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February 18, 2002 - Image 16

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The Michigan Daily, 2002-02-18

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8B - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - February 18, 2002
Men easily knock off Illinois-Chicago

By Evan Brown
Daily Sports Writer
Momentum greatly affects a team every
season, and teams must be able to survive
the highs andlows that happen during the
season to be successful.
The Michigan men's gymnastics team
has had it's share highs and lows, but it has
begun to hit an upswing at a key point in
this season.
No. 5 Michigan (6-4) easily beat No. 13
Illinois-Chicago 213.85-200.8, at Cliff
Keen Arena this weekend, making a good
week of practice pay off.
"We're definitely turning a corner," said
Michigan coach Kurt Golder. "There's just
a tremendous amount of positives between
this week's practices and this week's com-
"We're turning the corner and this
confirms it."
The Wolverines tallied their highest
score of the season after struggling with

injuries and weaker performances. Seniors
Brad Kenna and Justin Toman led the
charge for the upstart Wolverines, who
seem to be back on track.
"It was a good turnaround from what
we've been doing," Kenna said. "From
what we did today, we're kind of starting
the season now."
Michigan had the top score in each of
the events and had the top three scores in
five of six events.
Kenna was first on the floor exercise by
scoring a 9.4 to break a school record that
he already owned. He also tied for first on
the parallel bars with Kris Zimmerman
with a 9.15.
The Wolverines had been struggling in
their overall performance, but now they're
hitting routines and getting high scores.
They will work on improving scores from
lower spots in the lineup to raise their over-
all score.
"We had a lot of good performances, we
have a lot (of routines) that are close to

stepping up," Golder said. "Mainly in our
third and fourth score, we have a lot of
potential in those spots. If we could get
those right, we can score higher."
Michigan is still fighting injuries and
hopes to take a step forward in that depart-
ment this week.
To improve those third and fourth scores,
they will need to get some of their better
gymnasts back to full strength.
"We're getting there," Kenna said. "We
just need to add a few more people in the
lineups and keep working hard in practice,
and we'll be all set."
The Wolverines must keep their momen-
tum and build on it this week as they will
travel to Iowa City to face No. 2 Iowa.
This will be the first meeting between
the two teams since 1999.
"If we can strengthen our lineup and
have another good week of practice like
last week," Golder said. "I feel very opti-
mistic that we'll be able to get by (the
on the road
the hour-long drive from Pittsburgh to
watch her.
"I was disappointed," Plocki said of the
team's performance. "I thought we made
some mental mistakes we haven't been
making all year."
The Wolverines' team score of 196.10
was its lowest in a month, while the Moun-
taineers' 195.975 was a new season high.
The performance was a let down for Plocki,
who was hoping for a solid score against
her alma mater and former mentor Linda
Burdette, the 27-year Mountaineer head
No place like home
Michigan's stumbles against the Moun-
taineers proved just how hard it can be
to post quality scores on the road.

Ray leads sluggish 'M'

By Josh Holman
Daily Sports Writer
As No. 6 Michigan then-No.2 Georgia by
upsetting them in Ann Arbor, competing on
the road is often a difficult task.
But what comes around goes around, as
the Wolverines struggled on the road this
weekend in a 196.10-195.975 win over
unranked West Virginia in Morgantown,
West Virginia.
Michigan's troubles began right from the
start, when it was forced to count an earlier
fall on junior Cami Singer's uneven bars
routine after sophomore Calli Ryals suf-
fered a similar miscue later in the event. The
result was a season low 48.60 on the event.
The Wolverines experienced further woes
in their last rotation on the balance beam.
Senior Shanon MacKenzie could only
muster a 9.375 on her routine after a fall,
but the Wolverines were forced to count the
score because of freshman Kara Rosella's
score of 9.150 two routines earlier.
"It's definitely easier to compete at
home," senior co-captain Jodie Rosenberg
said. "There just isn't as much energy on
the road, and that's just something we have
to work on."
Ryals and sophomore Elise Ray, Michi-

gan's last two gymnasts on the beam, had
absolutely no room for error, but Ryals' sec-
ond-place score of 9.925, and Ray's win-
ning score of 9.95 helped salvage a victory
for the Wolverines.
Ray's performance on the day proved to
be the most consistent for Michigan, as she
won her second consecutive all-around title
by posting a 39.625. Ray's return to imme-
diate success after a slow recovery from a
bruised heel comes at a very convenient
Ryals, Michigan's top producer during
Ray's injury, was hampered by a head cold
in yesterday's meet and could not even place
in the all-around competition with a score
of 38.675, almost a full point lower than her
39.575 last week against Georgia.
Ryals was not the only one under the
weather. Senior Melissa Peterson was pulled
from the vault and junior co-captain Janessa
Grieco reported feeling nauseous during the
The Wolverines also welcomed the break-
out of freshman Chelsea Kroll. She won the
vault with a score of 9.95 in just her second
collegiate competition. Kroll is also return-
ing to the lineup after an injury, and she did
it just in time to perform in front of a crowd
of hometown family and friends, who made


On the Road:
Maui Invitational
Ohio State
West Virginia
At Home:
Northern Illinois

Michigan Opponent
193.625 - 194.650
195.125 -195.025
196.175 - 193.575
196.100 -195.975
194.900 -186.600
197.000 - 195.425
197.175 - 197.025

Senior Justin Toman led Michigan to a 213.85-200.8 victory over No. 13 lllinols-Chicago Saturday. Toman
placed ninth on the parallel bars, but finished first on the horizontal bar.

tY U.S., Russia tie in pool play s

Unlike 1980, this wasn't a must-win Olympic
hockey game for either the United States or
Russia - so maybe it was fitting that neither
team could.
Brett Hull scored off his own rebound with
four and a half minutes left and the United
States - outshot and outskated most of the
night by super-fast Russia - managed a 2-2,
tie Saturday in their first Olympic matchup in
America since the Miracle on Ice.
Brett Hull put his own rebound past Russia's
Nikolai Khabibulin to tie the score for the
United States.
Sergei Fedorov and Valeri Bure scored
power-play goals as Russia put a seemingly
safe 2-1 lead into the hands of goalie Nikolai
Khabibulin in the third period, but the man
known as the Bulin Wall gave up the tying
AP PHOTO score amid intense U.S. pressure.
"I thought it was great hockey, by both
teams," said coach Herb Brooks, back behind

the U.S. bench for the first time since Ameri-
ca's historic 1980 Olympic upset of the seem-
ingly unbeatable Soviet Union.
With the United States throwing 15 shots at
Russia in the final period - Russia led 20-10
in shots after the first two periods - Hull
finally got the tying goal.
Hull, one of the highest-scoring Americans
ever in the NHL, took Phil Housley's cross-ice
pass in the left circle and, after fumbling his
first attempt, swept the puck back ontc his
stick and line-drived it past Khabibulin at
15:30 of the third.
"It kind of sat there on the ice after the first
shot," Hull said. "We had been waiting for
another chance, and I managed to get it."
Mike Richter, the most experienced and
successful U.S. goalie in international play,
was equally strong. He didn't allow an equal-
strength goal while making 33 saves against
nearly nonstop pressure after the United States
dominated the first five minutes.

After being stymied in a tight-checking game, Team USA
winger Brett Hull scored with 4:30 left to-tie Russia 2-2.

Sweden continues impressive play in win

- The Czech Republic hockey team
knows it's in trouble or doing something
very wrong when star goalie Dominik
Hasek disgustedly slams his stick on the
Thwack! Thwack! Thwack!
The Czechs heard so much pounding
yesterday, Hasek probably wore out a
stick or two.
Tommy Salo outdueled Hasek in a
matchup of gold-medal goalies and

Sweden beat the defending Olympic
champion Czechs 2-1 for its second
consecutive impressive victory.
Mats Sundin scored his third goal in
two games and Kim Johnsson had a
power play goal as Sweden - following
up its unexpectedly easy 5-2 decision
Friday over Canada - opened up a 2-0
lead, then weathered two strong final
periods by the Czechs.
Salo made 37 saves, all but seven
after the first period, as the Czechs came

at him in waves of scoring attempts.
"He played even better than he did
against Canada, especially in the third
period when they had a lot of scoring
chances," Sundin said. "He won the
game for us."
The victory all but assured Sweden
and its innovative "torpedo" system of
winning its four-team pool, with the

United States likely to win the other
pool. If it beats Germany on today, Swe-
den probably will play Belarus in the
"It's very early in the tournament, but
we've played two very good teams and
we have four points," Sundin said. "We
have to be happy, it's a good start for us,
but that's all it is."

American.Chris Witty has rebounded set a new world record In the 1,000 meters,
despited being diagnosed with mononucleosis last month.
Witt sets new world
record in 1,000-meterr

Medal tracker
Through 43 events
Country Gold Silver Bronze Total
aGermany 6 10 6 22
U.S.A 4 7 7 18
Norway 8 5 0 13
Austria 1 3 9 13 o
rR ussia 4 4 2 10

KEARNS, Utah (AP) - American
Chris Witty won a speedskating gold
medal with a world record in the
1,000 meters yesterday, bouncing
back from a case of mono she con-
tracted just a month before the
The United States claimed another
medal when Jennifer Rodriguez
earned the bronze.
Witty's time of 1:13.83 smashed
Sabine Voelker's record of 1:14.06, set
in December at the Utah Olympic
"I don't know where that came
from," Witty said. "(Saturday), I felt
awful. (Yesterday), I didn't feel so
good. I was a little tired."
Voelker took the silver, also break-
ing her former mark in 1:13.96.
Rodriguez finished in 1:14.24.
It was a remarkable accomplish-
ment for Witty, who felt sluggish
throughout the World Cup season.
Last month, she finally learned the
reason for her slow times when doc-

The Americans have won six
medals in six events at the Utah
Olympic Oval, more than any other
nation. Voelker's silver was her sec-
ond medal of the games and Ger-
many's fifth.
Witty, who won silver in the 1,000
at Nagano, lopped more than a half-
second off her previous best time on
the world's fastest ice.
. In all, four speedskating records
have fallen at the Salt Lake City
Witty skated flawlessly, holding her
form together on the grueling final
lap while many other skaters faded.
When her time flashed on the score-
board, she threw up her arms and
broke out in a huge smile.
"I didn't feel a thing," Witty said.
"It was an effortless race. It was one
of those races where you don't really
think of anything, just float."
The 26-year-old American skated a
victory lap with a U.S. flag draped
around her shoulders while the U2


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