8B - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - February 17, 2003
'M' wrestlers clutch in
upset over Buckeyes
By Eric Chan
Daily Sports Writer
The No. 9 Michigan wrestling team
appears to be stepping it up at just the
right time. With the Big Ten Champi-
onship two weeks away, the Wolverines
looked dominant yesterday afternoon
against No. 5 Ohio State. On the
strength of two pins and a technical
fall, Michigan scored a 26-17 upset
over the Buckeyes.
"It's nice when you're winning at the
end of the year," Michigan coach Joe
McFarland said. "It's good when you're
putting together your best wrestling
towards the end of the season."
The match began at 125 pounds,
when senior A.J. Grant stepped onto the
mat at Cliff Keen Arena for the last
time. Grant and 197-pounder Kyle
Smith were both honored for their
accomplishments as Wolverines prior
to the match. Grant would not disap-
point in his final home dual meet. The
fourth-ranked All-American put on a
takedown clinic at the expense of a
hapless Nathan Costello, scoring 15
points in the first period. Grant added
two sets of near-fall points in the sec-
ond and third period to score a 26-11
Michigan redshirt junior Foley
Dowd, currently ranked No. 7 in the
country at 133 pounds, would not be
outdone by his fellow lightweight
Grant. Dowd scored four takedowns in
the first period before pinning his
opponent, Rob Rosenfeld, at the 2:41
"A.J. (Grant) got us started on the
right foot, and then Foley (Dowd) get-
ting the pin for us was huge," McFar-
land said. "It got the momentum going
on our side, and was definitely a piece
of the puzzle as far as our win tonight."
After junior Clark Forward fell to
Ohio State's Jeff Ratliff, the Wolver-
ines held an 11-3 lead. The bout
between Michigan freshman Ryan
Churella, ranked fifteenth in the coun-
try, and No. 17 Josh Daugherty had all
the implications of a marquee
matchup, but injury spoiled the com-
petition. Daugherty scored the only
takedown in the first period to go up 2-
0, but Churella would put Daugherty to
his back in the second period with
some impressive leg riding. As Churel-
la held Daugherty on his back, the
Ohio State 149-pounder signaled to the
ref for an injury timeout. After the
match resumed, Churella began leg rid-
ing again, and Daugherty signaled for
another injury timeout. This time
around though, Ohio State was out of
injury time, and was forced to take an
injury default, giving the Wolverines
six points and a hefty 17-3 lead.
"I think Daugherty had a rib
injury. When you get stretched out
there like Ryan (Churella) did to him
there, that kind of thing happens,"
The Buckeyes would regain some
momentum in the next match that
featured two of the top 10 157-
pounders in the country. Ohio State's
Keaton Anderson recently moved to
No. 1 in the country after routing top-
ranked Luke Becker of Minnesota
10-3 last week. Anderson controlled
the match against Michigan All-
American sophomore Ryan Bertin,
scoring a pair of takedowns and a
reversal en route to a 7-3 victory.
Ohio State looked poised to make a
charge with four of its next five
wrestlers ranked in the top 20, includ-
ing three ranked in the top 10. With the
Wolverines leading 17-6, Michigan
redshirt junior Pat Owen was sent out
to wrestle No. 4 Johnny Clark. With the
score knotted at 2-2 in the second peri-
od, Owen put Clark to his backand
pinned him to score a stunning upset.
"That was a big win for us. There's
no doubt about it," McFarland said.
"Pat has come through for us on more
than one occasion."
The pin gave the Wolverines a fair-
ly insurmountable 23-9 lead going
into the 174-pound matchup between
Michigan freshman R.J. Boudro and
No. 6 Blake Kaplan. Boudro got two
late takedowns, but came up one point
short. Kaplan scored an escape with
20 seconds left to win the match, 10-
"R.J. (Boudro) is right there," McFar-
land said. "He's right in position to win
these matches. He's just got to get over
a hump and figure some things up."
At 197 pounds, Smith looked like
the aggressive wrestler that fans saw at
the NCAA Championships last season.
The All-American scored two late take-
downs to score an upset over No. 8
"This win was good for our confi-
dence, and we're just going to use it to
build momentum through Big Ten and
Nationals," McFarland said. "I like
where we are at right now."
Senior Foley Dowd pins Rob Rosenfeld of Penn State at the 2:41 mark. The Wolverines defended Cliff Keen Arena with a 25-17 win over the Nittany Lions on Saturday.
Blue's seniors finish home careers i style
By Sharad Mattu
Daily Sports Writer
While the most important part of the wrestling
season still remains, Michigan seniors Kyle
Smith and A.J. Grant made it clear yesterday that
they were ready to move on to other things after
"It'll be nice to be done," Grant said. "Everyone
says, 'We wish you would still do it' and 'You're
going to miss it.' But we'll see if I miss it or not.
"I'm not wrestling anymore. I'm done."
Smith understands how Grant feels.
"It's been a great experience," the future law stu-
dent said. "I'm going to miss it a lot.
"But I think I'm done wrestling. My body is a lit-
Although the two veterans may be worn out by a
career of wrestling, they showed this weekend that
they still have a little gas in the tank.
Smith, the fifth year senior, chose Senior Day to
regain his All-American form, and Michigan
wrestling coach Joe McFarland couldn't be more
"That's the Kyle Smith I know and love," McFar-
land said. "When he wrestles hard through all dif-
ferent positions for seven minutes, he's really tough.
I'd like to see him come out at the end of the year
the way he did tonight."
The 197-pounder started the weekend strong
against Penn State's Ryan Cummins on Saturday.
All season long, McFarland had been telling Smith
to be more aggressive, and against Cummins, he
followed the coach's orders.
Smith battled Cummins from the start of the first
period, and when he finally got the takedown, he
didn't let up. With just six seconds left in the peri-
od, Smith got him on his back for the pin.
Yesterday, No. 17 Smith closed out his wrestling
career at Cliff Keen Arena with a dominating 11-6
win over No. 8 Anton Talamantes. Smith was
aggressive from the start again and scored two
quick takedowns in the first period. He was feisty
throughout the match, and clinched the win with a
pair of takedowns in the third period.
The wrestling season can often become a grind,
and at times it has appeared to be just that for
Smith. He opened the season ranked as high as
fourth, but has struggled since then. But he looked
strong and fit this weekend, and with a good finish
at Big Tens and Nationals, his rough start will be
Grant, Michigan's highest ranked and most con-
sistent wrestler this season, kept his momentum
going this weekend.
Grant, ranked fourth, opened up the weekend
with a 12-4 major decision over Penn State's Adam
Smith at 125 pounds. Grant scored two quick take-
downs in the first period and controlled the match
the rest of the way.
Grant opened up the Wolverines' match against
Ohio State and appeared to be revved up after being
honored for Senior Day. In a wild first period
against Nathan Costello, Grant collected six take-
downs and a two-point near fall. But Costello coun-
tered with a reversal and a three-point near fall to
keep it close at 15-10. From then on Grant regained
control and won a technical decision, 26-11.
Grant's record is now at 28-5, and he hopes he
can finish his Michigan career strong at Big Tens
"Everyone wants to go out with a big bang,"
Grant said. "It's nice to go out being an All-Ameri-
can. I got a chance. I'm up at four now. Hopefully
I'll end up at least four or higher."
Fifth-year senior Mike Kulczycki was also hon-
ored yesterday. Kulczycki, an All-American two
years ago, has been out since Feb. 1 with an ankle
injury. Once Kulczycki gets healthy, he and redshirt
junior Pat Owen will have a wrestle-off at 165
Men's gym breaks .500 with win
By Julie Master
For The Daily
Despite indecisive judging, previ-
ous injuries and a battle on the road,
the No. 4 Michigan men's gymnas-
tics team cruised to a 212.350-
208.975 victory over No. 9
Minnesota. This win gave the
Wolverines their first winning
record all season at 5-4.
Paving the way for Michigan was
senior Conan Parzuchowski, who
gave a close to flawless perform-
ance as he elegantly maneuvered his
body on the still rings. When the
judges scores appeared, one judge
held up a prestigious 9.9. But after
viewing the other judges' scores, his
9.9 quickly changed to a 9.7.
"The breaks never seem to come
our way when we're on the road,"
Michigan coach Kurt Golder said.
"Just like there are bad calls in foot-
ball, there are bad calls in gymnas-
tics. A call's a call, so you just live
Luckily, Parzuchowski managed
to confirm a solid score of 9.725,
giving him the highest score of the
meet and his season-best perform-
ance. Dominating the competition,
he placed in the top five on three
Freshman Gerry Signorelli also
earned a first place finish with an
8.625 on the horizontal bar, mark-
ing his first win of the season. Sig-
norelli also grabbed a second place
finish in the all-around competition
with a score of 52.7.
An additional "first" was fresh-
man Luke Botke's floor routine. In
his first action of the season, Botke
grabbed a second place finish
behind two-time defending national
champion, Minnesota's Clay
"Luke did real well for his first
time out," Golder said. "He's gone
through a lot of hard times with
wrist problems, and he's had two
surgeries. This was his first oppor-
tunity, and I'm real proud."
Just like Botke, other gymnasts
have had nagging injuries as well.
Senior captain Scott Vetere was
back in the parallel bar lineup for
the first time in a year and a half
due to a previous shoulder injury.
Three-quarters of the way through
his parallel bar routine, Vetere lost
his balance and fell off. But he was
quick to get back up and finish
"Scott did have a missed routine,
but it was great to have him back
out there," Golder said. "He seems
to be in good spirits. After his sec-
ond shoulder surgery he was at a
stand still for a while, but now he
seems like a different person."
Overall, Golder was pleased with
his team's performance.
"Sometimes it's hard to go on the
road and be all fired up," he said.
"When we don't start (our season)
at full strength we learn to tolerate a
loss, but it's great to go on the road
in the Big Ten and come away with
Senior co-captain Janessa Greico finished third in three events as the Wolverines beat Northern Illinois 196.65-192.825.
Gymnasts set new
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By Michael Nisson
Daily Sports Writer
Good teams get frustrated when
things don't go as planned. Great
teams do something about it.
The Michigan women's gymnas-
tics team is a great one, and it deliv-
ered a medicating performa
its avid fans on Friday, 1
Northern Illinois (5-7) 1
192.825. The score was a
high for the Wolverines (7-
in the past two meets teetere
edge of mediocrity.
"They're working hard eve
Michigan coach Bev Ploc
"They know what areas they
improve on, and we've bee
ing both on the physical asp
the mental aspect of what
doing out here, and slowly b
ly it's getting better."
Getting better is a stag
understatement. The Wol
were on fire, collectively1
nine separate season-high
Sophomore Chelsea Krollv
of the main reasons for the
sive performance. Kroll set
highs on vault, bars, and bea
performances on bars an
were also career-bests.
"I was really confident b
did really well in pract
week," Kroll said. "I kindo
Once again, bars proved
challenge for the Wolverin
ance for for junior Calli Ryals. Ryals, who
beating ended last year ranked as the No. 1
96.65- gymnast in the country, was
season uncharacteristically rusty on bars,
4), who posting a sickness-inducing 9.05.
d on the But she came back firing on all
cylinders. She started the turn-
ry day," around by balancing her way to a
ki said. 9.9 on beam. The real story of the
need to night for Ryals was her floor rou-
n work- tine, in which she scored a scorch-
pect and ing 9.975, including a 10 from one
they're of the judges.
ut sure- "The bars was kind of a fluke
thing,".Ryals said. "Sometimes, it's
ggering kind of hard for me to pick it up
verines after something bad goes wrong, so
posting it was good."
scores. Freshman Jenny Deiley also car-
was one ried her share of the load, winning
impres- the second all-around title of her
season career with a personal best 39.550
am. Her and also taking the vault title.
d beam The solid all-around performance
could not have come at a better time
ecause I for the Wolverines, who begin a
ice all two-week road trip that will pit
f had a them against No. 2 Utah and No. 12
to be a "At Denver, we're going to have
es, who to put four events together," Plocki
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