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January 22, 2008 - Image 13

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The Michigan Daily, 2008-01-22

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

January 22, 2008 - 5B

Fans flock to first dual meet in 15 years

Daily Sports Writer
Junior Adam Harris waved the
Dual Pennant flag above his head
and led the Michigan men's track
and field team in a victory lap
around the Indoor Track Building.
The Wolverines jogged much
slower in that lap than in any of
their races, acknowledging the
large crowd that supported them
in their win over Ohio State.
"We definitely fed off the ener-
gy of the crowd," freshman Carl
Buchanon said. "Seeing everyone
here wearing maize and blue was
so crazy."
The meet drew 1,353 fans, far
more than the team normally
attracts. All the bleachers around
the track were filled, and some
fans had to stand to get a view of
the action.
To enliven the atmosphere, the
Men's Glee Club and Michigan

cheerleaders performed before the
"It was a really good turnout,
and we were really happy with it,"
junior Rob Fiorillo said. "Most of
the time, track is a pretty low-key
sport. We even had to give a map
to all the cheerleaders to figure out
how to get here."
Despite the initial confusion,
the cheerleaders made it, and the
crowd enthusiastically respond-
ed to their performance. Their
cheers, in combination with the
crowd, were loud and impossible
to ignore. Some of the athletes
couldn't help but pump their fists
when spectators broke into "The
"This was our first time at a
track meet, but it was really fun,"
sophomore cheerleader Andrea
Manney said. "We had a lot of
crowd reaction and participation.
A Michigan-Ohio State meet is
always important, and the crowd

was excited about it."
The crowd had much reason
to be excited during the meet, as
Several events - including the
mile,-the 400-meter dash and the
600-meter run - came down to
the wire. Fans were on their feet
straining to get a better look at the
close races, cheering loudly and
encouraging the Wolverine run-
ners in their final push.
One of the most memorable
moments of the day came when
co-captain sophomore John Kipf
reached 7-0 in the high jump, anew
career-high and an NCAA qualify-
ing mark, bringing audience mem-
bers out of their seats for a rowdy
standing ovation.
But for as loud as the crowd was
after Kipf landed, they were equal-
ly as silent before the 60-meter
dash. Fans knew that Harris had
broken the 60-meter dash record
just a week before and had poten-

tial to do even better.
Although Harris finished.02
seconds away from an automatic
NCAA qualifying time, he tri-
umphed in the event, and the fans
acknowledged him with raucous
"The crowd had enough track
savvy to figure out how stuff
worked, and it just created such
a great atmosphere," Michigan
assistant coach David Kaiser said.
"Ann Arbor is such a great running
community anyway. So it didn't
surprise me too much, but it was
great to see."
Kaiser also felt the connection
between the crowd and team con-
tributed to some of the Wolverines'
"Ohio State and us were pretty
evenlymatched,"Kaiser said."Any-
time you have that head-to-head
competition, the kids just want to
give it that little extra effort, and I
think the crowd appreciates that."

Senior Katie Lieberman turned in solid performances on floor and vault in
Michigan's win over Penn State Saturday.


overcomes woes on
beam to beat Penn State

Harris leads 'M' to rousing victory

Daily Sports Writer
One beam. Six gymnasts.
Three falls.
Fewcould balance on the beam
in Saturday's meet, but those who
did made the difference.
Despite putting up its lowest
score _
in any MICHIGAN 195.275
event of PENN STATE 195.100
the sea-
son, the No. 6 Michigan women's
gymnastics team edged No. 14
Penn State, 195.275-195.100, in
State College.
The slim margin of victory
can be attributed to the team's
rocky beam performance, which
counted half-point deductions
for each fall.
But three impressive show-
ings on beam gave Michigan just
enough to offset the falls and
defeat the Nittany Lions.
Junior Becky Bernard (9.850)
and sophomores Sarah Cur-
tis (9.825) and Jordan Sexton
(9.800) earned the top scores in
the event.
"Itwasjust a couple ofunlucky
breaks," senior Katie Lieberman
said. "Everyone has been looking
really good in practice and hit-
ting their routines."
Michigan coach Bev Plocki
said Michigan was fortunate to
pull out the win. Teams often
aren't able to suffer multiple falls
and still win.
The fallen gymnasts shook off
their mishaps and performed the
rest of their routines perfectly,
earning them high all-around
scores - even with the fall
"Every quarter of a tenth (of a
point) counts," Plocki said. "The
smallest little thing can make the
difference between winning and
Like last weekend, Michigan's
weakest event was the beam and
its best event was the uneven
bars. Bernard led all scoring on
From page 1B
coach Red Berenson said, his
team is "young and excitable,"
and momentum means every-
thing. Just look at Michigan
State's NCAA run last year.
But is Michigan the best team
in the nation? No. Not right now.
I don't believe playing the
defending National Champion
Spartans next weekend will be
a bigger test than Notre Dame.
But before the Wolverines travel
to oxford to play conference
co-leader Miami (Ohio) in three
weeks, they'll need to rely less on
lucky bounces and cut down on
sloppy play.
Michigan got away with both
in two blowout wins against
Western Michigan last weekend,
but the same mistakes - turn-
overs and defensive lapses - put
* them down two in just six min-
utes Friday.

bars with a 9.900, winning her
eighth career individual bars
Solid performances on both
vault and floor by Lieberman
and freshman Kari Pierce helped
build a lead going into the final
event, beam.
Pierce again led offboth events
she competed in, continuing her
consistency for the Wolverines.
More confident after her Jan. 11
collegiate debut, Pierce achieved
season highs in vault and floor
"We were obviously the better
team," said Pierce. "We outper-
formed them in three out of the
four events."
Lieberman said the meet was
unusually long because it was
broadcast by the Big Ten Net-
work. The delays hurt the team's
focus going into the final event,
she said.
The Big Ten Network, which
hadn't covered a gymnastics
meet before, wanted to show
each gymnast's score after her
routine. The scoring lag length-
ened the meet by more than an
"The meet was so slow," said
Plocki. "It just sucked the energy
right out of competition."
Although next weekend's
meet against Michigan State will
be televised, gymnasts will alter-
nate events and the cameras will
return to the scores later.
The Wolverines will need to
rebound from Saturday's weak
finish to put together a more pol-
ished meet next weekend as they
take on Michigan State in Ann
While the falls certainlyraised
eyebrows, the gymnasts are con-
fidentthat this was a stumble that
won't become part of Michigan's.
"Everyone looks great in prac-
tice," said Lieberman. "It was
just a couple early-in-the-season
mistakes that are good to get out
of the way."
As Caporusso rightfully said
after his game-winning goal
with 20 seconds left, "I think if
we would've got off to a better
start, we wouldn't have had to
end it like that, even though it was
It doesn't matter how much
heart they have. No. 1 teams can't
get away with that.
Sure, Michigan has had some
impressive games this year. And
the reason the Wolverines are one
of the nation's top teams is that
they know their weaknesses and
aren't afraid to face them. They'll
find more faults after playing
Michigan State this weekend.
With two top-0 CCHA teams
behind them, by the time Michi-
gan heads to oxford, it will be
a more poised and less scrappy
And then, three weeks from
now, we'll see if Michigan is No. 1.
- Ratkowiak can be reached
at cratkowi@umich.edu.

By RYAN KARTJE It was during Harris's 60-meter
For the Daily dash, the Wolverine's record-hold-
er in that event, that the packed
Surrounded by almost 1,400 crowd went silent as it watched
screaming fans at the Indoor Harris blow past the competition.
Track Building, it was nothing but He finished almost four tenths of
beaming smiles and cries of "Hail a second in front of the second-
to the Victors" for the Michigan place finisher with a 6.65.
men's track and field team. "I figured we could take them,"
In a dual meet rivalry known Harris said, "They haven't been
as "The Dual," a chapter of the that competitive in the Big Ten, so
storied rivalry between Michigan we came in pretty confident."
and Ohio State was renewed Sat- Harris's confidence was justi-
urday afternoon after a 15-year fied. He also won the long jump
hiatus with performances defined and the 200-meter dash.
by pure athleticism. Redshirt sophomore thrower
Something Michigan junior Brendan Lodge said Harris is so
Adam Harris has a huge supply athletic he "wouldn't be surprised
of if [he] picked up a pole vault or a
Fittingly, it was Harris who led shot sometime soon and compet-
the Wolverines on a victory lap ed."
holding the brand-new Dual Pen- Ohio State took an early lead
nant, a trophy given to The Dual's with easy victories in the weight
reigning champion, after the Wol- throw and pole vault. Trailing
verines reignited the 100-year old early, it was Michigan sophomore
tradition with a 90-71 victory. captain John Kipf who ignited

the team's performance with a
personal record of seven feet in
the high jump, becoming the first
Wolverine in 13 years to clear
seven feet in the event.
After an overwhelming victory
in the triple jump, Michigan was
locked in aninstant classic, placing
junior captain and All-American
Lex Williams in a neck-and-neck
race with Ohio State All-American
Jeff See in the final lap of the mile
race. Although Williams lost the
race, his effort and determination
defined the rest of the Wolverines'
Trailing 17-16, Michigan pulled
out a huge victory in the 60-meter
hurdles as sophomore Frank Sho-
twell, redshirt freshman Nick
McCampbell and freshman Carl
Buchanon swept the top three
positions. This sweep gave the
Wolverines a lead that they never
lost, posting victories in the final
five events.

Perhaps the most exciting race
of the day took place in the second
heat of the 600-meter dash where
Michigan sophomore Ricky Flem-
ing stole the show. Trailing the
entire race, Fleming waited until
the last straightaway to turn on
the burners just as the Buckeye
leader ran out of gas.
Michigan coach Ron Warhurst
called the team's performance
"fantastic" and "outstanding" and
said it was Michigan's best early-
season performance in 10 years.
Maybe it was the extraordinary
atmosphere, quite uncommon
for a track meet, complete with
screaming fans and cheerleaders,
but the Wolverines had a spring
in their step in the first revival of
The Dual.
After seeing the pride in the
Wolverines' eyes during their vic-
tory lap, it's hard to imagine that
they'll be giving up that pennant
without a fight.

Tannenbaum, Luke fall in upset

Michigan's strong
upperclassmen falter
in loss to Chippewas
Daily Sports Writer
Before No. 4 Michigan's dual meet at Central
Michigan on Sunday, former Chippewas John
Matthews and Tom Minkel became the first
wrestlers in school
history to have their MICHIGAN 13
singlets retired. CENTRAL MICH. 21
A record 4,273 fans
at Rose Arena showed their appreciation through
a lengthy round of applause. But it was two cur-
rent Chippewas who gave a respectful nod to the
past by their performances on the mat.
No.11 Trevor Stewart and No. 7 Brandon Sin-
nott notched upsets over two higher-ranked
Wolverines, leading No. 9 Central Michigan to a
21-13 upsetivictory in MountPleasant and letting
Matthews and Minkell know the torch they lit a
generation ago won't burn out any time soon.
With the Wolverines leading 10-8 after five
matches, fifth-year senior and top-ranked Eric
Tannenbaum endured a controversial takedown
by Stewart halfway through the third period.
Tannenbaum couldn't come back in the closing
moments, losing a 5-3 decision.
Michigan coach Joe McFarland said he was
shocked at the sudden turn of events.
"I thought it wasn't a takedown," McFarland
said. "But there's not much we can do. (The offi-
cials) weren'tgoingto change it."
In the ensuing match at 174 pounds, junior
and No. 4 Steve Luke battled Sinnott to a 4-4 tie
through overtime. But Sinnott's nine seconds of
riding time were enough to earn him a victory
and turn a two-point Wolverine lead into a four-
point deficit.
McFarland expressed his disappointment
over Luke's loss and his concern that Sunday's
defeat could bode poorly for the NCAA Champi-
onships in'March.
"Steve needs to start accumulating riding
time and working a little harder in the top posi-
tion," McFarland said. "He's not paying enough
attention in that positiort. I don't wantto see this

Junior Steve Luke fell in an overtime match this weekend against Central Michigan's Brandon Sinnott.

cost him at the national tournament because he's
not willing to ride these guys."
At 184 pounds, No. 2 Tyrel Todd took a 6-4
decision over No. 4 Christian Sinnott. With the
junior's 17th straight win, the Wolverines cut
Central Michigan's lead to one with two match-
es remaining. But then redshirt freshman No. 18
Anthony Biondo lost 9-1 to No. 5 Wynn Micha-
Down 18-13, Michigan needed a pin at the
heavyweight division against No. 8 Bubba Grit-
ter to win.
But both Wolverine heavyweights, redshirt
freshmen Chad Bleske and Matt Guhn, were too
sick to compete. McFarland went with redshirt
freshman Eddie Phillips, who had wrestled in
just one dual meet all season and gave up 88
pounds to Gritter. Phillips's lack of experience

and the blatant size disadvantage proved too
much as Gritter took a 6-1 decision to win.
For the fourth consecutive meet, the Wol-
verines had to play catch-up after losing the
opening two matches. After falling behind 8-0,
Michigan tallied three consecutive wins at the
middleweights. True freshman and No. 3 Kellen
Russell, seventh-ranked fifth-year senior Josh
Churella and fifth-year senior Jeff Marsh reeled
off wins at 141, 149 and 157 pounds, erasing an
early deficit and giving Michigan its first lead of
the afternoon.
"I thought (they) did a great job to get the
momentum back on ourside," McFarland said.
But four defeats in the final five matches
ripped that momentum away, givingthe Chippe-
was their fourth victory over Michigan in school

From page 2B
Michigan began to roll.
The last time junior Scott Breg-
man, the vault squad's leadoff
man, performed at Cliff Keen, he
sustained an injury that sidelined
him for eight months. On Saturday

night, he performed a full twisting
vault perfectly, sticking the land-
ing. His teammates built on his
performance, cutting Penn State's
lead to a minuscule .75 points.
"It feels so good to get in a good
vault in Keen," said Bregman, who
normally does a harder double-
twisting vault. "I've got some bad
memories here, some demons. I

feel like I could have done the dou-
ble full."
Yoshimura lifted both the team
and crowd with a solid 14.5 paral-
lel-bars routine after the previous
two gymnasts missed theirs to
start the fifth rotation.
Catrambone, in the event lineup
for the first time since last March,
turned in a near-flawless set. By

the time freshman Chris Cameron
capped the rotation with a score
of 15.15, both fans and team were
roaring, sensingthe upcomingvic-
Despite early problems on floor
and horse, Michigan allowed only
positive momentum to snowball.
And unlike in Chicago, the team
kept the energy in the arena steady

throughout the night, with sopho-
more Evan Heiter often starting
responsive cheers with the fans.
"We definitely showed a lot
of teams out there that we can
contend for the title this year,"
Catrambone said. "We're not just
a home team-we're going to bring
this on the road with us next week
in Oklahoma."

For coverage of a
speech by Tiki
Barber and
much more, go to

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