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September 22, 2003 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily, 2003-09-22

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The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - September 22, 2003 - 3B

Greenless
wins Spartan
invitational
By Mustafizur Choudhury
Daily Sports Writer
EAST LANSING - The Michigan men's cross
country team is showing signs of great improve-
ment from last year, placing four runners in the top
10 at the non-scoring Spartan Invitational while
resting its two best athletes. Of the six current run-
ners who ran at this meet last year, four improved
their times by 30 seconds or more.
Tom Greenless, for the second consecutive meet,
led all finishers across the line with a time of 24:35,
which was 10 seconds ahead of Ohio State's Brian
Olingger.
"The wind was really bad," Greenless said. "But
we ran well as a team and took control over the last
two miles."
Senior captain Nick Stanko and junior Tarn
Leach ran stride for stride to the finish line, placing
sixth and seventh, respectively. Rounding out the
TOP FINISHERS
1. Tom Greenless, Michigan 24:35.1
2. Brian Olingger, Ohio State 24:45.7
3. Chad Theuerkom, Central Michigan 24:48.8
4. Dan Glaz, Ohio State 24:51.7
5. Jason Mueller, Michigan State 24:55.1
6. Nick Stanko, Michigan 24:66.7
7. Tarn Leach Michigan 24:57.4
8. Tristen Perlberg, Oakland 24:58.9
9. Rob Myers, Ohio State 25:01.5
10. Sean Moore, Michigan 25:04.2
11. Alex L'Heureux, Michigan 25:05.0
12. Brian Turner, Michigan 25:07.0

This one goes out to all
you seniors;youfeel me?

SETH LOWER/Daily
Tom Greenless led the charge for Michigan at the Spartan Invitational, taking home top honors with a time of
24:35.1. Three other Wolverines placed in the top 10.

top 10 in the 8,000-meter race was junior Sean
Moore.
"Compared to last year, everyone ran very well,"
Michigan coach Ron Warhurst said. "Even with
worse conditions, everyone had better times at this
race than they did last year."
Unpredictably cold weather and harsh winds
provided an interesting challenge for No. 7
Michigan. Michigan's four top-10 finishers used
a unique strategy to gain an edge on the competi-
tion. They ran behind some Ohio State runners
for most of the race, using them as human
shields to block the strong, cold wind. With
about a mile-and-a-half remaining, Greenless,
Stanko, Leach and Moore positioned themselves
to finish in the top 10. Once Greenless was
securely in front, he held off his opponents to
capture the individual title.

"Tom Greenless has made a tremendous step for-
ward from last year," Warhurst said. "He (bettered)
his time from last year by almost a minute."
With nine runners returning from last year's
team, Warhurst is well aware that experience and
depth are two of Michigan's best assets. To meet
Warhurst's high expectations, the Wolverines prac-
tice hard on a regular basis, sometimes running 15
miles in a single day. The team's strong perform-
ance in this meet shows that it is much improved
from last year when it was unranked at this time of
the season.
Michigan hopes to move up in the standings
with the help of All-Americans Nate Brannen and
Nick Willis, who sat out this race in order to pre-
pare for the Great American Cross Country Festi-
val in Cary, N. C., which takes place this weekend.

J. BRADY MCCOLLOUGH
The SportsMonday Column
EUGENE, Ore. - There are times
when I just can't help taking off
my journalist hat. Saturday
around 4:30 p.m. PDT was one of those
times.
-An hour after Michigan's 31-27 loss
to Oregon, I found myself walking
down the middle of Martin Luther King
Boulevard in Eugene during heavy
post-game traffic.
When I say "walking down the mid-
dle;" I really mean it. Hit me, car.
Please, hit me. At the time, it likely
would have eased the pain.
On the way from Eugene to Portland
after the game, I couldn't even get satis-
faction from seeing an Oregon fan
pulled over by a cop on the side of
Interstate 5.
Criticize me. "It's just a football
game," you're thinking. Sure, it is
just a football game. But I'm a sen-
ior, and unfortunately, I don't have a
redshirt season to fall back on. This
Michigan team, which seemed so
promising, is my last chance to be a
part of a national championship col-
lege football team. It won't be the
same when I'm an alum; you aren't a
part of the magic.
The realization that my school
would not win a national title -
without a miracle - in my four years
began to sink in when this scrawny,
freckly Oregon student came up to
me on the Autzen Stadium field and
yelled, "No national championship,
Michigan!"
I was wearing a tie and a press cre-
dential, and the schmuck could still see
right through me. He could tell by the
numb look on my face.
Not again. Not this team. Not this
year.
No Bourbon Street on New Year's
Eve. No boiled crawfish, no beignets
from Cafe Du Monde and did I men-
tion no Bourbon Street?
Say it ain't so, boys. Say it ain't so.
You're probably wondering why this
affects me so much. This is coming
from a guy who made his college
choice based on a variety of factors, but
mostly, college football prowess.
To make it into consideration, a col-
lege had to have a top-20 program
nationally. I chose Michigan over Texas,
Penn State and Texas A&M, believing
not only that Michigan had the best

chance to win a national championship
during my four years, but also that win-
ning one here would be the most magi-
cal experience of my life.
It would have been magical because I
could share it with all of you - with
every random person on this campus
that I've never met. That national cham-
pionship would be ours, just as much as
the team's.
Seniors, I know you feel me here.
Freshmen, most of you don't. And how
could you be expected to understand?
You've got three more years to win it
all. There's no urgency. There's no pain
in your stomach that creeps up every
five or so minutes.
You haven't gone through the past
two days rolling through a nightmar-
ish memory lane: "How could you
fumble with a three-point lead when
all you need is a first down (North-
western freshman year)? How could
you pass-interfere on fourth down
when you're nowhere near the play
(Michigan State sophomore year)?
And then (same memory), how could
you let that horrible chuck end up in
T. J. Duckett's fat hands? How could
you hold in the endzone for a safety
and fumble three times (Notre Dame
junior year)?"
But Saturday's memory will be
worse than all of those. I believed, espe-
cially after Michigan annihilated Notre
Dame 38-0, that this team could win a
national championship. I believed these
Wolverines were an Oklahoma or a
Miami. I never felt that way before.
From day one, all this group talked
about was a national title - not a Rose
Bowl. With this group, the Rose Bowl
was a silver lining.
Luckily, we seniors have seen it all
before, so we have our coping strategies
ready. Hit the bottle, hit the wall, hit the
guy next to you. Hit something.
The next part of the coping process is
something I've bought into the past
three years. Not this year.
I know you're all thinking it. "We
can still win the national championship.
We just have to run the table, win the
Big Ten and hope for a few losses at the
top."
Braylon Edwards started the mantra
just minutes after the game. He said
he's heard of teams that lost one game
and made the national championship
game.
Sure, it's possible. But I've also heard
of teams that find a way to win one
nonconference road game in four years.
I'm coming up with a much safer
coping strategy for the rest of this sea-
son: believe it when I see it.
J Brady McCollough can be reached at
bradymcc@umich.edu.

Blue golfers settle for disappointing sixth

By Devin Sullivan
For the Daily

EAST LANSING - The Michi-
gan women's golf team opened its
season this weekend at the Mary
Fossum Invitational. The Wolverines
went into the tournament with hopes
of finishing in the top three. After
the first 36 holes were played on
Saturday, Michigan was well within
striking distance. Despite being in
10th, the Wolverines were just five
strokes behind second place.
The Wolverines were able to move
up yesterday, but did not finish as
high as they had hoped, finishing
tied for sixth with Notre Dame.
Michigan coach Kathy Teichert
was disappointed in the Wolverines'
performance, considering the talent
they displayed at times. The coach
cited an inability to finish rounds
well enough and poor short play as
their biggest issues.

"For some of the girls, their short
game wasn't as good as it could be,"
said Teichert.
Sophomore Amy Schmucker (77-
77-82 - 236), was tied for 19th at
10-over par after two rounds, but
shot ten over yesterday.
She started the round off well,
going just 1-over par for the first
nine holes, thanks to several amaz-
ing sand shots. But the last few
holes, her putting and short game
cost her several strokes.
"I made a lot of mental errors that
cost strokes for the team," said
Schmucker.
Freshman.Brianna Broderick (81-
79-74 - 234) shot the Wolverines'
low round and lowest overall score,
ending tied for 21st.
Despite their disappointing per-
formance, the Wolverines remained
in high spirits. Scores in the low 80s
didn't keep senior Courtney Goebel
(81-83-84 - 248) from laughing

over the Wolverines' oddly colored
uniforms.
Instead of the traditional maize
and blue, the Wolverines sported
slightly off-blue polo shirts.
"Go Mint!" Goebel said as the
team waited for the award ceremony.
Also competing were junior Laura
Olin (75-82-78 - 235), senior
Sarah Kruer (81-82-81 - 244), and
freshman Ali Stinson (80-76-81 -
237).
Teichert felt part of the problem
was the lack of competition over the
first month of the season. She is
confident, though, that as the season
progresses and the Wolverines gain
more competitive experience, they
will perform better .
"We have a lot more talent then
our scores indicate," said Teichert.
The team hopes for a better out-
come next week, as it heads down to
Ohio State to compete at the Lady
Northern Intercollegiate.

DANNY MOLOSHOKDaily
Michigan senior Laura Olin reads a putt
from the rough.

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