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February 05, 2001 - Image 14

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The Michigan Daily, 2001-02-05

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6B - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - February 5, 2001

Track measures up
against top Meyo field

By Kareem Copeland
Daily Sports Writer
SOUTH BEND - Under the watch
of Touchdown Jesus, the men's track
team hoped for big things going into
this weekend's meet in Notre Dame.
This midseason, non-scoring event
is a benchmark for each team as the
level of competition is very high.
"It's good to see different faces,"
Michigan coach Ron Warhurst said.
"You've got Tennessee and
Georgetown, Kentucky and Missouri.
Next week we go back and see the
same people."
Many Wolverines looked to measure
themselves on a national scale against
the wider competition. Meyo Field has
a 300-meter indoor track while most
schools use a 200-meter track.
The combination of a fast track and
a strong field pushes the team toward
its goal of qualifying for the NCAA
Championships. The NCAA sets cer-
tain qualifications to be awarded either
automatic or provisional bids.
"That was everyone's major goal,"
Michigan sprinter Ike Okenwa said.
Okenwa was held out of the 60 to save
,energy for the 200. Although he won the
200 in 21.74 seconds, Okenwa was
extremely disappointed with his time.
"It wasn't even me out there, I had a
whole different form, a whole different
strategy," said Okenwa. "I was think-
ing about running like it was a nation-
al championship meet. I got into a dog-
fight fight and started running with
this other guy - I'd rather take third
and qualify for nationals."
Warhurst was worried about the
team being overly concerned with
qualifying.

"They have to start concerning
themselves with competing and beat-
ing people before they can start worry-
ing about qualifying for nationals,"
said Warhurst.
In the 400, Josh Sellers finally
returned from a season-long hamstring
injury. Sellers made his debut by fin-
ishing second behind Georgetown's
Jams Grahm.
"I just wanted to see where my leg is
at," Sellers said. "It feels good to run
on the oversized track, you have the
opportunity to let loose on the straight-
a ways and pick up speed."
Kevin Lamb and Chris Yee also fin-
ished in the top half of the field, at sev-
enth and 12th respectively.
Jeremy Schneiderjoined Sellers by tak-
ing runner-up honors in the 800. Leading
nearly the entire time, he ran a personal
best of 1:51.03. Schneider has flourished
at Meyo Field ever since setting the build-
ing record in the 500 in 1999.
Ravi Smith placed second in the that
same event on Saturday. Smith won his
heat and finished 0:00.17 behind the
Terry Wray's 1:04.22.
Mike Wisniewski - who had been
slumping lately - ran very well in the
5000 and qualified provisionally for
the NCAA Championships.
Highlighting the field events was a
shoot out between the pole vaulters.
Taking first place was Rocky Danners
of Tennessee with a leap of 17'02.75.
Reigning Big Ten champion Charles
DeWildt finished third for the
Wolverines maxing out at 16'08.75.
Warhurst said he was very pleased
with the weekend results.
"We were looking for some guys to
have some season bests. I think at least
half the team did that," Warhurst said.

TOMMY FELDKAMP/Dyiiy
The top-ranked Michigan men's gymnastics team landed well against Penn State.
Loss of Kevin Roulstone
can' t stop tumblers

TOMMY FELDKAMP/Daily
Michigan pole vaulter, Charles DeWildt, the reigning Big Ten champion, took third
place this weekend at the Notre Dame Meyo Invitational with a leap of 17'02.75.

Not this time: Field misses four-minute chance

By Swapnil Patel
LDAyl Sports Wnrie

By Shawn Kemp
Daily Sports Writer
SOUTH BEND - Everybody knows
the significance of a four-minute mile.
By clocking consecutive one-minute
splits for each quarter mile, a runner is
guaranteed the prestigious four-minute
mark.
But for Notre Dame coach Joe Piane,
running a four-minute mile at the Meyo
Invitational in South Bend wasn't good
enough.
He wanted it even faster.
At the same meet 14 years ago, Piane
set a standard for all Meyo Miles in the
first race of the meet. By inviting Chuck
dragon, a speedy former miler for the
Irish, to set the pace of under four min-
utes, Piane gave began the tradition of the
Meyo Mile.
"I said, 'We've got to make this under
four,"' Piane said. "He said, 'No prob-
lem,' and at that point, once the first
race was done under four, everyone was
convinced that this track was fast."
And the track is indeed fast. Standard
indoor tracks are constructed 200
meters per lap, half the size of an out-
door track. On Notre Dame's oversized
300-meter track, runners may take
advantage of the long straightaways and
of less turns.
The 2001 Meyo Mile champion,
Georgetown's Chris Miltenberg, profit-
ed from the oversized track.
"I knew this was a big meet, and
everyone comes here to run the Meyo
Mile," Miltenberg said. "I just wanted
to .come and run the fastest time I
could."

Although 10 of the 14 Meyo Mile
winners have been under four minutes,
Miltenberg failed to produce a sub four-
minute mile Saturday, running 4:02.22.
No collegiate runner has broken four
minutes in the mile this season.
Michigan's lone representative in the
prestigious race, freshman Brian
Turner, missed a provisional qualifying
standard by just 2.5 seconds, finishing
in 4:07.86 for eighth place.
Although Michigan head track coach
Ron Warhurst said Turner was extreme-
ly scared, Turner approached the
esteemed mile like any other race.
"I was a little nervous at first,"Turner
said. "I was just trying to keep my head
in it, and tried not to build it up too
much in my mind"
Treating the Meyo Mile like any
other race is difficult to accomplish,
considering the lofty sub four-minute
mark is a rarity among indoor college
races. The mark was last broken indoors
by Stanford elite Gabriel Jennings at the
2000 NCAA Indoor Championships, as
he won the race in 3:59.46.
Miltenberg's teammate, Matt Dunn,
served as a rabbit for the first 800
meters of the race, running just under
two minutes and then dropping out.
Turner felt the quick pace early on
was "definitely too fast." He comment-
ed that his legs felt sluggish following
his 1200-meter run in the distance med-
ley relay Friday night.
However, Turner's time was a new
personal record, as he broke his former
mark of 4:09.24.
While Warhurst was pleased with
Turner's performance, he reflected on

For the No. I Michigan men's gym-
nastics team, there have been two con-
stants this season-- winning and
injuries.
On Saturday, the Wolverines contin-
ued their winning ways as they over-
came defending national champion,
Penn State, 209.5 to 207.650. In the
process, they lost tn-captain Kevin
Roulston.
Prior to the meet, Roulston suffered a
knee injury during warmups.
"A preliminary test suggests an ACL
tear,; Roulston said. "I meet with the
University doctors tomorrow. We'll see
what happens from there ... I don't have
enough information at this time to even
speculate on what lies ahead for me."
The Wolverines, already lacking
depth with the second of their tri-cap-
tains, Justin Toman who is sitting out
due to last season's reconstructive knee
surgery, faced the daunting task of beat-
ing the Nittany Lions at Rec Hall with-
out Roulston.
"Kevin was doing a really hard pass
on floor and after his first flip, I guess he
landed wrong and hurt his knee,' junior
Scott Vetere said. "Kevin is an impor-
tant part of our team especially in floor
and vault, but most of all in the all-
around. He gives us the depth we need
and always hits for us.
"Obviously the team is pretty stunned
about what happened."
Despite Roulston's injury, Michigan
remained hungry for a "W" against Penn
State, especially after having finished
second to them in last season's national
championships by a mere 0.125 points.
Junior Daniel Diaz-Luong and sopho-
more Kris Zimmerman paced the
Wolverines with strong performances

and contributed heavily to the team total.
Diaz-Leong captured first place in
both the parallel bars and high bar with
scores of 8.850 and 9.200, respectively.
Zimmerman earned second-place hor@
ors on the floor exercise (9.050), vault
(9.100) and horizontal bar (8.800).
Zimmerman, who competed in all six
events, collected a total of 52.05 points
to bring home the all-around title.
In the absence of Roulston, seniors
Tim Dehr and Kenny Kenner and junior
Brad Kenna all captured a second-place
finish in an individual event.
"We were a little down about things,
but I was real impressed with everyon-
getting through things and not givirn
up," Vetere said. "We fought all of the
way through and guys like Knis, Tim,
Daniel, and Conan really came through
for us and kept the momentum going.
We are going to have to do this week in
and week out because now we don't
have Kevin or Justin. We'll see what the
team is made of."
After combining to earn five first-
place honors in the last two meet
Vetere, who is competing injured, turne
in his first mediocre performance of the
season.
"My performance at Penn State was
definitely not what I wanted it to be,
Vetere said. "I came into Penn State
expecting to compete all six events for
the first time this year, but earlier in the
week I pulled a lat muscle.
"It has been hard for me to hang on the
high bar and rings and when I was warm-
ing up at Penn State, I strained it again.'
think my mind was a little elsewhere witl
my injury and Kevin's injury."
Battling through his injury, Vetere
struggled on the floor exercise and the
parallel bars, but still managed. to earn a
first-place finish on the pommel horse
with a score of 9.30.

IUMMY tLLUKAM/Uaily
Brian Turner, Michigan's top miler, didn't make his four-minute goal in South Bend.

his former athlete and now assistant
head coach Kevin Sullivan's race six
years ago.
Sullivan ran the race in 3:55.9 in
1995, setting a Meyo Mile record that
still stands today.
"That kid ran 4:02 today, and it
looked like he was fantastic," Warhurst
said. "Kevin ran 3:55 - he would've
beat the guy by 50 yards."
Sullivan's record may fall next year to
a new Wolverine, as Alan Webb will
attempt to break the famed four-minute

mile barrier. Webb, a senior at South
Lakes high school in Reston, Va., is cur-
rently the only high school or collegiate
runner to break four minutes this season.
Webb clocked 3:59.86 at the New
Balance Games on Jan. 20.
Based on his sub four-minute perfor-
mance and the effect of the oversized
Meyo track, Webb will have his chance
to break four next year at Notre Dame.
"This place is unreal," Miltenberg
said. "If there's a place in the country to
run fast, it's here."

Back in Mount Pleasant, women outrun by Purdue

By Rhonda Gilmer
Dily Sports Writer

Hanging on to an adrenaline rush
from a win at the Michigan
Intercollegiate a week ago, the
Wolverines returned to Mount
P4easant Saturday for the Central
Michigan Intercollegiate. Competing
once again on the Jack Skoog indoor
track, the Michigan wo'men's track
team was hoping for repeat success.

But, this week's meet had an unex-
pected result. With Purdue at the
invitational, the Wolverines were
unable to win again. Purdue edged
Michigan with a score of 168 points,
and the Wolverines finished runners-
up with 154.
"We go into every meet to win and
we didn't win," Michigan coach
James Henry said. "Overall, we
showed more improvements as a
team despite the loss." .

There are some things Michigan
could have done differently had it
deemed the invitational more impor-
tant. In the field events sophomore
Teyonna Simpson could have com-
peted in the triple jump. If she had, it
could have meant 10 more points for
the Wolverines.
Junior Tasha Phillips also stayed
out this week due to minor injuries. If
Michigan had been faced with a do-
or-die meet such as the Big Ten
Championships, then Phillips would
have competed in jumps and sprints.
Also, more runners could have run in
distance events.
Despite their loss to Purdue, the
Wolverines are focusing on bigger
and brighter events in their season. A
major goal they have is to be ready
for Big Ten Championships.
"If we were at full strength we
could have been even more competi-
tive with them," Henry said. "Some
of the athletes were injured and we
decided to rest them."

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If Michigan wants to properly pre-
pare for the grueling two-day confer-
ence championships, then the
Wolverines may have to make some
sacrifices now. Making improve-
ments might mean having various
runners try out different events. This
could build more strength and
endurance in competition which
gives the Wolverines the chance to be
a better team.
"We didn't accomplish what we
were out to do," Henry said. "We
wanted to win, but it's more impor-
tant to rest injured runners and show
improvements with other runners."
In sprints, the Wolverines took first
and second in the 60-meter dash.
Freshman Adrena Williams won with
a time of 7.64 seconds, and senior
Candice Mullings came in second,
running 7.67 seconds. In middle-dis-
tance events, senior Regine
Carruthers won the 600-meter run in
a time of 1:33.11. Sophomore Rachel
Sturtz won the 800-meter run in
2:13.42. Junior Ursula Taylor and
senior Katie Jazwinski came in sec-
ond and third respectively, in the 800-
meter run.

Ray 's title not enough.
for gymnasts to prevail

By Chris Burke
Daily Sports Writer
One week removed from its best
team performance of the year, the No.
8 Michigan women's gymnastics team
struggled Friday night, coming in sec-
ond place in a three-team meet with
,No. 6 Florida and Auburn.
Florida posted a team score of
196.225, which was enough to hold off
the Wolverines' score of 194.925.
Auburn finished third with a 189.925.
The silver lining in the competition
for the Wolverines came courtesy of
freshman Elise Ray, who won her first
collegiate all-around title. Ray scored
a 39.375, a total that included individ-
ual event wins on the uneven bars and
the beam.
"I feel like I'm getting a little better
each meet," Ray said. "I'm out there
for the team, though, so any sort of
individual honors are sort of a bonus."
Michigan began the competition on

evening, but the early deficit proved
too much to overcome. With a tough,
schedule still facing them, the
Wolverines' goal now is regrouping.
"I think it was. a learning experi-
ence," Plocki said. "It should end up
helping us."
Janessa Greico managed to put
together a solid evening for the
Wolverines. Her individual score of
39.050 was the second-highest scores
for Michigan and also marked a career
high score for Greico in the all-
around. She finished fifth overall.
In addition to Ray's individual title,
Michigan also had several gymnasts
place in individual events. Greico and
Christine Michaud matched each other
with 9.825 scores on the vault, good
enough for a second-place tie.
Ray added a third-place finish on
the floor exercise with a 9.875, while
Bridget Knaeble placed third on the
uneven bars with a 9.900 score - her
career high score in that eveni.

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