try running when you really get dropped abruptly
it's quite a shock to the system," Wisconsin coach

M'

second

DAVID
DEN HERDER

Peter Tegen said. "Mentally, you just have the ten-
dency to throw in the towel.".
The Wolverines might not have run their best
race, but they did manage to reach their overall
goal of finishing in the top two.
"I think we ran really great, as a group,"
Radkewich said. "It wasn't the finish we had
hoped for. But, we ran about as fit as we are - we
ran a good race, and we have two more important
races to go."
The course in Madison-was just five kilome-
ters in length. Most coaches in the Big Ten favor
the 5K race over the 6K. This is in part due to
the frequent injuries that are incurred over the
longer distance.
"It costs a lot of wear and tear, and it does not
promote, contrary to some coaches' beliefs, dis-
tance ability and distance training," Tegen said. "It
does not do anything for you other than beat you
into the ground:'

Blue on the

BRENDAN ODONNELL/Daily
Katy Radkewich led the Wolverines with her 11th-place finish. That lifted Michigan
into second place at the Big Ten championship in Madison yesterday.

'M' freshmen not up to Big task

By Shawn Kemp
Daily Sports Writer
MADISON - Racing in a high
school state cross country meet is noth-
ing like facing your fears at a Big Ten
cross country meet.
Michigan sent six freshmen out of its
nine runners to compete at the Big Ten
meet yesterday in Madison.
Junior Mark Pilja led the way for the
seventh-place Wolverines with a fourth-
place finish, but the freshmen came up
short for the rest of the team.
Michigan coach Ron Warhurst felt his
freshmen were overwhelmed in such an
important race as the Big Ten meet..
"They acted really cool and every-
thing, but I think they were scared,"
Warhurst said.
After blazing through the first mile of
his 8K race in 4:45, freshman Dave Sage
felt like "a little kid in a very big crowd."
"You're going out in 4:45 and still
being swallowed up by 50 guys," he said.
The freshmen stayed in the respective
positions they had claimed within the
first mile of the race.

Freshmen Tom Greenless and Mason
Ward led the post-Pilja pack, finishing
29th and 33rd, while Sage and junior
Nate Hoffman rounded out the scoring
for the Wolverines, finishing 51st and
53rd.
"We started out pretty far back and we
never really moved," Warhurst said.
"They were just running - they weren't
racing."
Although Warhurst expected his
freshmen to run the best race of their
seasons, the conference meet opened
their eyes to college competition.
Of all the adjustments the incoming
freshmen had to make, increases in
mileage and competition levels made the
adjustment harder.
"In high school I ran 30 miles per
week - now I'm running 65," Sage
said.
For Greenless, the challenge was the
increased talent pool.
"It was a whole new experience,"
Greenless said about Big Tens. "In the
(high school) state meet, you're up front.
This was a whole new world."
Ward said he felt young in the field of

quality runners.
"We're all starting to come back down
from our racing highs,"Ward said. "We
had two freshmen within the top 30,
which shows a good future, but we've
still got a long way to come.
Warhurst does have all of his varsity
runners returning next year, an advan-
tage over other leading schools in the
Big Ten. Wisconsin, the winner of yes-
terday's championship, will lose three of
its top five runners, and Penn State will
lose its top five.
However, the young Wolverines will
have to work to conquer their anxieties
about racing in large important meets
such as the Big Ten meet to improve to
an elite level.
"They didn't race very inspired
today," Warhurst said. "I mean, they
tried, but there was a lot of other people
out there trying, too."
The Wolverines have two weeks until
they make a bid for nationals in the
NCAA districts, Nov. l11 in Ypsilanti.
After their performance at Big Tens,
the Wolvennes will have to finish in the
top three to advance to nationals.

\.5
BRENDAN 0'DONNELL/Da iy
Freshmen Tom Greenless admittectthat running in the Big
Ten championships was somewhat intimidating for him.

Bayou? A case
to keep caring
ecognizing a perfect day takes about five seconds.
And it is the first five seconds, not the last, that arc
ell-tale.
Saturday in Ann Arbor was just such a day. The sky was
free of any blemish and the air was so clear it seemed for a
second like it wasn't there at all. The "M" flag atop the
Union was so perfectly visible walking up State Street that it
seemed almost fake - every shadow was perfectly sharp,
every angle perfectly lucid.
It was so real, it was almiost unreal.
Saturday was a perfect Autumn day. But that is not to say
that 75 degrees and sunny with a nice breeze and a Corona
doesn't also make a perfect day.
I think Americans mistakingly associate the word "peifect"
with exclusivity.
Growing up a sports fanatic certainly doesn't help. After
all, a dive only gets a "10" if it is perfect. And a perfect dive
only looks one way.
"Perfect" has been ground into the mentality that theres
one way to do something that is completely correct, and only
then is it perfect.
I have grown to disagree.
No, Michigan's 2000 season is not perfect.
Neither was it perfect in 1999. But that didn't keep perfect
days from occurring. In fact, it was just such a 75-and-sunny
New Year's Day (and cool, muggy night), that was one for the
books - for my books, anyway.
But enough. Why the melodrama? Saturday, probably for
the first time in your life, you resorted to jumping and
screaming for an Ohio State victory. (Even after buying that
bumper sticker that says "My favorite two teams are
Michigan and whoever's playing Ohio State!" How could
you!) The interception was exciting, wasn't it? Yelled at the
television, didn't you'? And every one was no doubt silent
when Purdue pulled it out.
Silent because Michigan's Rose Bowl hopes seemed all but
dashed. If the Boilermakers win out, they get the well-earned
trip to Pasadena.
And Michigan gets nothing. No national title game, no
roses ... nothing but a week somewhere in central Florida.
Which leaves you home for the holidays with no chance for a
perfect New Year's afternoon under the sun.
No reason to be too excited the rest of the season. The
Wolverines are likely hcded fora shiny version of the Toilet
Bowl, and there's nothing anybody can do.
Right'?
Not necessarily. If Michigan wins the remainder of its
games, it has a very real shot at a BCS bowl bid and taking
home one of college football's annual jewels.
Let's break it down. The BCS is made up of four bowls:
Orange, Rose, Sugar and Fiesta.
This year's Orange Bowl is No. I vs. No: 2., so scratch
Orange. Now, Purdue has really yet to prove it can win in a
hostile environment, which means a loss at Michigan State in
two weeks is not out of the question (just when you thought
cheering for Ohio State was the weirdest thing you ever did).
But for now, assume Brees can handle the crumbling
Spartans. Scratch Rose.
That leaves the Fiesta Bowl in Tempe, Ariz. and the Sugar
Bowl - in New Orleans. (Is that a smile I see.?)
In order to be eligible for either of these bowls, Michigan
must fiish in the BCS top 12. Win out and the Wolverines
will finish there, because their sch lule strength will push
them ahead of other one-loss teams hat might have finished
higher. Clemson plays Florida State this week, which gives
one of the teams two losses. Virginia Tech plays Miami
(Fla.), which either gives Miami two losses or the Hokics one
- both good for Michigan. Forget about Texas Christian and
Southern Miss, since they have no marketing draw.
If Oregon wins out, the Ducks will be rated high, but will
also represent the Pac-10 commitment to the Rose Bowl. Of
course, scratch Purdue on account of the Rose Bowl, also.
Of Big 12ers Nebraska and Oklahoma, one will end up in
the Orange and the other will be committed to the Fiesta As
for Florida, chalk the Gators up for the Sugar - the SEC's
guaranteed bid.
The Orange usually saves a spot for an ACC team - but
either Virginia Tech or Miami will probably be there anyway.
Also, scratch Notre Dame, because independents must fhish
in the top six to be eligible.
That leaves two at-large openings - one in the Fiesta one
in the Sugar. There will be more than two teams to fill them,
but if the Wolverines can keep winning, they just may find
the perfect fit.
- David Denr Herder can be reached at den(aumnic4edu.

Men 'didn't race inspired'

S ick Jazwmski falters at end

SHORTFALL
Continued from Page 18
fourth in a time of 24:13. Five of
the other six Michigan runners
were freshmen.
Michigan coach Ron Warhurst
believed the lackluster perfor-
mances from the freshmen were
largely due to the intimidation fac-
tor of running in the Big Ten cham-
pionships.
"Racing in a high school state
cross country meet is nothing like
facing your fears at the Big Tens,"
Warhurst said.
While the freshmen had experi-
enced mixed results prior to the Big
Ten -meet, Pilja had been nothing
short of outstanding, fashioning a
three-meet winning streak in which
he was never really challenged.
Midway through the race yesterday,
it appeared as if a "four-peat" was
in order.
Pilja had opened up a five-meter
lead and was running strong.
Wisconsin's duo of Jason
Vanderhoof and Jared Cordes, as
well as Indiana's Aaron Gillen, all
refused to let Pilja run away.
But it was not until about 200
meters from the finish line that
Pilja surrendered he lead for good.
And as he crossed the line, it was
all too clear that he had not done
what he had set out to do.
"I knew it was going to be a
tough race." Pilja said. "Maybe I'm
a little surprised I couldn't pull
away from them. To be honest,
when the first two pulled away my
heart wasn't into it. My goal was to
come here and win - not to get
fourth place."

Pilja's high levels of motivation
and competitiveness have been
instrumental in his success this
year.
And, while he is not the confer-
ence champion, his coach knows
that the desire was certainly there.
"I guess (Pilja) led at the wrong
times. He gave it all he could,"
Warhurst said. "There are no time-
outs, no halftimes, no quarters. I
can't pull him out and say Do this,
do that.' Unfortunately, he didn't
have any help from other people on
the team this year, but that will
change next year, I hope.'
While Michigan does not have as
strong a team as it has had in past
years, Warhurst is quick to
acknowledge that teams are weaker
all over the Big Ten. ,
"That does not take away from
Wisconsin's victory," Warhurst
said. "Anytime you win a Big Ten
championship, you win a Big Ten
championship.
"It was their home course and
they came to run. They did a great
job. We could've run our best race
all season and we wouldn't have
beaten them. Nobody would've
beaten them today."
While Eckerly and his Wisconsin
teammates are standing strong atop
the conference, the Wolverines
have undoubtedly fallen.
The fact that many of the teams
that finished ahead of Michigan
will lose runners to graduation may
be a very marginal consolation to
the Wolverines, at least as far as the
present is concerned.
"Sure, we are a team of the
future. But we wanted the future to
start out today," Pilja said.

By Rhonda Gilmer
D u s -t- -er
MADISON.- It was hard not to feel the disap-
pointment after seeing the face of Michigan senior
Katie Jazwinski yesterday after the Big Ten
women s cross country championships.
Jazwinski did not have the kind of race that was
expected of her, finishing 16th. But, Jazwinski's
problems were not all external.
Jazwinski "had a migraine last night" Michigan
coach Mike McGuire said.
Apparently, that headache never subsided. At the
start of the second lap. Jazwinski was running in the
top two with defending NCAA champion Erica
Palmer of Wisconsin.
Palmer - who set the pace from the opening leg
of the race - was in the lead, but Jazwinski was not
fair behind. At that moment, it seemed as if the race
was shaping up perfectly for Jazwinski as all of her
Michiian teammates trailed behind.
With that in mind, the sight at the end of the sec-
ond lap was very surprising. Jazwinski was not in
the top five. At this point, it was clear that Jazwinski
had lost her endurance, and her earlier strength in
the race never came back. She dropped all the way
to 16th.
At the conclusion of the race, Jazwinski appeared
to be in shock. This was not the race she expected
and this is not the kind of race she would have cho-
sen to run. Jazwinski chose nbt to speak about her
performance.
But, in cross country running, the best race is not
always possible. Mitigating circumstances can
greatly affect a runner's performance in a meet.
The night before the race, Jazwinski took medi-
cine to try and prepare herself for the Big Ten cham-
pionships. Jazwinski was not at her best physically,

Jazzed up
Senior Katie Jazwinski has been Michigan's
most consistent runner all season, until a dis-
appointing performance yesterday.

Event
Miami Invitational
Spiked Shoe Invitational
William & Mary Invitational
Notre Dame Invitational
Wolverine Interregional
Big Ten championships

Place
1st
1st
2nd
5th
2nd
16th

but she tried to tough it out. The headache affected
Jazwinski beyond a physical standpoint - for this
race Jazwinski did not have the mental toughness
she can usually rely on when running.
Not finishing in the top five was disappointing to
Jazwinski for two reasons.
One reason is that as a top-flight runner,
Jazwinski consistently competes on a high level and
her success defines her as a runner.
Another contributing factor to Jazwinski's disap-
pointment is that she is considered a team leader
because she has consistently been' one of the best
runners for the Wolverines this season. As a team
leader, she tries to set an example for her team-
mates, so a below-average performance affected not
just Jazwinski but the entire Michigan squad.
Earlier this season, Jazwinski led the Wolverines
to three team titles, claiming two individual titles in
the process. Her leadership ability isn't in question
afterone substandard race.
On the bright side for Michigan, there will be
more chances for Jazwinski to run a better race.
With NCAA districts in two weeks, Jazwinski has a
chance to redeem herself.

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