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January 24, 2005 - Image 14

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The Michigan Daily, 2005-01-24

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6B - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - January 24, 2005

fend off
Hoosiers in
final races
By Kevin Wright
Daily Sports Writer
As Michigan senior Andrew Hurd finished the
last stretch of the 500-yard freestyle and touched the
wall, he snapped his head back to see the results. He
had beaten Indiana junior Sergiy Fesenko by one-
tenth of a second. The crowd at Canham Natatorium
roared when they saw that Hurd had placed second
to junior teammate Peter Vanderkaay and had cap-
tured four critical points against Indiana for the No.
8 Michigan swimming and diving team (4-0 Big Ten,
6-2 overall).
"I was excited," Hurd said. "I looked up and saw a
great time and was pretty shocked. I just wanted to do
it for the team. I knew we needed a good race; we were
a little bit behind where we wanted to be. I did what I
had to do."
After defeating No. 14 Northwestern 135-106 (1-3, 3-
4) Friday night in front of an enthused crowd, the Wol-
verines edged out an exciting 158.5-141.5 victory against
No. 13 Indiana (3-2, 9-4) Saturday. It was Michigan's
only home meet of the season and the final meet at Can-
ham Natatorium for the Wolverine seniors.
Michigan jumped out to an early 11-6 lead
because Michigan coach Bob Bowman used his best
lineup of Peter Vanderkaay, junior Chris DeJong,
senior Christian Vanderkaay and junior Davis Tar-
water in the 200-yard medley relay. Michigan took
first with a time of 1:28.77, but Indiana stormed
back in the following events. The Hoosiers took a
19-17 advantage after capturing the top three spots
in the 1650-yard freestyle with Fesenko finishing
first in 15:17.63.
The remainder of the meet was back and forth as the
score stayed close - mainly due to Indiana's dominance
in diving. The Hoosiers captured 32 points by claiming
the top three spots in both diving events. With only two
events left, Indiana held a 134.5-129.5 lead.

Fans crowd Crisler
for K-grams event

Senior Andrew Hurd swam the 500-yard freestyle to lead the Wolverines to victory against Indiana.

But Michigan finished strong. Bowman had DeJong
swim the anchor in the 800-yard freestyle relay - the
last event. The combination of Tarwater, Hurd, fresh-
man Alex Vanderkaay and DeJong took first with a time
of 6:36.67.
"I was totally confident (in DeJong)," Bowman said.
"I just wanted to get to him without being too far behind.
I didn't want him to work too hard."
Peter Vanderkaay had another brilliant day on Satur-
day winning all of his events. He finished the 100-yard
freestyle in 44.55, the 200-yard freestyle in 1:37.81 and
the 500-yard freestyle in 4:21.92.
DeJong and Tarwater also chipped in with four com-
bined wins. DeJong won the 100-yard backstroke in
47.98 and the 200-yard backstroke in 1:46.70. Tarwater
took the 100-yard butterfly in 48.54 and the 200-yard
butterfly in 1:46.89.
But in Bowman's eyes, senior Chuck Sayao shined the
brightest. He won the 400-yard individual medley with a
time of 3:54.33, placed third in the 200-yard backstroke
and the 200-yard freestyle and took second with his
relay team in the 800-yard freestyle relay.
"Sayao was the performer of the day," Bowman said.
"He swam out of his mind today. He was really the man
of the hour, which was nice for his last meet."
Overall, Bowman was pleased not only with his
team's performance but also the competition's.

"It's the best scenario, everyone did their best and
we came out on top," Bowman said. "We knew that
Indiana would be a tough team. I told the team, 'Get
up and do your best.' We didn't want to look back at
the end of the meet and say that we could have done
better here or there."
The Wolverines drew over 1,000 fans on Saturday
even though the weather tried to keep them away.
"It was awesome," Hurd said. "The crowd was big,
and it was exciting. This was my last meet here, which is
kind of sad, but it was a good atmosphere, probably the
best since I've been swimming here."
Having an enormous crowd on Saturday helped the
seniors say goodbye to Canham Natatorium. They and
their parents were honored before the start of the meet.
"My mom was probably more emotional than my
father," senior captain Mike Galindo said. "But I
think they were both kind of sad to see my last swim
meet ever."
With two monumental wins, the Wolverines should
have plenty of momentum as they move closer to the Big
Ten Championship, which is on Feb. 24-26.
"I hope (these two victories) mean that we're on
track," Bowman said. "Everyone seems to be get-
ting healthy, which is what we want. One more meet
(against Ohio State), and, hopefully, we can take care
of that one too."

By Katie Niemeyer
Daily Sports Writer
Performing before a large crowd always
beats competing in front of thousands of
empty seats. Michigan women's gym-
nastics competed against Penn State on
Friday in front of the fourth-largest crowd
in its history (4,376 people) for the annual
K-grams night at Crisler Arena.
Junior Jenny Deiley enjoyed the young
fans. She was so enraptured by a conver-
sation with a young fan, she had to be
nudged by a teammate because she had
missed being called up to the podium.
"The more fans you have - it's always
more fun to perform for everybody," Dei-
ley said. "It was definitely a treat to have
everybody here."
The support of the crowd inspired Dei-
ley to have her best performance of the
year. She finished first in the all-around
(39.325) and tied for third on uneven bars
(9.825), balance beam (9.800) and floor
exercise (9.850). She also tied teammate
freshman Katie Lieberman for second on
vault (9.850).
"1 was really pleased, just because
I've had a couple of falls before - (one
in) each meet," Deiley said. "Finally, I
had a meet where I was satisfied with
my performance. But I have room to
improve, still."
Sophomore Lindsey Bruck also per-
formed consistently, placing second
(39.200) in the all-around and contribut-
ing to Michigan's victory over Penn State,
196.075 to 194.550.
"Lindsey continues to be very solid,"
Michigan coach Bev Plocki said. "I think
this also was her best night."
The only complaint Plocki had about
the Wolverines' performance was on the
floor exercise. They posted their lowest
team score (48.875) on the event - where
the Wolverines have the potential to be
very competitive. Six competitors have
posted a 9.800 or higher on the floor at
some point this season.
"We're taking turns at who's going to
miss a floor routine," Plocki said. "We
Continued from page 1B
you falling, but it's the whole team. So you
want to hit it for the team, and it's awesome
to look back at your team, and they are
jumping up and down for you."
The entire team managed to pull in
scores of 8.5 and above on the event, which
has been a consistent Achilles heel for the
team in the past. Two weeks ago at the
Windy City Invitational, only one Wol-
verine pulled in a score above 8.7. But on
Saturday, junior Justin Laury came in third
with a score of 9.35, and Andre Hernandez
pulled in a 9.10 for fifth place.
Laury set a new school record for the
all-around competition with a score of
56.05. It was just two weeks after senior
captain Geoff Corrigan set the all around
record at the Windy City Invitational with
a score of 55.40.
"I talked to my teammates before the
meet, and we knew we were going to have
some problems with injury, and my team-
mate Eddie Umphrey said I had to step it
up," Laury said. "And I did just that."
Laury was consistent throughout the
meet, placing first in the vault with a score

have not hit floor yet, and I think when we
do finally put floor together, we're going
to be able to compete with the best of the
best. We're going to need to put it together
the next two weekends because we will
be competing against the best of the best,
with Utah and UCLA."
The Wolverines have the talent to post
a stellar floor score with the return of
former Olympian, senior Elise Ray, who
has recently been bothered by a shoulder
injury. On Friday, Ray competed in three
events and placed first in all three.
"She's a huge factor," Plocki said. "Let's
see, bars - 9.900, beam - 9.925, floor
- 9.900. She's a big factor. She's defi-
nitely a lead-by-example kind of a person
when it comes to competition."
Ray - who will return to the all-
around competition on Friday against
Utah - not only puts up big scores con-
sistently but also carries with herself a
composure that relieves tension for the
younger competitors.
"She just exudes confidence," Plocki
said. "I think she's calm under pressure.
When other people see her just calm and
going about her business and doing her
thing, I think it relaxes other people. She's
just that kind of a competitor."
Despite some misfortune on floor, the
Wolverines pulled together and did what
they had to do to beat Penn State.
"I'm really proud of the team," Ray
said. "We've had ups and downs. We
competed less than a week ago, and that's
always really hard. We were a little tired
but rallied everybody up and did our job."
Plocki was thrilled with the team's
effort. She just hopes they will continue to
improve as Michigan enters a tough part of
its schedule over the next few weeks. The
Wolverines face No. 1 Utah on the road on
Jan. 28 and No. 2 UCLA at home Feb. 4.
"I'm very pleased," Plocki said. "We're
getting a tiny bit better every week, which
is better than not. This is a team that really
doesn't seem to let anything get in their
way. There are no excuses. They know
what they've got to do and they go out and
do it.
of 9.55 and then second in both the still
rings and high bar.
After having several falls on the high
bar last week against Iowa, the Wolver-
ines came out crystal clean in their closing
event, with senior captain Chris Gatti and
Corrigan setting personal bests, 9.3 and 9.7,
"It's huge' Corrigan said. "It takes pres-
sure off the people that have the big start
values. (Laury) and I are always towards
the end of the lineup, and sometimes we
have a lot of pressure when people fail to
bring in a big score. But today, with them
hitting and getting big scores, it's a huge
rush. It just takes the pressure off us, and
just lets us do gymnastics."
The closing back-to-back routines of
Corrigan and Laury electrified the crowd,
bringing them to their feet in the final
moments of the meet. Junior Andre Her-
nandez came in third and senior Dave
Flannery came in fourth on that event.
"At the Windy City and then at Iowa, we
had bad high bar routines," Golder said. "If
we would have messed up or performed
like we did last time on high bar, we would
have probably lost. That was huge, and we
need to close the meet like that every time."


Netters drop key points in loss to Vandy

By Daniel Levy
For the Daily

When two good tennis teams meet,
the outcome of the match usually hing-
es on one or two key points. This was
the case in Michigan's 5-2 loss to No.
6 Vanderbilt Saturday afternoon at the
Varsity Tennis Center in Ann Arbor.
No. 20 Michigan had its opportu-
nities but failed to come up with the
shots to win the key points.
The beginning of this trend started
with doubles. With the first two dou-
bles matches split, the team doubles
point rested on the outcome of the No.
1 doubles match between Michigan's
15th-ranked pairing of senior co-cap-
tain Michelle DaCosta and sophomore
Kara Delicata and Vanderbilt's combo
of Audra Faulk and Annie Menees.
The two pairs battled back and forth,
trading games and unbelievable shots.
Late in the match, Delicata was pulled
wide off the court in an attempt to run
down an angled shot. Her response
was to drive the ball around the net in
between the net post and umpire's chair
for a beautiful winner down the line.
All of this drama led to a deadlock

at eight games, and started a tiebreaker
to decide who would win the match and
the team doubles point. Already lead-
ing 2-1 in the tiebreaker, Vanderbilt's
Faulk came up with a beautiful winner
down the line to extend the lead. Then,
while trailing 4-1, Delicata appeared
to have a winner measured perfectly
down the line until it clipped the top of
the net and landed out of bounds. A big
serve and a winner later, Vanderbilt
had taken the tiebreaker, 7-1, giving
it the team doubles point and leaving
Michigan a little deflated and wonder-
ing what might have been.
"The doubles point is very key,"
Michigan coach Bitsy Ritt said. "It
gives a team the early momentum and
can set the tone for the singles matches
to follow."
That statement ended up applying to
the singles matches as well.
In the No. 1 singles match, No. 44
Michelle DaCosta stormed out to a 4-
1 lead in the second set after having
dropped the first set, 6-2, to No. 38
Faulk. But that was where the momen-
tum ended, as Faulk roared back to
take five straight games and win the
match, 6-2, 6-4.

At No. 2 singles, Elizabeth Exon
had the most frustrating match of
the day. She had opportunities all
match but couldn't get it done. Fac-
ing Vanderbilt's Amanda Fish, Exon
had chances to grab an early edge,
but, after failing to break Fish's serve,
Exon dropped four straight points on
her own serve to lose the first set, 6-4.
Playing to forget a miserable first set,
Exon stormed ahead to a 3-0 second
set lead. From there the wheels fell off.
She made too many unforced errors,
and Exon watched Fish win seven of
the next nine games to take the set and
the match, 6-4, 7-5.
Playing No. 6 singles, Debra Strei-
fler saw her chances slip away as well.
After losing a tough first set to Caro-
line Ferrell, 7-5, Streifler fought hard
in the second set and had an oppor-
tunity to level the second set at five
games a piece with a break point. The
hope was short lived, as Ferrell saved
the break point and won the match two
points later.
Rounding out singles play were
impressive Michigan victories from
Delicata over Taka Bertrand at No. 3
singles, 7-6(5), 7-5, and Leanne Ruth-

erford over Annie Menees at No. 4
singles, 6-4, 4-6, 1-0(9). Nina Yaftali
suffered a tough loss at No. 5 singles to
Amanda Taylor, 6-2, 6-2.
"Everything was really close today,"
Ritt said. "We had some good wins
from Kara and Leanne, but we also
had tough losses at 1, 2 and 5."
Earlier in the morning, Michigan's
No. 2 doubles tandem of Ruther-
ford and Streifler fell to Vanderbilt's
nationally ranked (No. 20) duo of Fish
and Bertrand, 8-4. This loss was offset
when Exon and Yaftali stormed back
from a 5-3 deficit to take the No. 3
doubles match, 8-6, over Amanda Tay-
lor and Caroline Ferrell.
Despite the disappointing loss,
Michigan found encouragement know-
ing that Vanderbilt is one of the best
teams they will face all season.
"It's great to play such strong com-
petition," Ritt said. "You never know
where we'll end up or where they'll
end up, but usually you can take these
matches and learn from them to help
you later in the season."
The Wolverines travel to South
Bend to take on No. 21 Notre Dame
on Jan. 26.

Wolverines dominate field at Red Simmons Invitational

shines in
By Chastity L. Rolling
Daily Sports Writer
This weekend, the Michigan women's
track and field team paid tribute to legend-
ary coach Red Simmons, who founded
the program in 1978. The current coach-
ing staff presented him with a cake in cel-
ebration of his birthday.
"It's nice to know that Red, being 95, is
still coming out to support us," Michigan
coach James Henry said. "He is the pio-
neer of the women's track team. It really is
a blessing for us as a team and the athletic
At the Red Simmons Invitational,
freshman Nicole Edwards stole the show
when she won her debut in the 600-meter
race in 1:33.
Before competing well this weekend,
Edwards had set an NCAA provisional
qualifying standard in the mile with a
personal-best time of 4:46 at the Ken-
tucky Invitational last weekend.
"Prior to coming to Michigan, most of
my success was in the 800, but I'm sur-
prising myself," Edwards said. "This fall's
crn countrv season made me stronper

Brannen, Willis return to lead Blue "

Senior Lindsay Gallo finished in first place in the 800-meter race at the Red Simmons
invitational Saturday.

By [an Robinson
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan men's track team was at full strength for the first
time all year at the nonscoring Red Simmons Invitational on Sat-
urday at the Indoor Track Building. And it showed. The Wolver-
ines won nine events, including a sweep of the distance events.
The highlight of the meet was Michigan's performance in the
Kris Elgee Memorial 3000-meter run, where junior Nate Bran-
nen and Nick Willis made their season debuts.
Brannen's time of 7:58.07 seconds was Michigan's first NCAA
provisional qualifying time of the year.
Willis, making a comeback after missing the end of cross
country season because of injury, paced Brannen for the first
2000 meters.
"I felt strong while Willis was pacing me," Brannen said. "It
allowed me to sit back and relax for the first part of the race."
Brannen's splits quickened as the race progressed.
"After Willis dropped, I picked it up from there," Brannen
Freshman Mike Woods ran a strong 3000-meter race, as well,
and posted a personal-best time of 8:13.42.
Next week, the team will compete in Boston. Brannen and
Woods will compete in the mile at the Reebok Boston Indoor
"My goal is to break the collegiate mile record;' Brannen said.
Senior Tom Greenless put up a personal record time of
4:08.54, while running in his first event since last year's Big Ten
Indoor Championships.
"This is the best I have ever felt indoors," Greenless said. "It
was real smooth."
Greenless used this meet as a tune-up. He will focus on the
3000-meter run during the season with hopes of reaching the
NCAA championships in June.
"He was awesome in the mile," Warhurst said.
Junior Andrew Ellerton made his season debut for the Wol-
verines as well. Ellerton has not run competitively since Septem-

events. Sophomore Jeff Porter won the 60-meter hurdles with a
time of 7.92 seconds and sophomore Stann Waithe won the 200-
meter dash in 22.08 seconds.
In the field events, junior Kevin Peterman won the pole vault
with a personal record height of 16-3/4. Sophomore Michael
Whitehead won his season debut in the triple jump with a dis-
tance of 47-3.
While Brannen and Woods will compete in the Boston Indoor
Games, the rest of the team looks to build upon this week's suc-
cess at the Boston Invitational.


compete against elite company yet, but she
is having a dominating season."
Distance runners were not the only
victors this weekend. Senior Sierra
Hauser-Price took first place in the 200
with a time of 24.55 seconds, just .25
seconds shy of an NCAA provisional
qualifying time.
"Although I've done well," Hauser-
Price said, "I know I can do better."
Simmons encouraged this kind of
attitude when he was the women's

longer, but it's still a little early. I think I'm
starting off well."
Henry felt that the Red Simmons Invi-
tational was helping to prepare the team
for next week's meet against Michigan
State, Central Michigan, Eastern Michi-
gan, Western Michigan and Detroit at the
Michigan Invitational in Ann Arbor at the
Indoor Track Building starting at 9 a.m.
"The goal was to come out of the
Red Simmons healthy and to have
the team do their best," Henry said.

t 6ts 'r,

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