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November 14, 2003 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 2003-11-14

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10 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, November 14, 2003

'M' hopes football draws fans

By Ellen McGarrity
Daily Sports Writer
New Michigan women's basketball
coach Cheryl Burnett knows how to
please a crowd. When she first
arrived to take over the Southwest
Missouri State program in 1987, the
average attendance at a
game hovered anywhere T
between 600 and 1,000 To
people. By 2002, Burnett Mica
and her team packed the Miat
8,846-seat Hammons Stu- Tne: 2
dent Center on a regular
basis. Devoted fans even
camped out overnight for
big tournament games.
Burnett takes the helm of the
Michigan women's basketball pro-
gram with a similar task. At the first
two exhibition games, one could
almost count the number of fans sit-
ting in Crisler Arena with their fin-
gers and toes.
But Burnett isn't too worried. She
has spent the majority of her efforts
gearing up for the team's official start
of the season - participating in the
preseason Women's National Invita-
tional Tournament this weekend.

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Michigan plays at home in the first
round tomorrow against Miami
(Ohio).
"We've really tried to promote the
first game of the WNIT, almost at
the expense of our exhibitions,"
Burnett said. "Granted that we real-
ly appreciate the people that came
for the exhibitions, but
every speaking engage-
eer ment has been about
an vs. Miami."
(Ohio) Burnett has been
n. Saturday working overtime in the
Arena past few months to
drum up interest for the
program. For the
Miami game, the team's marketing
director sent out thousands of flyers
to alumni and other Ann Arbor resi-
dents asking them to attend. She has
a promise from the Ann Arbor
Rotary Club, as well as the Ann
Arbor Kiwanis Club that they will
be in attendance tomorrow.
But Burnett says that getting people
to the games is only half the battle.
"It's going to be our job to have the
product on the floor," Burnett said.
"If they don't come back, then I have
failed because our product was not

good enough. If they do come back,
then we can start building (the fan
base) we want to build."
Michigan is lucky that it was
awarded home court advantage for
the WNIT first round, but the timing
of the game poses somewhat of a
dilemma for Wolverine sport's fans.
Tip-off is set for 2:00 p.m. tomor-
row, and the team will likely still be
playing at 3:30 - the kickoff time
for the Michigan-Northwestern foot-
ball game.
To compensate, Crisler Arena will
be showing the Michigan football
game on its video boards immediate-
ly after the basketball game is over.
The attendance at this weekend's
game also has an impact on where the
next round will take place. In the
WNIT, the next round location is
determined by the attendance of the
two teams' last games.
If Michigan draws a large enough
crowd for tomorrow's game, the sec-
ond-round game (which will be
played either next Monday or Tues-
day) could be in Ann Arbor again.
Otherwise, the Wolverines will have
to travel to the hometown of the win-
ner of the game between Cincinnati

Women's cr
prepares for
By Matt Venegoni
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan women's cross coun-
try team has its sights set on a possi-
ble national title - or at least a
top-10 finish.
But just as the football team has to
focus on Northwestern this weekend,
the women's cross country team also
has to focus on one meet at a time.
This weekend is the NCAA Great
Lakes Regional Championships in
Terre Haute, Ind., and it has the
team's complete focus.
"Nothing is guaranteed, so we are
taking this weekend very seriously,"
sophomore Rebecca Walter said. "We
have trained really hard all week, not
tapering at all."
The NCAA Championships invite a
total of 31 teams - the top two from
nine regions get automatic bids. The
other 13 spots are at-large invites. The
at-large berths take into account many
things, specifically head-to-head
matchups with teams from other
regions.
"We probably have enough quality
wins to get to the NCAAs - we stand
in pretty good shape right now," coach
Mike McGuire said.
McGuire's team is taking the meet
seriously, as Notre Dame and Michi-
gan State, two of its top rivals, are
participating.
"I think that Michigan State would
like to get us back after we won the
Big Ten's last week," McGuire said,
Goal for ma

oss country,
regional
"Even if you're playing checkers,
think there will always be a rivalry
with Michigan State."
Michigan has good reason to think
that it has a chance to win the region,
as it is coming off a first-place finish
in Big Ten Championships and is very
experienced at this level of competi-
tion. All of the runners, except for,
redshirt freshman Katie Erdman, have;
run in the regions before. r
"Everyone's been tested, and J.
think that will help us a lot," said,
McGuire, who was named the Big
Ten Coach of the Year. "We are real 4
ly looking to run solidly, and maybe
shore up the sixth and seventh run-,
ning spots, but all year it has beena
collective effort."
The main team that Michigan is
looking at is Notre Dame, as it has.
been one of the constants in the sport
the past few years.
"We don't have to win, but our goad=-
going in is to close the gap on Notre
Dame, because we use them as a*
benchmark for us to achieve,',
McGuire said.
A good showing in the regionals
would be a stepping stone to bigger,
and better things for the team, and for
some individuals.
"I really wanted to improve on last
year, and one of my goals was to be
an All-American, and the meet can
really help," Walter said. "I just wan
to make sure that all of the preparat
tion will lead to having the best race
of the season in the NCAAs."
4e harriers.

I

LAURA SHLECTER/Daily
Michigan center Jennifer Smith discusses
strategy with coach Cheryl Burnett.
and Liberty.
Michigan last tipped off against
Miami in 1981, losing to the Red-
hawks by one point. Burnett, her team
and maybe a large crowd hope the
game will end in their favor this time.

Teamwork vital to success of Blue swimmers

By Krystin Kasak
Daily Sports Writer
Someone once said that there's no "I" in team.
That someone was right.
There is no "I" in team - especiallyu
for the Michigan men's swimming THIS WI
team. The endless support and undying No.2 Texas
dedication found in each individual
player come together to form the epito-
my of teamwork. I
The team practices together twice aP
day. They push each other, motivate Lanham Nv
each other and most of all, support
each other. When the players are just
minutes away from getting their feet wet, the team's
encouragement becomes increasingly evident. Every
player and every coach is always 100 percent behind
each other.

"John, especially, is really motivating," said sen-
ior Dan Ketchum about Michigan coach Jon
Urbanchek. "He'll never say a bad thing. If you
have a bad workout, he'll just shove it off. He's

~EKEND.
yrs.No. 8
rn. today,
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always positive, and I think that's the
biggest thing. He's so supportive."
Support is key, especially when so many
of the players on the team are striving for a
certain goal. For many, this goal is the 2004
Olympics. With several potential candi-
dates on the Wolverines' team, that motiva-
tion, support and encouragement is crucial.
The Wolverines that are training for the
June trials are being assisted not only by
their coaches and fellow teammates, but

Ketchum said. "We've all got the same goal - and we
push each other every day. It's my senior year so, after
this, I'll be swimming on my own. It's pretty much
make it or break it."
Ketchum is enjoying his last year of what has turned
into strong team spirit and positive attitudes. When
they're not swimming together or training together,
they find themselves having fun with each other out of
the pool.
"We're very close," Ketchum said. "We sing the
Victors every Saturday. We eat at Angelo's every
morning before the meet. Our closeness is something
that not a lot of people would expect. You think swim-
ming is more of an individual sport.
"But here, every race you're in counts - all the
points add up. So if you have a bad race, it effects the
whole team. And especially since we're smaller, every-
body counts so much more. Everybody is so involved
- so if someone is hurt, it's a big deal."

autOmatic IN AA bi

also by three prior Olympic athletes. These post-grad-
uate students know the importance of training and are
assisting Michigan's players as much as possible.
"The biggest thing is training with each other,"

By Phil Kofahl
Daily Sports Writer

Davis Cup experience helps Hung 'M'N TE.

BIG TENS
Continued from Page 9
that level, especially to win some matches playing against such
talent."
While Rubin, Jackson and Hung did not progress past the
first round, they did win consolation matches.
"I was impressed by how we played," Hung said of1
his performance.
This season has presented Hung multiple opportunities,7
both in college matches and on the international stage. Hung
moved from Hong Kong to attend the University because it
allowed him to excel both in athletics and academics.
Hungis no novice to an intensively competitive environ-;

ment. Earlier in the year, representing China, he made it to the
junior division quarterfinals in doubles of the Davis Cup.
More recently, from Oct. 18 to 29, Hung traveled back to
China to participate in the City Games, the equivalent of the
U. S. Junior Olympics. He returned to Ann Arbor with self-
confidence, experience and a gold medal.
"He's a very talented player, he's a hard worker and I think;
the future looks bright for him," Mees said.
Besides his experience with the Davis Cup, Hung has pri-
marily been an individual player. However, he enjoys the team
atmosphere and attributes a lot of his improvement to friendly
matches and encouragement from coaches and players.
"It was fun to play doubles with Brian, because he makes
some pretty awesome shots," Jackson said.

Men's soccer bounced
from Big Ten Tourney
The No. 23 Michigan men's soccer
team dropped its opening round game
of the Big Ten Tournament yesterday to
Northwestern by a final score of 2-1.
The Wildcats netted two first half
goals to lead 2-0 heading into the break.
Michigan was able to answer back
with a second half goal, but despite sev-
eral late game chances, it could not get
the second score it needed to tie the
game up.
Michigan, the No. 2 seed in the tour-
nament, was one of three top-seeded
teams to lose, along with No. 3 Michi-
gan State and No. 4 Ohio State.
Now, the Wolverines will have to
await Monday's decision of the NCAA
selection committee to find out if they
will play in the NCAA Tournament.

Every coach will tell you that the
most important thing for his or her
team is staying healthy. All the talent
in the world can go to waste if a few
athletes get injured or overworked.
The No. 6 Michigan men's cross coun-
try team has the talent, and it's healthy.
After placing a comfortable second at
the Big Ten Championships on Nov. 2,
the Wolverines have been playing it
cool. With no game film to watch, or
defensive schemes to work out, getting
ready for their next meet involves cut-
ting back the miles, and keeping calm.
"We're not running hard, that's for
sure," Michigan coach Ron Warhurst
said. "They're not going get any more
in shape."
Warhurst will be taking his energized
squad to TerrJaute, Ind., for the
NCAA Great Lakes Regional Champi-
onships this Saturday to earn a bid to
the national championship race Nov. 24
at Cedar Falls, Iowa. The top two teams
from each of the nine regionals will
earn an automatic bid to Iowa, and 13
at-large bids will be given out. Michi-
gan advanced to nationals last season
after placing sixth at regionals.
The Great Lakes region is considered

the nation's best, currently having six
teams in the top 25 in its region. This
season, the Wolverines are expected to
finish at least in the top four, going in
the second-highest team in the region.
Michigan isn't having problems
keeping focused during its two-week
break, they're students, after-all.
"I've been kind of crammed with
school work the last two weeks," junior
Nate Brannen said. "I've been concen-
trating on that and keeping my mind off
racing and stuff."
With months of training and hun-
dreds of miles behind them, the Wolver-
ines season comes down to two 10-
kilometer races.
The last two weeks of the season will
involve of each runner, timing things
just right.
"We're just trying to set our peaks so
we're peaking at nationals," Brannen
said. "This week is going to be fine tun-
ing things for this weekend."
The jump from eight to 10 kilometers
raised mixed reactions from runners.
Senior Tom Greenless more than wel-
comed the change.
"It separates the men from the boys,"
Greenless said. "The 10 k is a man's
race, it should be fun."
Brannen doesn't seem to mind, as
long as it's only twice a year.

I

Daniel Bremmer

A

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