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March 12, 2003 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 2003-03-12

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The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, March 12, 2003 - 9

Southern
comfort
not there
for Blue
By Alex Cummins
For the Daily
The Michigan men's golf team
hoped the warm weather, sunny
skies and beautiful beaches of South
Carolina would bring the promise of
low rounds on the links.
Unfortunately, the heat was too
much for them.
The Wolverines, coming off a
last-place finish in the Puerto Rico
Classic in San Juan two weeks ago,
shot rounds of 308-308-326 for a
total of 942 to finish last at the 14-
team Coastal Carolina Invitational

'All-around' better year for Vetere

By Julie Master
Daily Sports Writer

Most gymnasts would claim that the
highlight of their season is getting a per-
fect 10, sticking their most difficult
landing or placing first in an event. But
for fifth-year senior and captain Scott
Vetere, his highlight has simply been
competing. Due to a shoulder injury,
Vetere took a medical redshirt last sea-
son, leaving the Michigan men's gym-
nastics team to compete without one of
its stars. But this season Vetere is back,
and proud of it.
"It feels great to be back competing"
Vetere said. "I hate sitting around and

Ohio State. This will give Vetere the
chance to showcase his talents, as he
will be competing in the all-around
competition for the first time since the
U.S. Championships in 2002. Vetere
plans to add difficulty to all of his rou-
tines and he will be competing in vault
and high bar for the first time in a year
and a half.
"For vault, I plan on doing a hand-
spring double front," Vetere said. "It's
pretty hard to land, so I just want to
stand it up and get a good score."
Vetere's coaches are convinced that
his competitive experience will help.
"I expect him to be real steady,"
Golder said. "I know it's his first time
(in two of the events) so that's a little bit

unpredictable, but I think he's going to
compete well."
When speaking of experience, Vet-
ere is no stranger. In his past three
years of competition, Vetere has been
named Big Ten Gymnast of the Year,
won several NCAA All-American
titles and missed the U.S. Olympic
Trials by one spot. In his last year
with the Wolverines, Vetere hopes to
leave his nagging injury aside and
steal the show like in years past. How-
ever, it's not always that easy.
"Sometimes when you've been off
for a while, you get in a meet, you
raise your hand and the whole scenario
is different no matter how many times
you've done it before," Golder said.

watching
everyone
compete and
not being
able to do
anything to
help the
team out."
Fortunate-
ly, Vetere's
entry into

j )
SJ~Ax~na~

UDAVIDKATZ/Uaily
Junior Scott Carlton was Michigan's second-best finisher at the Coastal Carolina
Invitational with a score of 233. He tied for 47th overall.

in Myrtle B
tournament,
ines by 69 sh
Michigan
place after t
54-hole tou
despite solid
Dave Nichol]
junior Sco
Nicholls has
the Wolverin
ments, and1
average thr
thus far. Oth
far this yea
freshman M
round averag
more Rob I
average).
"We had
quite a biti
'M')

each. Arkansas won the could have caught a lot of teams,
bettering ther Wolver- but it just didn't work out," Michi-
hots. gan coach Andrew Sapp said of his
found itself in 13th team's performance yesterday on the
he first 36 holes of the second day of the two-day tourna-
urnament on Monday ment. "Our main thing we didn't do
performances by junior well was finish the round. We got
ls (75, 78) and redshirt off to a good start today, but made
tt Carlton (79, 74). triple bogeys, double bogeys and
s been the low man for didn't recover well."
ies the last three tourna- "Dave is leading us right now, we
has a 74.44 per round need to get everyone up to his level
ough six tournaments to get four good scores," Sapp said
her key performers thus of his star junior yesterday. "As a
ar have been redshirt team, we have to recover after a
lark McIntosh (76 per couple of bad holes. When we head
ge), and redshirt sopho- down to Florida [this weekend], we
'ighe (76.27 per round must improve our ability to score
when not hitting the ball well."
a chance to move up The Wolverines will head to
if we played well. We South again this weekend to Citrus
still bright despi

Springs, Fla. to take part in the El
Diablo Intercollegiate before they
begin their Big Ten schedule.
Michigan hopes to improve on its
performance in Citrus Springs from
last year, where it tied for 10th place
in the 20-team tournament.
"We look forward to getting back
closer to home" Sapp said of the
upcoming Big Ten schedule. "It was
good to get out of the snow, but we
are looking forward to playing in
the Midwest."
Key dates on the Michigan sched-
ule include the Kepler Invitational
in Columbus April 12-13, and the
Bruce Fossum/Spartan Invitational
in East Lansing April 26-27 before
the Big Ten Championships com-
mence in Bloomington the first
week of May.
te no Ray

By Albert Kim
Daily Sports Writer
The news that the No. 9 Michigan women's gymnastics
team had been dreading to hear all year broke last week, as
superstar junior co-captain Elise Ray was declared out for
the season due to a dislocated shoulder. But life without Ray
is a little brighter now than it was four weeks ago, when
Michigan hit rock bottom with a third-place finish at the
State of Michigan Classic.
"I'm a firm believer that things happen for a reason,"
Michigan coach Bev Plocki said. "We've all had to work
harder, but sometimes the best results you get
are the ones you have to work the hardest for."
By all accounts, the Wolverines were strug- FRI]
gling to stay afloat in February, as injuries
mounted and the team struggled on the road. N9 M3
At one point, the team couldn't even field six
gymnasts for a few events. But as the gym- Tune7'
nasts adjusted to their new roles and worked Criser
nonstop to compensate for the loss of Ray and,
others, things turned around.
"I see a lot more confidence in this team," Plocki said.
"They've gotten tough because they've had to."
"There were plenty of times where a lot of them could've
just given in and said, 'I can't do this anymore,' and not one
of them that's in the lineup right now has done that. I have
an awful lot of respect for these kids."
Ray will have surgery tomorrow to repair a torn labrum
and tighten her shoulder capsule. She is expected to be out
six months, including four to six weeks in a sling. Although

I R
ichi
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r Ai

Ray could've competed this year in a few events, she decid-
ed not to risk further injury and instead hope for two healthy
years after the surgery.
"It was ultimately my decision," Ray said. "It was very
probable that it would've sub-luxed again (without sur-
gery)."
The other casualty is junior Christine Mantilia, who tore
her ACL and also damaged her meniscus. Mantilia will be
out until July, although she could start running in about four
weeks. It has been a frustrating process for her.
"It's frustrating because it actually feels more normal than
it actually is," Mantilia said. "I feel I can go out and run
right now, but it hasn't healed enough."
Erica Rubin and Lauren Mirkovich, both of
AY whom tore ACLs last year, have helped her.
"They keep on checking up on me, and keep
vs'"° on giving me advice," Mantilia said. "Seeing
how well Lauren is doing right now is great
motivation."
rna Despite everything that has happened this
year - the injuries, uneven bar problems, men-
tal breakdowns - Michigan is still among the
nation's best. The Wolverines are hitting their stride and
building momentum heading into their stretch run. The team
proved against UCLA that it can go against the best, and
will get a chance to make a statement against No. 4 Nebras-
ka on Senior Night this Friday. It will be the last regular sea-
son home meet for Michigan's lone senior, Janessa Grieco,
but regionals will also be held in Ann Arbor.
"We always get excited for senior night," Plocki said.
"They're a great team, but we're a great team, too."

the lineup this season has helped the
team in more ways than one. So far, he
has taken home two first-place finishes
on the pommel horse and one for the
floor exercise. The coaches and players
agree that Vetere is also an essential
asset to the team due to his confident
nature and positive attitude.
"Scott has a positive influence
because he's a pretty steady competitor,
which adds momentum and gives the
other guys confidence," Michigan
coach Kurt Golder said. "He's a pretty
confident guy, and I think the other
guys sense that, and it also brings their
level of confidence up a notch."
Sophomore teammate Eddie
Umphrey also believes that Vetere's
consistency is key to the team's
performance.
"He brings a lot to the team and it's
nice competing with him," Umphrey
said. "He's a great competitor and he
brings the consistency that's important
for success, so it's great to have him in
the gym."
This Saturday, the Wolverines will
travel to Columbus to take on rival
TRACK
Continued from Page 8
great seeing them mature as runners
over the course of the future seasons."
Erdman was named Big Ten Indoor
Freshman of the Year after becoming
the first Michigan freshman runner
ever to win an individual title at the
indoor championships. Erdman won
the 600-meter run to capture the award,
setting a school record in the process.
This weekend Erdman will only com-
pete in the long distance relay.
"This meet will be more individual-
ly oriented than the Big Ten Champi-
onships because only six girls will be
competing," said McGuire. "But our

goal is for each of them to finish in
the top 10 and score some points for
us. It is definitely attainable."
As set by NCAA officials, the top
eight finishers in each event will also
be named to All-American status. The
Wolverines have qualified athletes in
four events this weekend; the shot put
(April Phillips), high jump (Stephanie
Linz), 800-meter run (Rachel Sturtz)
and long distance relay. In each of
these events, all the athletes are on the
edge of becoming All-Americans,
each currently seeded ninth.
Taking the field events, senior cap-
tain Phillips will be making her sec-
ond showing at the NCAA
Championships in the shot put and

sophomore Linz will be competing in
the high jump.
The only individual runner will be
senior captain Sturtz, who will be
making her first and last appearance
at the championships in the 800-meter
run.
The long distance relay will be
composed of Erdman, Vera Simms,
Sturtz, and Lindsay Gallo.
"I think we're more excited than
nervous for this weekend," Gallo
said, "This will be the first NCAA
Championship appearance for all of
us on the relay, and we want to
make the trip worth while. Our goal
is to become All-Americans in the
distance relay."

After redshirting last year due to an injury, senior Scott Vetere has brought new life to the
Wolverines. He will be competing in the all-around event for the first time this weekend.

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