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January 12, 2004 - Image 14

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-01-12

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6B - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - January 12, 2004


Two reserves shine as Willis and
Brannen rest up at Invitational

By James V. Dowd
Daily Sports Writer
For freshman Stann Waithe it
took one meet. For junior Rondell
Ruff it took almost three years. But
both achieved their first collegiate
victories at Saturday's Jack Harvey
Invitational at the Indoor Track
With potential Olympians Nate
Brannen and Nick Willis sitting out,
Ruff and Waithe, among several
others, had the opportunity to head-
line the meet. And they rose to the
occasion, giving the Michigan
men's track and field team a good
jumpstart for the season.
With the absence of Brannen, last
year's indoor national champion,
Ruff was able to push his way to the
front in the 800-meter run - a race
that displayed the depth of the
widely acclaimed Michgan middle-
and long- distance program. Fresh-
man Sebastien Louinis and senior
Dan Cooke took third and fourth in
the event, respectively.
Waithe seized the opportunity to
show Michigan fans why he was
picked to bolster the less-prominent
sprinting program. He edged out
senior teammate Francis Legasse Jr.

for the win.
With the first intercollegiate meet
of the year under their belts, the
Michigan coaching staff and run-
ners are ready to attack the season.
"This meet is a kind of evaluation
for where you are, from (the meet),
we get a little solid ground after
break," associate head coach Fred
Laplante said.
For other runners, the meet
served as somewhat of a return to
Senior Brian Turner won the
mile, his first victory since the
2001 season, and junior Sean
Moore won the 3,000-meter run.
After an illustrious high school
career, including numerous all state
accolades, Moore has struggled to
perform at the level he had hoped
he would at college. Saturday's race
was a starting point in his personal
quest to show what he can do.
"I feel like I am coming off three
bad seasons, and I am a lot more
committed to prove something to
myself and my teammates," Moore
said. "It felt pretty good, but a lot
of guys sat out, so it is not much of
a confidence booster."
Andrew Ellerton also bounced
back from a disappointing cross-

country season to win the 600-
meter run. Entering the final lap,
Ellerton was in third, but the sopho-
more pushed his way to the front,
winning by half a second.
Freshman hurdling standout Jeff
Porter took third in the 60-meter
hurdles, with a time of 8.13 -
almost a tenth of a second faster
than his performance in last
month's Maize and Blue Intrasqaud
Although Porter expressed dis-
content with his performance, it is
no small achievement to gain a
tenth of a second between a meet,
especially coming off of winter
break. Last winter, Porter ran a
7.81, the fastest time by a high
school hurdler. Such a time might
put him in contention for the Big
Ten Title. Porter has made a fluid
adjustment to collegiate 42-inch
hurdles, which are three inches
higher than those in high school
Though there was no team score
for the meet, Michigan, as expected,
established itself even without its
star runners. The Wolverines will
have another shot at Eastern Michi-
gan and others next Saturday at the
Eastern Michigan Invitational:


Michigan's Chris McHugh competes in the weight throw event during the Jack Harvey Invitational at the Indoor Track
Building. McHugh finished eighth in the event with a throw of 15.35 meters.
Blue's performance earns an 'A-'


By Matt Venegoni
Daily Sports Writer
"Ninety percent."
For the first test of the semester,
that's a fine way to start.
That's how satisfied women's indoor
track coach James Henry was with the
effort and results from his team's first
meet, the non-scoring Jack Harvey
Since the event was not a team-
scored event, the main focus was on
individual times and scores, and Michi-
gan did not disappoint, winning six
Seniors Carly Knazze and Robin
Landfair, juniors Lindsey Gallo, There-
sa Feldkamp and Jennifer Kulchar, and
sophomore Katie Erdman, headlined
the event with victories in the first meet
of 2004.
"Katie Erdman kicked some serious
butt today," one teammate yelled out
during the team huddle after the meet.

Henry agreed with that statement
about the 2003 Big Ten Conference
Freshman of the Year.
"Erdman was definitely a standout
today," Henry said.
Erdman destroyed the field in the
600-meter run, crossing the finish line
in 1:31.57, 2.5 seconds ahead of her
nearest competition, Janaule Bennett of
Western Michigan.
"It's hard to just mention one stand-
out because there were many good per-
formances," Henry said.
Henry noted that Knazze was the
sprinter of the day. She posted her first
victory of the new year with a time of
7.73 in the 60-meter dash.
The team then went on to win the
next two races, as Erdman and Gallo
posted wins in the 600- and 800-meter
runs. Also impressive was the 4-by-400
relay, which Henry said was at least two
seconds better then he was expecting.
Henry's biggest concern was keeping
his team healthy.

"People were sore and the reaction
time wasn't quite there, but we are
healthy," Henry said.
Freshman thrower Bridgette Maynard
agreed that,.although there was a lot of
soreness coming off the long break
from official practices, the adjustment
was not too difficult.
"Overall I think most of the girls
handled the break really well (in terms
of training)," Maynard said.
Because it was the first meet, the
team doesn't put too much stock into its
impressive showing. There is a long
way to go and the team needs to contin-
ue to improve.
"(The season) is a marathon," Henry
said. "You want a good start, but this is
just the first mile."
Michigan will travel to Bloomington
next Saturday to take on Indiana in a
dual meet. Last season, the Hoosiers
finished in a tie for second behind
Michigan at the Big Ten Outdoor


Michigan's Jennifer Kulchar attempts a high jump during the Jack Harvey invitationai. Kulchar won the event with a
jump of 1.68 meters, .05 meters better than her teammate Porcha Ellis.

Fans can't make
the difference in
loss to Stanford
By Krystin Kasak
Daily Sports Writer
Speedos and goggles aren't just for swimmers
The men on the Michigan swimming and div-
ing team weren't the only ones dressed to get
wet during this weekend's dual meet against
Stanford. On Saturday morning, a group of ener-
gized students captivated Canham Natatorium
with large signs, larger screams and a fan wear-
ing nothing but a Speedo, goggles and a pair of
tennis shoes.
Their objective? To get as many fans riled up
about the meet as they could. They wanted all
the poolside spectators cheering for the men in
blue. Although the charades proved to be excit-
ing and entertaining, the No. 6 Wolverines (2-4)
lost to the No. 3 Cardinal (2-0) after a challeng-
ing and exhilarating two-day meet (215.5-191.5).
"We started out a little nervous," senior Chris-
tian Vanderkaay said. "But as the ball got
rolling, we had some good swims. We probably
could have used more upsets, but everyone swam
well. And the crowd definitely helped us there
- they were great."
The two-day dual meet started Friday night.
The Wolverines were pumped to be swimming
against their long-standing rival. Combined, the
two programs have won 19 official NCAA
championships, with the Maize and Blue captur-
ing 11 of them. Throughout the 1990s, the two
programs won half of the decade's national
championships and simultaneously built a rival-
ry that would last over a decade.
Vanderkaay remembered the meet two years
ago against the Cardinal.
"It was the same exact thing," he said. "Stan-
ford was here and I swam pretty much the same

r -
x.. ".

Duo's win gives 'M'
a weekend highlight

By Jamie Josephson
Daily Sports Writer

Michigan sophomore Davis Tarwater swims in the 200-meter butterfly during the Wolverines' meet with
Stanford. He defeated Stanford's Matt McDonald by .03 seconds in the event.

events. It's kind of like a flashback. I knew what
was going to happen. I knew it was going to be
tough. I knew everyone had to step up and I just
couldn't back down. I had to set the example and
do what I could."
Christian and Peter Vanderkaay dominated day
one of the meet. Together they won three of the
Wolverines' five event titles. Christian's victory
in the 100-meter breaststroke began the team's
rally. Later on in the meet, Peter made it three
straight team wins with his 400-meter individual
medley victory (1:12.29) over the nation's No. 1
ranked Markus Rogan.
At the end of day one, Michigan led 87.5-76.5.
The 11-point lead only lasted one event into
day two. Stanford started off the morning first
and second in the 400-meter medley. Momentum
came back however, when Peter Vanderkaay cap-
tured his third meet title for the weekend in the
800-meter freestyle. Senior Dan Ketchum

increased Michigan's lead to 115.5-103.5 with
his NCAA qualifying time of 1:47.94 in the 200-
meter freestyle.
Stanford responded with a pair of 1-2-3 fin-
ishes in the next two events and claimed a 14-
point lead. After a Cardinal victory in the
200-meter breaststroke pushed the score to
209.5-180.5, Michigan ended the two-day dual
with a win in the 400-meter freestyle relay.
"It pretty much ended up the way it was sup-
posed to be," Michigan coach John Urbanchek
said. "A number three team versus a number six
- and they won just the way the polls would
say. We tried to make some changes in our line-
up. But I didn't want to take the risk. I went very
conservative and did what I think we do best."
The Wolverines return to the pool next week-
end on the road against Purdue and Indiana.
Michigan will swim against Purdue at 5 p.m. on
Friday and Indiana at 1 p.m. on Saturday.

With that final call, the Michigan
doubles tandem of Debra Streifler
and Kim Plaushines finished off
their come-from-behind victory
against Lindsey Strauss and Alison
Silvero of Georgia Tech.
This doubles win served as one of
the highlights of the Michigan Invi-
tational this weekend at the Varsity
Tennis Center. Streifler and
Plaushines were down 7-3 at one
point in the eight-game pro-set and
even saved three Georgia Tech
match points. The duo won 9-8 in a
"We knew all along we could
come back," Plaushines said.
With a round of passing shot win-
ners in the tie-breaker, the Michigan
duo completed a heated match that
was full of momentum changes.
"We just needed that spark,"
Streifler said. "Once you get that,
you just keep on rolling."
At the Invitational, the Wolverines
hosted teams from three different
conferences in Georgia Tech,
Louisiana State and Eastern Michi-
Streifler and Plaushines headed
the team's doubles success this
weekend, losing only a single match
out of nine the entire weekend.
"(Streifler and Plaushines) did a
great job in turning the momentum
around and performing well under
pressure," coach Bitsy Ritt said.
On the singles end, Leanne
Rutherford contributed a flawless
performance with wins over Kacie
Anson of Georgia Tech (3-6, 6-4, 6-
2), Lauren Seaman of LSU (2-6, 6-
1, 6-0) and Kendra Clark of Eastern
Michigan (6-3, 6-4).
"My return of serve helped me

out today," Rutherford said. "It
helps starting the point :off with a
good shot."
Rutherford's poise on the court
shined through with her patient
game and aggressive net play.
"Leanne is such a great competi-
tor," Ritt said. "She struggled a bit
in the fall, but now she's back on
Chrissie Nolan might as well have
the nickname, "Comeback Kid".
Down 4-1 in the first set against
Amalia Lincaru of Eastern Michi-
gan, Nolan fought back to win 7-6,
6-3. She also defeated Sekita Grant
of Georgia Tech (3-6, 6-4, 6-2).
"The program's expectations are
that you never give up," Nolan said.
"If you play for Michigan, you're
going to have that mentality."
Nolan faced three sets determined
by a tiebreaker this weekend. After
losing two of them to Jessica Fergu-
son of LSU on Friday, Nolan came
back with redemption yesterday
against Eastern Michigan.
"Nolan said to me, 'I just wasn't
going to lose another one,"' Ritt
said. "She has the attitude and such
determination not to lose."
Ranked No. 10 in the Midwest
Region, Michelle DaCosta rounded
out Michigan's successful weekend
with a perfect performance of her
own, earning two singles and three
doubles victories.
Competing in this non-scoring
Invitational to open up the winter
season, Ritt didn't need the numbers
to prove the team's success. Play
across the board spoke for itself as
the team heads into dual match
competition and Big Ten play.
"I thought it was a really great
start," Ritt said. "We competed well
against good competition and
learned a lot; we accomplished
exactly what we wanted to."




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