2B - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - February 16, 2004
Late nights no sweat for women's rugby team
By Richie Jain
For The Daily
Thursday night, 11:30 p.m. As
most of Ann Arbor starts to head
toward the bars, members of the
women's rugby team begin to trickle
into practice at Oosterbaan Field-
house. The team practices four nights
a week, with all of its practices
beginning late at night. Currently the
players are focusing on athleticism,
speed, and agility under the direction
of their coach Jamie Frech, a mem-
ber of the 1998 Michigan Women's
Rugby Football Club.
Frech enjoys coaching the team
she once played for.
"I can't get away from rugby,"
Frech said. "It's the greatest sport,
and it offers a different community
than other sports, in which you can
really bond with teammates."
In practice, the team works on 8-
on-8 scrimmages, passing drills and
tackling skills, according to junior
Laura Wolfe. Frech also added that
they break the game into components
and then put them all together in
"We have a 50/50 breakup between
experienced players and rookies," Frech
said. "But the rookies have very good
athletic talent, and many have come
from other sports, such as soccer."
"We have no major injuries, just a
bunch of people with sprains," cap-
tain Kelly Swarts added.
The team plays in a lot of tourna-
ments during the winter semester,
with upcoming tournaments in
Nashville, Washington and Virginia.
As many as 50 teams participate at
"Because there is no end-of-the-
season championship, each tourna-
ment is like a championship for us,"
Michigan competes in the Mid-
west division, which includes Michi-
gan State, Central Michigan, Western
Michigan, Northern Michigan, and
Last weekend in Kalamazoo, the
Wolverines won the 10th annual
Sno-ball Tournament, in which teams
from as far as Iowa came to partici-
pate. This was their second champi-
onship in the past three years at this
tournament. In the final game of the
championship, Michigan defeated
Michigan State in double overtime.
This was its second win over the
Spartans in the tournament. The win
was especially rewarding because of
an earlier, regular-season loss to
Michigan State. Frech felt that
Rebecca Wines was the best per-
former in the tournament, as she
scored the winning try that beat
Michigan State in double overtime.
The playing conditions were very
difficult as "there was a foot of snow
on the ground," according to captain
Besides playing rugby, the team is
involved in other activities. Players
have volunteered their time to teach
middle school girls to play rugby,
and also look to get involved with a
Habitat for Humanity project. To get
pumped up for games, they sing
"Saturday is Rugby Day" and also
have team dinners the night before
the game. Because rugby is not a
varsity sport, the players also spend a
lot of time and effort fundraising.
When fundraising isn't enough, each
member pays dues. The team also
gets funding from RecSports and the
Michigan Student Assembly to cover
travel and lodging expenses for its
Currently there are 30 members,
but players can join at any time dur-
ing the season.
eJb Afidiigan BaiU
ATLETE OF TE W
Who: Foley Dowd Sport:Wrestling
Hometown: Howell, NJ Year: Senior
Why: In his final meet at Cliff Keen Arena, Dowd, ranked second nationally,
defeated No. 18 Ed Gutnik of Penn State 10-1. With the major decision, the
133-pounder is now 14-0 this season
Blue works out kinks, finishes third
By Matt Venegoni
Daily Sports Writer
A dress rehearsal is the last chance
to work out kinks before the big show.
This past weekend's Sykes-Sabok
Challenge Cup was a dress rehearsal
for the women's indoor track team
before the Big Ten Championships.
Michigan's third-place finish shows
that there are still are a few things for
the team to work on before the cham-
pionships in two weeks. Michigan
ended the two-day meet with 74
points. Host Penn State captured the
team title with a score of 158.33, and
showed they will be a team to be reck-
oned with at the Big Ten Tournament.
Ohio State took second with 105.33
"This was a chance for the team to
get any butterflies or kinks out of their
system before the Big Ten's," coach
John Henry said. "There were substan-
tial performances on the positive side
and on the negative side, but for the
most part it was positives."
Once again, sophomore Katie Erd-
man paced the Wolverines with a first-
place finish in the 600-meter run, set-
ting her second school record in two
weeks when she posted a blazing
1:29.70. The Wolverines earned 21 of
their 74 points in the 600, as senior
quad-captain Vera Simms and redshirt
junior Mora Arnold placed third and
"I was happy with my race. We have
been logging some high miles and run-
ning some tough workouts, and my
race reflected a bit of fatigue," Erdman
said. "Fortunately, I know those tough
days are going to pay off in a couple of
weeks at Big Ten's."
Redshirt junior Lindsay Gallo also
contributed for the Wolverines this
weekend, as she took first place in the
3,000-meter run. Gallo's time earned
her NCAA-provisional-qualifying sta-
tus and marked the fastest time in the
Big Ten this season.
ing time in the 3,000 impressed me the
most," senior Robin Landfair said.
Senior Robin Landfair led the
Wolverines on Friday as she took sec-
ond place in the 60-meter hurdles with
a season-best time of 8.55.
While the Wolverines are happy
with the solid scores this weekend,
they also know that they need to do
more if they want to repeat as Big Ten
"After the meet, I do not think any-
one is satisfied with where they cur-
rently are - now we have some more
motivation to work hard until Big
Ten's," Erdman said.
Finishing third behind two Big Ten
teams should be ample motivation for
"We saw what are probably the two
toughest teams, and they did not disap-
point," Erdman said. "We will have our
work cut out for us."
One thing the team does know is
that, to beat Penn State, it will have to
log the best times of the season.
"It's going to take a substantial
majority of positive performances to
beat Penn State," Henry said.
A concern the team has is being
prepared mentally for the Big Ten
"One thing to work on is making
sure we still perform well under pres-
sure," Landfair said.
Next week's Harold Silverston Invi-
tational is not team scored, but individ-
uals have one last chance to improve
their times before the main show at the
Big Ten Championships.
Hutchins earns 800th
win as Blue's coach
The No. 10 Michigan softball
team won three of five games this
past weekend at the UNLV Desert
On Sunday, the Wolverines were
shut out 3-0 by defending national
champion UCLA. Michigan batters
out-hit the Bruins seven to two, but
the team left nine runners on base in
the disappointing loss.
In Saturday's action, the Wolver-
ines split back-to-back one-run
games, losing 5-4 to No. 8 Nebras-
ka before rebounding to beat UNLV
Michigan started the weekend
with a bang, sweeping Cal Poly-San
Luis Obispo and No. 23 Oregon
State to give coach Carol Hutchins
her 800th victory as Wolverine
Michigan powered past Cal Poly
9-0 behind junior pitcher Nicole
The Wolverines used a two-run.
fifth inning to edge the Beavers 2-1
in their second game of the tourna-
Hutchins is the first Michigan
coach in any sport to surpass the
800-victory barrier and is only the
14th coach in softball history to
reach that number.
- Seth Gordon
Daily's stpwrRankings Daily's BPo r Ranikings
1.Clorado 78 pts. . Saramento . 37143
* The Avs winover Detroit was "Mike Bibby for threeeeeee
much more decisive than Detroit's CfvlO M the o krtl
'" .2. Detroit 74 pts. 2. New Jersey 31-20
" Viva Dominator ... wait, Viva " Lawrence Frank, take a bow.
Cujo! No, no, Viva Legace! It does- The Nets have been unstoppable
n't matter, Viva the cup! since Frank took over.
Philadelphia 78 pts. 3.l Minnesota 3745
*Roeiknlgi1tdw makes k: It was the best first halffofa
them les enteraining but they can season for the T Walvel In rs
still win a ltaofgame&' Go celebrate, buy some new
4. Toronto 74 pts. 4. San Antonio 35-18
* Not a great week for the Leafs. * Tim Duncan is on a roll, but the T-
With Boston and Ottawa within a Wolves are within striking distance. It
point, they can't afford to slip up. could get interesting in the Midwest.
5. Vancsuver 72 pts. 5. Indiana 3 4
G oatendingwill foreverdoom Iversonum ored to DetroPIlnd
theauCls from retuming to thea agthat tey dorop
S.taley Cup finat aldw &esrth t
6. Tampa Bay 70 pts. 6. Dallas 33-19
<"The Lightning are pulling away * The Mavs have taken 13 of their
with the division. Don't get in the last 16 and Dirk Nowitzki has redis-
way when the storm rolls by. covered his shooting touch.
Katie Erdman finished first in the 600-
meters this weekend.