8B The Michigan Daily-_SportsMonday - January 8, 2001
Opposites attract: roommates
give each other a needed lift
R emember the "The Odd Couple"? It's the
old television show that told the story of two
ivorced men - a neat freak named Felix
and Oscar, a compulsive slob, both living in the
Two leaders of the Michigan men's gymnastics
team, Scott Vetere and Kevin Roulston, relate their
roommate experience to that of "The Odd Couple."
"Scott and I have completely opposite personali-
ties," Roulston said. "It's like night and day. I'm a
type-A personality, high strung. Scott is the more
laid-back one and goes with the flow."
Part of this has to do with their contrasting acade-
mic challenges. Vetere is an LSA junior, while
Roulston, a senior, deals with the rigors of the Busi-
"I give a lot of credit to Kevin," Vetere said. "I
mean there are lots of nights where he has pulled
all-nighters, then came into practice the next day
and has had awesome workouts. Kevin's going to be
really important to the team this year."
Roulston's disciplined personality helps him find
balance between the Business School and the gym-
"I map out the whole week on Post-It Notes
because I have to be on top of things to keep up
with practices, group meetings and my homework,"
While Roulston can help keep Vetere's mind
focused on his academics, it is Vetere that helps add
some social excitement to Roulston's busy lifestyle.
"He makes sure that I don't stress out too much
over school or gymnastics, and that I have fun and
enjoy myself," Roulston said. "I help him out with
homework and make sure he's on top of his studies."
"We'd be studying at like 2 in .the morning and
I'd start a water fight in the middle of the house,"
Vetere said. "We talk about the team, girls and have
snowball fights. It's a lot of fun."
Both Vetere and Roulston enjoy being teammates
"Living together has allowed us to become
friends in addition to being teammates," Roulston
said. "With only 13 guys on the team, you get to
know one another. There are probably people on
other teams that are larger who don't even know the
names of everyone on their team."
Differences also exist between Vetere and Roul-
ston as far as their accolades from their work in the
gym are concerned.
Vetere, though just a junior, has already racked
up six of the seven Michigan school records. He has
captured the 1999 Big Ten Freshman of the Year
award, the 2000 Michigan Male Athlete of the Year,
the 2000 Big Ten Gymnast of the Year and made
the All-Big Ten Team.
Attention from the media is now a constant.
Like Vetere, Roulston won the Big Ten Freshman
of the Year award in 1998 and was named to the
All-Big Ten team. Along with his athletic accom-
plishments, Roulston earned Academic All-Big Ten
Honors. But he clearly remains more of a behind-
the-scenes type of a guy in comparison to Vetere.
Unlike "The Odd Couple," Vetere and Roulston
use their uniqueness to get the best out of each other.
"We're both really intense in the gym," Roulston
said. "We have similar a work ethic and attention to
detail. Our personality differences help balance us
outside of the gym, and our similarities help us to
push each other in practice and competition?'
Despite the differences, Vetere and Roulston
have one thing in common - they remain hungry
for a NCAA championship.
"Everyone on this team wants to win NCAAs
this year," Roulston said. "There's no pressure for a
repeat national championship, but everyone can
taste it, and that desire is going to be the fuel that
drives us all season?'
One would expect the quietly intense Roulston to
lead simply by his actions. Oddly though, Roulston
is the vocal leader on the team. Roulston, a senior
tri-captain on an injury-ridden team, knows that he
must step up.
"My biggest thing this year is going to be com-
peting well in the all-arounds, to set an example in
the gym, and to keep the team motivated to work
hard," Roulston said.
Unexpectedly, Vetere chooses to be more of a
"I work hard in the gym and hope that my actions
set a good example for the others," said Vetere.
"This year, I'm going to have to be one of the team
leaders similar to the role I played last year when
Justin Toman got hurt."
Vetere came into his own last season when
Toman, a tri-captain, suffered a knee injury prior to
the Big Ten Championships. He carried the torch
and proved durable, competing in every meet last
season and amassing 26 first-place finishes.
After finishing a painfully close second in the
NCAA championships and winning the Big Ten
title last season, there are high expectations for the
gymnasts. This season's team motto: "retain and
regain" - as in regaining the NCAA title that
belonged to Michigan two seasons ago.
Apparently, the rest of the gymnastics world also
chooses Michigan, led by its "Odd Couple," as the
team to beat. The Collegiate Gymnastics Coaches
Association preseason poll selected Michigan as its
national championship favorite.
"It was easier my freshman year because we were
the underdogs, but we're just going to take it one
step at a time, Vetere said. "We don't want to put
too much pressure on ourselves. We want to com-
pete hard and have fun. Hopefully the fans will
come out to Cliff Keen Arena to cheer us on."
2001 MEN'S PRESEASON
2. Ohio State
4. Penn State
10. Michigan State
15. Air Force
16. William & Mary
19. California-Santa Barbara
Date Meet Time
Jan. 13 Windy City invite 7 p.m.
Jan. 20 Ohio State 7 p.m.
Jan. 26 Illinois 7 p.m.
Feb. 3 Penn State 7 p.m.
Feb. 9 Winter Cup TBA
Feb. 18 Okla. and Mass. 1 p.m.
Feb. 24 Minnesota 1 p.m.
Mar. 3 Spain Nat. Team 7 p.m.
Mar. 16 Michigan State 7 p.m.
Mar. 23 Big Tens 7 p.m.
Apr. 5-7 NCAAs TBA
Tim Dehr Sr.
Daniel Diaz-Luong Jr.
Chris Gatti Fr.
Jamie Hertza So.
Kenny Keener Sr.
Brad Kenna Jr.
Josh Levin Jr.
Louis Levine Jr.
Conan Parzuchowski So.
Kevin Roulston Sr.
Justin Toman Sr.
Scott Vetere Jr.
Kris Zimmerman So.
Head Coach: Kurt Golder
Assistant Coach: Mike Burns
Assistant Coach: Mike Racanelli
2001 RULES CHANGES
The NCAA implemented a new
points system that devalues points
given to certain performed skills.
As a result, a gymnast will have to
perform more difficult skills to gen-
erate the same score.
The change is intended to separate
good routines from poorer ones.
2000 NCAA RESULTS
1. Penn State 231.975
2. MICHIGAN 231.850
3. Iowa 231.525
4. Oklahoma 230.850
5. California 230.825
6. Ohio State 230.800
1999 NCAA RESULTS
1. MICHIGAN 232.550
2. Ohio State 230.850
3. Nebraska 229.600
Kenny Keener (rings)
Kevin Roulston (floor)
Justin Toman (parallel bars)
Scott Vetere (all around, rings)
Kris Zimmerman (parallel bars)
Team (second at NCAAs)
Vetere was dominant
last year down the
stretch. An improved
high-bar routine should
give this All-American a
strong chance to win
the all-around in every
Will play a pivotal role
in this year s title run.
The steady tri-captain
will be counted on to
have a breakthrough
season in light of his
Minus injuries, gymnasts
primed for another run
Continued from Page 1B
Younger gymnasts like Conan Parzu-
chowski, Jamie Hertza, and Kris Zim-
merman need raise their scores as well.
Zimmerman, in particular, seems to
show the most promise.
"He has unbelievable talent and work
ethic," Vetere said. "If he hits (his rou-
tines) he will be amazing."
The focus for this season is different
as well. Last year, the Wolverines trained
for the NCAA championships with the
Olympics in mind, requiring the gym-
nasts to peak twice. This year, the only
peak is the NCAA championships, leav-
ing this year's team craving just one
VAULT: Right now, Michigan has four
solid performers on the event in Vetere,
Diaz-Luong, Roulston and Kenna. They
need some others to improve to provide
some depth in case any of the top four
falter or get hurt. Zimmerman, Dehr
F L O O R
T h e
BRANDON SEDLOFF/Daily have two
If Brad Kenna can remain healthy, expect him to be a major N C A A
contributor as he launches into the naton's elite. f i n a l i s t s
returning in Keener and Roulston, but
the loss of Toman on the event hurts
them here. Look for Vetere to put up
some strong scores. Hertza and Zimmer-
man need to come up with quality scores
from time to time to shore up any incon-
PARALLEL BARS: A definite strength.
Diaz-Luong, Vetere, Keener, Zimmer-
man should dominate all season. In the
highly unlikely scenario that any of them
does not hit, Parzuchowski, Dehr and
Roulston will provide solid insurance. If
Toman competes in this event, the
Wolverines will be untouchable.
POMMEL HORSE: Michigan should
fare very strongly here again this season.
Vetere, Hertza (scored a 9.85 at
NCAAs), Diaz-Luong, and Dehr provide
an imposing quartet-even if one of
them happen to falter, Roulston is just
half a step down from their level. If
healthy, Toman could contribute here as
HIGH BAR: Always a Michigan weak-
ness, an improvement here could take
them very far. Vetere has improved a lot
in the offseason, and if a few others such
as Keener, Zimmerman or Kenna
improve as well, Michigan could limit
their losses in the event.
RINGS: Every year, Michigan domi-
nates in this event. The strength program
is one reason why.
Any of seven gymnasts can fire up
high scores, and they do it with deadly
Freshman Chris Gatti could contribute
points on this event as well.
Jamie Hertza Is one of the promising gymnasts who needs to deliver this season.
after this, the corporate
ladder will be a piece of
In the course of facing challenges like this, you'll learn
how to think on your feet. Stay cool under pressure. Take
charge. Thik to an Army ROTC rep. Youl find there's
nothing like a little chimbing to help prepare you for