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March 27, 2002 - Image 12

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The Michigan Daily, 2002-03-27

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12 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, March 27, 2002


Wintry weather leaves Wolverines in limbo

By Dan Rosen
Daily Sports Writer
The calendar says that it's baseball
season, but outside, it looks and feels
more like it's time for curling. As a
result, Michigan interim baseball coach
says it's
"doubtful" that FISHER STADIUM
the Wolverines Who: Michigan (312) vs.
will take the Western Michigan(6-6)
field today Wheni:3p.m..
against West- Latest:TheWolverinswill
look to extend their home
ern Michigan. winning streak to four.
If the game Michigan'slast win came
does go on as against Bowling Green last
planned, senior week 4-2.
Jeff Trzos will
take the mound for Michigan at 3 p.m.
tdday at The Fish. The lefthander will
be making just the third start of his

His first start came on Feb. 25 against
Oregon State. In that game, a few
unlucky bounces, including a grounder
that barely managed to escape the reach
of his 6-foot-6 frame, opened the flood-
gates. The Beavers scored 13 unearned
runs against the senior in the first
"We played very poor defense, which
hurt him," said Harrison of Trzos'
appearance in Sari Diego.
Despite the lefthander's 0-3 record,
Harrison still has a lot of confidence in
him. He says that Trzos' has been
throwing the ball well since practice
began in January.
"He's had a little stiffness in his
shoulder, but I think he's throwing pret-
ty well," Harrison said. "He threw real
well all January and when we were
Assuming his pitchers take the
mound this afternoon, Harrison doesn't

think that the cold or the possibility of
snow will have any effect on them.
"Once they get loose, and they start
throwing, they're actually the ones
(that), in the bad weather, are probably
least affected," Harrison said. "Because
they are constantly moving and con-
stantly in action, they just have to keep
warm between innings."
The weather also won't affect the
number of pitches Harrison plans to let
Trzos throw. He is more concerned about
getting his starter ready for his sched-
uled appearance against Iowa on Sunday
than any effects the cold might have.
At the beginning of the season, when
the Wolverines took a look at their
schedule, they probably didn't pay
much attention to today's game against
Western Michigan (6-6). Michigan has
touted this weekend's Big Ten opener
against Iowa the start of the most
important part of its season. The

Wolverines enter today's game last in
the conference in pitching, fielding and
hitting. And with the way the Wolver-
ines have struggled thus far, Harrison
knows that his team can't afford to
overlook anyone.
"I don't think that, in our situation,
there's any reason for us to overlook any
game;' Harrison said. "(Western Michigan
is) a team that always plays us tough. Fred
Decker is an outstanding coach."
Despite his team's losses, Harrison
has seen improvement in the way the
Wolverines have been playing over the
last two weeks. Entering this weekend's
Big Ten opener, he's is hoping that
Michigan will continue to progress.
"We feel like we've been able to
accomplish some things and get our-
selves ready (for the Big Ten season),"
Harrison said. "If we do play, that's just
another chance for us to prepare our-


Defense has been one of Michigan's many weaknesses this season.

Stanford Invite gives
'M' shot to warm up
By Reese Ballas __ H__ sWEE_ KEND_
For the Daily I S WEKEN

Taylor beginning to
step into the spotlight


It didn't take long for Michigan
women's track hurdler Vera Simms
to get a taste of the infamous Michi-
gan weather.
Accustomed to the heat of the
tropics, the Mililani, Hawaii native
had to battle the cold on her very
first day of training for the outdoor
"They went outside, and I thought
they were crazy," Simms said of her
teammates. "I thought they lost their
mind. I didn't know what we were
doing, but I wasn't moving."
But the reason Simms made the
decision to come to Michigan was
not based on the weather. Simms -
an engineering sophomore - found
that the mix between Michigan's ath-
letic prowess and its elite academics
compensated for the unpredictable
"The girls hate the cold," Michi-
gan coach James Henry said. "But if
they don't run outside, they're not
going to be able to simulate the race
Henry is expecting a lot from
Simms when the Wolverines head to
Palo Alto, Calif. to compete in the
Stanford Invitational this weekend,
due to her knockout performance
last weekend at the Florida State
Simms placed first in the 400-

What: Michigan at Stanford Invitational
When: 4 p.m. Friday, noon Saturday
Latest: The Wolverines grabbed five first-place
finishes last week at the Florida State relays.
Michigan had four competitors place first and
three finish second at Stanford last year.
meter hurdles and second in the 100-
meter hurdles in Tallahassee, Fla.
Henry also noted the difference
between the first and second weeks
of the season. While the Wolverines
took a more laid-back approach in
Tallahassee, this weekend will serve
as an indicator of who will stand out
this season. It will also begin the
intense approach that the runners
will carry to the Big Ten Champi-
onships in May.
"The Florida preliminaries were
about getting our feet wet," Henry
said. "So, we're expecting better per-
formances at Stanford."
Henry said he hopes that the cold
weather in Ann Arbor will not affect
the health of the runners - injury
played a major factor in Michigan's
sixth-place finish at last season's
Big Ten Outdoor Championships.
"I'm sick right now due to the
transition from indoor to outdoor,"
junior thrower April Phillips said. "I
have to have my hands exposed, so I
just can't stop moving in order to
keep warm. My performance is defi-
nitely different in the cold. It's hard

By Jacob Lonhardt
Daily Sports Writer
With all the star power of the dis-
tance runners at Michigan, it's easy to
overlook the greatness of freshman
sprinter NathanTaylor.
Freshman miler Nathan Brannen
excelled in the indoor season and
qualified for the NCAA Champi-
onships. Most of the buzz around the
Indoor Track Building has surround-
ed Alan Webb, who is regarded as
one of the best distance runners in the
United States. He is also a finalist for
the 2002 Sullivan Award, which hon-
ors the best amateur athlete in the
But with much of the focus on
Brannen and Webb, Taylor has been
able to concentrate on his first-year
success without much fanfare.
Taylor, a British Columbia native,
will run in the Canadian Senior
Championships at the end of June.
Later this summer, he will reunite
with fellow Canadian Brannen to run
against international competition in
the World Junior Championships in
"I hope to make the Canadian
National Team of 2004 and run on the
national relay team at the Olympics
(in Athens, Greece)," Taylor said.
Last weekend, Taylor ran one of the
200-meter legs of the sprint medley
relay, which took first place.
Taylor is making his mark early

What: Michigan at Raleigh Relays
When: 11 a.m. Friday and Saturday
Latest: While the Wolverines are focusing on
their meet in Raleigh this weekend, their eyes
are set on reaching the NCAA Championships.
this outdoor season, but he knows
that he would never have been as suc-
cessful last weekend without the help
of his teammates.
"I like running the 100-meter dash,
but there is always a lot of pressure
on the runner as an individual," Tay-
lor said. "The 4x100 meter relay is
not as stressful as the 100-meter dash
because some of the pressure is taken
off of you when you have three other
teammates running with you."
Though Taylor sometimes relies on
his teammates for his intensity when
competing in relays, his drive to excel
comes from within.
"In track, I think the more work
and practice you put in will increase
your chances of success," Taylor said.
"I like the fact that I can control my
own destiny on the track. I think you
get out of it what you put into it."
The Wolverines are focusing on
bigger national meets such as the Mt.
SAC relays and the Penn Relays to
qualify for the NCAA Outdoor
This weekend, the team will travel
to Raleigh, N.C. for the Raleigh


Anna Fisher and her teammates have had to deal with some frigid weather In Ann
Arbor, but their upcoming trip to Stanford should let them catch some sun.

to stay focused, because I want to go
back inside."
Henry said that Phillips was dis-
appointed in her performance in
Florida last weekend - where she
competed against the top throwers
from the South - but emphasized

that the team will always be able to
count on her.
While the Wolverines could have
looked upon yesterday's snowfall as
a hindrance, Henry said, "the adver-
sity of the weather is what makes
these kids tough."






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