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February 22, 2005 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 2005-02-22

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10 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Coben's
gone but
divers
confident
By Kevin Wright
Daily Sports Writer
Last season, senior Jason Coben was
the star diver of the Michigan men's
swimming and diving team. He won
the NCAA Championship on the plat-
form, two Big Ten Diver of the Week
awards and the Big Ten Diver of the
Championship.
While Coben shined, fellow divers Pat
Noyes, Jon Donadee and Jake Boehm
stayed in the shadows.
Fast forward to this season. Coben is
gone, and now junior Boehm and sopho-
mores Noyes and Donadee have had to
bond together and improve not only their
dives but also their training and prepara-
tion.
"Last year, they didn't feel as if they
had to compete as well as they needed
to because Jason was always going to be
there to be the competitor," diving coach
Chris Bergere said. "This year, (the loss
of Jason) is good for the team because it
taught them that it was going to be up to
them."
Noyes, Donadee and Boehm have
accepted the added responsibility with
open arms. Even though the team has
suffered through a tough season of inju-
ries and few victories, the three divers
feel that they have grown in their abilities
and work ethic.
While last season brought overall suc-
cess, Noyes, Donadee and Boehm feel
closer as a team this year. They under-
stand that Coben won't be around to win
events for them, and that incentive makes
them work that much harder in practice.
Even though the Wolverine divers
have not found the continual success of
last year, their confidence has increased
with the familiarity of their surroundings
and expectations.
Boehm - the elder classman -
acknowledged that he never has to keep
his younger teammates focused. He said
that Noyes and Donadee know what they
have to do in order to perform at their
highest capabilities.
While the three have adjusted to life
without Coben, they have had to endure a
string of injuries this season.
At the Texas Invitational in early
December, Donadee tried a front three-
and-a-half pike dive from the 10-meter

Vaulters start Blue,
off on the right foot

TONY DING/Daily

Sophomore Pat Noyes looks to claim a victory at the Big Ten Championships on Thursday.

platform, but as he neared the water, he
came out of his form and landed flat.
Knocked unconscious by the impact,
Donadee lay still in the water. Boehm
- seeing that Donadee was unconscious
- dove into the pool and dragged him
out. The paramedics then took Donadee
to the hospital, where he stayed for two
days.
"I was up on one of the platforms about
to go," said Noyes. "I was about two div-
ers behind Jon, and I saw Jon go and saw
him land flat. He wasn't moving and Jake
went in after him."
Later in the Texas Invitational, Boehm
shared the same fate as Donadee, landing
a front three-and-a-half tuck dive flat and
being knocked unconscious. He too was
taken to the hospital, but only remained
there for a day.
While Noyes stayed free of harm in
the Texas Invitational, his injurious dive
was yet to come.
In the Northwestern meet, he per-
formed a back two-and-a-half dive off of
the 10-meter platform but landed on his
stomach. During the following week, he
sporadically coughed up blood.
Then, just last Friday, Donadee blew
out his right eardrum, and now he can
only dive with an earplug taped into

his ear and swimming cap. Noyes and
Boehm make sure he remembers to do
this.
While every sport includes an added
risk, diving injuries have greater mental
effects on the injured. After all their inju-
ries, Noyes, Donadee and Boehm all had
to climb up the platform and continue to
perfect their dives.
"The 10-meter platform is an anxiety
type of event," Bergere said. "The water
is so hard if you hit it flat, and they've
each done that. When you go through
an experience that's pretty intense, you
become bonded that way."
Not only do the divers receive encour-
agement from their coach when they
sustain injuries, but the swimmers also
inquire about their teammates' condi-
tions.
"Everyone on the team is incredibly
supportive," said Donadee.
As the season has progressed, Bergere
has realized that the team it has had its
ups and downs, but that optimism is still
there the best approach.
"To become a successful team, you
don't want to dwell on the negative,
because that makes you a negative team,"
Bergere said. "We're always looking
ahead and looking for the positive stuff

By Katie Niemeyer
Daily Sports Writer
Standing at the end of the run-
way, junior Jenny Deiley puts her
head down and sprints toward the
vault. Hurdling into a roundoff, she
explodes onto the horse pushes off
with her hands and does a layout
with a full twist, keeping her body
as straight as possible. She spots
the mat, lands and her Yurchenko
layout full is all over in a matter of
seconds.
Deiley is just one of Michigan's
six top vaulters in a weekly lineup
that includes freshman Katie Lieber-
man, sophomores Lindsey Bruck
and Carol McNamara and seniors
Shanna Duggan and Elise Ray. The
Wolverines have been steady on
vault this season because these six
gymnasts have been in the pretty
consistently. But Michigan might
struggle if it experiences a few inju-
ries to its vaulting lineup.
"Several of them are competing
what we call a Yurchenko layout
full," Michigan coach Bev Plocki
said. "But really, what we're look-
ing for is any vault that is at a 10.0
start value. Now we have just six
athletes who are capable of per-
forming a vault that has a 10.0 start
value. We do have a few others who
are training, who, hopefully, will
come around and add a little bit of
depth in that event."
A 10.0 starting value is just the
first step to a high scoring vault. A
gymnast must show correct tech-
nique during the vault, power for
big height off the horse and to stick
the landing.
"To be good on vault you have
to be a very powerful gymnast and
have real explosive back muscle,"
Plocki said.
Michigan's top six vaulters seem
to fit that description as the stalwart
of a lineup that has posted a com-
bined score of 49.000 or higher six
out of seven times this season.
"We all pretty much have 10.0
starts, and we're just kind of like
rockin' it," Lieberman said. "It's
just a lot of fun, sticking our land-
ings and stuff. Especially the meet
against UCLA - we stuck a lot of
our landings."
Michigan started its competition
against UCLA two weeks ago on
vault, and five out of six Wolverines
stuck their landings, combining for
a score of 49.425, with three com-
petitors scoring a 9.900 or better.
"(Vault) definitely got us started
off on a good foot for the UCLA

meet," Plocki said. "But we can't
hang our hat on that because most
meets we will not get to start on
vault. We have to compete all four
events. It really shouldn't matter
what order they're in."
Lieberman - who has mostly
competed as a vault specialist this
season - hopes part of her contri-
bution to the team will be starting
meets out with a high score when
the Wolverines are competing at
home.
"It's a little bit pressuring because
it's the first event and you want
to start off the meet really well,"
Lieberman said. "But it also pumps
us up for the rest of the meet when
we have good vault scores."
Even if it's not the first event for
the Wolverines, it is still important
as a strong rotation for Michigan.
"I think vault's a more relaxing
event because it's very short, it's
quick and it's more of you just run
down there and do the same thing
every time," Deiley said. "Whereas,
beam and everything is more nerve
racking."

and pulling it out. We're doing the best
job that we can right now."
As Noyes, Donadee and Boehm
emerged from the shadow of Coben this
year, the light was a little too bright, but
they're confident that during the Big Ten
Championships and in the upcoming
seasons, they can adjust and excel.
"We all push each other a whole lot
and worked really hard trying to make
up that gap (left by Coben)," Noyes said.
"We got some recruits coming in next
year, and I'm comfortable that it's a gap
that we can fulfill."

*I

MIKE HULSEBUS/Daily
Michigan sophomore Lindsey Bruck has
averaged a score of 9.500 on the vault
this season.

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