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February 07, 2005 - Image 14

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The Michigan Daily, 2005-02-07

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6B - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - February 7, 2005

By Seth Gordon
Daily Sports Writer
Yet to be determined.
The showdown between No. 5 Michigan and No. 2
Illinois yesterday at Cliff Keen Arena was supposed to
be a watershed moment in the race for the regular sea-
son Big Ten wrestling crown, but instead it ended in
a 17-17 tie. Wolverine Ryan Bertin defeated rival Alex
Tirapelle, 3-2 in the marquee match up of the meet.
With Michigan (3-0-1 Big Ten, 11-3-1 overall) down
17-14 after nine matches, heavily favored Michigan
heavyweight Greg Wagner could have won the match
with a pin or major decision but earned just a 6-2 win
over Illinois' Mike Behnke to tie the match.
The stalemate prevented either team from gaining
the upper hand in the conference standings and could
ultimately result in another tie come season's end.
"It's one of those weird things - I don't know how
to act when we tie," Illinois coach Mark Johnson said.
"I think it's only the second time in my career of twen-
ty-some years coaching that it has ended in a tie, so it's
a weird feeling."
In a meet where 15 of 20 wrestlers were ranked, only
one match was considered a toss-up - the 157-pound
bout between No. 4 Bertin and No. 2 Tirapelle.
The two wrestlers split their six previous bouts enter-
ing the meet and four of which occurred in the post-
season. In 2003, Bertin bested Tirapelle in the Big Ten
Tournament and in the NCAA championship match.
Last year, Tirapelle beat Bertin in the Big Ten champi-
onship match before dropping their rematch just weeks
later in the NCAA third-place bout.
"We both have a great amount of respect for each
other,' Bertin said. "When it comes down to compet-

grind to tie withlIll
ing, I think we've definitely established a bit of a rivalry Trailing by two points after an early takedown by
over the years." Illinois's No.7 Tyrone Byrd, Breyer earned an escape in
To the delight of the 1,551 fans that nearly filled the the second period and turned around the match by rid-
arena, the Michigan senior opened the match on the ing Byrd for the remainder of the second period. Breyer
offensive and scored an early takedown to take a 2-0 quickly escaped again in the third to tie the match at
lead. By the end of the second period, each wrestler had two apiece, but Byrd managed a two-point takedown
earned an escape point to bring the score to 3-1 with with only seven seconds remaining to win the match.
only two minutes remaining. The victory put the Illini up 17-14, with only the heavy-
Tirapelle quickly escaped to open the third period, weight match left to go.
but Bertin successfully defended the reigning Big Ten "That was disappointing because I really wanted
champion's attacks as the seconds ticked off the clock. Willy to pull that one off - obviously we win as a
Clinging to a 3-2 lead, Bertin nearly sealed the deal team, but just because it was a great effort on his part,"
with a late takedown, but the Illini junior was able to Michigan coach McFarland said. "He wrestled his
neutralize his attack. Then, with only seconds remain- heart out:'
ing, Tirapelle nearly reversed Bertin for two points and McFarland and the crowd hoped that Wagner could
the win, but time ran out before he could establish supe- earn bonus points in the final match and secure victory,
rior position. but Benhke successfully wrestled a defensive match to
"We knew all along that (the match at) 157 (pounds) insure the tie.
was going to be critical for us to win the match," John- "We would have been a lot happier getting a win;'
son said. "That was a great college wrestling match Churella said. "Coming into the match we thought we
between those two, and I expect a couple more down were capable of beating Illinois, so coming away with a
the road." tie is not exactly what you want after that match. I know
For the most part, the result of every other match fol- we could have scored a couple of extra points in some
lowed the script of national rankings. Co-captain Ryan matches - like in my match. I felt could have pinned
Churella dominated Illinois's Donny Reynolds 17-1 for that kid, and that would have made the difference."
a technical fall at 165 pounds. A pin would have won the The Illini opened the match with consecutive victo-
match, but Churella had to settle for a technical fall and ries at 125 and 133 pounds to jump out to a 7-0 lead.
five team points, which gave Michigan a 14-10 lead. Sophomores Josh Churella and Eric Tannenbaum
"From what I hear, everybody thought it was a pin, responded with victories at 141 and 149 pounds, respec-
but they didn't call it," Churella said. "You can't let the tively, as Michigan strung together four straight wins:
referee decide the match." "I felt we were in a position to get a win today and
Illinois quickly tied the match at 14, with a major put ourselves in the driver's seat for the Big Ten season,"
decision at 174 pounds before unranked Willie Breyer McFarland said. "It was a great match, but it's unfortu-
nearly pulled off an upset that would, again, have won nate that it had to end in a tie. Both teams wrestled hard
the meet for the Wolverines. today and it's just too bad there wasn't a winner."
Strong showing for
a 'M'on West Coast

Michigan senior captain Ryan Bertin defeated his rival yesterday, helping the No. 5 Wolverines to
tie No. 2 Illinois at Cliff Keen Arena and leaving the two teams tied atop the Big Ten standings

Willis shines for Blue

m returnf
By Pete Sneider
Daily Sports Writer
SOUTH BEND - The gate to the NCAA
Indoor Championships in Arkansas is wide open
for the No. 2 men's track and field team. The Wol-
verines posted six NCAA qualifying times - five
provisional marks and one automatic - at the
Meyo Invitational this weekend.
The annual event pitted the Wolverines against
some of the top teams in the nation, including
Indiana, Alabama and Illinois - all of which
are in the top 10 of the Trackwire Team Power
Junior Nick Willis guaranteed himself an auto-
matic flight for his time in the 3,000-meter run.
The three-time NCAA All-American dominat-
ed the elite 28-man field with a blazing time of
7:48.65 - the fastest collegiate 3,000-meter time
of the year. Willis ran with the top pack for most
of race before taking the lead with 600 meters to
go. He finished comfortably ahead of Indiana's
Stephen Haas.
Even more impressive was Willis's smooth
return to competition, after suffering a stress
fracture in his femur in October. In the time
between this weekend and the Olympic qualifiers
in August, Willis had only one race under his belt
- the cross country pre-nationals in October.
"I'm blown away," Willis said. "It's pretty
amazing for me to come back like this. It keeps on
blowing me away what God allows my legs to do.
I've never written off any situation in my career,
but it was still far beyond my expectations."
Willis was joined in the 3,000-meter run by
freshman teammate Mike Woods, who finished
seventh with a time of 8:02.01, fast enough for
an NCAA provisional standard and the Canadian
junior record. This was Woods's second provi-
sional mark of the season - his first came last
week in the mile at the Boston Indoor Games.

"I am pretty pumped," Woods said. "I didn't
know what to expect coming in. I could have run
anywhere from 7:58 to 8:10, but I came in with an
open mind, and it worked out good for me."
Sophomore Jeff Porter achieved his provisional
mark in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 7.89.
The defending Big Ten indoor hurdles champion
was relieved to get the mark after missing the pro-
visional standard by .04 ticks at the Boston Uni-
versity Invitational last week.
"It feels like a monkey off my back," Porter said.
"I finally got that provisional qualifying out of my
way, so I can work on bigger and better things."
Porter's ultimate goal is to automatically quali-
fy for the NCAAs. His progress so far this season
has him confident he will do so.
"This is very exciting because I am ahead of
where I was last year at this time," Porter said.
"My times are going to keep getting lower."
But the poster boy for progress is senior Rondell
Ruff, who trimmed 3.31 seconds off his personal-
best mile time on Saturday. Ruff's time of 4:04.68
was fast enough for his first provisional mark of
the year. It was not the ideal race for Ruff, who
got bumped at the start. Ruff ran most of the race
in last place before moving up six spots to finish
in seventh place.
After opening the indoor season at 4:20.95,
Ruff has made clear improvement in the mile.
Despite his long strides, Ruff is in no hurry to call
the season a success.
"I am really confident in my ability to run fast-
er," Ruff said. "I am also confident in the training
that my coach has me doing right now. (Qualify-
ing provisionally) feels pretty good, but I would
have liked to have gotten that automatic time to
make sure I get in."
The last individual qualifier for Michigan was
senior Nate Brannen, who made headlines last
weekend when he missed the collegiate mile record
by .11 seconds. On Saturday, Brannen ran the 800-

Junior Nick Willis earned himself a trip to the NCAA
Indoor Championships with his win in South Bend.
meter run in 1:49.07 - a provisional mark - but
needs to shave off another second if he wants to
guarantee himself a chance to defend his title as
two-time NCAA champion in the indoor event.
The Wolverines combined four of their top
runners on Friday to qualify provisionally in the
distance medley relay. Woods and Brannen joined
junior Andrew Ellerton and sophomore Stann
Waithe en route to a first-place finish and a time
of 9.36.03 - the second fastest collegiate mark of
the year in the four-man event.
The lone standout for Michigan's field team
was junior high jumper Brad Miller, who fin-
ished tied for fourth. His jump of 6-11 was
three inches higher than his previous personal

By Kevin Anderson
For the Daily
In his own words, Michigan water polo
coach Matt Anderson was "extremely,
extremely unhappy" with his team, fol-
lowing the Wolverines' 4-3 loss to No.
13 California-Davis on Saturday in the
opening round of this weekend's Triton
Invitational in La Jolla, Calif. But after
concluding the tournament with three
consecutive wins, Anderson could not
be happier - despite Michigan's seventh
place finish out of 12 teams.
"I was very happy with (the team's per-
formance this weekend)," Anderson said.
"We went through a terrible game against
Davis, and I revamped playing time for
various reasons. And the team responded,
and we had a very good last three games."
Michigan rebounded from its loss to
California-Davis to beat Cal-State Bakers-
field on Saturday and No. 16 Arizona State
and No. 15 Hartwick yesterday.
Junior Shana Welch led the Wolver-
ines in scoring, registering 10 goals, while
team captain Sheetal Narsai chipped in
five. With her three-goal performance
against Arizona State, Welch notched her
second hat trick of the weekend.
"What (Welch) did (yesterday) was
play just as well as she did (Saturday) and
maintain that even though teams were
very intent on shutting her down," Ander-
son said.
Senior goalkeeper Betsey Armstrong
earned praise from her coach for a solid
weekend in net.
"Betsey Armstrong is the best goalie in
the nation, and today she performed the

way we hope she is able to every game,"
Anderson said. "She performed very well,
and it's because her teammates performed
well in front of her."
Michigan also benefited from the unex-
pected contributions of a trio of upper-
classmen. Injuries to sophomore Wesley
Ellison and freshman Geraldine Hazlett,
combined with a change in substitution
patterns by Anderson led to increased
playing time for juniors Kristin Hoogen-
boom and Carly Strub and senior Vickie
"They definitely got their most play-
ing time of the season," Anderson said.
"Those three definitely provided us with a
spark that we needed. If we had beat Davis,
those girls would not have been given that
opportunity to shine, but because we did
not beat Davis, I revamped the playing
time the way I did."
Michigan's success stemmed, at least
in part, from adjustments made over the
course of the weekend and in the time
leading up to the tournament. The changes
were especially evident on the power play.
"(The power play) was a hundred per-
cent better than it was last weekend,"
Anderson said. "Tonight we were 4-for-8,
and 50 percent on the power play is very
With a 5-4 victory over California-
San Diego in a Friday night game before
the invitational, Michigan went 4-1 on
the weekend, pushing the team's overall
record to 6-3.
"To me, 3-2 would have been a good
weekend against this level of competition
- 4-1 is an outstanding weekend against
this level of competition," Anderson said.

Clocked by Oran e: Record-
crowd witnesses t rashing

By Mark Snyder
Daily Sports Editor
Sept. 16, 1998 - A record-setting 111,012 fans
packed the Biggest House in the nation Saturday,
expecting everything to be new: A new stadium,
expanded by 5,000 seats and a multicolored halo;
a new scoreboard, sporting video replays during the
game; and, definitely, a new team - one that would
bounce back with a stellar effort after falling at Notre
Dame a week earlier.
Well, two out of three ain't bad.
Michigan, before a capacity crowd, gave a second
straight uninspired performance and got waxed by
Syracuse, 38-28.
To hear Michigan coach Lloyd Carr tell it, it's
hardly a game to remember for the defending national
"Syracuse did an outstanding job and beat us in
every phase of the game," he said. "They are a good
team, (Donovan) McNabb is as good a quarterback as
we have seen."
That sweeping indictment by Carr basically sum-
marized a game that was not nearly as close as the
final score indicated.
;t+ the Ac.4'+ the wX rine fpll from hAth of

half scores.
Carr's assessment of his team and the Orangemen
centered around Heisman Trophy candidate McNabb
and his uncanny ability to avoid the Wolverines.
Never was that elusiveness more evident than in the
first quarter. Syracuse won the coin toss and McNabb
- the surgeon - proceeded to slice and dice.
Once they received the ball at their own 22 yard
line, the Orangemen began their methodical march
down the field. On a textbook 78-yard drive, McNabb
completed five passes, pitched a few underhanded
tosses and ran for a first down on an option keeper.
All in all, it typified the entire first quarter.
Michigan could do nothing right, punting suc-
cessfully twice, getting one blocked and tossing
an interception. The offense's ineptitude troubled
Carr to no end.
"We're not a good offense," Carr said. "We can't
run the ball."
Obviously, Carr is speaking from experience.
Michigan finished the first half with 37 yards rush-
ing total, with just 25 coming from Anthony Thomas.
The running attack's lack of production was ham-
pered when Clarence Williams left early in the game
with a bruised back.
At anarterhack the only hruises may he to the

Trailing 24-7 at the half, Michigan fans had little
reason for optimism, but, with last season's 14-point
rally against Iowa in mind, the possibility for a come-
back existed.
Those fleeting hopes were dashed at the end of the
third quarter as the Orangemen extended their lead
to 38-7.
Minor signs of life came with Carr's decision to
insert Henson for the second time, with less than
two minutes to play in the third quarter.
Henson led three scoring drives in the final
quarter - albeit mostly against second-string
Syracuse defenders - to close the gap on the
In that final flurry, freshman Walter Cross broke
out for Michigan's first long run of the season, scam-
pering 66 yards to set up one of the scores. Cross
ended the game as Michigan's leading rusher with 10
carries for 104 yards - an impressive statistic con-
sidering he didn't even touch the ball until the fourth
Despite praise for Cross and the late-game offense,
Carr was reluctant to blame his defense after the
game, instead seeking to praising the opposition.
"I don't know how anybody's going to stop the
(Svracuse) offense" he said.


think any time you've coached people and you et to
atch an event that everybody in the country is follow
g, it's exciting, and you're very proud of what they have been
able to do at a higher level."
4lichigan Coach Llo d Carr on being able to watch four former
players on t a biggeststage. here's howthey fared...
New England Patriots 24
Tom Brady -Quarterback
23for-33, 236 yards, 2 touchdowns
think what makes Tom Brdy .specl nhisablzy to hamke anysins-
in. Fste'sve ysmart; second he'vey tough. Asa guartedwck, he
extmey accurate. You know, when he throws balls, mostothe tkne
ou dont see dhe ,rceiver have to zwztfor the ball, have to loan amul, - .
we toftim up and have to kneel and bend down. The ball is o his
hands, and he can run with ."
-Carr on Brady
Ty Law - Cornerback
Injured, did not play
frer suferig a broken foot, Law was placed on the injured
serve on Jan. 7, ending his season and his chance to play in
he Super Bowl. Law has established himselfas one of the NFL's
est cornerbacks and was a member ofthe Patriots' last two Super 4
3wl teams. Doctors repaired lgaments in Law'sfoot, he will
likely return for the 2005 season in top form.
Philadelphia Eagles 21.
Dhani Jones - Linebacker
2 solo tackles
'he son of two Michzgan graduates, Jones was a member of the
'olvernes' 1997 National Championship team. After being
arri ; is the v P.Yn, e'r- z., 'n2n/n. nha, .sffeed


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