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February 19, 2001 - Image 16

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The Michigan Daily, 2001-02-19

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B - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - February 19, 2001
Polo optimistic
fter weekend,
ready to WOrk
ly J Brady McCollough
)aily Sports Writer

Gymnasts edge No. 1 Oklahoma

Experience is the best teacher around.
The No. 9 Michigan women's water polo team (4-3-1), in
ts first varsity home invitational, felt the growing pains that
tre expected from a first-year program.
Two losses to No. I Stanford and a tie against Big Ten rival
No. 15 Indiana could have hurt the morale of the team.
nstead, the Wolverines are using the results of the Michigan
nvitational to their advantage.
"Whoever works hard during the year is going to come out
n top, so that's good for us, senior captain Christy Lilley
aid. "Against Stanford, we just wanted to play them and
earn everything we could."
Before facing ranked-foes Stanford and Indiana, Michigan
rounced Michigan State 11-3 and Miami (Ohio) 18-4, both
)f which are club teams.
In two matches against the Cardinal, Michigan was
)utscored 28-6 (17-3 and 11-3), leaving the Wolverines in
iwe of their top-ranked opponent.
"They're where we want to be," freshman two-meter Julie
'isbet said. "We got smoked. You can look at it from that
mgle, or we can look at (Stanford) and say that's where we
'ant to be. That's our goal - to be as good as them. They
were amazing."
What struck Michigan the most was Stanford's ability to
>ass the ball without looking at its target.
"When they throw it up, their teammate is going to be
here," Michigan coach Amber Drury-Pinto said. "With us,
we still have to wait until (the person) is there"
In the most anticipated and highly attended game of the
weekend, Michigan forced a 4-4 tie with Indiana, the only
ther Big Ten varsity program.
The Wolverines were down by one in the fourth quarter but
lever gave up, giving Nisbet - who led the team in scoring
with six goals on the weekend - the opportunity to tie the
ame.
"We kept fighting in the last quarter, Nisbet said. "It says
a lot about our character that when we're down, and they have
ill the momentum going into the fourth quarter, we still pull
>ff the tie."
Michigan still has some unfinished business with the
loosiers. Lilley, who scored four goals on the weekend, feels
he Wolverines will be the better team next time around.
The program "can only go up from here, and we think we
work harder than (Indiana does)," Lilley said.
Freshman driver Kristen Bloomstrom thinks the tie will
bring out the Wolverines' best performance the next time the
teams square off.
"We're just going to have to focus a lot more in practice,
and learn how to play better as a team, although we've defi-
nitely gotten through the firststep,"Bloomstrom said. "We

By Rohit Bhave
Daily Sports Writer
At the BMG Showdown at Cliff
Keen Arena, No. 3 Michigan entered
the final rotation leading No. 1
Oklahoma by a mere tenth of a point.
No. 10 Massachusetts was in a distant
third.
Michigan, despite holding the slim
margin, did not appear to have great
prospects of winning. Its final event
was the high bar, a traditional weak-
ness. Oklahoma was to close the meet
on the vault, a traditional strength.
Collegiate athletics are not so simple,
however. The Wolverines destroyed the
Sooners by a margin of .7 on the final
rotation to win, 216.55-215.75.
Massachusetts finished third, scoring
202.35.
"The credit goes to the guys that
work the high bar, and to (assistant

coach) Mike Burns," coach Kurt Golder
said.
Ironically, Michigan's meet-winning
performance on its last rotation was
kick-started by a relative unknown.
Freshman Chris Gatti fired up the ner-
vous Cliff Keen crowd with a spectacu-
lar routine. His score, an 8.25, was not
impressive, but the effect was.
Sometimes, "It's not a huge score, it's
the momentum that (the routine) gives
you," Golder said.
Daniel Diaz-Luong had struggled all
day, but when the meet hinged on his
best event, the junior responded. Fired
up from Gatti's strong showing, Diaz-
Luong slammed the door shut with a
sharp 9.5 routine.
"High bar is the event I'm naturally
better at," Diaz-Luong said.
Spectators at the meet saw distinct
approaches - Michigan's consistency
versus Oklahoma's aggressiveness.

Oklahoma attempted higher-difficulty
routines loaded with high start values. Its
approach worked on the still rings, when
it notched a meet high 37.15. It back-
fired in the end, when the Sooners failed
to hit vaults under pressure.
On the other hand, Golder's team
aimed at hitting makeable routines.
Though it did not have one astounding-g
ly high event score like Oklahoma,
Michigan's consistency won in the end.
Throughout the roller-coaster meet,
the Wolverines benefitted from steady
performances by Scott Vetere and Kris
Zimmerman. The two Michigan gym-
nastics finished 1-2 in the All-Around
meet standings, giving the Wolverines
consistently high scores in every event.
For Michigan, meets against high-
powered opponents like Oklahoma and
Ohio State seem to bring out its best.
These meets "bring our team close
together" Brad Kenna said.

Perfect 10's mark tumblers' rout

PETIR GOHNUE/aiiy
Michigan junior captain Delia Sonda s cores a six-on-five goal
against No. i Stanford last Saturday.

really meshed together as a team."
Drury-Pinto is happy with the teani
and feels like the team has improved
"I've come in and asked them to do
aren't used to," Drury-Pinto said. "It's,
actually see it in the water, rather than
Polo excites first time

i

Water polo is a mystery to many of ti
dents. What were the fans' impressic
"It's really a lot tougher than I thougl
they're just standing up, but really th
water. It's impressive."
- Lora Hesch, Engineering
"It's pretty exciting. It's a lot more pl
expected. I have seen it played in higl
and it didn't look as tiring as this. It's
- Dan Burkons, LSA Junior
"I know I could never tread water for I
had to do it."
- Erin Moore, LSA Freshma

s performance thus far,
with every game.
a lot of things that they
always critical that they
me just telling them."
viewers
ne university's stu-
ins of the sport?
it. It looks like
ey're treading
Sophomore.
iysical than I
i school before
exciting."
iowever long they
' .

By Chris Burke
Daily Sports Writer
One perfect 10.0 score in gymnastics is impressive.
Two perfect 10.0 scores - back-to-back - to cap off a win,
make for a special day.
With an impressive victory already well in hand, the
Michigan women's gymnastics team turned to Bridget Knaeble
and Elise Ray to provide some fireworks on the floor exercise.
The duo did not disappoint, finishing off the final event of the
Wolverines' 197.225-190.850 rout of Southeast Missouri State
in spectacular fashion.
"That just made the night complete," Ray said. "I was so ner-
vous having Bridget score her ten right before me. It's very, very
exciting for me"
The consecutive flawless showings paced Michigan to a
49.600 total for the floor, matching the highest score ever
recorded in team history.
Southeast Missouri State never stood a chance against No. 8
Michigan, as the Wolverines had nine performances that either
set or matched individual career-highs. That complete effort
allowed the Wolverines to post the top five scores in every event.
"It's exciting that we finally put together four events,"
Michigan coach Bev Plocki said. "The really exciting thing is
that we still have room for improvement, even after today."
Ray added event wins on the beam and bars - posting a
9.900 and 9.925, respectively - leading her to the individual
all-around win with a 39.650.
Knaeble finished right behind her teammate in the all-around
with a 39.525, the highest career all-around score for the senior
tri-captain. Christine Michaud also achieved a career-high of
9.950 in the vault for the win.
Perhaps even more importantly for the team, the impressive
win came one week after Michigan had let a victory slip away
at Georgia.
"It was extremely important," said Knaeble of bouncing back
from the loss. "Our goal for today was to get higher than a
197.000 score, and we were able to accomplish that."
As a team, the Wolverines were able to score a 49.075 on the
event that has been their Achilles' heel this year - the beam.
The score matched their highest total of the year.
"Well, I made my routine for one thing" said Ray of the dif-
ference between this week and last on the beam. "It was kind of
nice to have a home meet because everything was just a little

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Enjoy working in a beautiful Northern
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ELLIE WHITE/ Daily
Freshman Elise Ray scored a perfect 10 on the floor exercise
more comfortable."
The event marked the first home meet for Michigan in a
month, as it had been in the midst of a three-meet road swing.
"Our kids love competing at home and love the fans," Plocki
said. "To see them give us a standing ovation after the floor was
awesome.
Next up on the slate for Michigan is a meet at No. 3 Utah.
The Wolverines are hoping to pull off a road win, and will head
into the meet convinced that they still can get better.
"I think we've just got to try and keep improving," Knaeble
said. "We'll just go after the little things."
It still remains to be seen exactly what the team is capable 0
on the beam, as a set rotation has yet to develop on the event. In
addition, the goal remains to add difficulty to several routines as
Knaeble, Ray, and Calli Ryals have done in the past two weeks.
But, Knaeble and Ray set the standard that the Wolverines
will try to reach for the rest of the year - perfection.

Final home meet brings

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By Rhonda Gilmer
Daily Sports Writer
It may come as a shock.
Competing in the mile-run in the
Harold Silverston Invitational at the
Indoor Track Building this past weekend,
senior Katie Jazwinski ran a personal
best of 4:47:59, and earned a chance to
compete in the NCAA Championships.
Normally, athletes qualify for NCAA
showings at the Big Ten Championships,
which made her reaching the qualifying
time early surprising.
But her status isn't definite. If runners
post faster times at the Big Ten
Championships, she could lose her status.
The Michigan women's track team
now has one last week and one final meet
before Big Tens, as this past Saturday
marked the end of its home season.
As a non-scoring meet, the Wolverines
took on Detroit-Mercy, Michigan State,
Western Michigan, Waterloo and
Toronto.
"What we wanted to accomplish was
to have athletes run with no pressure and
out of their events," Michigan coach
James Henry said.
Highligting this event was the

Wolverines' strategy to bring about this
performance in the 1600-meter run.
When the Maize and Blue took off,
there were five Wolverines and one
accomplice - assistant coach Karen
Harvey. Harvey, who was running unat-
tached, appeared to be familiar with
many of the Michigan team members.
Taking an early lead, this unattached
runner pushed herself into a high tempo,
sweeping through all of the competition
in a fast pace. After running five laps,
Harvey dropped off revealing her status
as the rabbit.
"It was really nice to pace Katie
because she's been working really hard,"
Harvey said. "She deserves to go to
NCAA championships - it's just getting
the time and doing it."
"This put her in the top 10 to top 12 of
the best mile-runners nationally," Henry
said.
The remaining Wolverines completed
the race running the final three laps. In
addition to Jazwinski's win, senior Katy
Radkewich came in third for the 1600-
meter .run with a time of 5:06:87.
Sophomore Jane Martineau - who, in
the past, has also won the mile - came
in fourth.

early hopes
Also making a good showing was the
shot put crew. Lead by sophomore April
Phillips, the Wolverines captured the top
three spots. For the event she threw to a
length of 47 feet and two and- a-half
inches.
"Phillips had some sicknesses, but
she's gotten a lot better," Henry said.
Runner-up to Phillips was junior Erin
Massangale, and third was freshman
Melissa Bickett.
Giving athletes time for rest ark
reflection, Henry ran many of t
Wolverines outside of their usual events.
Running in the 60-meter dash were two
middle-distance runners senior Regine
Carruthers, who normally runs the 600-
meter, and sophomore Carly Knazze,
who usually runs the 400.
Carruthers had a surprising perfor-
mance in the 60-meter dash, finishmg
second to senior Candice Mullings with
time of 7.82 seconds. Mullings won tW
event in 7.70.
In the 1,600-meter relay, Michigan
grabbed the top two spots while also fea-
turing runners outside their events.
"That was a good team, it was our B-
team," Henry said. "That wasn't our best
athletes.

DeWildt, Okenwa shine at invite

By Shawn Kemp
Daily Sports Writer
With just one week before the Big Ten Championships, the
men's track team fine-tuned its performances Saturday at the
Harold Silverston Invitational.
Although the meet was non-scoring, Michigan won nine of
the 15 events, with senior Charles DeWildt and junior Ike
Okenwa leading the Wolverines.
DeWildt's effort of 17-5 in the pole vault was a "tremendous
jump", according to coach Ron Warhurst. It put DeWildt well
over the NCAA provisional qualifying standard of 17-2 3/4.
"Ron told me I wasn't going to go to Big Tens if I didn't
jump 17 feet this week," DeWildt said, jokingly.
But DeWildt not only plans on traveling to the conference
meet this weekend - he wants to win the pole vault. His No.
I competition is Paul Terek from Michigan State, an athlete

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