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January 30, 2006 - Image 14

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6B - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - January 30, 2006

Wolverines overmatched

by

No. 2-ranked Sooners

By Colt Rosensweig
Daily Sports Writer
For the No. 6 Michigan men's gymnastics team, Friday's meet against No. 2
Oklahoma was like a spring training game. The team took a beating a but key
players experimenting with their routines may have finally found the form that
will carry them to a championship.
"1 wasn't (satisfied with the performance), but there were a lot of things that
I was real pleased with," Michigan coach Kurt Golder said. "We did a lot of
work on individual goal-setting this week. A lot of those were accomplished,
a lot of little details important to the athlete:'
Oklahoma beat Michigan (2-3 Big Ten, 3-4 overall) convincingly, 216.2-203.9.
The Sooners never trailed in the meet, and the Wolverines came close to match-
ing Oklahoma's score in only the vault (36.55-36.4). Michigan's percentage of
clean routines, already low after the tense Penn State meet, dropped further.
But many Wolverines accomplished individual goals. Sophomore Paul
Woodward won the pommel horse competition with one of Michigan's four
clean routines, scoring 8.45.
"It was nice to go against the defending national champions on their ground
and have us win (the pommel horse)," Golder said. "For the last four years or
so. that's been kind of a weakness:'
Senior Andrew DiGiore won Golder's unofficial Newt Loken award - given for
the best individual performance on a single event - for his showing on vault.

"The highlight of the meet for us was Drew DiGiore winning the vault,"
Golder said. "He blew the field away (with a 9.55 score):'
Freshman Joe Catrambone gave Michigan yet another solid performance,
even though he competed in just three events because of the meet's non-target
status. Catrambone notched the highest Michigan score on the high bar and
still rings, and the second highest on the parallel bars.
Though disappointed with his team's overallperformance, Golder found
many positive points. Despite the low number of clean routines, he felt that
his gymnasts were in a much better frame of mind than in the previous meet
against Penn State.ttaa
"a think their focus was a lot better, and they were all very sincere about the
goals we had set and wanted to reach Golder said. A lot of times, we met a
specific goal on the routine, but then we made a mistake somewhere else. So
there's something to be pleased about, and at the same time something to be
displeased about:'
Although many of the Wolverine regulars competed in fewer events than
usual, others participated for the first time this season. On the parallel bars,
redshirt sophomore Arren Yoshimura led all the Wolverines with an 8.4 score.
Next week's meet - the Winter Cup in Las Vegas - will also be
a non-target meet, and Michigan will again emphasize individual
improvement and goals rather than all-out attempting to win. After
that meet, the Wolverines should be ready for target matchup at home EUGENE ROBERTSON/Daily
against No. 8 Minnesota. Freshman Ralph Rosso and the Wolverines came up short against No. 2 Oklahoma this weekend.
IBuckeyes bested bBlue 's balance

By Katie Field work on landings to try and capture bigger leads
Daily Sports Writer earlier in the meet.
Once they made it to the uneven bars, the Wol-
It's a rare occurrence when Michigan fans verines took command of the meet. Senior Lau-
applaud Ohio State. ren Mirkovich scored a 9.900, and senior Jenny
But on Friday, fans at the women's gymnas- Deiley and freshman Tatjana Thuener-Rego each
tics home opener were seemingly unaware of this grabbed scores of 9.800. The trio's performance
fact. The excited crowd at Crisler Arena cheered helped push Michigan to a 2.025 point lead over
both teams alike as the fourth-ranked Wolver- the Buckeyes.
ines captured a decisive 195.900-192.000 victory Next up for Michigan was the beam. Deiley, the
over 36th-ranked Buckeyes. The extra enthusi- night's all-around winner, registered a solid score
asm boosted the Wolverines (2-0 Big Ten, 4-0-1 of 9.850, which proved impossible to top. Michi-
overall) to some of their best performances of the gan sophomore Nellie Kippley came close with
season. her 9.825, as did junior Carol McNamara with a
Michigan coach Bev Plocki noted how the 9.800. Kippley and McNamara finished second
team's preparation and the atmosphere each fac- and third, respectively, on beam. The Buckeyes'
tored into her squad success. highest beam score was 9.650./
"We've been working on the things we knew Leading Ohio State by 2.475 entering the final
we needed to work on," Plocki said. "The extra rotation, Michigan carried its momentum through
excitement and adrenaline of this being our first the floor routine for a combined floor score of
home meet and the great crowd. It was a combi- 49.225, a season best. Solid performances from
nation of things, but we still certainly have room Deiley (9.875), Thuener-Rego (9.875) and senior
to improve." Becca Clauson (9.850) greatly contributed to
One event Plocki wants her team to work on is Michigan's victory with hefty scores.
the vault - where the Wolverines started on Fri- Although it was not the first time the Wolver-
day. Although vault is Michigan's lowest-ranked ines beat the Buckeyes - Friday was Michigan's
event, the team still managed to gain a 0.225 26th consecutive victory - it was an important
advantage over the Buckeyes (0-2, 3-2) to lead night for Thuener-Rego, who earned the first
48.775- 48.550 heading into the second rotation. floor title of her collegiate career. But she had
For future competitions, 'the'' Wolverines" will * heffocus on afother event.

"I really wanted to do good, solid beam," she
said. "I have been in the last two meets, so I'm
really happy about that."
Perhaps the star of the evening was Deiley,
who had one of her best meets ever. For her, it
was a matter of having everything come together
in every event during the meet.
"I have been making my routines, but not nec-
essarily hitting them," Deiley said. "I needed to
have a meet like this personally so I can start
back on the right track. I was kind of in a rut, and
I needed to get out of that. I was really focused
today and really confident."
The Wolverines seem to be on the right track
so far. The crowd at Crisler was excited to see
them looking sharp and solid in all events. Mich-
igan made it through the night with just one fall
and consistently built upon its early lead, ending
with the stellar floor rotation. Deiley knows her
team's win will motivate them to improve for the
rest of the season.
"We're ranked high, but not No. 1," Deiley
said. "We have room for improvement, and we
have a lot of potential this year."
The Wolverines hope to keep up their winning
ways next week at the State of Michigan Classic.
The tournament takes place in Mount Pleasant.
The team dominated the field last year, besting
a field consisting of the four other Division I
schools in the state.

0

Becca Clauson was one of the many Wolverines who helped top the Buckeyes. Her
beam performance added to the 195.900-192.00 victory against Ohio State.

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