The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - March 15, 2004 - 7B
Fans drive 'M' to solid showing
By Matt Singer
Daily Sports Writer
Talk about dedication. With five of its members
preparing to participate in the NCAA Indoor
Championships, the Michigan women's track and
field team had a choice to make - hang out in Ann
Arbor or follow their teammates to Fayetteville,
Ark. After a 13-hour drive, about 30 Wolverines
found themselves at Arkansas' Randal Tyson Track,
ready to make some noise and motivate their team-
"We had the most fans other than (host)
Arkansas," redshirt junior Lindsey Gallo said.
Just hearing her name announced as one of 10
finalists in the one-mile run, Gallo felt that her run-
ning career had come full circle.
"It was the coolest feeling," Gallo said. "I've
been running since seventh grade, all to get to
The race was anything but routine. After jump-
ing out to an early lead, Gallo slipped all the way
to seventh place. On the final lap, Gallo's worst
nightmare almost came true. Notre Dame's Lauren
King and Virginia Tech's Marlies Overbeeke col-
lided and fell to the track, right in front of Gallo.
Caught in mid-stride, Gallo was just able to avoid
her two competitors, staying on her feet and fin-
ishing with a career-best time of 4:40.66. Her
sixth-place performance earned her All-America
honors in the event.
"I didn't come this far to fall in the finals,"
After Gallo's strong performance, sophomore
Katie Erdman took to the track. Coming in with the
nation's seventh-best time in the 800-meter run,
Erdman ran the race of her life. After jumping out
to an early lead, she remained near the front of the
pack throughout. Erdman finished in third, good
enough for All-American status and setting a
Michigan school record in the event (2:04.41).
"It feels pretty good (to be an All-American),"
Erdman said. "It's something we've been shooting
for all season."
The NCAA Championships were nothing new
for Gallo and Erdman. After attending the competi-
tion together last year, the two had been dreaming
about getting another shot.
"We've been working out together," Gallo said.
"It is really satisfying for me to see Katie run so
well. We've been talking about (the NCAA Cham-
pionships) all year and getting pumped up."
Gallo and Erdman also competed in the distance
medley relay. The Michigan foursome, which also
included senior Carly Knazze and junior Theresa
Feldkamp, turned in a time of 11:13.30. Despite
earning All-America honors with a seventh-place
finish, the Wolverines couldn't help but be a little
frustrated. Due to the schedule of the meet, both
Erdman and Gallo had run intense qualifying races
the same day as the relay.
Rounding out Michigan's five-athlete field, jun-
ior Jennifer Kulchar placed 17th in the high jump,
with a 5-foot 8-inch leap. Just making it to the
nationals was special for Kulchar, who was not
expected to earn an invitation to the meet.
"It was a big surprise," Michigan coach James
Henry said. "We didn't think that her height would
have gotten in."
Following a disappointing second-place finish at
the Big Ten Championships, Michigan finished
with 11 points at the NCAAs. The 19th-place finish
marks the team's best performance in the meet
"I was really proud with everyone that per-
formed," Henry said. "The returning athletes
Overall, the team felt that the trip to Fayetteville
was a positive experience. The Wolverines earned
six All-America titles and were able to make some
Go four it: Kelemen'
qualifies for NCAA
Lindsay Gallo ran a personal-best time of 4:40.66 this
weekend at the NCAA Indoor Track Championships.
noise nationally. Above all, it was a learning expe-
"The group of ladies that did go to the nationals
were leaders in their respective events," Henry said.
"It shows the girls who didn't go that they can, one
day, compete at the national level."
By Anne Ulble
Daily Sports Writer
It was about time. After three
years of being cut from participating
in the NCAA Diving Champi-
onships, Michigan senior Tealin
Kelemen finally qualified for div-
ing's version of the Big Dance, and
in the process, proved to her compe-
tition that she deserved a bid.
"She's been diving better than she
ever has in her life," Michigan diving
coach Chris Bergere said. "This
weekend really showed that. She was
consistent throughout the entire meet
and proved that she was one of the
best divers and deserves this opportu-
nity to compete at the championships.
"It's a great culmination of all her
hard years of work."
This weekend Kelemen, junior cap-
tain Alexis Goolik and freshman
Ellen Van Cleve competed in the
NCAA Diving Zone meet at Indiana's
Counsilman Billingsley Aquatic Cen-
ter. The meet was the qualifying stan-
dard for the NCAA Championships,
scheduled to take place next week in
College Station, Texas.
There were five regional zones in
session this weekend, each able to
qualify a select few divers. The
Bloomington site was allotted 11
spots for the NCAA Champi-
onships, more than any other site.
To guarantee one of those 11 spots,
a diver must have either finished in
the top four on the one-meter, the
top five on the three-meter or the
top two on the platform.
Kelemen placed within these qual-
Continued from Page 18
the preliminaries on Friday and
stood at the starting line, thinking to
himself that the race was his to lose.
He sat in the field for the first
600 meters, and with one final lap,,
he proved once again that he was
the strongest runner on the track.
He pushed to the front of the pack
and finally pulled away to take
home the win.
Willis's road wasn't as easy.
The sophomore had previously set
the national record in the 3,000-
meter until Alistair Cragg of
Arkansas broke it just two weeks
ifications in each of the three events:
On Friday, the first day of competi-
tion, she earned her NCAA bid by
placing second in the one-meter
event with a score of 535.35 points.
"She was really tight in her first six
dives," Bergere said. "But I told her
she needed to relax and just stay calm.
I think after she earned her qualifying
standard in the event, she really
became more consistent, because all
of the pressure was off of her."
The meet continued on Saturday
with the three-meter competition,
and Kelemen led the Wolverines,
placing fifth with a score of 474.65.
Following Kelemen, junior captain
Alexis Goolik placed 16th with-a
score of 421.50. Goolik concluded
the meet by placing ninth in the
platform event with a score of
341.10, which was a new career
high for her.
"Alexis had an average meet,"
Bergere said. "I've seen her do better.
I don't think she was at the top of her
game, but we're looking forward toa
successful season next year."
Kelemen closed out her final
event in style by placing first on the
platform board yesterday with a
career-best score of 402.40.
"Kelemen's platform event was
great," Bergere said. "She proved
that she really earned her chance to
dive next week - that she was
Kelemen will join nine Michigan
swimmers at the NCAA Champi-
onships next weekend at Texas
A&M's Student Recreation Center
Cragg won the 5,000-meter on Fri-
day by a landslide, and the crowd
was ready for the showdown in the
shorter distance race.
Willis and Cragg sat at the back of
the pack for the first 1,400 meters.
Then, Cragg made a surge and Willis
With every lap, the two distanced
themselves from the field.
With only 200 meters to go, the
crowd was ready for Willis's kick,
but Cragg managed to hold him off
for the win.
"In my race I realized how big the
occasion was, and how much (the
team) needed the points," Willis said.
"I gave him everything I could, and
I'm really proud of that."
* MEN'S TENNIS
Minus Rubin, netters overwhelm Ball State
By Richie Jain
For the Daily
Coming off a two-week break from
competition, many could have expect-
ed Michigan to come out flat. Instead
the men's tennis team continued its
dominance over Ball State, defeating
the Cardinals 6-1 Saturday. Michigan
extended its all-time record against
the Cardinals to 8-0 and its season
record to 8-1.
Michigan coach Mark Mees could
not attribute the Wolverines' success
against Ball State to anything specific.
"They have always had a very good
program, and we have had good match-
es against them," Mees said. "But this
year, we are just better than they are."
Michigan overwhelmed Ball State,
even though team co-captain Michael
Rubin was not able to play his usual
No. 1 singles spot due a rib injury.
Instead, he played No. 2 doubles with
Ryan Heller, leading the pair to an 8-3
Co-captain Anthony Jackson filled
the No. I position for Rubin, but could-
n't come up with the win, losing 2-6, 2-
6. This was Michigan's only loss of the
day. Jackson teamed up with freshman
Brian Hung at No. 1 doubles and won
8-6, giving Jackson his 50th career dou-
"Their No. I singles player is quite a
bit above the rest of their team," Mees
said. "But their No. 2 through No. 6 sin-
gles players are equal in ability, and
overall they are a very balanced team,
but just off to a slow start this season."
Mees was pleased with his team's
doubles play in its victory. Even though
Michigan has won the doubles point in
six of its nine matches this season,
Mees felt that the Wolverines had been
struggling recently in this key area.
"We had a stretch of matches where
we weren't finishing matches and were
getting tentative," Mees said. "Today we
got up, stayed up and swept doubles. We
kept our momentum."
The three doubles matches are
played first, and one point is awarded
to the team that wins the majority of
"It is very hard to win four out of six
singles matches if you lose that doubles
point," Mess said.
Overall Mees was very pleased
with the victory. Mees feels his team
did a good job of competing at all of
Junior Vinny Gossain teamed with
Steve Peretz at No. 3 doubles and won
the match 8-5.
"Everyone had their times when they
played good and bad today, but Vinny
played extremely well," Mees said.
Freshman Ryan Heller, playing No. 3
singles, won in straight sets to remain
undefeated in his dual-match singles
Although the team has been playing
very well as of late, it is fighting
injuries at many positions. Besides the
rib problems Rubin sustained, Jackson
is suffering from back spasms, Peretz
has arm problems, and Hung has a
"All of our players are sore and beat
up," Mees said. "We are looking for-
ward to getting back to Ann Arbor, get-
ting healthy and playing a very, very
good Notre Dame team"
The Wolverines have until next Tues-
day to prepare and heal their injuries,
before taking on then Fighting Irish at
the Varsity Tennis Center.
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