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January 22, 2002 - Image 15

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2002-01-22

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Cliff Kee
Um h

The Michigan Daily - SportsTuesday - January 22, 2002 - 7B

n

Women conquer beam, Minnesota

By Evan Brown
For the Daily
Michigan's Daniel Diaz-Luong
walked up to the pommel horse know-
ing that he needed to do something spe-
cial to lift -his teammates. At that point,
the match with Minnesota was close and
the first five Wolverines to attempt the
pommel horse had struggled.
"I think the one thing that got me
fired up was being the last guy up and
seeing some of my teammates (fall
off)," Diaz-Luong said. "I felt like I had
to give it an extra effort and hit it for the
team."
Diaz-Luong didn't just hit it - he set
a new Michigan record, got his team-
mates back on track and left the crowd
roanng.
"I never heard Cliff Keen Arena as
loud as when Daniel stuck his set on
pommel horse. The whole place erupted
- it was great," Michigan junior Conan
Parzuchowski said.
Parzuchowski would follow suit in
the next event for the Wolverines, the
still rings, scoring a 9.6 and setting a
team record of his own.
"Its just part of the job, you just try
and have fun with it," Parzuchowski
*said.
After that, No. 4 Michigan would
cruise to a 212.35-204.75 over Min-
nesota, which threatened the Wolverines
early despite competing without three
gymnasts. Last year's Big Ten Freshman
of the Year Eric Steele was out with an
injury, along with key performers Bill
Callahan and Mitch Griffin.
"Michigan helped us make it a little
more interesting than I thought it was

ALYSA WOU/Daily
Michigan's Conan Parzuchowski set a team record with a 0.6 on the still rings.

By Matt Kramer
Daily Sports Writer
Of all the events the No. 9 Michigan women's gymnastics
team didn't want to have to rely on for victory against No. 5
Minnesota on Saturday night, the balance beam was at the top
of that list. Seven out of the 12 times this year that the Wolver-
ines had competed on the beam, the routines resulted in falls.
So it was just the Wolverines' luck as Michigan found itself
tied with Minnesota 146.1-146.1 going into its final event of
the evening - the balance beam..
"We went into the final event really nervous," senior Melis-
sa Peterson said. "We haven't done very well on the beam for
much of the year, but we knew if we could put together some
big performances then we could win it."
And win it they did as five Wolverines connected on rou-
tines worth scores of 9.725 or better as Michigan put together
its best performance on the beam (49.025) and in the all-
around competition this year, upsetting Minnesota 195.125-
195.025.
Calli Ryals' all around score of 39.275 was good enough for
her second straight all around title in as many weeks and also
enough to propel Michigan to its 28th straight Big Ten Confer-
ence victory.
Michigan found itself down early after scoring just 48.65 on
the uneven bars, usually one of its strengths. While Elise Ray's
9.825 and Ryals' 9.8 led the way for Michigan, they were still

only the fourth and fifth best scores of the night.
The vault was better for Michigan, as a team-high 9.8 by
Peterson and 9.750's by co-captain Janessa Grieco and Ryals
helped net the Wolverines a score of 48.725. Because of nag,
ging injuries, it was the first time Peterson had competed in
the vault all season.
"I just started vaulting this week and I was nervous going
into it, but I think I just turned all that nervousness into aggres-
sion," Peterson said.
Meanwhile, the Gophers put together two stellar scores of
more than 48.8 and surged out to a .275 lead.
It was Ryals, again, who kept the Wolverines in it as her 9.9
on Michigan's third event, the floor exercise, got Michigan all
square after three events.
Michigan then headed to its final event and Achilles heel;
the beam, looking for not only the victory but also its first
event total more than 49.0. After Grieco and freshman Kara
Rosella stayed steady on the beam to garner high scores, Peter-
son did them both one better and scored a 9.8 on the beam.
Shannon MacKenzie fell twice and couldn't help Michigan,
but she would be the only Wolverine to fall.
Ryals scored a 9.825 and Ray remained poised under pres-
sure, finishing the event with a 9.9 to give the Wolverines a
49.025 for the event and the victory by one tenth of a point.
"We didn't learn that we won the match until the minute it
ended," Peterson said. "I'd have to say this ranks up there in the
top five matches of my life."

going to be. We competed with a really
weak lineup today," Minnesota coach
Fred Roethlisberger said.
Michigan scored nearly six points
higher than at last week's Windy City
Invitational, improving in nearly every
event.
"I would give it about a B to B-plus,"
Michigan coach Kurt Golder said. "We
improved everywhere except for pom-
mel horse and particularly on parallel
bars we were pretty rough. We really
stepped it up this week, so that was defi-
nitely our most improved event."
Michigan had a gymnast tied for first
or alone in first in every event on Satur-
day: Edward Umphrey on the floor exer-
cise, Diaz-Loung on pommel horse,
Parzuchowski on still rings, Brad Kenna

and Justin Toman on vault, Kris Zim-
merman - last week's Big Ten gymnast
of the week - on parallel bars, Kenna
again on horizontal bars and Chris Gatti
in the all around.
Michigan is looking to improve for its
big match with No. 1 Penn State this
weekend at Cliff Keen Arena. There
won't be much room for error, as the
Nittany Lions have averaged 211.2
points per match compared to Michi-
gan's 209.6.
"We really improved on parallel bars,
that was huge," Golder said. "We just
need to do the same next week. If we do
that next week, we'll stand a chance
against Penn State. If we don't, that will
be real tough. They've posted some
pretty good scores.

I

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