October 17, 2003
Ufbe Iigan §ail
By Gennaro Filice
Daily Sports Writer
At 6-foot-3, 205 pounds, forward
Jason Ryznar brings an imposing
presence to Michigan. Using his
size and strength, the Anchorage,
Alaska, native adds a dimension of
muscle to Michi-
nately for the
CCHA, 2-1 over-
all), this massive
power forward has
been taking up
more space on the bench than on the
ice. Ryznar bruised his right shoul-
der in an exhibition against York on
Oct. 3 and has not played since.
Ryznar will miss this weekend's
action against Quinnipiac (3-0).
"I think everybody's got to step
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Quinaipiac Unlyenlwy this weekend
and the bigs4uesiwxhedngitt
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°;M eanttg of Namt "people froym the
up a little bit (to fill in for Ryznar),"
coach Red Berenson said. "If you
ask me, our juniors definitely have
to, and they will. They're working
hard, trying, and I think they will
start emerging as a bigger contribu-
tor than they have been."
Ryznar missed time last season due
to injuries to both shoulders, but says
that this year's injury is unrelated.
"It's a similar injury to last year,
but I don't think it's related to last
year's injury," Ryznar said. "It's a
little sore when I shoot, but every
day it's feeling a little bit better."
The junior - who has been skat-
ing alone at practice - hopes to
play next weekend against Northern
"It's extremely frustrating (not
being able to play), but there's noth-
ing you can do other than just put
your head down and keep working,
and eventually you're going to get
SPECIAL ATTENTION: The Wolver-
ines are still working on their spe-
cial teams (powerplay and
"That's what this time of the year
is for," Berenson said. "We have
players who have experience in
those positions in past years and
how well they execute this year is
Michigan's penalty kill suffered
last Friday against Miami (Ohio), as
the Redhawks converted four of five
powerplay opportunities. But the
Wolverines adjusted, shutting out
Miami on all nine of its powerplays
the following night.
"Obviously we were embarrassed
by what had happened on Friday, so
I thought we did a better job,"
NOR 17 Michigan \vJ
TOMORROW, NOON, ESPN-PLUS
The Wolverines (2-1 Big Ten, 5-2 overall) were a quar-
ter away from total disaster last weekend against Min-
nesota, but now they're right in the Big Ten title hunt
The Fighting lIlini (0-3, 1-5) limp into the Big House
without their starting quarterback, Jon Beutjer, who's
out with a back injury.
Inside this edition of Football Saturday, you will find:
* Cheering for Dummies - YOU can impact the
game without ever stepping onto the field. Follow the
four simple steps in our Michigan fan handbook, and
you'll be making a difference in no time..
* Just Stay Strong - Adversity? Carl Diggs knows all
about it In the past year and a half, the Michigan line-
backer's life has been filled with tumult and tragedy.
Find out how he has handled it all.
* The Breakdown - In a special addition of "X's and
(Kyle) O's, Kyle O'Neill analyzes Michigan's offense
and tells you why the shotgun has been working so
well for the Wolverines.
* Staff Picks: See if this weeks Ann Arbor Celebrity
can "clean up" against the Daily football writers.
Bruising Michigan forward Jason Ryznar (right) has had three shoulder injuries in
the past two seasons. He'll sit out this weekend's games against Quinniplac.
Berenson said. "Penalty killing is a
tough job, and you have to work at
it. There's five guys out there, and
they ail need to be sharp. If one of
them breaks down, there's going to
be a big scoring chance."
C'YA!: Berenson said that he will
address the Michigan crowd before
tonight's game and ask that the stu-
dent body refrain from doing its
infamous cheer when an opposing
player enters the penalty box.
"We're concerned with the recent
chants, and one in particular that we
think is really obscene and in bad
taste," Berenson said. "It's not some-
thing that I want to hear, not some-
thing that our fans want to hear."
Modest Willis just keeps running hard
By Kyle Carpenter
Daily Sports Writer
He's fast, he's dedicated, he's poised and he
was just named the Big Ten men's co-Athlete of
Nick Willis, Michigan's sophomore standout
from New Zealand, has been stomping the com-
petition this season, and tomorrow he will lead
the twelfth-ranked Wolverines into Cedar Falls,
Iowa for the NCAA Pre-National race.
Despite his youth, Willis is one of the best
runners in the country. Last season, as a fresh-
man, Willis left competition in the dust, earning
All-American honors by placing 28th at NCAA
On top of that, he finished sixth at the Big Ten
Championships and had seven top-10 finishes in
nine races last year.
"He is an amazing person and an amazing ath-
lete," coach Ron Warhurst said. "He is also very
mature and down to earth."
Willis' devotion and love for the
sport shines through his personality.
He can be seen sitting off to the side
before practice and stretching by T4M
himself. As he excitedly talks in his
Kiwi accent, it is obvious that Willis N
has been looking forward to running C
Willis takes running seriously and .:
shows a slight sense of confidence Ce <.
overshadowed by overwhelming
modesty. For him, it's just about run-
ning hard - nothing else matters.
"Running is all in your head," Willis said.
"One time I forgot my spikes and had to borrow
somebody else's. You need to forget about all
that and just run hard."
This weekend's race will be a benchmark for
Willis this season, as he looks ahead to the
National Championship race.
"I'm not sure how it will shape up," Willis
said. "I always aim for the win but if I finish fif-
teenth I'll still be happy."
Willis is just hoping to run with the best com-
petition tomorrow and pull it together in the end
to run the best 8,000 meters he can.
Intense training, including 75-80 miles of run-
ning per week, 7:30 a.m. practices and 16-mile
run on Sunday has prepared Willis and the
Wolverines for pre-Nationals.
"We are training hard for the season, but we
can't ease up," Willis said.
The Wolverines, who have finished fourth,
second and first in three races this season, are on
track to compete for a national championship.
Willis will be a major factor in the team's suc-
The course for this Saturday's race is the same
course used for the actual championship race in
The field includes 74 teams, and will be split
up into two races. Last year's results show that
this race is a preview to the national race, as
Michigan placed sixth in pre-Nation-
als and eighth in Nationals last sea-
"This race is a chance for teams to
test themselves against top schools
in the nation," Willis said.
The main opponent for the
Wolverines this weekend will be No.
Michigan is looking for a top-five
finish this weekend, which could
possibly slide the Wolverines back
into a top-10 spot in the national
The Associated Press
"This is a very important race for us to find
out how we stack up," Warhust said.
Nate Brannen, the 2002 Michigan male athlete
of the year, was reinstated into the lineup for this
weekend's race. He has been out due to slight
anemia. The addition of Brannen will bring
another All-American to the team for this big
"Willis and Brannen compliment each other
very well and motivate the whole team,"
With all the parts in place, Michigan is look-
ing forward to excelling at pre-National compe-
tition at Iowa and moving up in the rankings.
Nick Willis, as usual, is just looking forward
to running hard.
Several track athletes tested posi-
tive for a steroid that until recently
was undetectable and now face sus-
pensions that could bar them from
the 2004 Athens Olympics, the U.S.
Anti-Doping Agency said yester-
USADA chief executive officer
Terry Madden called it a wide-
spread "conspiracy" involving
chemists, coaches and athletes that
was brought to the agency's atten-
tion by an anonymous tip.
He said the inquiry began in June
and has expanded to other U.S. pro-
fessional sports, but wouldn't give
specifics. He also refused to give
details about the athletes or say
how many tested positive for the
steroid, known as tetrahydrogestri-
none, or THG.
"What we have uncovered
appears to be intentional doping of
the worst sort," Madden said in a
statement before his conference
call from USADA headquarters in
Colorado Springs, Colo. "This is a
far cry from athletes accidentally
testing positive as a result of taking
contaminated nutritional supple-
"Rather, this is a conspiracy
involving chemists, coaches and
certain athletes using what they
developed to be 'undetectable'
designer steroids to defraud their
fellow competitors and the Ameri-
can and world public who pay to
attend sports events."
Olympic athletes face drug tests
at major competitions, as well as
random testing between events.
Nate Brannen will return to run for Michigan in pre-
Nationals tomorrow. He had been out due to anemia.
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