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February 06, 2004 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-02-06

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The Michigan Daily - Friday, February 6, 2004 -11

Alaskan fun ends; 'M'
readies for Nanooks

Challenging field events
too often overshadowed

By Sharad Mattu
Daily Sports Writer
When Michigan coach Red Beren-
son says that he'd rather ice-fish in
Alaska than walk along a beach in
Florida, he isn't joking around. When
he played in the NHL, he spent two
summers in Anchorage running a
hockey school.
And, ever since Alaska-Fairbanks
joined the Central Collegiate Hockey
Association, he's gotten to spend the
occasional winter weekend there, as
well.
The Wolverines left Ann Arbor early
Wednesday morning for Fairbanks, and
currently - as is usually the case
when they go up north - they are in
the midst of quite an interesting trip.
In the past, Berenson has taken the
team to the University of Alaska
Museum and the 800-mile-long
pipeline system. Last night, the team
went curling.
But now, it's time to get down to
business. Tonight and tomorrow, No. 4
Michigan (13-4-1 CCHA, 18-7-1 over-
all) will look to extend their domi-
nance over the Nanooks. The
Wolverines have won 25 of their 28
meetings, and 11 of 12 in Fairbanks.

Though Alaska-Fairbanks' record
(11-10-1, 12-13-1) doesn't stand out,
Michigan isn't looking past the
Nanooks to next weekend's series
against Miami - the team one point
ahead of Michigan at first place in con-
ference standings. This year's version of
the Nanooks is the best the Wolverines
have ever faced, according to Berenson,
and they are especially tough at the
Carlson Center, where they have gone
9-1 in conference play and 10-2 overall.
Alaska-Fairbanks coach Guy Gad-
owski doesn't attribute the team's
great home record and poor road
record to the travel that comes with
playing in Alaska. In the CCHA, only
the Nanooks and Northern Michigan
play on an Olympic-size rink -
which is wider than Yost Ice Arena's
surface - and Gadowski places an
emphasis on speed and skating ability
when recruiting to capitalize on that.
The Nanooks will be a tough test for
Al Montoya, who was just named
CCHA Player of the Month. The soph-
omore goaltender has allowed just five
goals in the Wolverines' last six games.
The Nanooks are third in the league in
scoring, averaging 3.36 goals a game.
Kelly Czuy and Ryan Campbell lead
the team with 24 points each.

RYAN WEINER/Daily
Junior Jason Ryznar - a native of Anchorage, Alaska - looks forward to playing a
weekend series in his home state against Alaska-Fairbanks.

"We like to get up and go," Gadows-
ki said. "The fans here are very knowl-
edgeable and like to see offensive
hockey, and we like to play that way. I
think it's an exciting brand of hockey,
but I also think we can win that way."
Michigan players enjoyed their last
trip to Alaska two years ago. The
Wolverines swept the Nanooks with 2-
1 and 4-0 wins.

"It is a long trip, but we get to
spend a lot of time together," junior
defenseman Nick Martens said after
last Saturday's game against Lake
Superior State. "It's a good chance for
us to put away the pressures of school,
and focus on hockey while we're
there. We have five days when all we
have to worry about is hockey. It's just
a great experience."

By James V. Dowd
Daily Sports Writer
Whether it was in elementary, mid-
dle or high school, at some point,
almost everyone has had to run the
dreaded mile. It is why most people can
easily comprehend the significance of
Michigan junior Nate Brannen running
a 3:58 mile. It may also be why much
attention at a track and field meet is
focused on running events. The athletes
who seemingly defy physics with the
exact sciences of the high jump, long
jump, shot put and weight throw appear
to take a back seat to the runners.
For the long jump, while pure speed
is important, it takes much more to
truly stand out. Consider redshirt fresh-
man Jason Stewart. A Michigan high
school state champion in the 400-meter
run, Stewert clearly has the necessary
speed. But more experienced jumpers,
such as senior Joe Baldwin and junior
David Malonson, are able to jump pre-
cious inches further. This is because of
the extra time they have spent develop-
ing the finer points of their jumps.
According to Michigan assistant coach
Ricky Deligny, the hardest part of
jumping is converting horizontal speed
into vertical movement.
"You've got to be explosive, and
even so, it takes a high degree of kines-
thetic awareness," Deligny said. "You
need to be able to control, know where
your body is in terms of the ground."
This kind of awareness comes with
experience, and Deligny is confident
that younger jumpers like Stewart
will develop this in time.
High jumpers face the same
obstacles.
Junior high jumper Braylon
Edwards is known all over the country
for his leaping ability, shiftiness and
blazing speed on the football field.
But, even Edwards has had trouble
with the finer points of jumping.
"(Edwards) gets a little frustrated."
Deligny said. "He has that speed, he
can get off the ground and he is explo-
sive. But now you're asking him to
jump, to turn his back to the bar, and
now he doesn't see. He is accustomed
to seeing that ball coming towards him,
so that throws him off a little bit"

But Edwards is always working hard
to improve.
"(Edwards) really is very easy to
work with," Deligny said. "He is very
much a team guy when he is here. He
loves track."
Throwing events can be misunder-
stood. Most people think that because
throwers are generally big-bodied, they
are slow and graceless. But Michigan
throwers, such as freshman Chris
McHugh and senior Nick Vander
Ploeg, are far from that.
"Any strong, powerful, explosive
thrower would be a match for a sprint-
er," Deligny said. "He'd be right there
with them for the first few strides,
because he is explosive and quick, but
after that he has to carry that chunk of
meat around, and it becomes more of a
difficult thing."
Explosiveness is necessary to get off
a good throw, but a certain amount of
gracefulness is also necessary.
"You've got to have strength, but
also a certain degree of finesse,"
Deligny said. "It's like one of those
strong man contests, mixed with
basketball."
Deligny likened a good thrower to a
dancer, as both have to perform many
elaborate pivots and spins. Needless to
say, there is a lot more to throws than
pure strength.

Wolverines face big weekend away from home

By Stephanie Wright
For the Daily
The Big Ten is considered by many to be the
top wrestling conference in the nation. With
eight teams currently ranked in the nation's top
25, this season is no different.
The Michigan wrestling team has a similar tra-
dition of success, owning an all-time conference
record of 404-156-15. After a 3-0 Big Ten start,
Michigan is once again working to solidify its
position at the top of one of the nation's premiere
conferences.
Michigan coach Joe McFarland attributes
much of the team's success this season to good
upperclassmen leadership and consistent prepara-
tion each week. He also praises the continued
development of several underclassmen.
"We don't want athletes to wait until their jun-
ior or senior season to realize they can con-
tribute," McFarland said.

Chemistry has also been a factor in Michigan's
success. Although there are individual aspects to
the sport, McFarland believes it is important for
team members to encourage each other in and
out of practice.
"During a match, you're out there by yourself,"
said McFarland. "But they can support each other
through hard matches."
The Wolverines will need to utilize their strong
leadership and chemistry this weekend, as they
have two dual meets on the road against tough
Big Ten opponents. On Friday, Michigan travels
to Columbus to face No. 21 Ohio State before
heading to State College on Sunday to take on
No. 6 Penn State. Under McFarland, the Michi-
gan wrestling team has had great success against
both Ohio State and Penn State, going 4-0 and 5-
0, respectively.
Despite Michigan's past success against these
teams, including a 21-17 victory against Penn
State at the Cliff Keen/National Wrestling

Coaches Association National Duals earlier this
season, Coach McFarland says the Wolverines
have to be aggressive and confident in order to
win this weekend.
"We're in the hunt with a number of teams,
neck and neck," said McFarland, referring to the
current Big Ten standings.
Currently, Michigan and Illinois are tied for
first.
Strong performances in the meets this weekend
could provide important momentum for the rest
of the season, particularly heading into tourna-
ment play in March.
"In this sport, it's really about how you per-
form at the end of the season," McFarland said.
For now, the team is focused on consistency,
hoping to translate solid weekly preparation into
wins.
"We want to continue to be ready week to
week," said McFarland. "We want to see this
team overachieve."

SETH LOWER/Daily
Nick Vander Ploeg has to incorporate both
explosiveness and finesse into every throw.

Q 9

NOTE

At last, Gaydos can contribute to Michigan

By Matt Venegoni
Daily Sports Writer

Imagine being an "A" student and
suddenly all your grades turn to C's.
You had put in the same work, but
something just was not right.
That's similar to what happened to
freshman Jackie Gaydos at the begin-
ning of the cross-country season.
"I just wasn't running the same
times as I was a few months before,"
Gaydos said.
"I was tired all the time and
couldn't run a lot," Gaydos said.
Gaydos and every other freshman
redshirted. But, even though her
efforts did not count for Michigan,
Gaydos was still upset with her per-
formance. How she was running in
the fall was in stark contrast to how
her senior season of high school
went.
"I improved a lot in my senior
year compared to the years before
that," the Allen Park native said.
Gaydos made the Michigan all-
state team in both cross-country and
track, won the division II champi-

onship in cross country and was the
state champion in the mile.
But when she arrived in Ann Arbor
this past fall, she was not living up to
her past accomplishments.
Finally, in October she discov-
ered what was wrong. She had ane-
mia, an iron deficiency. She was
simply using more iron then she
was taking in. This was a direct
result of the jump to division one
athletics; all of the extra running
was taking its toll.
"The training in college was much
more intense then in high school,"
Gaydos said. "I was running a lot
more and my body wasn't used to all
the running."
Discovering the deficiency was a
great relief for Gaydos.
"I was glad I found out I had
something and was not just me run-
ning poorly," Gaydos said. "Some of
the other girls had it before, so it
was not a shock, although I didn't
think it would happen to me."
Gaydos did not start training again
until December. However, the track
season had already started, and she

didn't know whether she would red-
shirt or not.
"Once the training started, I saw
that I was at the same ability before
I got sick," Gaydos said.
For the Jack Harvey Invitational
- the Wolverines' first meet of the
season - Gaydos ran attached,
implying that she was redshirting
for the day.
In the mile run she placed first in
one of the sections and fifth overall,
six seconds behind the first place
finisher.
"The section I won was the slow
section, but it still felt good to be
able to do well," Gaydos said.
At the meet Gaydos showed she
could help the team. Distance coach
Mike McGuire talked to Gaydos
about the season and let her know that
she was not going to be redshirted.
"I was nervous for the first meet
after I found out I wasn't redshirt-
ing, but I was excited also," Gaydos
said.
Now that she knows that she is
competing with the team, Gaydos
has one thing on her mind - quali-

fying to run in the Big Ten Champi-
onships.
"I don't know if I can, but it
would be a nice goal right now,"
Gaydos said.
But, for now, she is happy that
she can run effectively like she
used to.

Women's gymnastics team hopes to give
out $1,000 to a lucky student at next meet
The women's gymnastics team is holding a contest for football, basketball or
hockey season ticket holders for the rest of their season.
The name of one of these season ticket holders will be announced at the next
home meet, the State of Michigan Classic, which will-be held at 7 p.m. tonight-in
Crisler Arena. If the student is present, they will win $1,000 to go toward their
tuition. If the student is not present, the prize will increase $500 for each succes-
sive home meet until a student is present.
The prize money is personally funded by women's gymnastics coach Bev Plocki.

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