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March 16, 2007 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 2007-03-16

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10 - Friday, March 16, 2007

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Bruck making best of
difficult situation

6

0

By ALEX PROSPERI
Daily Sports Writer
"The way she grabbed her leg, I knew
immediately what had happened," Michi-
gan gymnastics coach Bev Plocki said. "I
got a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach,
and I had a flash of denial. I thought that
this couldn't have happened right now.
She is going to roll over and get up and
everything is going to be OK. And very
quickly, I realized that wasn't the case."
Jan. 12, 2007.
Morgantown, West Virginia.
The Wolverines, James Madison and
the host Mountaineers squared off in
Michigan's first meet of the season.
And it was the day senior Lindsey
Bruck's 18-year gymnastics career
changed forever.
The two-time All-American was
cruising. She had scored 9.900 on the
uneven bars and 9.875 on the balance
beam.
Then it happened.
On the second tumbling pass on the
floor exercise, Bruck attempted a round-
off back-handspring double-pike.

The attempt fell short, and so did
Bruck. She landed on her hands and
knees and quickly grasped her left leg in
excruciating pain.
Bruck had a ruptured Achilles tendon
and was lost for the season.
"Everybody gasped," Plocki said. "She
was the bright star of our team this year.
She worked so hard over the summer
and improved her skill on every event.
This situation absolutely breaks my
heart, because she is in a situation that
there's a possibility that she wont be able
to come back and finish her career."
Said Bruck: "I was devastated. It's my
senior year and gymnastics has been a
love of mine since I was three-years-old.
But I'm just not quite ready to give it up
yet."
Any fan would have no hesitation to
say Bruck is the loudest cheerleader
the Wolverines have, constantly giving
advice and keeping the team fired up
throughout the entire meet.
"My job is to help them do the best that
they can this year," Bruck said. "I knew
my role as a leader was going to change
when it happened, but I still wanted to

lead the team the best way I could."
Michigan (2-2 Big Ten, 10-3 overall) is
ranked No.12 in the country, and a large
part of that is due to Bruck's continued
leadership after her injury.
Bruck and Plocki are very close and
can be seen talking numerous times
throughout a meet, and Plocki finds no
shortness of words to describe the 2006
NCAA Northeast Region Gymnast of the
Year.
"She had the commitment, talent, love
and is a very good student. She was the
whole package."
The Marietta, NY, native has taken
huge strides in her rehab and hopes to
stop having to use crutches soon.
Even though Plocki is doing every-
thing she can to give Bruck an oppor-
tunity to compete next year, all of the
team's scholarships are taken up for next
season, and Bruck's gymnastics career is
likely over.
But right now, Bruck is focusing on
one thing.
"I just try to look ahead," Bruck said.
"I take my mind off myself and my injury
and put it onto the team."

40

40

Senior Lindsey Bruck saw her season come toan end early, but is still trying to help her team out.

BIG WEEKEND AHEAD

Christian's big game
good sign for future

By ALEX PROSPERI
Daily Sports Writer
In 1993, the only cycle current
Michigan shortstop Jason Chris-
tian knew of was the one he rode
around on.
But while Christian was still
hitting baseballs off a tee, former
Michigan center fielder Brian Sim-
mons hit for the cycle in a 24-2
win over Northwestern on May 8,
1993.
Little did Christian know that
on Mar. 11, 2007, he would become
the first Wolverine in 14 years to
accomplish that incredibly rare
feat - hitting for a single, double,
triple and home run in the same
game.
"It was something real special,
it doesn't happen a lot," Christian
said. "In all my years of playing
baseball, I think I've only done it
once, and that was when I was in
little league."
The sophomore didn't hit for the
cycle against some no-name divi-
sion III college team, either. He
did it against an Oklahoma team
currently ranked No. 21 in the
nation and that has won 13 out of
14 games.
"It was outstanding," Michigan
coach Rich Maloney said. "It's a
very rare feat to accomplish in
baseball. It will be a memory he
will have for the rest of his life."
For the Loveland, Ohio, native,
there was no foreshadowing that
this was going to be an extraor-
dinary day. But Maloney made a
move that in hindsight was noth-
ing short of brilliant.

"He put me in the leadoff spot
and I never saw that coming,"
Christian said. "I usually get my
opportunities in the two spot, so I
had never seen myself in the lead-
off spot. I just tried to take pitches,
which I don't normally do, but
everything worked out all right."
After singling in the first inning,
hitting his first career home run
in the fourth and doubling in the
sixth, Christian saved the most
difficult part of the cycle for last
- the triple.
He did it in the ninth inning,
with Michigan holding onto a
comfortable 7-4 lead. His first
career three-bagger made him the
first Wolverine to hit for a cycle on
the road since Ted Mahan did it in
1976.
Christian's success has earned
him consideration to be the per-
manent leadoff hitter this season.
"We are keeping him in at the
leadoff spot for right now until
we get (senior captain) Eric Rose
going," Maloneysaid. "Once we get
him going we will have to make a
decision." Maloney calls Christian
a hot-cold player. But in the first 10
games of the season, Christian has
been flat out on fire.
The most recent Big Ten Player
of the Week is currently leading
the Wolverines in five statisti-
cal categories - batting average
(.432), doubles (five), walks (nine),
slugging percentage (.703) and on-
base percentage (.542).
Last year, however, Christian
struggled a bit as a freshman, bat-
ting a mere .180. It was clear to
Maloney that he just needed some

time to blossom - and a chance.
That chance came when it
became certain that senior short-
stop Leif Mahler would miss the
entire 2007 season with a leg inju-
ry.
"With the injury to Mahler,
I thought I was going to be the
replacement for shortstop," Chris-
tian said. "I just worked hard, in
the offseason to prepare myself
the best I could."
To Maloney, it wasn't if, but
when, Christian would explode.
"I knew he was very, very tal-
ented, but I didn't know when the
talent would emerge," Maloney
said. "I thought he'd be a really
good player that we hoped one day
he would make a difference to the
program. I guess it's his day now."
Although he would have played
somewherethis seasonhadMahler
not gone down, a full-time role at
shortstop has allowed Christian to
come into his own.
"I think he'll have an outstand-
ing season," Maloney said. "He's
coming into his potential right
now. He's been awfully good and
he's done it over a 10-game period.
It's reasonable to say that against
the competition that we've com-
peted against that if he continues
to work hard he could have a big
year."
One day, another Wolverine will
hit for the cycle and overtake the
position as the most recent Michi-
gan baseball player to do so.
But Christian's historic day
won't quickly be forgotten.
"What a beautiful day it was for
him," Maloney said.

BEN SIMON/Daily
Forward Danny Fardig and his teammates on the Michigan hockey team hope to leave Detroit with a 2-0 record and a CCHA
Championship this weekend. The Wolverines face Michigan State tonight and a possible finals matchup tomorrow night.
-om
ON EARTH l
Wars are frequently in the news. But it's often through the arts that they enter our hearts and minds.
Arts on Earth has gathered a cast of artists and scholars from U-M and beyond for a searing,
two-evening, multi-media presentation of art created to shape your experience of war. Post-
performance conversations with selected artists to be held both evenings.

Arts & War:
Mobilization
and Protest
TUESDAY,
MARCH 20
5:10-6:40 pm
Lydia Mendelssohn Theater
Michigan League
911 N. University
An exploration in music,
visual art, poetry, and dance,
with performances and
presentations by:
Bill Bolcom & Joan Morris
Mark Clague
Tirtza Even
Linda Gregerson
Carol Jacobsen
Heidi Kumao
Madhavi Mai
and the Sadhana Dancers
Jonathan Pieslak
Michael Rodemer
Ed Sarath
Time for Three

Arts & War:
Testimony
WEDNESDAY,
MARCH 21
5:10 -6:40 pm
Lydia Mendelssohn Theater
Michigan League
911 N. University
An exploration in music,
visual art, poety, and dance,
with performances and
presentations by:
Rahim AlHaj
Geri Allen
Uwem Akcpan
Yehonatan Berick
Amy Chavasse
Anthony Elliott
Carol Jacobsen
Thylias Moss
OyamO
Gavriel Savit
Michael Rodemer
Paul Schoenfield

Are s'&Warprogramming
continues through April 8,
with taeoe events:
" A reading of poetry
from Against Forgetting
by Carolyn Forche
March 19, 5 pm
Rackham Amphitheater
" Playingfor Time
by Arthur Miller
March 30-April 8
7:30 and 8 pm
Walgreen Drama Center
" The Global Miller
Symposium
March 29-31
Alumni Center
and Rackham Amphitheater
" Nanking! Nanking
March 30, 4 pm
Schorling Auditorium,
School of Education
" The Charlotte
Salomon Project
April 6-7
Walgreen Drama Center,
Studios One and Two
All events except Playing
for Time are free and open
to the public.

a

Sophomore Jason Christian hit for the cycle last weekend, and has found himself at the top of the batting order as a result.

For those of you
that entered the
Daily's March
Madness pool,
check our blog,
The Game, for
periodical scoring
updates.
michigandaily.
com/thegame.
While you're
there, check our
live blogging
from Joe Louis
Arena for the
CCha's final four.

a

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