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April 04, 2005 - Image 14

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6B - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - April 4, 2005

M'

thrives with new mentality

By Ian Robinson
Daily Sports Writer
In track and field, the competitors often
lose sight of beating their fellow competi-
tors and focus on posting a personal best
or qualifying time. But the essence of col-
legiate sports is to compete against athletes
that represent other schools. Temperatures
below 50 degrees and winds gusting at 25
miles per hour at the Yellow Jacket Invi-
tational in Atlanta on Saturday forced the
men's track and field team to focus on beat-
ing the competition instead of the clock.
"If the weather is bad, you have to go
back to the basics and compete," coach Ron
Warhurst said.
Running in his first outdoor meet of the
year and competing for the first time since
winning the distance medley relay at the
NCAA Indoor Championships, senior Ron-
dell Ruff was one of the Wolverines that
competed well and ran strategically strong
races.
"The wind made all of the races very tac-
tical," Ruff said.
In the 1,500-meter run, nobody wanted
to push the pace because of the wind, and

Ruff stayed near the back of the pack for the
opening kilometer. After William Emase of
South Carolina made a move to the front of
the field 500 meters from the finish, Ruff
responded with a big push and overtook
Emase. Ruff held on to the lead and fin-
ished with a time of 3:53.99, beating Emase
by .95 seconds. Ruff's teammate - fresh-
man Mike Woods - took fourth-place in
the race.
Two and a half hours after the 1,500-
meter run, Ruff earned a fourth-place finish
in the 800-meter run with a time of 1:51.62,
three seconds behind the winner, 2004
Olympian Sheridan Kirk of Auburn. Three
hundred meters from the finish, Ruff made
a big push to move into third place but fell
to fourth at the finish.
"We have not been working on speed
much, so I'm happy to be able to close like
I did," Ruff said.
Two hours after the 800-meter run, Ruff's
4x400-meter relay team, which included
freshman Chris Stowe, senior David Bat-
tani and senior Nick Meter, finished in third
place. Ruff ran a personal-best time of 48.9
seconds on the closing leg.
"We want kids that want to compete, even

when the weather is bad," Warhurst said.
Despite the weather, a few Wolverines
posted regional qualifying times and mul-
tiple runners hit personal-bests.
In the 400-meter hurdles, Stowe posted a
regional qualifying time of 52.29, shaving
2.07 seconds from his previous personal-
best.
Sophomore Michael Whitehead won
the triple jump title and earned an NCAA
regional qualifying score with a jump of 49-
11 in his first outdoor event of the year.
In the 110-meter hurdles, sophomore Jeff
Porter posted his second NCAA regional
qualifying score in as many weeks with an
eighth-place time of 14.20 seconds.
Senior Joey Sarantos improved his previ-
ous personal-best by 10 feet in the discus
with a seventh-place throw of 162-4.
In the 5,000-meter run, sophomore Ethan
Brown ran a personal-best time of 14:48.95
en route to a fifth-place finish.
"When the weather gets better, then you
can go for the qualifying times," Warhurst
said.
The team hopes for better weather and
lower times at the Sun Devil Invitational at
Sun Angel Stadium in Tempe, Ariz.

ALEXANDER DZIADOSZ/Daily
Junior Rondell Ruff won the 1,500-meter run at Saturday's Yellow Jacket invitational In Atlanta. Ruff
also ran a personal-best as the anchor of Michigan's 4x400-meter relay team that placed third.

Tough trip, easy win for netters

By Randy Ip
Daily Sports Writer
Apparently someone forgot the memo
that April Fool's Day was on a Friday and
not Saturday this year, and the Michigan
men's tennis team experienced an unex-
pected bump in the road. On Saturday, the
Wolverines were en route to Iowa when their
plane caught on fire on the runway. The team
was then moved to another flight, which ulti-
mately got delayed and was finally canceled.
Despite all the problems getting to Iowa,
Michigan had no trouble leaving Iowa with a
6-1 victory yesterday.
"It was a nightmare of a travel day for us
because we didn't get a chance to practice,"
coach Bruce Berque said. "We were at the air-
port for 12 hours. It turned out to be a really long
day. We got in late and had to play in the morn-
ing, so, with all those things in mind, I'm just
pleased that the guys came out and competed
hard with a lot of enthusiasm."
The Wolverines (11-7 overall, 4-1 Big
Ten) finally touched down in Iowa Saturday
night and played early yesterday morning.
Michigan swept all the doubles matches,
with senior Vinny Gossain and sophomore
Steve Peretz winning their sixth match of
the year together in a hard-fought 8-6 vic-
tory over Iowa's duo of J.P. Richie and Aaron
Schaechterele.
"I was just pleased with the way we
bounced back after a disappointing loss to

Minnesota," Berque said. "We felt confident
that we had a good shot at winning, and we
were disappointed with the way that one
came through."
In singles action, Michigan pulled out a
win in five of the six matches, with senior
David Anving losing a tough three-set
match against Brett Taylor. Michigan's No.
81-ranked freshman, Matko Maravic, was
able to give the Wolverines an early 2-0 lead
after soundly defeating Kyle Markham 6-0,
6-0. For Maravic, it was his fourth victory
at No. 2 singles, improving to 4-2 at that
spot. Sophomore Ryan Heller and Gossain
soon followed Maravic with victories of
their own. Heller defeated Iowa's J.P. Ritchie
at No. 3 singles in straight sets as did Gos-
sain .at sixth singles. Gossain's win clinched
the victory for Michigan. Sophomore Brian
Hung netted his first win in his first match at
No. 1 singles against Chaitu Malempati, 7-5,
7-5. Michigan is currently sitting in fourth
place in the Big Ten Standings.
For the Wolverines, it was a much needed
lift, as they continue their season without
star Michael Rubin, who suffered a fractured
left wrist in practice back on March 30. It
was the first match that Michigan has won
without Rubin. It had lost its first two con-
tests without the prized singles player to the
hands of Notre Dame and Minnesota. Mara-
vic and Brian Hung have split their time at
first and second singles in Rubin's absence.
With the win over Iowa, both Maravic and

Hung seem to have little difficulty playing
higher up on the ladder.
"Matko Maravic and Brian Hung have
been doing a great job in singles and dou-
bles," Berque said. "I think for two guys,
one's a freshman and one's a sophomore, it's
not always an easy task to fill in the No. 1
and No. 2 spots in the lineup. I think they
definitely have answered the challenge very
well."
On Friday, the Wolverines suffered a
5-2 setback to the hands of No. 60 Minne-
sota. Michigan took the first match of the
day, thanks to an 8-1 victory from the No.
2 doubles team of Heller and senior Josef
Fischer. But Michigan couldn't earn the
doubles point, losing back-to-back matches
at No.1 and No.3 doubles. The Wolverines
were poised to take a 1-0 lead when Hung
and Maravic were up 5-2 in the final doubles
match of the day. But the Gophers tandem of
Adrien Debreyne and Avery Ticer sent the
match into a tie breaker and won 9-8(8).
The finish to the doubles matches proved
to be the momentum shifter as Minnesota
rallied to take the next four matches against
the Wolverines in singles competition. Min-
nesota had already won the contest by the
time Michigan recorded its first point. Fisch-
er got that elusive point for the Wolverines,
winning his match at No. 6 singles. In the
last match of the day, Hung won his second
singles match for the Wolverines, defeating
Nic Edlefsen 7-5, 7-5.

I
I
I

PETER SCHOTTENFELS/Daily
Michigan senior David Anving fell to Iowa's Brett Taylor in three sets on Saturday, but the Wolverines
still managed to improve to 4-1 in the Big Ten with their 6-1 victory over the Hawkeyes in Iowa City.

Big Unit lead Yanks to win

NEW YORK (AP) - The tallest Yan-
kee ever began the big task of putting
the Boston Red Sox back in their place.
Randy Johnson shut down Boston in
his New York debut, dominating his
new team's old rival. He outpitched
David Wells, got help from Hideki Mat-
sui and, a rejuvenated Jason Giambi and
led the Yankees over the World Series
champions 9-2 last night in the major
league opener.
"It was pretty excited to go out there,"
said Johnson, who remembered how
fans cheered him when he walked out
to the bullpen to warm up.
Already, there were bad omens for
the Red Sox: Matsui leaped in left to
rob Kevin Millar of a two-run homer
in the third, Giambi stretched to reel
in two bad throws by shortstop Derek
Jeter, Alex Rodriguez made a diving
stop at third on Edgar Renteria and
Tino Martinez made a backhand dive
at first to prevent an extra-base hit by
Johnny Damon.
By the time Matsui hit a two-run
homer off Matt Mantei for a 8-1 lead in
the eighth, it was almost piling on.
"We're not disappointed," Damon
said. "We accept the fact that we really
weren't that good tonight, We'll get bet-
ter."
With Boston taking the field as cham-
pions for the first time in 86 years, the
Red Sox returned to the scene of their
improbable triumph staring directly at
the 6-foot-10 Big Unit, brought to the
Bronx to help the Yankees win their
first title since 2000.
Giambi, back at first base following
injury, illness and a reported admission
of steroid use, received a pair of stand-
ing ovations from the sellout crowd of
54,818 and went 1-for-2 with a single
and two hit-by-pitches.
"I had a calm feeling because I knew
I did everything I could to get to this
point," he said. "They respect a guy
who worked hard to get back to where
he was."
Gary Sheffield, back from offseason
shoulder surgery, hit a go-ahead sin-
gle in a three-run third inning against
Wells, and Martinez received two huge
ovations in his first game in pinstripes

since 2001.
"Who wouldn't like this?" he said.
Since New York moved within three
outs of sweeping the Red Sox in the
AL championship series last October,
the Red Sox had won eight straight,
becoming the first major league team
to overcome a 3-0 postseason deficit,
then blowing out St. Louis in the World
Series.
But following an offseason of joy in
New England, the Red Sox started with
a thud, pitching poorly, making a pair
of errors and losing their fifth straight
season opener. New York had 15 hits
off Wells and six relievers.
"It's the first game we won since
Game 3," Yankees manager Joe Torre
said. "It was a long winter waiting to
get on the field again."
The usual swells and celebrities were
on hand to watch the Yankees extend
their winning streak in home openers to
eight. A sign in left field expressed the
hope of New York fans - "1918-2004-
2090" - referring to the years of Bos-
ton's last two Series titles and projected
date of its next.
"The crowd was ready," Damon said.
Johnson was a model of quiet focus
hours before the game, putting on a
black undershirt, then a gray sweat shirt
before sitting in front of his new locker
near Torre's office and looking ahead,
gathering his thoughts.
Hitting Johnson is, well, a tall order
- the New Yorker's playful front-page
cartoon of him on the mound cut off at
the neck.
He opened with a 93 miles per hour
pitch to Damon and struck out Rente-
ria and Manny Ramirez looking in the
first, the latter on a smoking 97 miles
per hour heater. He got in trouble in the
second, when Matsui grabbed Millar's
fly ball and Jay Payton singled in the
season's first run.
Johnson and Red Sox manager Terry
Francona called Matsui's catch the
turning point.
"They don't play much basketball in
Japan," Jeter said playfully. "I didn't
know he could jump that high."
Bernie Williams's sacrifice fly tied
the score in the bottom half, and New

York took a 4-1 lead in the third on
Sheffield's double, Matsui's RBI single
and a bases-loaded balk by Wells, who
stepped back to start his windup and
then stopped.
Rodriguez, vilified by Boston dur-
ing the offseason and spring training,
added a run-scoring single in the sixth
off Blaine Neal and scored on Ruben
Sierra's double.
Johnson allowed the one run and five
hits in six innings and struck out six.
Tanyon Sturtze and Tom Gordon with
one hit relief.
Wells, who pitched a perfect game
for New York in 1998 and helped the
Yankees win the World Series that year,
was starting in place of Curt Schilling,
his bloody sock in the Hall of Fame and
the ankle it surrounded still recovering
from surgery that followed the title.
Signed to fill the gap created by the
departures of Pedro Martinez and Matt
Clement, Wells made a shaky debut,
allowing four runs and 10 hits in 4 1-
3 innings. With the temperature 43
degrees, he had trouble gripping the
ball.
Fans gave him the loudest boos.
"Out in the bullpen, they rode me
pretty good," Wells said. "That's all
right."
It was a night of milestones - the
first night opener at Yankee Stadium
and the first time the Red Sox played as
defending champions since 1919,.when
they opened with a 10-0 win over New
York at the Polo Grounds behind a Babe
Ruth home run.
Johnson made his 13th opening-day
start, tying Roger Clemens for the lead
among active pitchers.
New York, with the first $200 million
payroll in baseball history, had a for-
mer All-Star in every spot in its start-
ing lineup, the first time that happened
in the major leagues since the Yankees
did it on July, 24, 2003, according to the
Elias Sports Bureau. In all, it added up
to 53 All-Star appearances.
NOTES: Flags were at half-staff and
a moment of silence was observed one
day after the death of Pope John Paul II,
who celebrated mass at Yankee Stadium
in 1979.

FILE PHOTO
Rebecca Godek and the Michigan water polo team won two of their three matches at this weekend's Indiana
Invitational. The Wolverines defeated Colorado State and UC Davis before losing to San Jose State in overtime.
Spartans' late comeback
sinks Blue in overtime

By Danielle Ravich
Daily Sports Writer
It was a big weekend for the Michigan water
polo team. Playing three games in one weekend
at the Indiana Invitational, the No. 13 Wolver-
ines defeated Colorado State and No. 14 UC
Davis but lost to No. 10 San Jose State in sudden
death.
On Saturday, the Wolverines kicked off the
invitational by defeating Colorado State, 9-5.
The Wolverines began by leading 4-0. Michigan
held a 6-2 lead at halftime. Sophomore Shana
Welch scored three goals and, in the process,

State was a "barn burner," according to Ander-
son. The Spartans took an early 1-0 lead in the
game, but senior Meg Knudtsen managed to
tie it before the end of the first period. By the
middle of the second quarter, the game was still
tied at three until Welsh scored to give the Wol-
verines a 4-3 advantage. San Jose State managed
to score two more goals and led 5-4 at the half.
With only 34 seconds left in the third period,
San Jose squeezed in three more goals, leav-
ing it at 8-5 in the final period. The Wolverines
finally answered back, scoring three times with
only 4:14 left and tied the game and sending the
game into overtime.

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