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January 10, 2005 - Image 14

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2005-01-10

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6B - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday, January 10, 2005

Blue opens
new year
with win
By H. Jose Bosch
Daily Sports Writer
Crisler Arena had a different kind of crowd
Friday night. Instead of the
goofy antics of the raucous A.
Maize Rage, the gym was !1111AN'I.""
filled with young girls. The
typical fan seemed to be
a young gymnast hoping to one day wear the
block 'M.'
But it was in front of this atypical crowd
that the Michigan women's gymnastics team
opened its 2005 campaign with a win over
No. 10 Nebraska.
Despite a few mental errors and the partial
absence of its star gymnast - senior Elise Ray
- in three events, the women's gymnastics team
leaped out to a good start by defeating the Corn-
huskers, 195.900-194.200. Nebraska sophomore
Kristi Esposito took first place overall, with a
score of 39.075.
"I'm really excited because usually at a first
meet there are a lot of nerves," senior Chelsea
Kroll said. "And there are some mistakes (
a team) has just because of that. It was really
important we came out with a win, and I'm
excited for the rest of the season."
Michigan appeared to be in cruise control
for much of the meet but hit a roadblock during
its last event - the floor exercise. Junior Jen-
nifer Deiley and sophomore Lindsey Bruck fell
during their last passes - a rare occurrence
for the two. Their scores dropped dramatically
as a result.
"We had a couple of mental mistakes that
were pretty fluky, and I don't think we'll see
them again," coach Bev Plocki said. "That being
said, I think it's exciting to know that we did as
well as we did, and we still have a lot of room

Corrigan leads 'M' to
third in the Windy City

Michigan's Jennifer Deiley scored a 9.90 on vault to help lead the Wolverines over the Cornhuskers.

for improvement."
The minor technical aspects of a routine,
as well as the more noticeable slips and falls
that can cost a team crucial tenths of a point
are two of the areas that could use work.
Plocki mentioned that the team looked
a little nervous on the beam, which she
believed may have contributed to the occa-
sional wobbles that disrupted the flow of a
good routine. She also stated that the team
needs to work on skills such as dismounts
and landings.
At the beginning of the season, Plocki's main
concerns were with the vault and uneven bars
- the events she said the team has the least
depth in. She believed the team's performance
in these events would be tantamount to the out-
come of the meet. But on Friday night, the Wol-
verines posted their two highest overall scores
in those events: 49.200 in the vault and 49.150
in the uneven bars.
"We did a team bar set Monday in the gym
and we struggled," Kroll said. "To come out of
it today and everyone hit their bar set, that was a
really big victory."
The Wolverines got things started on the
vault and dominated the event, taking first, sec-
ond and third. Deiley led Michigan by posting

an impressive 9.90 score on her vault.
"Vault really relaxes me because it is one of
my better events," Deiley said. "After doing
well, it builds the momentum for the rest of the
During the second rotation, Michigan out-
scored Nebraska in the uneven bars. Ray made
her only appearance of the night on the uneven
bars and scored an impressive 9.925 - the
highest individual score of the evening.
The former Olympian appeared in just the
uneven bars because she is nursing two sore
shoulders - a result of previously dislocat-
ing both shoulders. Plocki hopes to add Ray
to one more event each week, but she pointed
out that the season is still young and there is
no hurry to rush Ray back into the full slate
of events.
The Wolverines also took two individual
first- place honors on floor and beam. Bruck
recorded a 9.900 on the balance beam to take
first on her way to a second-place finish over-
all in the meet with a score of 38.800. Kroll
finished first in the floor exercise bringing the
crowd of 3,366 to its feet.
"I was really excited," Kroll said. "The crowd
was really interactive with me, and I love that. It
just made everything flow a lot easier."

By Sara Livingston
Daily Sports Writer
Floor exercise and pommel horse proved
to be the Achilles heel for the No. 7 Mich-
igan men's gymnastics team as it placed
third at this weekend's Windy City Invita-
tional in Chicago.
No. 2 Illinois won the event with a score
of 221.800, while No. 4 Ohio State came
in second, beating the Wolverines by 1.875
points - 220.130 to 218.225.
Senior captain Geoff Corrigan led the
Wolverines, taking first place in the all-
around competition and setting a new
school all-around record with a score of
55.400. Corrigan placed in the top five
in horizontal bar, parallel bars, vault and
still rings.
"Any time you can break a school record
it's a milestone because there have been
many great athletes that have gone before
you," Coach Kurt Golder said of Corrigan.
"We have a pretty strong tradition. Also,
going into this competition, we aren't in
our best performance shape and not near
our peak, and it's great to start off the sea-
son that way."
But Corrigan would have much pre-
ferred a team victory in Chicago than the
individual accomplishment.
"It's nice, but it doesn't mean anything
unless you win the meet," Corrigan said.
"It's nice to get a record, but I would much
rather win as a team."
Despite being considered the best floor
exercise team in the country coming in
first place both days at last year's NCAA
Tournament, Michigan struggled in the
event. Just one gymnast - senior Eddie
Umphrey - ranked in the top 10 with a
score of 9.35. The team attributed these
shortcomings to early-season jitters and is
confident that it will be back on track in

no time.
"We just need more time and a few
more routines under our belt in practice,"
Golder said. "We have already established
ourselves as a good floor team, and I think
our timing was just off a little bit. But I'm
pretty confident we will get those scores
up quickly."
Pommel horse also proved to be a thorn
in the team's side on Saturday, with just
one gymnast scoring above 9.0 points
and ranking in the top 10. Junior Andrew
DiGiore placed sixth with a score of 9.15,
but the team's best gymnast in this event,
junior Justin Laury, ran into some prob-
lems and finished with a score of 8.35. To
add to the pommel horse problems, sopho-
more Aaron Rakes scored a team-low 7.70,
while Corrigan slid in with an 8.55.
"We're not the No. 1 pommel horse
team in the county, but I think we can
be a good team," Golder said. "We did
have a nice performance from DiGiore.
I thought Laury, our anchor guy, would
come through for us and possibly he could
win the event. He had some trouble, but he
is a very steady performer."
Michigan finished off with a final score
just .925 points ahead of No. 8 Iowa,
which came in fourth. Michigan will face
off against the Hawkeyes this Saturday at
Cliff Keen Arena.
"I think next week we are going to focus
on really trying to get better on floor and
horse," Umphrey said. "We are the best
floor team in the country. We really didn't
show that, but I think we are going to be
better next week, and we can take it to
Host school No. 11 Illinois-Chicago fin-
ished sixth place out of six, rounding out
the field with 205.325 points, and No. 9
Minnesota came in fifth, beating Illinois-
Chicago by 7.425 points.



Upsets aplenty for
Michigan in Texas

Peterson takes top
spot in pole vault

By Seth Gordon
Daily Sports Writer
Unranked Willie Breyer produced
the upset that begot the upset.
Having dropped consecutive
matches at 174 and 184 pounds to
No. 4 Nebraska, the No. 5 Michi-
gan wrestling team was hanging on
to a 15-12 lead when Breyer faced
No. 13 B.J. Padden. Breyer stepped
up and pinned Padden to increase
Michigan's lead to 21-12 and insure
the win. The 25-12 upset in Dallas
on Saturday catapulted the Wolver-
ines to a second straight 3-0 mark
at the Lone Star Duals. Breyer and
five other Wolverines recorded per-
fect 3-0 individual records as well.
"It was huge," Michigan coach
Joe McFarland said. "(Breyer) real-
ly had a great day, and it just does
wonders for his confidence. For the
most part, we had wrestled well (as
a team) and were in control of the
match, but Willie came away with a
big pin for us. That not only helped
us out in that match, but also going
into the other matches as well."
No. 2 heavyweight Greg Wagner
followed Breyer with an impres-
sive 8-0 major decision over No. 18
Mitch Mandstedt to close out the
Drawing the highly-ranked Corn-
huskers as their first opponent
turned out to be a blessing for the
Continued from page 3B
revenge yesterday as she teamed up
with Lyndsay Sosho to defeat Exon

Wolverines, as Michigan cruised to
a 35-9 win over No. 23 Army and
finished the weekend with a 32-10
drubbing of unranked Stanford.
Michigan joined No. 10 Oklahoma
as the only unbeaten teams in the
22-team field and now turns toward
the Big Ten dual season.
The five Wolverines other than
Breyer who also earned perfect 3-
0 records at the meet were senior
Mark Moos at 133 pounds, sopho-
more Josh Churella at 141 pounds,
sophomore Eric Tannebaum at 149
pounds, senior Ryan Churella at
165 pounds and Wagner at heavy-
Josh Churella and Wagner main-
tained undefeated records for the
season, as did senior captain Ryan
Bertin, who went 2-0 at 157 pounds
before sitting out his last match
against Stanford. Before the match,
Bertin expected to get a rematch of
last year's NCAA semifinal against
Stanford's No. 1 Matt Gentry, who
bested Bertin 6-4 in overtime. But
Gentry did not make the trip with
the Cardinal, so McFarland used the
opportunity to rest Bertin and give
senior Charles Kalil a chance to get
on the mat. Kalil lost a 10-0 major
decision to Stanford's Ray Blake.
The meet was a breakout for the
younger Churella brother, Josh,
who upset No. 6 Matt Murray of
Nebraska to open the tournament.

Michigan senior Ryan Churella was one of five Wolverines to earn a perfect 3-0
record this weekend at the Lone Star Duals.

Churella, who was ranked No. 19,
was able to score two takedowns
and hold Murray to three escapes
for a 4-3 win.
"It just shows you what type of
competitor he is," McFarland said.
"It was his third match of the sea-
son and his first of the day, at 10
a.m., and (Murray) was second last
year in the NCAAs. Josh came away
with a good win, and it has to be a
big confidence builder for him."
Churella went on to earn another
4-3 decision over Army's Patrick
Simpson before winning an I1-
3 major decision over Stanford's
Chris Hayworth. The sophomore
improved his overall record this

season to 5-0.
With three victories in the meet,
Wagner now has a pristine 16-0
record for the season. After his
opening 8-0 major decision, Wag-
ner won on an injury default by
Army's Joe Forsman and registered
another major decision, 12-4, over
Stanford's Shawn Ritzenthaler.
Michigan will host a dual meet
against No. 16 Penn State at Crisler
Arena on Friday at 7:30 p.m.
"I think (our confidence level)
is right where we need it," McFar-
land said. "The guys are wrestling
well, and we're making those little
adjustments from match to match
and meet to meet."
Coast combo rolled to an 8-1 victory
over Eastern Michigan's Catherina
Bestahorn and Flavia Micati.
On Saturday morning the tandem
again combined for victory, overpow-
ering LSU's Camila Caliari and Mari-
na Chiarelli, 8-0.
Overall, the Wolverines finished
the weekend 12-9 in singles matches
(5-2 against LSU, 2-7 against Georgia
Tech and 5-0 against Eastern Michi-
gan), and 6-3 in doubles play (2-1, 2-2
and 2-0 respectively). The invitational
featured what is known as a hidden
dual match format, which means that
matches count for individual records
but team records are not kept.
The Wolverines face the DePaul
Blue Demons on Jan. 15.

By Pete Sneider
Daily Sports Writer
Senior pole vaulter Kevin Peterman
waited three years before officially join-
ing the men's track team. He was certainly
well worth the wait, claiming the top spot
in the pole vault with a height of 15-11 at
the Jack Harvey Invitational in Ann Arbor
on Saturday.
The non-scoring meet - the first meet
of the season for the Wolverines - fea-
tured the local colleges of Eastern Michi-
gan, Findlay, Hillsdale, Detroit and Siena
Heights. Despite a lineup without Mich-
igan's top runners, the Wolverines were
still competitive, dominating the one-mile,
600-meter and4x400-meter relay runs. But
Peterman's pole vault of nearly 16 feet was
arguably the highlight of the day.
Peterman has had an interesting career
at Michigan, competing for the first time
ever with the Wolverines this year. He
was recruited for track coming out of high
school but left the team shortly after the
start of his freshman year because classes
interfered with the team. He competed
unattached at various meets in the last two
years, but finally decided to join the team
this year.
"Last year, I competed unattached
and I set a personal best of 15-feet, 3-
inches," Peterman said. "That got me
excited about it. I have a little bit lighter
schedule this year, and I have more time
available (for track). I didn't expect to
go quite as high, but I've been work-
ing out and got some good tips from
(Michigan assistant coach David Kai-
ser). I am definitely looking forward to
the rest of the season."
Peterman hopes to get up to 16 feet by
the end of the season. His performance cer-
tainly caught the eye of his coach.
"He's a great story because he's been
in school for four years and this is the first
Continued from page 3B
with a jump of 5-8. But Linz was not satis-
fied with her performance.
"I was really nervous coming back after
taking a year off, a lot more nervous than
I expected to be," Linz said. "That's prob-
ably the main reason I didn't jump so well,
just because I was nervous. But I'm sure
I'll be able to knock the kinks out soon and
return to where I want to be."
Gallo didn't seem to have many kinks to
knock out, as she dominated the 800-meter
run with a time of 2:11.72. The fifth-year

time he's really competed for Michigan,"
coach Ron Warhurst said. "It appears that
he handles the competition well, and it's
just great."
On the track, senior Rondell Ruff
earned first place in the mile with a time
of 4:20.95, followed by fellow Wolverines
James Riechart and Dan Murray. Ruff,
who excelled in the 800-meter in previous
years, said he was pleased with his per-
formance and hopes to make the mile his
main event.
He said he wants to be around the 4:10
range as the season progresses, but is aware
that it is still early in the season.
"This year I feel a little stronger, and I'm
able to compete better in the mile than in
previous years, Ruff said. "It was a slow
mile, but it helps my legs to get going a
little faster. After cross country season, we
haven't raced for a long time. The purpose
of this meet is to just get us used to racing
In the 800-meter run, redshirt freshman
Brian Les took first place with a time of
1:57.58. Redshirt sophomore Ryan Gall,
who was running neck-and-neck with
teammate Les the entire race, was a tenth
of a second behind him.
Warhurst was pleased with the team's
overall performance on Saturday and felt
it was a good warm-up for the rest of the
"Coming off the holidays, they've
been gone a few weeks, and they
don't have access to a lot of train-
ing facilities when they're gone,"
Warhurst said. "This is kind of like
a 'Let's-not-kill-each-other-(meet).
Lets just get comfortable and get
into the competition, and, the next
two to three weeks, we'll really start
lighting it up."
Michigan will travel to Ypsilanti next
weekend for the Eastern Michigan Invita-
senior, whose best race is actually the mile,
gained strength as the race went on, finish-
ing her last 400 meters faster than her first.
While many of the runners on Saturday
ran different races than usual, this is not
something that they will continue to do.
"We had most of our runners running
under their primary," assistant coach Mike
McGuire said. "These aren't their top
events, but they can use this to train and get
better in those events."
Henry said that many of the runners
would back in their familiar place at the
next meet, which will be the Kentucky
Invitational next weekend in Lexington.

and junior Nina Yaftali, 8-6, in a hotly
contested doubles match for Exon's
only blemish on the weekend.
Exon, a sophomore from Irvine,
Calif., entered the weekend having


finished the 2004 season ranked 10th
in the ITA Midwest regional. She
started Friday morning with a solid
victory over LSU's Lauren Seaman.
Exon took the first set 6-3 and headed
into the second set with the momen-
tum. Seaman put up a great fight in
the second set and pushed it to a tie-
breaker. But Exon only got better as
the pressure mounted. Confident in
her abilities, she won the second set
tiebreaker, 7-4.
"Tiebreakers are so decisive," Exon
said. "I just tried to stay relaxed and
be aggressive at the same time. I
didn't want to sit back and hope (Sea-
man) would make a mistake."
Later that day Exon teamed with
Yaftali, another Californian. The West

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