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March 09, 2005 - Image 10

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10 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, March 9, 2005

After mono,
Godek is
back again
By Kevin Wright
Daily Sports Writer
Michigan wasn't her first choice.
When Michigan water polo junior Rebecca
Godek was a senior at Ann Arbor Pioneer High
School, she never dreamed of coming to Michigan.
In fact, she kept it in the back of her mind dur-
ing the recruiting process while she looked heavily
into playing at Indiana.
"Since I was a kid I always wanted to go (to Indi-
ana), but now I realize that that would have been
the worst decision of my life since Indiana is our
biggest rival," Godek said.
As a freshman in 2002, Godek enjoyed a solid
season, playing in 35 games. She scored eight goals
while tallying three assists and 13 steals. As expec-
tations grew, Godek could have never imagined the
hardships that would follow.
Going into her sophomore season in 2003, Godek
planned to swim for the women's swimming and
diving team and then join the water polo team after
the swimming season.
In the early stages of the swimming season,
Godek swam as well as could be expected since
she did not swim her freshman year. Then, around
December, Godek began to consistently feel sick
and exhausted, causing her to swim slow times
such as in the first two meets against Florida and
North Carolina. It got to a point in the season
where Godek swam faster times in practice than
in meets.
Women's swimming and diving coach Jim Rich-
ardson noticed her fatigue and lagging times and
met with her about scheduling a nutritionist to help
her regain energy. When Godek's situation still
didn't improve, she went to a doctor and was diag-
nosed with mononucleosis.
Because of the debilitating effects of mono,
Godek was forced to redshirt her sophomore water
polo season.
"It was a horrible year, both mentally and physi-
cally," Godek said.
When the start of the 2003 season came around,
Godek still suffered from chronic fatigue - a
lingering side effect from mono. After returning
to playing shape, Godek came back to the team.
While readjusting to the flow of the game in the
early stages of the season, Godek suffered a back
injury where her L4 and L5 vertebra twisted slight-
ly, which created uncomfortable pressure.
During the remainder of the season, Godek
sometimes struggled to swim even a few laps in the
pool. She finished the season playing in just eight

0 WOMEN'S TRACK & FIELD
Relay makes a run
at NCAA record

By Daniel Bromwich
Daily Sports Writer

AMY DRUMM/Daily
Junior Rebecca Godek has scored eight goals on the season after sitting out the first few games due to mono.

Its distinguished athletic history not-
withstanding, Michigan rarely sends a
group of runners as talented as the four
members of the distance medley relay
team to the NCAA Indoor Champion-
ships. But this year's team - seniors
Lindsey Gallo and Sierra Hauser-Price,
junior Theresa Feldkamp and fresh-
man Nicole Edwards - has a legiti-
mate chance to become part of history.
This weekend, they could become the
third Michigan distance medley relay
team in school history to be crowned
NCAA Champions.
The team has run together just once
before, finishing in 11:05.33 - the
third fastest time in the nation this
year. But they have no fear that a lack
of experience will keep them from
running their best.
"We're not really worried about
that," Gallo said. "We train and work
out together every day, so it shouldn't
be a problem."
Just twice before has Michigan's
distance medley team finished as
NCAA champions - in 1994 and
1998. Distance coach Mike McGuire
coached both of the past champions
and knows what it takes to come out
on top.
"You need four good pairs of legs,
that's for sure," McGuire said. "We
feel we have four great runners. The
only thing you can do is to put your-
self into position to win, and we have
definitely done that."
Those eight legs have been pretty
impressive. Gallo - running the
anchor 1,600-meter leg - is unde-
feated in all distances this year and
currently has the fastest mile time in
the nation. She was named Big Ten
Athlete of the Year after winning the
mile, the 3,000-meters and the 5,000-
meters at the Big Ten Championships
two weeks ago. She is also competing
in the mile at the meet this weekend.
"We've had strong anchors on each
of our national championship teams,"
McGuire said. "But Lindsey is the
strongest anchor we've ever had."
Hauser-Price - running the 400-

meter leg - broke Michigan's 60-
and 200-meter dash records at the Big
Ten Championships, running in her
first year of indoor competition.
Feldkamp, who is running the 800-
meter leg, has the 19th fastest time in
the nation in her race. Her fastest time
is faster than each of the competitors
she will see this weekend. In only her
first year of competition, Edwards e
who will start the team off with the
1,200-meter leg - finished second
at the Big Ten Championships in the
600-meter race.
McGuire is excited about the mix
of youth and experience that the team
features.
"We have a really nice mix of
youthful exuberance and experi-
ence," McGuire said. "Hopefully, the
younger runners will draw from the
preparation and focus of the more
experienced runners, and the older
runners will feed on the energy of our
younger runners."
Michigan's toughest competition
should come from North Carolina
and Villanova. Both teams posted
faster times than the Wolverines at
a meet in New York City earlier this
year. North Carolina finished just
eight-hundredths of a second behind
Villanova in a hotly contested race.
It might take something special for
Michigan to win.
"These are some of the fastest
teams I've ever seen," McGuire said.
"I wouldn't be surprised at all if it
took a new NCAA record to win this
race."
The team realizes the opportunity
it has to enter the record books this
weekend, but it doesn't add any nega-
tive pressure.
"I think, if anything, it's moti-
vating," Feldkamp said. "We're all
thinking about and hoping for (the
championship)."
Gallo wants to finish her indoor
career on top and believes that this
team can take her there.
"If we all run our best race, we are
the best team in the country," Gallo
said. "We put.ourselves in this great
position; now we just have to get it
done."

games while scoring one goal on eight shots.
While the team continued to play, Godek worked
with the team trainer and a specialist from Med
Sport. Three days a week, Godek would arrive at
practice an hour early to complete an exercise pro-
gram that the trainer and specialist designed for
her.
The following summer, Godek took time off
from her training to work four days a week with
three different physical therapists in order to return
to the water polo team.
All of Godek's determination during the intense
rehab has paid off. Already this season she has
scored eight goals and eclipsed her career assists
total.
"It's so great to be back in the water and be
healthy," Godek said. "I'm getting to play and be
around my teammates again."
Although her back still gives her occasional
problems, Godek wants to contribute to the team
any way that she can. She continues to do her
exercises regularly in order to maintain her back
strength and flexibility, and she encourages team-
mates whenever they need a mental boost.
While Godek isn't looking to put up big numbers

this season, coach Matt Anderson knows that he
can count on her.
"I'm appreciative that we got her rocket arm
back in the water," Anderson said. "She has a how-
itzer, and it's nice to see when she unloads one of
her shots. When I put her in the game, I tell her,
'Rebecca, you're in the game to score.' She knows
that she's expected to put the ball on the cage and
hopefully score."
Anderson believes that Godek contributed to the
team even during her injury with her positive atti-
tude and pleasant demeanor.
"Whether she's having a good day or bad day,
she always puts out 100 percent effort, and the
other girls see that," Anderson said. "She's been
important in the last two years even though she
wasn't able to play because, mentally, she was a
neat teammate to be around."
* In retrospect, it might seem that Godek could
have had a better career at a different university,
but Godek thinks otherwise.
"There were so many times when I wanted to
give up and stop, but I'm here for water polo,"
Godek said. "I don't score the most goals; I (play
water polo) because I love it."

-4

'Fabulous' Trio tumbles to success

By H. Jose Bosch
Daily Sports Writer
Fabulous.
According to junior Jenny Deiley, that is
the word that best describes the threesome
of senior Elise Ray, sophomore Lindsey
Bruck and herself.
The three gymnasts have been the foun-
dation of which a very solid team has been
built for the 2004-05 season.
No. 7 Michigan has been ranked as high
as second in the nation. And among the
three higher-ranked opponents they have
competed against, the Wolverines have
beaten two (No. 2 Nebraska and No. 5
UCLA) and lost to the third (No 1. Utah)
by less than a point.
But most of the team's success can be
attributed to the performances of the
senior/junior/sophomore trio.
"I always tell my team that it's not the
top three kids that will make you win. It's
the fourth, fifth and sixth kids," Michigan
coach Bev Plocki said. "And that is true.
But you certainly can't do it without the
one, two and three. And those guys have
been the one, two, three punch that have
carried us (this year)."
The threesome has combined for 30
individual event titles out of a possible 45.
After nine total meets, one of the three
girls has taken first place overall six times,
led by Deiley who has won three of them.

But at the beginning of the season, there
was doubt as to when all three would be
performing in the all-around competition
during meets.' At the intrasquad scrim-
mage in December, Ray re-aggravated
both of her injured shoulders and had to
come back into the line-up slowly - add-
ing one additional event each week. While
Ray recovered from her injured shoulders,
Bruck and Deiley stepped up in a big way
- leading the team to a perfect record
during its first three meets.
"They did a fantastic job when we need-
ed them to step up," Ray said. "And they've
continued to do that throughout the year."
But the three gymnasts bring more to
the table than just high scores. They are
also leaders.
Sometimes it's pushing teammates in
practice and rooting for them during the
meets. Other times it's the subtle things like
extra reps in the gym or lending a helpful
hand and an open ear to fellow teammates.
However they lead, the trio epitomizes the
phrase, "leaders and the best."
"A leader is how they present themselves
and how they take care of their team-
mates," Deiley said.
And each one of the gymnasts leads in a
different way.
"Lindsey Bruck is very vocal," Ray
said. "She cheers loudly for all of us, and
you hear her a lot during practice. Jenny
doesn't really speak up very much in the

gym. But she leads by example, which is a
very important quality in a leader."
The senior gymnast is a mixture of both.
While Ray can be heard supporting her
teammates and pumping them up in prac-
tice or at Crisler during a meet, she also
leads by example with her solid routines
and her three individual national champi-
onships.
"Just watching her is absolutely amaz-
ing," Deiley said. "She doesn't just do
gymnastics, she does it a different way
than everybody else. And that's why she
stands out, and that's why she's so good."
Aside from pushing their teammates
directly, Deiley, Ray and Bruck push each
other, which in turn pushes the rest of
the team. When one does well, the other
two will try to match that effort, creat-
ing a friendly competition. This competi-
tion becomes infectious, and, eventually,
every gymnast on the team is pushing one
another.
"Having good team competition is very
healthy and helps everyone progress,"
Bruck said.
In her 13 years as head coach of the
Michigan women's gymnastics team,
Plocki agrees that this has been the most
consistent threesome she has coached.
"These kids have a lot of heart and a lot
of passion for what they're doing," Plocki
said. "More power to them. I hope they
keep it going."

Sophomore Lindsey Bruck has finished in the top three in the all-around eight times this season.

Brooklyn native quietly leads 'M' singles

By Jamie Josephson
Daily Sports Writer
He may not be playing at the No. 1 singles posi-
tion. He may not be boasting a national ranking. But
sophomore Steve Peretz has been quietly leading the
Michigan men's tennis team in overall singles victo-
ries. The Brooklyn, N.Y., native shares a spot with
freshman Matko Maravic as the most successful
member of the Wolverines' singles roster, posting a
current overall record of 12-8 (2-0 Big Ten).
Peretz, who usually plays at the No. 5 slot, has
become one of the most consistent singles players on
the team. He also holds a team-best singles record
from the fall season (12-6).
"(Peretz) is very focused," Michigan coach Bruce
Berque said. "He competes hard regardless of the
score. He's a naturally strong competitor."
But Peretz isn't concerned with the numbers
game.
"I'm very mentally tough in close situations," Per-
etz said. "More importantly (than having the most

I know) this is what I should be doing."
Though Peretz's numbers prove he has had a lot of
success at the No. 5 position, Berque would like see
Peretz strive to move up in the singles lineup.
"(Peretz) needs to play at a higher level so he can
play higher in the lineup," Berque said. "He needs to,
consistently be more aggressive with his shots. Right
now, he just relies on out-smarting his opponent. He
needs to be physically stronger."
Though moving up in the lineup is a personal goal
for Peretz, he refuses to let such an individual objec-
tive affect the team's chemistry.
"One of our biggest strengths is that we all want
to see each other do well," Peretz said. "My personal
goal to get higher in the lineup doesn't affect me on
the court. We all just want to win for the team. We're
all working toward something together."
Peretz's selflessness has rubbed off on the team;
which, according to the singles phenom, prides
itself on constantly supporting one another. One of
the ways the Michigan squad has encouraged this
camaraderie is through what Peretz called, "court-

losing streak.
"I'm pretty sure we'll be fine," Peretz said. "It's
very important that we stay optimistic and have real-
ly good energy on court."
Michigan (2-0 Big Ten, 7-4 overall) will host a
double-header at the Varsity Tennis Center on Sat-
urday, taking on Butler at 10 a.m. and then Indiana
State at 6 p.m.

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