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April 16, 2007 - Image 15

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The Michigan Daily, 2007-04-16

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

NCAAS
From page 1B
Chan anchoring the lineup. He land-
ed his handspring double front in a
deep squat, then straightened, his
feet never budging as the rest of the
Wolverines went wild. His 9.05 was
Michigan's highest vault score, and
the next day he garnered All-Ameri-
can status in the event, placing sev-
enth.
"My favorite moment(ofthe meet)
was probably when D.J. landed his
(vault)," said Laury, who finished
eighth in the pommel horse finals.
"It was phenomenal. We weren't
even planning to put him in (until
recently). He was training it, and we
were hoping one day, miraculously,
he would land it."
In fifth place going into the final
rotation, parallel bars, Michigan

ignored the mounting roar of the
Penn State crowd to post a36.7 team
score. The two senior co-captains
finished their final team meet with
scores above 9.0, with Elkind notch-
ing a 9.45 as the last competitor. With
an exhausted smile, he fell into the
waiting embrace of his teammates.
"I was just trying to really soak
it all in," said Elkind, who tied for
fourth in the parallel bars finals.
"This was definitely the most amaz-
ing year, the most amazing week-
end here. I can't be happier for this
team."
The Wolverines may not have won
a national title, but they had alot to
be proud of, transforming from a
bubble team to a major contender in
the space of just one season.
"I couldn't be more proud of these
guys," Rosso said. "They think we
made a statement this year? Just wait
tillnext year."

SPORTSMONDAY Monday, April 16,2007 - 7B
Sophomore leads Blue to NCAAs

By CHRIS MESZAROS
Daily Sports Writer
Following two falls on the
balance beam, members of the
12th-ranked Michigan women's
gymnastics team hungtheir heads
as they proceeded back to their
Crisler Arena locker room.
It appeared as if the Wolver-
ines would also have to hang up
its gym garb for the season.
But Michigan coach Bev Plocki
believed the meet could be sal-
vaged and roused her squad for
one final showing before the 2,548
people at Crisler Arena.
It turned out it wouldn't be
their last.
The Wolverines edged No. 13
Arkansas 196.050 to 195.875 to
advance to the NCAA finals for
the 15th straight time, with a
second-place finish in the NCAA
Northeast Regional.
The Gym'Backs faltered on the
uneven bars, marred by conserva-
tive routines and a fall of its own,
allowing the Wolverines to retain
a slim lead of .125 points.
"After beam, for a split second,
I thought this might be it," Plocki
said. "But I grabbed myself too
and said they still have bars. If
the scores held we would have a
chance."
Michigan didn't let this oppor-
tunity slip away and awakened
a dormant crowd with a score of

49.325 on floor exercise, its best of
the season.
The floor exercise was the last
stand for Michigan, and the Wol-
verine stalwarts answered the
call.
Sophomore Huneth Lor started
things off on a high note with a
9.85 score. She was matched by
stellar performances by junior
Katie Lieberman (9.875) and soph-
omores Becky Bernard (9.875) and
Tatjana Thuener-Rego (9.90).
"I was so excited to see every-
one do so amazing in floor, and it
gave me that little extra push to
go out there and do that for my
team," Thuener-Rego said.
Theuener-Rego also took home
the all-around crown with a score
of 39.450.
From the onset, it was a scram-
ble between Michigan, Florida
and Arkansas to claim the top two
positions, both of which advance
to the finals in Salt Lake City,
beginning next Thursday.
No.1 Florida ran away with the
event, posting a score of 197.325.
The duel for the second berth
heated up after Florida separated
itself from the pack on the balance
beam.
Both Michigan and Arkansas
struggled to pull away when given
opportunities. Arkansas, which
needed just an average score on
the uneven bars, had several key
miscues. But Michigan also strug-

BREAKDOWN
From page 6B
missed his first attempt of the day,
a 32-yarder, but converted a
shorter field goal later on. Ole-
snavage was the least impressive,
barely reaching the goal line on a
44-yard attempt and missing an
attempt from about 25 yards away
to the right. Sophomore Zoltan
Mesko will return as the team's
punter.

Kick returners:
The graduation of Steve
Breaston opens a spot here, and
the early leaders seem to be Sears
and Minor. Carlos Brown might
also see some time fielding kicks.
Sears returned five kicks last sea-
son, including three against Notre
Dame. Brown has not yet seen
action as a returner, while Minor
fielded just one kick last season.
Sophomore Greg Mathews might
field punts this year after seeing
spot duty last season.

Sophomore Tatjana Thuener-Rego was the all-around champion during this past
weekend's NCAA Regional with a score of 39.450.
gled on bars, posting an unchar- Bruck, Michigan assembled a
acteristically low score of 48.925. patch-work roster which led to
Plocki recognized the tight mixed success during the regular
scoring on the event and encour- season. It hasn't been until the
aged her team because of this. past few weeks that the magic has
If Arkansas was scored harshly, set in. Michigan won the Big Ten
Michigan still had a chance. Championship two weeks ago and
"Ladies the bar scores have has now advanced to the NCAA
held, bars was scored very strict- finals.
ly, this is still a meet, let's go out "(This team) doesn't surprise
there and rock floor," Plocki told me anymore," Plocki said. "When
her team the chips are down, they're going
The Wolverines have had a spe- to pick their chins up and they're
cial season. Hindered by a crucial so proud to represent Michigan
injury to All-American Lindsay and the block 'M.'"

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