2B - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - February 17, 2003
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Dance team spreading cheer to many
By Erin Block
For the Daily
They came, they danced and they conquered. The
Michigan dance team was able to show Saturday at the
men's basketball game why it is one of the hottest club
sports - and is on the verge of becoming a varsity
sport. Especially enjoyable was the performance dur-
ing halftime, where the team and members of their
most recent clinic took the floor and performed a two-
and-a-half-minute dance. The clinic - approximately
three hours long - taught 60 girls from age 10 inter-
ested college women how to shake it with the best of
them. Although the men's basketball games are usual-
ly the largest audience it performs in front of, the
dance team also spreads spirit and energy to the
lacrosse team, men's gymnastics team, women's vol-
leyball and men's soccer.
The dance team is a club sport which has seen huge
growth over the last four years. With small strides, the
team has gone from performing and cheering for
sports with smaller audiences to receiving a corner to
showcase its spirit at the Big House. Captain Lorin
O'Toole credited this growth to their coach Valerie
Postsos' determination to broaden the team's scope
and also to fans who wrote the athletic department.
"Being able to cheer for football is a huge treat and
helps our team to get better," O'Toole said.
Cheering for football, while an enormous step up
for the dance team, is a small step toward becoming a
varsity sport. There are many club sports at Michigan,
but being a "varsity" sport has many added bonuses
that allow the teams to live up to their full potential.
The dance team has just recently submitted a letter of
intention to the athletic department to become a varsi-
ty sport, but O'Toole said involves a long process
where funding will be an issue.
While the dance team helps support Michigan
teams by scattering spirit, it also competes throughout
the year to display its finely tuned athleticism.
"Games and sideline are important for the spirit of
the game, but competition is another dimension where
technique and athletic ability is more credited than just
spirit, " O'Toole said.
The dance team performs in competitions about
twice per year at its summer camp in Wisconsin. If it
teams on campus
qualifies, it will participate at the Universal Dance
Association National Competition. Nationals this year
were held in Florida during January, where the
Wolverines took 10th place out of about 30 teams.
"We were happy with our finish and also had a very
good time, but we are always striving to do better,"
The girls will even be on ESPN next October when
they televise the national tournament for the top-10
With 22 girls on the roster, one would expect a very
close-knit group, and this is exactly the case.
"Not only is this a way to continue dancing, I am
also with a group of people who love it just as much
as I do" O'Toole said. "The amount of time we spend
together is ridiculous, but it is by choice."
The women are always looking for new talent and
the next tryout for this energetic and entertaining sport
is in April. Chelsea Cullen, a junior team member
states she joined because, "It is a great opportunity to
continue dancing and competing too-and the added
bonus is definitely the great "seats" to all of the foot-
ball and basketball games."
ATHLETE OF THE WEEK
Min- Anri fllin- C -.. T 1,-A ri
who: A pr'1 Phllips
Position: shot put
Sport: Track and Field
Why: Phillips broke two school records in Michigan first-place finish at the
Sykes-Sabok Challenge Cup. She recorded throws of 54-71/4 and 63-1
1/4 in the shot put and weight throw, respectively. Phillips is a one of the
Waltrip takes Daytona in rain-shortened race
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) -
Michael Waltrip is the new master of
Daytona. He doesn't win anywhere
It's a burden well worth bearing -
being the best driver in NASCAR's
biggest race, at stock-car racing's most
Under dark clouds, Waltrip raced
past leader Jimmie Johnson after a
restart on lap 106 yesterday to win the
rain-shortened Daytona 500 for the
second time in three years.
Counting last year's Pepsi 400, he
has three victories in the last five
races at Daytona International Speed-
way. Those are the only ones in his
535 career starts.
"It's just amazing that we put that
car in the front and then it started rain-
ing," Waltrip said. "Today, I really
wanted some rain, and I got it."
Pre-race favorite Dale Earnhardt Jr.,
done in by a dead battery, helped his
friend and teammate take the lead on
the last green-flag lap.
"I had a plan," Waltrip said. "I knew
what I had to do. I had to get behind
Junior. I did that and I was able to
squeeze out the win.
"The victory in July was the best
thing in the world, but this is the Day-
Waltrip's first career Winston Cup
victory came here in 2001, but his joy
was wiped away by the fatal last-lap
crash of Dale Earnhardt Sr., his boss
Yesterday, Waltrip followed Earn-
hardt Jr., who had been lapped, past
Johnson in a tight two-car draft.
As the leaders neared the finish
line, defending champion Ward Bur-
ton spun and slammed into the fourth-
turn wall, bringing out the fifth
caution flag of the day. '
Moments later, rain fell for the sec-
ond time, and cars were stopped on pit
road to wait it out after completing
109 of 200 laps.
After a little more than an hour,
NASCAR declared Waltrip the win-
ner. As anticlimactic as the triumph
might have been, his team celebrated
in a garage 100 yards from Victory
Waltrip's wife, Buffy, and Earn-
hardt's widow, Teresa, hugged. Waltrip
lifted the trophy high above his head
as the crew sprayed beer and cham-
pagne all over him.
Waltrip has practically owned Day-
tona's famed 2 1/2-mile oval the past
He finished second to Earnhardt Jr.
in the 2001 Pepsi 400 and was fifth in
last year's 500 after winning a qualify-
ing race. Three-time Winston Cup
champion Darrell Waltrip's younger
brother finally got to fully enjoy a vic-
tory in July, taking that year's Pepsi
At the 500, the tandem of Waltrip
and Earnhardt Jr. dominated.
Junior, the heavy favorite after win-
ning three preliminary races in eight
days, led 22 laps and was still out
front when he started having electrical
problems. He finally slowed on lap 88
and drove slowly into the pits the next
time around. He lost two laps - and
his shot at victory.
Waltrip then became the man to
beat. He wound up leading three times
for a total of 68 laps, including the
Kurt Busch finished second, fol-
lowed by Johnson and Kevin Harvick.
Mark Martin, last year's series runner-
up, was fifth, with Robby Gordon
Wednesday, Feb. 19
M Basketball at Purdue 7 p.m.
W Swim/Diving at Big Ten Championships 7 p.m.
Thursday, Feb. 20
W Basketball at Penn State 7 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 21
Water Polo at Loyola Marymount 6 p.m.
Baseball at Armstrong Atlantic State 4 p.m.
Softball vs. Temple 5 p.m.
M Gymnastics vs. Iowa 7 p.m.
Ice Hockey at Nebraska-Omaha 8 p.m.
Softball vs. Washington 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 22
Softball vs. Bracket Playoffs TBA
Baseball vs. Georgia Tech 11:30 a.m.
M Tennis vs. Butler 12 p.m.
Softball vs. South Carolina 12:30 p.m.
Water Polo vs. SanJose State 7:15 p.m.
Water Polo at California-Irvine 9 p.m.
W Gymnastics at Denver 8:00 p.m.
Wrestling at Purdue 7:00 p.m.
Ice Hockey at Nebraska-Omaha 8:35 p.m.
M Track/Field vs. Harold Silverston Invitational
W Track/Field vs. Harold Silverston Invitational
Sunday, Feb. 23
Softball vs. Semifinals/Championship TBA
Baseball vs. Rider 11:30 a.m.
W Basketball at Indiana 2 p.m.
M Golf at The Puerto Rico Classic (San Juan, P.R.)
Monday, Feb. 24
W Golf at Central District Invitational (Parrish, Fla.)
Tuesday, Feb. 25
Water Polo at Long Beach State TBA
Softball at Texas-San Antonio 1 p.m. CST
Baseball at Saint Leo 7 p.m.
Softball at Texas-San Antonio
Wednesday, Feb. 26
Water Polo at California-Santa Barbara 7 p.m.
Softball at Texas A&M 8:30 p.m.
Baseball at Stetson 7 p.m.
M Basketball at Wisconsin 9 p.m.
Thursday, Feb. 27
M Swim/Diving vs. Big Ten Championships 12 p.m.
W Tennis at Wake Forest 2 p.m.
W Basketball at Ohio State 7 p.m.
Michael Waltrip won the Daytona 500 for the second time in the past three years.
The race was cut short this year due to bad weather conditions.
sixth and defending Winston Cup
champion Tony Stewart seventh.
Officials moved up the start of the
race about 20 minutes to try to get it
in before the rain.
Pole-winner Jeff Green was shuf-
fled back to ninth on the first lap, and
Waltrip moved from fourth to first.
Earnhardt Jr. fell to fourth, but worked
his way back to second on lap five.
Friday, Feb. 28
W Tennis at Duke 4 p.m.
Softball at Texas 6 p.m.
Baseball at Bethune-Cookman 7 p.m.
W Gymnastics at Utah 9 p.m.
Ice Hockey vs. Michigan State 7:35 p.m.
5 .v ,..-
O o 0 A a I Q M
Softball drops three
in opening weekend
The No. 4 Michigan softball team
didn't get off to a hot start this week-
end as it dropped three out of five
games at the Campbell/Cartier Clas-
sic in Poway, Calif. The Wolverines
defeated No. 15 Fresno State and
Loyola Marymount, but lost to Cal
State-Northridge, San Diego State
and Oregon. Sophomore pitcher
Nicole Motycka picked up all three
los.ses for the Wolverines, while
freshman Jennie Ritter and senior
Marissa Young both earned their first
wins of the season.
The Wolverines trailed yesterday's
finale 2-0 after Ritter gave up solo
home runs in the first and fifth
innings. But a Marissa Young home-
run in the sixth evened the game at
two. The game then went into the
bottom of the ninth when Michelle
Teschler, who was rarely used last
season, hit her second homerun of
the game to end the tourney. It was
the first time the Wolverines had bro-
ken through for a victory in extra
innings after all three of their losses
came in extra frames.
Michigan's last extra inning loss
came late Saturday night in an eight-
inning 8-7 loss to Oregon. The win-
ning run got on base because of the
international tiebreaker used in the
tournament that puts a runner on sec-
ond to start the inning. Michigan
loaded the bases in the bottom of the
inning, but freshman pitcher Grace
Leutele bounced into a double play
to end the game.
In Saturday evening's loss to San
Diego State, both teams were dead-
locked at one going into the ninth
inning when the international
tiebreaker scored the winning run yet
again. In the bottom of the inning,
the Aztecs sacrificed the leadoff run-
ner over to third before an RBI single
by Amber Granhalm won the game.
The Wolverines had a chance to
NBA STANDINGS 1
Saturday, Mar. 1
Softball vs. North Carolina 1 p.m.
M Basketball vs. Illinois 12:17 p.m.
Baseball at Bethune-Cookman 1 p.m.
Softball vs. Semifinals 6 p.m.
M Gymnastics at Stanford 10 p.m.
Ice Hockey vs. Michigan State 7:35 p.m.
Water Polo vs. Redlands Mini
PT5 GV; GA
57 147 154
53 145 162
51 147 180
Tampa Bay 22
PTS GF GA
C J8 I
St. Louis 29 15
Detroit 27 17
Chicago 23 19
Nashville 18 23
Columbus 20 26
All clinics are held at the Intramural Sports Building.
[~'~ Volleyball- February 17*, 7:00PM
Philadelphia 90, New Jersey 83
Toronto 99, Orlando 97
Memphis 101, Milwaukee 95
Minpna 19 GlA..., C,..+ 109
Dallas 3, San Jose 1