10A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, February 10, 2005
By Randy Ip
For the Daily
For most freshmen, college is a time of change. For Michigan track
freshman Nicole Edwards, it has been no different.
Edwards attended high school in Winnipeg, Manitoba, where she was
a track star. She was so good back then that she was a three time Mani-
toba high school cross country champion. But she remembers how dif-
ferent her track team was in Canada.
"I only had one other girl to train with back home, so I just love being
able to have so many people around," Edwards said. "I love that team
A redshirt on the cross country team this past fall, Edwards spent the
past few months preparing for the track season.
"At first, I thought I would like to run cross country in uniform, but it
was definitely the best decision," Edwards said. "When I came in, I was
pretty weak. I definitely didn't have the base. I think most of my success
is coming from just doing all that base work in cross country."
Although Edwards is just a freshman, she has shown that she has the
talent to compete at the collegiate level.
"With Nicole, she's very processed, and very focused," distance coach
Mike McGuire said. "She's very mature for a freshman. Her results
speak for themselves."
Edwards has never finished out of the top three in any of the five invi-
tational events the women's track team has participated in this season.
She has won twice and was runner-up in two other races.
In addition to her individual success, Edwards helped pace Michi-
gan's distance medley relay team to a first-place finish in South Bend
last weekend. The team recorded a time of 11:05:33 - second fastest
in school history - and automatically qualified for the NCAA indoor
championships in March.
"I was little more nervous because there is a little more pressure,"
Edwards said of her feelings before the race. "If I make a mistake it not
only affects me but it also affects three other girls on the team."
Despite all her achievements, Edwards knows that there is still a lot of
show in floor routines
By H. Jose Bosch
Daily Sports Writer
If the cult classic "Napoleon Dynamite" has taught
Michigan students anything, it's that a dance routine can
turn a sinking ship into a coasting cruiser.
In woman's gymnastics the same rule applies. The
floor exercise - the women's gymnastics' equivalent to
"Vote 4 Pedro" - is the most exciting and popular event
in the sport. From a grand stage like the Summer Olym-
pics to the local gyms scattered across the United States,
there is something magical about the floor routine. And
on Friday nights in Crisler Arena, the Michigan wom-
en's gymnastics team spreads the magic to over 4,000 of
its adoring fans.
But there is much more to a floor routine than meets
the casual fan's eyes. Behind the glitz and glamour of
the sport's most popular event, there is a mind-numb-
ing set of special requirements that would make even an
"The floor routine has to be a combination of tum-
bling and dance," coach Bev Plocki said.
The dance aspect of the floor exercise is what makes
the event fun for all who are watching. Through the
song and dance that accompanies it, a gymnast is able
to show her personality. For some, a routine reveals a
more subdued style - lovely and elegant dance to soft
and flowing music. Others are more fun, and the music
is jumpy and merry.
"The nice thing about (a floor routine) is that all
different types of personalities can be good," Plocki
said. "There isn't just one mold that everyone has
to fit into. Becca (Clausen) has more rock kind of
music, whereas somebody else might have hip hop
and somebody else might have more dramatic music.
That's the nice thing, each person's routine is suited
to (her) individual personality."
Whether it's Clausen's rock, junior Jenny Deiley's
beauty and grace or freshman Katie Lieberman's power
and strength, the Wolverines are just starting to come
around as a team on the floor.
At the beginning of the year, Michigan's team score
on the floor was much lower than in other events. The
team averaged a score of 48.700. But starting with their
road meet at No. 1 Utah, the Wolverines have gotten
better, averaging a score of 49.275 since then. The high-
light was last Friday night's team performance, which
provided the winning margin in Michigan's win against
According to Plocki, the reason the team seemed to
struggle early was that the floor exercise is an event that
takes weeks to perfect. The coach didn't feel there were
problems; the team just needed to get into the groove of
things. Senior Shanna Duggan agreed.
"I think it was confidence that we needed," Duggan
said. "Once you get that confidence everyone knows
they can make their routine. I think it takes a little while
to get into it and get used to competing in front of a
There are many ways in which a gymnast can combat
the little obstacles to a good routine, like nervousness or
"Before I go, I run through the little things I need to
remember," freshman Nellie Kippley said. "When I'm
out on the floor, I just keep myself in the present. I don't
look into the future. I don't dwindle on a little thing that
went wrong in the past."
Kippley's strategy worked well forher against UCLA,
as she posted her highest score of the season on the floor
- a 9.825. Her teammates also stepped up against the
Bruins, hitting their routines almost flawlessly. No gym-
nast scored less than a 9.825.
As she said earlier in the season, Plocki knows the
Wolverines can compete with some of the best teams in
the nation. And as the team comes together toward the
end of the season, a strong floor lineup will be a helpful
dance in Michigan's drive for a seventh straight Big Ten
Championship - minus the glasses and moonboots.
ALEANDER UI-ADS/ Uily
Nicole Edwards is making a huge impact as a freshman.
work left to do.
"All I really want is to be able to keep doing better and being able to
keep racing and competing well and stay competitive," Edwards said.
McGuire knew exactly what type of person he was getting in Edwards
and was sure she will be able to handle all the work.
"I'm not surprised with what Nicole has done already," McGuire said.
"She's had a great fall and is a real competitive kid. It's more than just the
two hours of practice. She's committed to being an outstanding athlete."
Edwards has had a lot of success early in her career, and McGuire is
confident that the success is not likely to change any time soon.
"I'm sure that Nicole is going to be an outstanding cross country run-
ner during her career here," McGuire said.
Continued from page 1A
Evelyn said he didn't know any details
regarding the University's position on Hor-
"No one has told me anything about any-
thing." Evelyn said. "I don't even know if
the University has a position. If they do,
then I am not aware of it."
Horton has been suspended since Jan. 24
and has missed Michigan's past five games
- all Michigan defeats. Evelyn said Hor-
ton wants to return to the basketball team
"He is a tough, strong young man, but
he is also very, very unhappy with the cir-
cumstance that he is in now," Evelyn said.
"He would like to be restored to full status
as a basketball player at the University of
Evelyn said Horton is still very emotion-
ally involved with the state of the team.
"He is concerned about how they do,"
Evelyn said. "Those are his friends doing
the best they can to beat Illinois and other
schools. He is very concerned about his
teammates and the things they have to deal
Evelyn asked District Court Judge Ann
Mattson to delay yesterday's hearing in
order to gather more information about the
Judge Mattson reaffirmed the court's
prior decision not to allow Horton to trav-
el outside the state of Michigan unless he
is playing basketball for the Wolverines.
Mattson ordered Horton not to have direct
or indirect contact with the victim.
Horton is currently suspended indefinite-
ly from the Michigan basketball team. He
is not allowed to attend basketball games or
practice with the team.
Misdemeanor domestic assault charges
carry a penalty of up to 93 days in prison
and a $500 fine. Horton is free on a $5,000
Horton, dressed in a black suit with a
white and metallic-patterned dress shirt,
wore a Michigan basketball jacket over
his suit. He appeared calm and collected
throughout the hearing. Originally sched-
uled for 9 a.m., the hearing was delayed
three-and-a-half hours because Evelyn was
involved in a traffic accident on I-94 while
traveling to the courthouse.
The Detroit-based attorney has handled
several cases in the past that received sig-
nificant media attention. Recently, Evelyn
defended Rev. Luis Javier de Alba Campos
of Detroit's St. Gabriel Catholic Church in
a highly publicized case. De Alba Campos
was charged with two counts of criminal
sexual misconduct involving a seven-year-
old boy. The jury reached its verdict - not
guilty - in 90 minutes.
Evelyn wouldn't comment on details of
his defense strategy for Monday's second
"A smart lawyer preserves all of his
options," Evelyn said. "And I am a very
Senior Elise Ray and the rest of the gymnastics team have been working on their floor routines.
HAVE WHAT IT TAKES?
FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER.......
SURVIVOR'S COMING TO THE
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN!
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