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January 14, 2002 - Image 14

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The Michigan Daily, 2002-01-14

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6B - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - January 14, 2002

Michigan continues to struggle on beam
Two out of six competitors suffer falls on troublesome apparatus in yesterday's victory

By Josh Holman
Daily Sports Writer
Michigan's 194.9-186.6 victory over Northern
Illinois yesterday at Cliff Keen Arena was never
in doubt. But how well the Wolverines could per-
form with a roster slowed by injurie - especially
on the balance beam - was the team's main
concern.
In an event that was expected to be one of the
Wolverines' strengths at the beginning of the sea-
son, the team posted a disappointing score of
47.450 at the Maui Invitational on Jan. 4, due in
part to two early falls.
Michigan was faced with the same scenario
again on Sunday when junior co-captain Janessa
Grieco and freshman Kallie Steffes both suffered
falls in the team's first two routines.
"It's kind of natural to think, 'Oh no, here we
go again,"' senior Shannon MacKenzie said. "But
we worked a lot in practice this week on pressure
sets.
"We can't control anything anyone else is
doing. We have to concentrate only on ourselves,
and there's no more or less pressure regardless of
what the person in front of us did."

Despite one small stumble, senior Melissa
Peterson's solid routine scored a 9.775. This
broke the string of subpar Michigan beam per-
formances and injected some life back into the
team.
MacKenzie followed Peterson's lead with a
quality routine of her own, posting a score of
9.850 en route to her fourth career beam title.
"The fact that we started out with two falls and
finished with four hit beam sets was a major
learning experience for the kids," Michigan
coach Bev Plocki said.
The team's total beam score of 48.450 was a
major improvement from the score posted in
Hawaii, but is still not what the team is capable
of achieving.
"We should be able to go out there without
even batting an eye and hit six for six every sin-
gle meet," Plocki said, "That's what they do in
the gym every day.
"We have to instill in them the confidence that
they can go out there and do that and not be so
tentative in a tense situation."
In addition to improving their performance on
the beam, the Wolverines were looking to find
ways to register quality scores with a number of

their top gymnasts hampered by injury.
Both Grieco and MacKenzie are still recover-
ing from shoulder and ankle injuries, respective-
ly, and are not yet at 100 percent. Peterson was
pulled from competing in the vault in order to
protect a shoulder injury.
Sunday's meet also marked the first time that
sophomore Elise Ray (bruised heel) did not com-
pete in the all-around competition. She had com-
peted in the all-around 13 consecutive times, but
did not appear in the Wolverines' lineup for the
floor and vault on Sunday.
"The most important thing to do right now is to
rest my heel," Ray said. "We had a couple people
injured, and the rest of the team stepped right in
and did a wonderful job for us."
Ray had tied for fourth in the all-around at the
Maui Invitational with teammates Calli Ryals and
Kallie Steffes.
The injuries may have proved beneficial for
Ryals, who emerged from the wounded Michigan
roster to win her first career all-around title.
The sophomore posted a score of 38.925 which
included a first-place finish on the uneven bars,
and a first-place tie on the vault with Grieco and
Steffes.

"

DAVID ROCHKIND/Daily
Michigan's season-long troubles on the balance beam continued against Northern
Illinois. The Wolverines fell twice, but still managed to defeat the Huskies.
Tankers put upM
grood times in
loss to Stanford .
By Melanie Kebler
Daily Sports Writer

Wolverinesgn sndown
both Oregon schools

The Michigan men's swimming and diving
team nearly knocked off the best program in the
country Saturday afternoon, led by outstanding
performances from freshmen distance swimmers
Brendan Neligan and Andrew Hurd. No. 1 Stan-
ford came out with a 134-109 victory, but its
swimmers certainly had to swim their best in
order to keep the No. 12 Wolverines from pulling
off an upset.
"We're just getting outstanding performances
from our freshmen," Michigan coach John
Urbanchek said. "Hurd and Neligan, those guys
immediately stepped up. The bigger the meet, the
bigger they swim."
A crowd of 750 looked on as Neligan swam
away with the 1000-yard and 500-yard freestyle
races, finishing several seconds ahead of the
nearest competitors. In the same races, Hurd kept
things exciting by sprinting past the Stanford
swimmers in the final lap of both contests and
dramatically placing second behind his team-
mate.
Although he was disappointed by the outcome
of the meet, Neligan said the Wolverines were
very happy with their performance.
"We're ecstatic. I mean, we're a little disap-
pointed that we lost, but we all swam personal
bests today," Neligan said. "We swam out of our
suits. If you want to say it, it's a good loss. It's a
great loss."
Neligan and Hurd's 1-2 finish in the 1000-yard
freestyle gave Michigan a boost early in the meet.
In the next race, the 200-yard freestyle, junior
Garrett Mangieri and sophomore Dan Ketchum
also swam to a 1-2 finish for the Wolverines.
"It was an exciting point after the 1000 free,
and I just took the momentum into the next race,"
Mangieri said. "It's a big rivalry we have, and it's

DANNY MOLOSHOK/Daily
Tim Siclilano and the rest of the Wolverines posted some tremendous times even though they lost to Stanford.

By Eric Chan
Daily Sports Writer
Remember the old video game
"Oregon Trail?" If you don't, the
premise was simple. The player had
to get across the country in a
wagon, while shooting buffalo and
deer for food (and hoping that
nobody got cholera).
The fourth-ranked Michigan
wrestling team headed out to Ore-
gon this weekend, but it wasn't gun-
ning for buffalo and deer - the
Wolverines were shooting for
Ducks and Beavers.
Hunting was good for the Wolver-
ines as they beat both Oregon and
Oregon State to remain undefeated
in dual meet competition this sea-
son.
Against Oregon State on Saturday
night, Michigan was losing midway
through the match, but managed to
come from behind to capture a deci-
sive 25-14 victory.
Oregon State's Casey Horn
scored an upset win by fall against
12t1-ranked ,Cjk Forwardgiving,
the Beavers a 14-10 lead going into
the final four matches. Michigan
wrestlers Mike Kulczycki, Ryan
Betin, Charles:.Martelli and Otto
Olson took care of business after
that, winning their matches to give
Michigan 15 additional team
points.
"The key to the comeback was
the fact that we really don't have
any weak weight classes," Michigan
coach Joe McFarland said. "Even if
we have a couple of bad matches,
other guys step in and step it up."
The match of the evening came at

184 pounds between Michigan's
Andy Hrovat - who is ranked sec-
ond in the nation - and Oregon
State's Issac Weber, the defending
Pac-10 champion.
Hrovat held a 7-4 lead midway
through the final period, but Weber
scored an escape with 53 seconds
remaining to bring the score to 7-5.
Shortly after that, Weber shot in on
Hrovat, and just as the buzzer
sounded, he scored the two points to
tie the match at 7-7.
Neither wrestler scored in the
first overtime period, sending the
match to double overtime.
In the 30-second double over-
time, the goal of the bottom
wrestler is to escape while the goal
of the top wrestler is to keep him
down. Hrovat was in the bottom
position, but couldn't manage an
escape, as Weber merely grabbed
one of his legs and stalled out the
time. Weber escaped with the upset
double overtime win over the two-
time All-American.
"I think Andy just lost control of
that match," McFarland said. "He
was doing some good things in the
second period, but he just lost
focus."
At Oregon on Friday, Michigan'
lost two of the first four matches,
but pins by Olson and Hrovat gave
Michigan 12 points and an insur-
mountable lead. Michigan went on
to win 30-9.
Michigan 125-pounder A.J. Grant
was the story of the night. In a
match that will surely move him up
in the rankings, the 12th-ranked
Grant crushed No. 9 Shaun
Williams of Oregon, 13-4.

0

always a fight to the finish like it was today."
Michigan kept rolling after Mangieri's race,
with Ketchum picking up valuable points by fin-
ishing second in the 200-yard butterfly and soph-
omore diver Jason Coben winning both the
one-meter and three-meter diving contests,.
Another 1-2 finish from Neligan and Hurd in the
500 free gave the team momentum going into the
last two events with the score 111-96, but Stan-
ford won the final relay by 16 hundredths of a
second and finished the meet on top.
"Ketchum was back about sixth one-hun-
dredths in two events, and that would have been
the difference in the ballgame," Urbanchek said.
"This meet could have gone either way."
Despite dropping to 4-3 for the season, the
Wolverines performed well this weekend, turning
in many personal bests. Neligan, Mangieri and
Ketchum combined for five NCAA consideration
times between them and three other Wolverines
swam NCAA consideration times as well.

"Regardless of what the score is, the times fort
both teams were outstanding," Urbanchek said.c
"It's not too often that you have a dual meet
where you have pool records set in midseason."
Two Stanford swimmers, Marcus Rogan and
Peter Marshall, set pool records in the 49Q-ya
individual medley and 100-yard backstroke,t
respectively. Michigan's Neligan was a second offt
another Canham Natatorium record, finishing the
1000-yard freestyle in 9:00.4 1.
"The pool record wasn't an issue heading intot
the meet. I really wanted to help us win this dualt
meet," Neligan said. "Now that I see how close I1
was (to the record), it might be something I shoot1
for down the road."
With three years ahead of him, the freshmant
will have plenty of time to chase records. Right
now, though, the Wolverines are glad to have himc
and his fellow classmates turning in fast times
and coming through with big wins in a meet as
significant as one against Stanford.

Battered 'M' squad thrashed by Hoosiers

By Kweem Copeland
Daily Sports Writer

In a lackluster meet with many ath-
letes missing due to injury, the Michigan
men's indoor track team lost to Indiana
by its largest margin of defeat since
1992. The Wolverines failed to win 11
of 15 events en route to a 100-57 defeat
at the Harry Gladstein Fieldhouse in
Bloomington.
Two of Michigan's four victories
came from freshmen competing in their
first collegiate meet. Nathan Taylor, a
Canadian junior champion, won the 60-

meter dash in 6.94 seconds. The win
came against last year's Big Ten champi-
on, Contrell Ash. Michigan's Brent
Cummings and Dustin Gress placed
third and fifth, respectively.
Joey Sarantos won his first event
while donning the maize and blue. His
shot put of 16.05 meters beat Indiana's
Ryan Ketchum by 0.08 meters. Sarantos
joined the team after he completed his
freshman football season.
"Those guys did real good," tri-cap-
tain Ike Okenwa said. "I feel they lived
up to expectations."
The two other victories came courtesy

I I

of Tom Greenless and Jeremy Schnei-
der. Greenless was the only Wolverine to
run in the mile. He beat the rest of the
field by crossing the line in 4:18.91.
Schneider, last week's Big Ten Athlete
of the Week, won the 600-meter run. His
second victory in as many weeks came
in at 1:19.11.
"We had some bright spots," assistant
coach Fred LaPlante said. "But we ran
into a good team and kind of got
thrashed."
The short-handed Michigan team
competed without Derek Applewhite,
Mike Wisniewski, Nathan Brannen,
Brian Turner and Alan Webb. With a
pieced-together lineup, the team concen-
trated on individual performances. Since
the meet had no bearing on Big Ten
standings, the final score was less
important.
"We knew we weren't throwing the
entire troop at Indiana," Schneider said.
"We wanted to see how people did."
Unfortunately, people did not pick up
the slack as expected. The feeling from
the team was that everyone was not par-
ticularly ready for the meet.
"Half of our guys were not tuned in to
compete," LaPlante said. "Whatever les-
sons we need to learn, I hope we have."
Okenwa, who expects to challenge for

the Big Ten championship, finished
third in the 200-meters with a time of
22.05. The Wolverines' top pole-vaulter,
Brent Sheffer, finished second behind
Indiana's Dino Efthimiou by seven inch-
es. In the long jump, David Malonsen
leapt 6.34 meters for a fourth-place fin-
ish behind three Hoosiers.
Next week, the Wolverines will come
home and try to right the ship. Saturday,
Michigan will host the Red Simmons
Invitational.
The goal in track and field is always
to work toward the Big Ten meet. Teams
train for strength and endurance early
and focus on speed as the season winds
down.
The Wolverines are in excellent phys-
ical condition physically, but have not
translated that into wins on the track.
Schneider's newfound dedication has
been the brightest spot during this young
season.
The team should be considered a
championship contender once upper-
classmen heal up and the freshman gain
more experience. Alan Webb's highly
anticipated debut should materialize this
weekend.
"We have a lot of talent," Schneider
said. "It's going to be interesting to see
what we can do."

6
0
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NEW
for 2002!
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764-1342 or www.umich.edu/-umove

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Seniors! Do you know what you will be doing
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Annly now and you could be in the Peace Corps this

Alan Webb should be joining the men's indoor track team this weekend.

Gymnasts place third at Windy City invite

By Swapnil Patel
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan men's gymnastics team started
its 2001-2002 season with a third-place finish in
this weekend's 3nA-annual Windy Citv Invita-

it is more important to rest those that are injured
and to allow the younger gymnasts to showcase
their skills at meets.
"It was an opportunity for the freshmen to
compete at the collegiate level," junior Brad
Kenna said.

contributed significantly to the Wolverines' team
total of 206.850.
The Wolverines posted the tournament's high-
est team score on floor exercise, as Umphrey,
Kenna and Zimmerman each placed in the top
three with scores of 9.150. 9.050 and 9.000,

Al

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