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April 14, 2003 - Image 14

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6B - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - April 14, 2003

Blue finishes eighth
in Purdue territory

Crew spring cleans
with ACC sweep

By Anne Uible
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan women's golf team
headed into Purdue territory this
weekend for the Lady Boilermaker
Invitational, which showcased eight
of the 11 Big Ten teams in a 54-hole
tournament. The golfers played 36
holes on Saturday and the final 18
yesterday.
"Going into this tournament our
team was on the bubble to qualify
for Regionals," Michigan coach
Kathy Teichert said. "Our goal was
to beat out a couple of our competi-
tors like Nebraska and Wisconsin."
At the conclusion of the first day
at the invitational, Michigan was
placed in eighth place and within 10
strokes of third-place Illinois. After
a 30-minute frost delay, the second
day the Wolverines maintained their
eighth-place finish, but concluded
the invitational ahead of Big Ten
rivals Wisconsin, Penn State and
Northwestern.
"We didn't have great scores on
Saturday. The girls made a series of
small errors that added up," Teichert
said. "We played a lot better yester-
day, and we finished up with four
great scores in the 70s. Overall, I
was happy with their progress."
Michigan's top individual was
sophmore Laura Olin, who placed
1 th overall. Behind Olin was senior
Kim Benedict, who finished up in
21st place.

"Individually, I wasn't very happy
with my putting," Benedict said.
"But as a team, I thought we did.
really well. Everyone worked hard
and it paid off in the end."
Just last weekend Benedict won
her third collegiate tournament title
under tough weather conditions at
the Indiana Invitational. After her
outstanding performance, she was
honored with the Big Ten Confer-'
ence Athlete of the Week.
It was Benedict's second career Ath-
lete of the Week award. She was previ-
ously given the honor in 2001.
Benedict leads the team in scoring
average for the fourth straight season.
The invitational was played on the
Kampen Course, the site where the
NCAA Championships are sched-
uled to be played (May 20).r
"It is a really great course,"
Teichert said. "I'm glad we got a
chance to play it before we enter the
Championships."
The Wolverines have a competi-
tion-free week before making the
trek to Iowa City for the Big Ten
Championships (April 25) wheref
Ohio State and Purdue are top con-
tenders for the team title.
"We have a lot of things to work
on this week," Teichert said. "A lot
of it is individual based, but most ofK
the girls have to work on their short;
game and putting. Hopefully, the
weather will be nice enough so we DANNY MOLOSHOK/Daily
can spend a lot of time on the golf After a difficult start on Saturday, the Wolverines finished In eighth place at the
course." Lady Boilermaker Invitational at Purdue this weekend.

By J. Brady McCollough
Daily Sports Editor
For the Michigan women's crew
team, last season's disappointing sec-
ond-place finish at the Big Ten Cham-.
pionships was a bitter pill to swallow.
But it will only make a run to the top
of the conference that much sweeter
for the Wolverines this time around.
Michigan took a big step in the right
direction this weekend in Columbus,
sweeping all four varsity races in the
ACC/Big Ten Double Dual against No.
10 Virginia and Duke.
"I told our team the other day that I
never have had a team that has
improved in the course of a year
(more) than this team," Michigan
coach Mark Rothstein said. "I'm not
just talking about boat speed - just
the way they conduct themselves, their
attitudes, work ethic. It's really fun to
come to practice. They're excited. Last
year, it wasn't that way."
The fifth-ranked Wolverines have a
lot to be excited about, as both Roth-
stein and senior coxswain Helen Dalis
see the competition nationally as wide
open unlike past years.
"There's a lot of parity this year it
appears," Rothstein said. "On any
given day, there are 10 or 12 teams
who could beat any of the other top
teams. We're in a good position."
Dalis said it was "too early to tell"
whether or not the Wolverines have
what it takes to make a run for the
national title.
"It's going to be a lot easier to tell

after Big Tens and Regionals," Dalis
said. "A lot of teams gain speed
throughout the season. We've (only)
been on the water for three weeks
now."
Three weeks of time on the water
was enough to get the Wolverines
ready to dismantle the Cavaliers and
Blue Devils this weekend. Dalis and
the first varsity eight boat finished five
seconds ahead of Virginia's top group
with a time of 6:21.7 in the morning.
But they weren't done just yet.
"We decided we needed to improve
the first thousand meters of the race,"
Dalis said. "We wanted to make a
statement in that second race against
Duke. We wanted to really open up a
margin."
The boat did just that, sending Duke
back to ACC country with a 12-second
defeat. In fact, the Wolverines' second
varsity eight was just one-tenth of a
second behind Duke's first varsity unit.
The home stretch is coming soon for
the Wolverines, as they have just one
event before the big one: The chance
to reclaim the Big Ten title from Ohio
State. Michigan is already licking its
chops to show that last season was an
aberration from the rule.
"I know I learned a lot last year,"
Rothstein said. "Even though you hate
to go through seasons like that, it's
important for any program to go
through difficult times and to learn
from those times. We won the Big Ten
championship the first two years, then
last year we didn't, so the kids are pret-
ty motivated to do that."

9Aw

Struggles continue for golfers in Columbus

Five Wolverines to
,advance to Regionals

By Michael Nisson
Daily Sports Writer

When things aren't going well, it's easy to
make them worse.
This was the case for the Michigan men's golf
team as it remained stuck in neutral for the sea-
son this weekend, posting a score of 941 to place
16th out of 18 teams at the Kepler Intercolle-
giate. The showing adds to Michigan's continuing
woes as the team has not placed higher than ninth
in any tournament this season.
"Obviously we played horribly today," Michi-
gan coach Andrew Sapp said. "But when your
two guys who have played this golf course before
- Scott (Carlton) and Dave (Nichols) - don't
play well, it makes things even that more diffi-
cult.
Carlton and Nichols were both in the top four

- in terms of scoring average - before this
weekend's tournament. Nichols placed seventh
back in November at the Landfall Tradition.
"Dave Nichols played great (in the first round)
and then backed that up with his career worst
(round of 84) in the second and then 80 today,"
Sapp said. "That was kind of surprising."
The Wolverines started out the tournament
with a score of 308 in the morning on Saturday
and then a 311 in the afternoon to sit in 13th
place heading into the final day. They then
balooned in the final round yesterday, posting a
322.
"It is a challenging golf course and the pin
placements were difficult, but we knew where
they were going to be," Sapp said. "When your
veterans don't play well, it makes it harder on the
younger guys to pick up the ball and carry it for
the team. It was just a difficult weekend. We just

couldn't put it together."
Although the weekend was a sour one for the
team, redshirt freshman Mark McIntosh had a
solid tournament, shooting 76-77-78 to finish in
a tie for 36th place. He was the only Wolverine
able to break 80 each day, and this was the third
time this season he posted the lowest score for
Michigan.
Despite the fact that the Wolverines have strug-
gled so far this season, Sapp was still upbeat about
their chances to improve and have a good showing
in two weeks when they head to East Lansing for
the Bruce Fossum/Spartan Invitational.
"We're going to get two good weeks of practice
in and also take final exams and take care of the
academics," Sapp said. "We really shouldn't have
anything in our way before we head to Michigan
State. Hopefully we will be fresh mentally and
definitely physic4lly."

0

By Mustafizur Choudhury
Daily Sports Writer
Junior Robin Landfair's exceptional
performance in the 100-meter hurdles
highlighted a successful weekend for
the Michigan women's track and field
team.
Five Wolverines earned a total of
seven NCAA regional qualifying
marks at the Sea Ray Relays in
Knoxville, Tenn.
"The team looked a little tired, but
it's part of the season," Michigan
coach James Henry said. "Overall we
competed well. We've been fairly con-
sistent so far:'
Landfair set a new school record in
the event by the smallest of margins:
one one-hundredth of a second. Her
regional qualifying time of 13:65
helped her earn a fourth-place finish
and topped the old record of 13:66, set
by Tasha Phillips (1999-2001) in the
2000 season.
"I had no idea that I would run the
kind of time that I did," Landfair said.
"After I saw the official time, I was
excited. It took a while for it to actual-

ly sink in."
Landfair is the second Michigan
hurdler this year to break a school
record; sophomore Vera Simms set a
new record in the 400-meter hurdles at
the Yellow Jacket Invitational last
month. This past weekend, Simms ran
a regional qualifying time of 59.19 in
the 400-meter hurdles.
In her first outdoor competition of
the 2003 season, freshman Rebecca
Walter finished first in the 5,000-meter
run with a time of 16:38, which was an
NCAA regional qualifying time. Wal-
ter also helped pace the 4x800-meter
relay team to a first-place finish in
8:48.
On the field, the throwers were
impressive, as usual. Senior tri-captain
April Phillips and junior Melissa Bick-
ett earned regional qualifying marks in
the shot put with throws of 51'-5 3/4"
and 48'-11", respectively. Phillips,
Bickett and Simms have previously
earned qualifying marks this season.
"There were a few performances
that stood out," Henry said. "Those
athletes that earned qualifying marks
are consistently doing well."

Illini doubles tough for netters

By Brad Johnson
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan men's tennis team
faced its toughest challenge of the
year yesterday as it faced No. 1 Illi-
nois on the road.
The Wolverines (1-7 Big Ten, 7-
12 overall) fell 6-1 to the undefeated
Illini, with junior Anthony Jackson
picking up the team's lone victory in
a super-tie-breaker. Michigan's top
singles player, sophomore Mike
Rubin, fell in straight sets to the No.
4 singles player in the country, Amer
Delic. Making matters worse,
Michigan surrendered the doubles
point by dropping all three doubles
matches to start off the day.

"We came out today and played
some really bad doubles," Michigan
coach Mark Mees said following the
tough defeat. "(Illinois) is probably
the premier doubles team in the
country."
After seeing the nation's top squad
in action for an entire afternoon,
Mees was full of nothing but praise,
especially regarding the team's
depth.
"There's a very good reason that
(Illinois is) number one in the coun-
try," he said. "They've got a good
shot at the national championship
- I was very impressed. They go
eight guys deep that are real good
tennis players. They've got some
incredible depth."

On Saturday, the Wolverines trav-
eled to West Lafayette and suffered a
5-2 loss at the hands of Purdue.
According to Mees, playing outside
for the first time all year in a dual-
match was a significant factor in the
defeat.
"It was difficult to get outside," he
said. "Our timing was not very good
- it was kind of frustrating."
The fact that the Wolverines had
only been able to practice outside
once prior to the Purdue match only
served to compound the situation.
However, the doubles play was
significantly better Saturday, as
Michigan kept the matches much
closer than they did against Illinois.
"We played some decent doubles
yesterday," Mees said. "We had a
decent chance to win the doubles
point."
Following this weekend's road
matches, the team returns home to
the Varsity Tennis Center for its
final two regular season matches of
the year before the Big Ten Champi-
onships begin April 24.
Mees feels that much needs to be
done before that date arrives.
"We have to play better doubles as
a whole," Mees said. "We have to

10

Pistons clinch title
in double overtime

TOM FELDKAMP/Daily
Anthony Jackson picked up the lone
victory for Michigan this victory.
put out six guys who are going to
play solid (at singles)."
Keeping a positive attitude will
also be important throughout these
next two weeks of tennis.
"We don't like to lose," Mees said.
"But there's no frustration, everyone
is excited about playing. The main
thing I am looking for is for guys to
stay upbeat."

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Detroit
clinched its second straight division
title Sunday night, as Chauncey
Billups scored the final eight points in
the second overtime to lead the Pis-
tons past the Memphis Grizzlies 110-
107.
The victory, combined with Indi-
ana's loss to Milwaukee earlier in the
day, handed Detroit the Central Divi-
sion title. The Pistons won the division
last year for the first time since 1990,
when they went on to win their second
straight NBA championship.
Detroit, which is 8-0 in overtime
games, is tied with idle New Jersey for
the best record in the Eastern Confer-
ence.
Billups scored 28 points, and his
two free throws with 17 seconds left
accounted for the final margin. Corliss
Williamson made a key steal to set up

the free throws.
Memphis' Shane Battier tracked
down a loose ball in the backcourt
with about two seconds left, but
missed a shot from midcourt as the
buzzer.
Billups also had 10 rebounds and
six assists, and six Detroit players
scored in double figures, including
three who had double-doubles.
Richard Hamilton added 18 points,
while Williamson had 14. Jon Barry,
who led a fourth-quarter comeback for
Detroit, scored 13, as did Mehmet
Okur, who grabbed 12 rebounds. Clif-
ford Robinson had 10 points and 10
rebounds.
Pau Gasol led Memphis with 24
points, while Battier had 22. Stromile
Swift scored 21 before fouling out in
the first overtime, while Mike Batiste
added 14 in a reserve role.

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