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March 21, 2005 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily, 2005-03-21

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The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - March 21, 2005 - 3B

Williams jumps
to new heights
By Daniel Bromwich
Daily Sports Writer
Defending a Big Ten conference championship is never easy. It becomes
an even greater challenge when the defense starts less than a month after the
title is won.
But that is the task that the Michigan women's track and field team faces this
outdoor season. It began its quest to defend its indoor season title this weekend at
the Florida State Relays in Tallahassee, Fla.
The team came away with some very satisfying results in the nonscoring
meet. It finished with wins in the 4x800-meter relay and the 4x1,500-meter
relay, the 1,500-meter and 800-meter runs, the discus and hammer throws and
the pole vault.
But the most impressive performance may have come from high-jumper Jen-
nifer Williams. The junior cleared an NCAA regional-qualifying height of 5-8
3/4 on the second day of competition.
"This was really a pleasant surprise for her," Michigan coach James Henry
said. "We really didn't expect her to do so well. That was definitely the perfor-
mance of the weekend."
Freshman Kalli Williams led off the 4x1,500-meter relay team. Junior Ana
Gjesdal followed her, with sophomore Laura Brosius running the third leg and
sophomore Erin Webster finishing off the relay with the anchor leg. The team
dominated the race, finishing with a time of 19:03.17 - a decisive 17 seconds
faster than second-place Auburn. The winning 4x800-meter relay team was
equally impressive, with sophomore sisters Melissa and Monica Dunn compet-
ing alongside senior Anna Jones and freshman Laura Glynn.
Jones added a second-place finish in the Gold section of the 800-meter run and
a third-place finish in the Garnet section of the 1,500-meter run.
"Anna Jones was one of the runners who really stood out for us this week-
end," Henry said. "She ran really well, and, hopefully, she can keep it up the
rest of this season."
Henry described this meet - the first of the outdoor season - as a chance
for the runners to get a good start and to begin working toward the end of their
year. The outdoor season is the third athletic leg of the year for many runners
who also compete in the cross-country and indoor track seasons during the fall

What happens when green

What would happen if America'
plete day of sports coincided with th
gest day of drinking?

he question
sounds like a
psych experi-
ment, or the first words in
a preview teasing some
CBS made-for-TV flick
("Spring Break Shark
Attack" - are you
kidding me?). But this
scenario definitely never
seemed like something
that could actually play
out on the stage of real
life and, by doing so, shed


Junior high-jumper Jennifer Williams had a breakout weekend in Florida.
and winter.
A good start was especially important for junior Katie Erdman. Erdman -
the Michigan and Big Ten 600-meter indoor record holder and a 2004 NCAA
Indoor All-American - sat out the indoor track season with a stress fracture in
her foot. But she came back strong on Friday, winning the Garnet section of the
800-meter run with a time of 2:12.98.
"Katie just wanted to get her feet wet this weekend," Henry said. "She ran very
conservatively, but she should get stronger and more aggressive soon."
Senior Andrea Parker and sophomore Jackie Gaydos finished right behind
Erdman in the 800-meter run as Michigan swept the race.
"Right now, we are on an emotional and physical high after winning the Big
Ten and (after) our national championship in the distance medley relay," Henry
said. "It's important for us to keep our focus and finish the year with another
strong season."
The team was missing the runners that participated in the NCAA champion-
ships, but they should rejoin the team this weekend in Gainesville for the Florida


By Scott Bell
Daily Sports Write

upset attempt at LSU falls short


The upset bug bit early yesterday afternoon, pro-
pelling freshman Matko Maravic to a win over a top-
10 player. But the bug couldn't spread throughout the
rest of the team, and the Wolverines' upset bid fell
short against host Louisiana State, 5-2.
The beginning of the match was delayed because
of inclement weather. And when play did resume,
singles matches were played first because of the
potential threat of more bad weather.
"Playing singles first was a little different, but I
don't think it had a bearing on the match," Michigan
coach Bruce Berque said. "It doesn't give the singles
players an opportunity to volley before the singles,
but it had the same effect on both teams."
When the Wolverines (9-5) did take the court, it
appeared as if their bid for an upset was well within
reach. They grabbed three of the six opening sets and
looked to be well on their way of putting the decisive
point in the hands of the doubles teams - who would
compete for the seventh and final team point with this
revised format. But all three of the Michigan athletes
who won their first set lost their second, emphasizing
third-set action.
While four of the matches were hotly contested,
the Tigers (12-5) took an early 2-0 lead, winning

both matches in straight sets. Danny Bryan han-
dled Michigan sophomore Steve Peretz, 6-1, 6-1,
at No. 5 singles. Mark Growcott followed with an
impressive win at No. 2 singles, 6-3,6-3, over senior
Michael Rubin - who had battled illness all week.
The upset bug bite began to look a little more like a
mosquito bite.
But Maravic proved why he's arguably the hot-
test player in the Big Ten, coming off his second Big
Ten Athlete of the Week Award to upset one of the
nation's elite players. After splitting the first two sets,
Maravic enforced his will on opponent Ken Shupski
and grabbed the final set, 6-3. His 7-5, 2-6, 6-3 vic-
tory not only continued his confidence, but also gave
Michigan hope for the rest of the match.
"Matko played a very good player and did unbe-
lievable," Berque said. "His progress over the last few
weeks has been amazing. He kept playing aggressive,
and it really paid off."
Sophomore Ryan Heller dropped his first set at
No. 4 singles and battled back to win his second.
But the Tigers' Peter Richman hit the big shots
when it mattered most, and his 6-4, 2-6, 6-2 win
over Heller put Louisiana State one point away from
winning the match.
Louisiana State's Jason Hazley looked to be on
track to clinch the match for the Tigers at the No. 3
singles spot. After Michigan sophomore Brian Hung

won the first set 6-2, Hazley battled back to even the
match with a 6-3 victory in the second set. But Hung
refused to lay down, and kept hope for the upset by
securing a 6-3 win in the final set.
"Brian played a great match," Berque said. "He
continued to show progress on things he's been work-
ing on, and it is really starting to show."
But the Wolverines' upset bid was officially
halted at No. 6 singles. After Michigan senior
David Anving and Louisiana State's Paul White
traded the opening two sets at 6-4 apiece, White
managed to take the third set by a 6-3 margin and
clinch the match.
The otherwise meaningless doubles point was
a big positive for Michigan. Although Louisiana
State did win two of the three matches, giving
them the doubles point, the duo of Maravic and
Hung picked up their biggest doubles win to date.
The two defeated the No. 6-ranked team of Grow-
cott and Shupski, 8-5.
"I don't like losing and saying that there are a lot of
positives," Berque said. "But we do continue to show
progress. Louisiana State is a great team, and we had
some good performances to put us in reach of beat-
ing them.
"I'm confident that, if we keep competing at a
high level, that these matches will start falling in
our favor."

some light on my youthful curiosit
too outrageous to be true.
A few weeks ago, though, when
drunken tomfoolery in honor of the
greatest snake tamer were in the m
to my attention that an answer to m
tant question awaited me on March
date that would make drinking ma
would boast the first full slate of N
ment games; a date that would brin
green beer and Jim Nance; a date t
would most likely take on a measu
nificance and live in infamy.
I woke up from a three-hour slun
6:45 a.m., on Thursday and headed
Brown Jug. Upon arrival, I was imn
greeted by a few Nutty Irishmen, th
Regis Philbin nor Kerry Collins wa
zing!). Being that it was five hours u
the boob tube above our table offere
entertainment value - after a few c
TI-86 channel (that hidden gem in ti
of Ann Arbor cable that broadcastsl
problems 24/7) became must-see T
While I was chomping at the bitI
college basketball's signature tune t
away, for most people, the tourney s
distant afterthought in a world of gr
inebriated pinching. This crowd def
lack the spirit and passion definitive
ney's commencement, though, as fe
"Kim, Kim, Kim" (our waitress) br
Madness intensity to the Jug's rear t
When I left the Jug at around 11
sure if I could take the 100-minute
tipoff. (Truthfully, after numerousI
clover-tinted Miller Light and a sm
liquor concoctions, I can't say I wa
anything.) Just like during my old d
morning church service, I was posi
waiting game would make me lose
Seriously, how would I pass the tim
I awoke face down in my bed thr
with shoes on my feet, a half bottlec
in my ear (see: "shoes on my feet")
mate's foot in my posterior.
"Turns ins yours paper, buddy -
starteds a half hours agos," Tat (who
moderately sized, and therefore poo
slurred repeatedly.
After a pre-class check-up in thet

college hoops mix
's biggest com- bathroom revealed my auditory fluoride hin-
he world's big- drance, I performed a quick cleanup (obviously
missing the toothpaste covering my collar), threw
on the aviators and hit my discussion. I promptly
discovered that my classmates were not laugh-
ing with me, but rather at me. And with thoughts
of "dipsy doos" and "dunkaroos" flooding my
mind (for some reason during downtime in the
classroom my brain attempts to quell boredom
by referencing random Dickey V outbursts), class
quickly lost its luster. My plan had been to bring
a radio and conceal one ear's iPod headphone by
iENNARO streaming it though my long sleeve shirt and plac-
FILICE ing my hand over my ear. In doing so, I wouldn't
SportsMonday miss a second of tourney action. But that scheme
Column had disintegrated along with my brain cells during
the early morning Jug session.
Looking back, the initial scene following class
y - it's just on South University Avenue was awkward. Not
because I almost tripped over two girls mounting
plans of a drunken mass of man on the sidewalk - and
e world's not because, upon further inspection, this drunken
aking, it came mass of man lives two steps from my room. This
ny all-impor- situation took on a certain outlandishness when
17, 2005: A another friend nearby informed me of UW-
ndatory and Milwaukee's upset win over Alabama, and my
CAA tourna- instantaneous joy (I picked the Panthers to make a
ig together Sweet 16 run) caused me to completely disregard
hat I knew the ridiculousness of the scene at my feet. Again:
re of FDR sig- My housemate was laid out on the South U. side-
walk with two girls mounting and yelling at him,
nber at around in the broad daylight. And once I was informed of
right to The the tourney's first true bracket buster, I didn't even
nediately think twice about maybe the drunkest of drunk in-
ough neither public scene I'd ever witnessed. Weird.
s present (Ba- As always happens, the UW-Milwaukee
ntil tipoff, upset became much less about the Panthers than
d minimal about the supposed geniuses who had picked the
ar bombs, the Panthers. The St. Patty's Day juice did seem to
he static zones heighten the I-told-you-so mentality, though.
linear algebra For those who decided to fully celebrate St.
V. Patty's Day, late afternoon games separated
for CBS the true college hoops fans from those who just
o whisk me desired a quick buck in bracket gambling, as
seemed to be a extended catnaps ran rampant. When I attempted
een eggs and to summon my comatose housemate for the
initely did not somewhat-exciting conclusion of the Utah-UTEP
of the tour- game, he could only offer some sort of drunken,
rvent cheers of dream-state monologue.
ought March After I woke up from a catnap of my own dur-
able section. ing the break in tournament action, my housemates
a.m., I wasn't convinced me that it was somehow still Thursday,
wait until and I tried my hand at some beer pong during the
pitchers of dull slate of night games. After a quick run to the
orgasbord of bars, the night finally wound down with bracket
s quite sure of comparisons and the praising of Andrew Bogut.
lays of Sunday So, what happened when America's biggest
tive that the complete day of sports coincided with the world's
my mind. biggest day of drinking? I'm not really sure and
e? ... can't truly recall much of what happened in the
ee hours later tourney's true opening day. A plethora of embar-
of toothpaste rassing and hazy episodes confirm my prior
and my house- assumption that the day would boast moderate
levels of infamy ... and also verify assured suc-
yours class cess in my attempt to honor the world's greatest
's actually snake tamer.

rly named)
C.C. Little

Gennaro Filice can be reached at


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