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February 18, 2002 - Image 14

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The Michigan Daily, 2002-02-18

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6B - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - February 18, 2002


Okenwa leads Webb-less

Harners into
By Kareen Copeland
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan men's track and field team
came home on Saturday for its final meet before
the Big Ten Championships. Visiting Ann Arbor
to compete in the Harold Silverston Invitational
were Western Michigan, Calvin College, Hills-
dale Detroit Mercy, Waterloo, Toledo, Windsor,
Akron, Grand Valley and representatives from
various professional running clubs.
The contest was also the last time that the
seniors competed inside the Michigan Indoor
Track building donning the maize and blue.
With the departing veterans looking to peak and
leave their mark on the program, Michigan won
six events as Ike Okenwa led the way.
"This whole week I've been thinking about
the Big Ten meet. I was just using this to fine
tune for that meet," Okenwa said.
' The senior tri-captain highlighted the day
with victories in the 60-meter dash and the 200-
meter dash. Okenwa beat out Ken Mannie, who
ran without a team, by .004 seconds in the 60-
meter dash.
Freshman Nathan Taylor continued his
impressive year with a third-place finish in the
same sprint. He crossed the line in a paltry 6.94
Unfortunately, freshman phenom Alan Webb
has officially been redshirted for the season.
Webb, who ran the fastest mile ever for a high-
schooler, came into Michigan with very high

Big Tens
expectations. Those expectations were realized
as Webb dominated the Big Ten in cross country
by winning the individual championship. Webb
has tendonitis in his Achilles that has kept him
sidelined for the past several weeks. The team
had hoped to rest him after a long cross country
season until close to the Big Ten Championship
in track. Webb should be physically healthy in
two weeks and should be ready by the time the
outdoor season starts on March 21.
Michigan also swept the 600-meter dash with
Dan Cooke taking first in 1:21.08. Darnell Tal-
bert took second while senior Kevin Rogan's
1:22.31 was good enough for third place. The
Wolverines third sweep came in the mile, in
which Ryan Hessleink controlled the race and
crossed first in 4:14.68. Terrance Rindler and
Dave Sage rounded out the top three with times
of 4:16.97 and 4:19.68. Just missing the cut was
senior tri-captain Mike Wisniewski, who fin-
ished in 4:19.82. Wisniewski has already provi-
sionally qualified for the NCAA
Championships in the 3,000-meter.
Senior tri-captain Derek Applewhite had his
best performance of the year in his last home
meet. Applewhite, who has been struggling with
hamstring problems all year long, posted a
career best in the 60-meter high hurdles. His
time of 8.00 seconds took second place behind
LaShawn Alexander of Toledo.
"Applewhite was a nice, pleasant surprise. He
hasn't run the hurdles in quite a while because
of injury," Michigan coach Ron Warhurst said.
Adams br(
By Ryan Leventhal
For the Daily

Michigan runners used this weekend as a last chance to fine-tune before the Big Ten Championships.

"Confidence is the biggest thing going into Big
Tens. Confidence is everything."
Freshmen Nathan Brannan was held out of
the weekend's meet. He will be available for
the Big Ten meet, and he has already qualified
provisionally for the NCAA meet in the 3,000-
meter and the mile.
Now all eyes turn to the Big Ten Champi-
onships. The team can no longer train to get
.stronger and faster. The key is to prepare
everyone mentally to put forth their best per-

"It would be nice for everyone to get a
(personal record) and their season best at the
Big Ten meet. You would really hope that
would happen, but sometimes it doesn't,"
Warhurst said.
The Big Ten championship meet will take
place in Minneapolis on Feb. 23-24. The
Wolverines will rely heavily on their freshman
class to contribute some points next week. The
team is in position to finish anywhere from
first to fourth depending on how well a fresh-
man compete on such a grand scale.

set marks-,
By Jacob Leonhardt
For the Daily
The Michigan women's track team
broke a pair of school records on
Saturday in the non-scoring Harold
Silverston Invitational at the Indoor
Track Building. Anna Fisher shat-
tered the school record for the sec-
ond straight week by clearing 12
feet in the pole vault, earning sec-
ond place. She beat her previous
personal record by more than two
and a half inches. Fisher's continued
success will be important for Michi-
gan at the Big Ten Championships.
"If Anna can duplicate what she
did this weekend here at home, she
could be successful at the Big Ten
Championships next weekend," head
coach James Henry said. "Anna has
been somewhat inconsistent this
year, but has tremendously improved
this weekend."
April Phillips was the other
record-setting Wolverine, breaking
her own record by throwing 60-feet,
6.75 inches in the weight throw. She
won the event for the fourth straight
week, and for the seventh straight
week she threw for an NCAA provi-
sional mark.
"She is the best thrower in the
country for her size, but (she) must
improve on her throws to be an
Olympian," Henry said. "April is a
relaxed performer. She focuses on
her performance for each individual
week, not on her previous records."
Henry said that if Phillips focuses
particularly on her throws this week,
she should earn an eighth straight
NCAA provisional mark.
The team's strengths will be tested
this weekend against the defending
Big Ten champion, Indiana, and
against other competitive teams,
such as Illinois.
Braking your own
Over the course of the season, jun-
ior April Phillips has emerged as
Michigan's best thrower and one of
the top performers in the nation.
This season Phillips has set Michi-
gan team records in the shot put
and weight throw.
Weight throw
Date Distance
Jan. 12 55 feet, 3.2 inches
Feb. 2 57 feet, 5 inches
Feb. 16 60 feet, .5 inches
Shot put
Date Record
Jan. 5 52 feet, .3 inches


aks out at Silverston Invite

On a day when most runners were
looking to take it easy and avoid injury
while preparing for the Big Ten Champi-
onships, Michigan freshman Darren
Adams had a breakout meet at the
Harold Silverston Invitational.
Michigan coach Ron Warhurst
described the runners in general at the
meet as "a little apprehensive overall.
They don't want to take a chance of
hurting themselves."
But Adams was anything but appre-
hensive. After coming to Michigan from
athletic powerhouse St. Ignatius High
School in Cleveland, he displayed a
noticeable tenacity on both the track and
field events. Adams started off the day
with a respectable fourth-place finish in
the long jump. Adams is better known
for his high jumping, an event in which
he took third place at the George Mason
Invitational two weeks ago.
Next up for Adams was the 60-meter
dash, in which he ran a time bf 7.l4,sec-"
onds. That time put him in seventh
place, third among Michigan sprinters,
behind regulars Ike'Okehwa aridNathan
Taylor. In the finals, Adams showed
determination and improved his time,
earning sixth place with a time of 7.08

Adams most impressive showing came
in the finals of the 200-meter dash. After
watching senior sprinter Ike Okenwa
smoke the field with a time of 21.56
seconds in the first heat of the finals,
Adams had a mission. After a solid start
out of the blocks, Adams pulled away
from the pack and never looked back.
When his surprising time of 21.93 was
put up on the board, Okenwa yelled to
Warhurst that he was responsible for that
unexpected performance. Warhurst did-
n't anticipate that time from Adams
"Yeah, it's a surprise," Warhurst said.
"But when you have a kid with as much
ability as he does and he starts doing
stuff, it's a pleasant surprise."
Adams' raw ability and blazing speed
are things that he has been looking to
harness in practice this past week.
"Darren is one of those guys who
doesn't think when he runs, he just
runs," Okenwa said.
In practice, the senior leader, Okenwa,
saw Adams struggling while running
with the other jumpers. Okenwa
approached Adams in practice on Friday
"in hopes of helping the youngster
"I noticed he was getting beat horribly
on the block," Okenwa said. "I was giv-

Making the cut
So far this season, five Wolverines have
posted NCAA provisional marks in 11
events. Here is a list of some of the provi-
sional marks:
Nathan Brannan
800-meter run . 1:48.73
1,600-meter run 4:01.4
3,000-meter run 8:09.06
Brian Turner
1,600-meter run 4:05.29
Jeremy Schneider
800-meter run 1:50.11
ing him some pointers on what I do to
help him fine tune his skills."
Okenwa also was on a mission to
improve the starts of his own races.
"I'm the kind of guy who comes out
toward the end," Okenwa said. "My main
focus today was fine tuning, getting my
start down better."
Thanks to tutelage from experienced
runners like Okenwa, the Wolverines are
hoping for more outstanding perform:
ances from Adams like the one he had
on Saturday. With any luck, the Wolver-
ines might just get another outstanding
performance this weekend when Michi-
gan takes part in the Big Ten Champi-
onships in Minneapolis.


Darren Adams had a breakout day at the Harold Silverston
Invitational, including a fourth-place finish in the long jump.




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