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February 14, 2006 - Image 10

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2006-02-14

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10 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Senior excels under pressure

By Colt Rosensweig
Daily Sports Writer
Whenever the Michigan men's gymnastics team needs a big
routine, senior Gerry Signorelli is the man it looks to. And far
more often than not, Signorelli comes through for the Wolverines,
calmly hitting every skill as if there was no pressure at all.
"Guys expect me to step up, to hit when they need it," Signo-
relli said. "I've got the whole team behind me, so (the pres-
sure) is not that bad when you know they are all pulling for
you. Besides that, it helps me out, because I know it's serious.
They need me to hit."
This year's team may not measure up to the 1999 National
Champions in talent just yet, but in Signorelli's opinion, it has
some of thebest intangibles of any team he's been on.
"It's not the most talented team I've ever been on here at
Michigan," Signorelli said. "I came in when some really good
guys were competing for Michigan. As far as attitude, (this
team is) one of the best ever."
Signorelli's performance this year will be a key to Michi-
gan's success. Like the rest of the team, Michigan coach Kurt
Golder is confident that the senior will put up big numbers
when crunch-time comes.
"I'm pretty sure he's going to be capable of getting some big
scores by the end of the year," Golder said. "If things go the
way I think they will for him, he'll be getting us what I call
championship-type scores. If everybody gets scores like that,
we'll win the championship."
Signorelli is not just a clutch performer. He's a team leader
that sets a good example for all his teammates, especially the
eight freshmen.
The senior hasn't missed a single repetition in a workout
assignment in his four years as a Wolverine. He also knows
how to simultaneously enjoy competition and perform at a

very high level.
"When I notice (the freshmen) dealing with some things that
they're not used to, I try and give them a heads up of what's going
on," Signorelli said. "I try to enjoy myself and work hard, so that
they see that that's a part of (gymnastics) - going out and hav-
ing a good time because you get to compete for Michigan."
As a youngster, Signorelli had his own heroes, whose foot-
steps he now follows. At home in Colorado Springs, Colo., he
practiced at the Olympic Training Center, where he observed
Olympic gymnasts Brett McClure and Jason Gatson firsthand.
And during his freshman year, Signorelli was teammates with
several of the members Wolverines' most recent NCAA cham-
pionship team.
Both Signorelli and Golder said they believe Michigan will
finish the season as one of the top six teams, giving the Wol-
verines a shot at matching the 1999 champions.
"I feel like we have a chance," Signorelli said. "We have a
good history of being in the top six all the time, so we could
definitely win a championship. By midseason, hopefully we
can become one unit. For myself, I want to be solid as a rock
when the championship meets come around, so (the team) can
count on me to hit."
In addition to getting a shot at the national title, another one
of Signorelli's main goals for the season is to fully enjoy his
last year of competition.
"I've changed a lot, as everybody does when they go through
college," Signorelli said. "I've opened my eyes more now than
when I was a freshman to how lucky we are to compete for a
university like this. It has also humbled me a lot to see what
amazing people have been here, and I just wish I could do
something even close to what they've done.
"I think I enjoy life a lot more, too. I was pretty happy before
I came to (Michigan), and now I don't even know what I can't
be thankful for."

Senior Gerry Signorelil has stepped Into a leadership role this season.

Continued from page 9
to find out more about Ukrainian figure
skater Ruslan Goncharov (who's never
won an international competition) or
Liechtenstein's Marco Buechel, an alpine
skier who finished two spots behind
Miller's disappointing fifth-place time in
the men's downhill event on Sunday.
A Winter Olympic-record 416
broadcast hours will be aired on a
laundry list of networks: NBC Uni-
versal, NBC, USA, MSNBC, CNBC,
NBC HD, Universal HD, BET, VH1
and the Playboy Channel (OK, maybe
not those last three).
Yesterday, I was watching women's
luge qualifying when NBC reporter
Bob Neumeier presented an enlight-
ening expose on the lead-weighted
bodysuits lugers wear to help them
gain momentum on the ice chute.
American Courtney Zablocki, a front-
runner in the women's singles event,
even modeled the outfit, which added
25 pounds to her original 135-pound
frame, for the NBC cameras. Make
sure to include lead-loaded spandex
right after flying tomatoes and speed-
ing white sausages on the list of unex-
pected contributors to the complete
Olympic TV-watching experience.
But believe it or not, there's still
one question I don't have an adequate
answer for: What do some of these
announcers do during the four years
between each Winter Games?
Do Len Berman and Chad Salmela
travel the world to cover every biathlon
competition, or do they brush up on their
terminology and research the athletes in
the weeks leading up to the Olympics?
The four-man bobsled announcing
team features Neumeier, Bob Papa,
Carol Lewis and John Morgan. Papa is
better known as the radio play-by-play
man for the NFL's New York Giants
and Neumeier has his own radio show,
but I'm not so sure about Lewis and
Morgan. Will they go into hibernation
until 2010 after Torino's events are
over? If they do, at least they're keep-
ing busy for the time being (They also
cover skeleton in Torino).
Honestly though, I love having so
much information at my fingertips.
After all, my friends know me as the
guy who has kept track of every NBA
player during the past 10 years. I can't
get enough of this stuff.
But I'm still concerned about TV
viewers' long-term health. If the infor-
mation seems to be too overwhelming
after just three days, imagine what it
might feel like after 13 more.
Well, it's time for me to go. Pete
Fenson and the U.S. curling team are
inaction on CNBC.
By the way, did you know that
Fenson owns Dave's Pizza, a two-res-
taurant chain in Minnesota? You can
watch a video of Fenson talking about
his business on - you guessed it - his
NBCOlympics.com profile page.

We believe everyone's more successful in a flexible environment.
We want you to succeed. That's why we've created an environment that's conducive to
personal and professional growth and success. At Ernst Youngwe're offering an opportunity
to learn from some of the best talent in the industry. So visit us on campus, or on the Web at
eycorn/us/careers- Whatever's best for you. We're flexible.

- Gabe Edelson can be reached
at gedelson@umich.edu.

Continued from page 9
Though officials and visitors may not
have appreciated Blue Crew's boister-
ous manner, Michigan's starting wres-
tlers loved the liveliness it created.
"They're funny" redshirt junior
Mark Moos said. "And it gets you
going when everyone is going crazy
for you during your match."
That's exactly the type of result
McFarland hoped for when he first
envisioned a student section. He
wanted to create a true home-advan-
tage. In his eyes, enthusiastic students
have the ability to ignite the entire
crowd and get everyone involved.
"We've got one of the top programs
in the country, and we've got some great
matchups," McFarland said. "The more
students we can attract from campus,
the better we're going to be."
Redshirt junior Rob Sulaver shares
his coach's vision and has taken a
leading role in creating the Blue Crew.
He's intent to help the team succeed in
any way possible.
"The Blue Crew is all about the ath-
lete out on the mat," he said. "It's about
getting people excited about wrestling."
Sulaver expressed his hope to trans-
form Cliff Keen Arena into an electri-
fying venue opposing teams dread. To
accomplish this, he urged all students
to come out to support the team and
cheer with the Blue Crew.
The Crew will be back in action on
Feb. 17 when No. 1 Minnesota comes
to town. McFarland has ordered t-shirts
for the section and is excited about the
matchup. Tickets are available at the
Michigan Ticket Office
"We're going to need a really loud
crowd there if we want to use it to our
advantage," he said.
Though Blue Crew is only taking its
first steps, its presence has already made
a difference. Just ask the Wildcats.





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