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September 03, 2002 - Image 60

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4

6E - The Michigan Daily - New Student Edition - Tuesday, September 3, 2002

Track's

4'Fab'

Five

Women gymnasts end
season not in Super 6

4

Three earn All-America
status, team finishes 28th

By Nicholas Flees
For the Daily
Three members of the Univer-
sity of Michigan men's track and
field - former Wolverine (page
2E) Alan Webb and sophomore
Nathan Brannen and graduated
senior Mike Wisniewski - com-
peted in the 2002 NCAA Out-
door Championships in Baton
Rouge, La. on June 2. All three
returned to Ann Arbor with All-
America honors in their respec-
tive events.
Michigan tied for 28th place
overall with nine points, but the
individual accomplishments of
its three representatives were
much more impressive. Wis-
niewski set the tone, placing 10th
in the 10,000-meter run
(29:47.74) in his final race as a
Wolverine. It earned him All-
America status for the first time
in his career.

"It was a nice way to finish his
senior year at Michigan," coach
Ron Warhurst said.
Brannen followed suit, placing
fifth in the 800-meter run with a
time of 1:46.00, breaking a six-
year-old school record. "Placing
didn't really matter to me today,"
Brannen said. "Normally, 1:46.00
would have been a solid second
.. I'm just pretty pumped."
In addition to earning All-
America status, Brannen's time
qualified him for the Common-
wealth Games in England.
Webb capped off the meet with a
fourth-place 3:43.23 in the 1,500-
meter run. His time earned him his
second All-America honor of the
year, having been named a cross
country All-American in the fall.
"We didn't have a real success-
ful Big Ten meet, but I'm pretty
pleased with the way things have
gone," Warhurst said. "It's been
really successful."

BRETT MOUNTAIN/Daily
April Phillips, whofailed to post a mark in the shot put due to three consecutive fouls,
rebounded in the hammer throw with a 12th place finish good for All American honors.
Senior Phillips is an All-
American despite fouls

By Matt Kramer
Daily Sports Writer
This wasn't the way it was supposed
to end for the Michigan women's gym-
nastics team. Michigan's season wasn't
supposed to stop like it did, just .4
points behind Nebraska in the prelimi-
naries of the NCAA Championships.
The Wolverines were pushed out of a
spot in the Super Six Team Finals in
Tuscaloosa, Ala.
The Wolverines eventually finished
seventh out of twelve teams and
missed qualifying for the Super Six
for the first time since 1998. Alabama
won the team title.
"It's really disappointing," senior
Janessa Grieco said. "We knew what we
needed to do and unfortunately we did-
n't get it done."
Michigan had been ranked No. 5
nationally going into the preliminar-
ies, and because it had the nation's
top gymnasts in Calli Ryals and Elise
Ray, many believed that the Wolver-
ines would make a run for the nation-
al title.
But they didn't make it out of the pre-
liminaries, as No. 3 Georgia, No. 4
Utah and No. 8 Nebraska all posted
higher scores than Michigan's 196.175.
"I knew we needed to score really
well. It's the NCAA Champi-
onships," Grieco said. "If you want
to win the title, you have to beat
everyone eventually."
Before Michigan could even get off
its first rotation - the uneven bars -
the Wolverines dug themselves into a
hole that they could never get odt of.
Michigan opened with a 48.50 on the
bars - the worst score of any team in
its session.
"I don't really know what happened
on the bars," Grieco said. "I can't say it
was nerves because we've been compet-

ing in this environment all year."
But the Wolverines fought back after
their poor performance on the uneven
bars. And they fought back hard.
Moving on to the balance beam,
Grieco, Shannon MacKenzie and Missy
Peterson, who had returned to the line-
up for the first time since February, all
scored 9.8s. The trio was bettered by
Ryals and Ray, who finished with iden-
tical9.9s.
After fighting back on the beam,
Michigan moved to the floor exer-
cise. After solid scores from sopho-
more Kallie Steffes and graduated
senior Jodie Rosenberg, Ray scored a
9.85. While the 9.85 wasn't as high
as Ray would usually expect, the jun-
ior was happy just to be competing.
The junior hyperextended her nee
while practicing her routine. Grieco
and Ryals then scored 9.9 and 9.925,
respectively, to give the Wolverines a
49.25 on the floor. Ryals' 9.925 was
good enough for first place for the
event.
Michigan's final rotation, the vault,
needed to be nearly perfect to squeak
into the Super Six. It was good, but not
good enough. Ryals posted a 9.825, and
Ray vaulted to a team-high 9.9, giving
the Wolverines a 49.225 on the rotation
and a 196.175 overall.
"I told everyone after the meet how
proud I was of them for competing so
well after the bars," Grieco said. "We
really never gave up."
Ray's individual all-around score of
39.575 was second best in the session,
and Ryals' 39.475 was good enough for
third.
"I think what we learned this year is
that we just need to take everything one
meet at a time," Ray said. "This year we
thought about winning the national
championship a little too early in the
season."

By Jim Weber
Daily Sports Writer
Katie Jazwinski has more mileage on
her than an old pickup truck.
Two weeks after an exhausting Big Ten
Championships, the former tri-captain
finished her career at Michigan at the
NCAA Outdoor Championships in
Baton Rouge, La. on June 2, placing sev-
enth in the 5,000 meter-run and earned
All-America honors. She earned Michi-
gan its only two points of the champi-
onships, as the Wolverines finished in
57th place.
Coach James Henry thinks Jazwinski
was still tired from the Big Ten Champi-
onships on May 19. For the first 2,000
meters, Jazwinski competed for the lead,
but she slowly fell back in the pack with
an obvious injury. Henry thought Jazwin-
ski suffered from cramping but she
denied it.
"She is the kind of athlete that won't
give an excuse," Henry said. "If a lung
coflapsed, she wouldn't tell you her
lung collapsed."

Henry was also pleased with the per-
formances of senior April Phillips and
junior Melissa Bickett, both of whom
had never before performed at the cham-
pionships. Phillips and Bickett were not
used to the absence of the rest their team,
or "family" as Henry described them,
there for support.
Given the circumstances, Henry was
impressed with the way they competed.
Phillips earned All America honors by
placing 12th in the hammer throw, while
Bickett placed 11th in the discus. But
Phillips didn't do well in the shot put,
failing to post a mark after fouls on all
three of her attempts. The fouls were
actually intentional because Phillips
knew the throws would not be good and
did not want them to be recorded. Henry
was surprised by Phillips poor technique
after winning the Big Ten shot put title
two weeks ago and thinks it was caused
by the pressure she put on herself.
'I think she was trying so hard and
wanted to compete so much that you for-
get about the technical merit in the
event," Henry said.

4

4

Alan Webb lived up to the hype his freshman year, his only year as a Wolverine,
and battled injuries with an All-American performance in the 1,500-meter run.

Going in No. 8, Blue comes out fourth-best

By Evan Brown
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan men's gymnastics
team ended its season as the fourth-best
team in the country, and graduated sen-
ior Daniel Diaz-Luong won the NCAA
High Bar title.
To most of the people involved, the
Wolverines' finish was disappointing.
But after entering the NCAA Champi-
onships ranked eighth, coming in fourth

isn't too bad.
"This year was much better than last
year," Michigan coach Kurt Golder
said. "As it turned out, the only thing
that was.a significant difference was
that we had 11 All-Americans last year
(versus) five this year. (Last year) we
went into NCAAs third and came out
fourth. So, this year, by taking a fourth-
place finish, we overachieved."
Oklahoma, who was consistently the
best team in the country this season,

won the championship. It scored a
219.3, besting Big Ten Champion and
NCAA runner-up Ohio State by less
than a point. Michigan scored a 215.05.
"We came away with a trophy," Gold-
er said. "The top four teams come away
with one."
The NCAA Championships started
with two groups of six teams that need-
ed to finish in the top three of their
respective group to move on to the
final. Michigan cruised through this
preliminary competition, finishing sec-
ond in its group.
The Wolverines moved to day two
with some confidence, but they didn't
have the firepower to beat teams such
as Oklahoma or Ohio State.
Michigan lost standout gymnasts
Brad Kenna and Kris Zimmerman early
in the championship, which hurt
because it needed them to perform
extremely well to even dream of a title.
"They are all-around guys (and just
our luck) that it happened during the
championships," Golder said. "I did like
20 substitutions (to make up for their
absence), which was more than all of
the other teams made on their rosters
combined. And when you make a sub-
stitution, it's not a substitution that's
making you better."
All the while, Michigan still finished
well and had five gymnasts advance to
the individual finals. The top eight fin-
ishes during the NCAA finals move

onto the individual finals.
Diaz-Luong won the NCAA High
Bar title finishing first in the individual
finals with a 9.612, and he also placed
third in the parallel'bars. Sophomore
Kevin George had the team best and
personal best on the pommel horse and
won All-American honors for his
efforts. George had caught Golder's
attention during the year with his great
practices, but he didn't perform the
same way in meets until the final days.
Senior Conan Parzuchowski was a
still rings All-American for the second
year in a row. While graduated seniors
Justin Toman and Brad Kenna along
with Freshmen Edward Umphrey, com-
peted in the individual finals, their scores
went too low to be All-Americans.
"Kevin George was the shock of the
meet and the most present surprise,"
Golder said. "There's only eight people
that make it, and then for him to come
out as an All-American on the second
day was pretty exciting."
The Wolverines will look back on the
season and have regrets and play the
"should have, could have" game. So
what could Golder have done to make
the season more successful?
"Nothing," Golder said. "I think we
had a lot of bad luck. I can't think back
to any mistakes or any bad things that I
did. Maybe a month down the road (I
will think of something), (but I believe)
we got the results as we should have."

The Michigan women's gymnastics team moved Its workouts Into the new
Shepherd Center late last seasqn before NCAAs.
mnasts welcome
move to $3.2m a

I

e~m iellicBook
Supply erEn
tuid@est selectiol l
spo0Js1wud $2 mozcbilic
317 S. State Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48104
(734)665-4990

By Josh Holman
Daily Sports Writer
It's a drastic change from the
cramped, tight fit of its old practice
facility in the Sports Coliseum, so
the Michigan women's gymnastics
team was more than eager to make
the move into the Donald R. Shep-
herd Women's Gymnastics Center
on State Street next to the Varsity
Tennis Center.
Fresh off their second-place
NCAA regional finish - qualifying
them for the national championships
- the gymnasts resumed practice
before the NCAA Championships -in
the new 17,000-square foot build-
ing, which is three times the size of
their old facility.
Among some of the improve-
ments, the new building houses five
balance beams, three vault runways,
three sets of uneven bars, two single
bars and a floor exercise mat. The
building also contains a training
room, locker rooms, a team room
and office space for the coaches.
"I think it has done a lot for the
morale," junior Allison Rudisi said.
"It's actually fun to come in here
and try things out."
The facility cost $3.2 million to
construct.
The money came from a $3.5 mil-
lion gift from alumnus Donald R.
Shepherd. Shepherd has already
given more than $11 million to the
University through the support of a
number of programs, ranging from
the marching band to the women's
softball team.

The entire -gym is designed on a
progression training system. Each
apparatus includes free foam, resi-
pit and regular landing surfaces.
The differing levels of softness
allow for a general progression in
training.
Thq new system is especially use-
ful for athletes that are still rehabili-
tating injuries. Graduated senior
Missy Peterson, who nursed an
ankle injury, spent her first day of
practice in the gym on beam landing
in the free foam pit.
Injured gymnasts can also plan to
receive more special attention in the
facility's training room. It is already
equipped with exercise equipment
and should soon be furnished with
free weights and whirlpools. The
room also gives access to the
SwimEx, a jacuzzi with a flowing
current that allows for more low-
impact training.
The advantages Michigan gains
from this new facility now place it
at a level equal with some of the
country's other elite programs, such
as Utah and Georgia.
The Wolverines hope to capital-
ize on its benefits as soon as possi-
ble. While it could be argued that
such a noticeable change in prac-
tice routines may backfire, the
team hopes the positives outweigh
the negatives.
"We agonized over whether we
should make the move or not,"
Michigan coach Bev Plocki said.
"Now, as we look at it, hopefully it
will be the right decision because it
will give us the extra motivation."

4

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