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April 12, 2010 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 2010-04-12

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2B - April 12, 2010

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Wolverines get seven
first-place finishes

By JIMMY SHEN for improvement.
For the Daily "We are looking for some more
personal records," Liske said.
After a rather disappointing "Expectations for ourselves are
indoor season, the Michigan wom- pretty high, and I don't think any-
en's track and field team is defi- one has met their expectation
nitely happy to see such a smooth for the season yet. You just got to
transition outdoors. remind yourself you know what
"Usually the transition from you're doing and you do this every
indoor to outdoor is kind of rough," day of the week. You come in and
redshirt sophomore Allison Liske work your butt off and do what you
said. "The sprinters are moving know how to do, and hopefully the
a longer distance for the sprints, results will find you in the right
and the throwers are moving from spot."
one to three events, and some of us Day two of competition saw a
from two to three, but so far, it's much better showing throughout
been a pretty smooth transition." the roster. Redshirt junior Abbey
The Wolverines packed their Breiedenstein took first place in
bags for the 2,000-mile journey the pole vault, and junior Lauren
out to California to compete in the Young took first place in the high
three-day Rafer Johnson/Jackie jump - the first time in her col-
Joyner Kersee Invitational. The legiate career. Freshman Kaitlyn
weekend was full of championship- Patterson also impressed by taking
caliber performances worthy of the second place in the 5,000-meter
team'sburgeoning expectations. with a time of 17:14.27, improving
Michigan saw some of its tough- her previous season low by 22 sec-
est competition at this meet, but onds. Pendleton also set a new per-
that did not seem to faze the young sonal record in the shot put, taking
team, as they have already notched third place with a mark of 13.43
six first-place finishes and 22 top- meters.
three finishes in the first three Despite the departure of the
weekends of the outdoor season. strong 2009 senior class, this year's
in day one of competition, fresh- team is not showing any signs
man Erin Pendleton and redshirt of inexperience, especially with
sophomore Allison Liske set new junior captains Danielle Tauro and
personal records in the hammer Emily Pendleton, Emily's older sis-
throw, placing fifth and eighth in ter, leading the way. In just three
the event, respectively. But accord- days of competition at UCLA,
ing to Liske, there is always room Tauro and Pendleton combined for

four first place finishes. Tauro took
first place in both the 800 meter
run and in the mile run. It was her
first time running the mile out-
"I need to continue to work my
way up, and hopefully my progress
will be moving at the same rate as
the level of competition," Tauro
said. Then hopefully my body will
be ready to run faster at those plac-
es. I'm just more interested in get-
ting my body ready to run fast and
peak at the right time, instead of
peakingtoo early."
Emily Pendleton also shined,
showing off her strength by win-
ning the shot put and discus event.
Pendleton has now won the discus
at all three invitationals she has
participated in this year.
"I'm just happy with how I'm
doing and hoping to do better,"
Pendleton said. "I am ready to
throw farther, and I got to keep
being patient with myself and go
for that."
In the end, the team was able to
rack up seven first-place finishes -
three on the track and four in the
"We're happy but never satis-
fied," Liske said. "You just gotta say
'Hip hip hooray,' pat yourself on the
back, and then move forward. It's
going to take some bigger marks
than what happened this weekend
to place in the Big Tens and region-
als and nationals as well."

Sophomore quarterback Tate Forcier made his debut at the Big House in last year's Spring Game, which drew nearly 50,000
fans to Michigan Stadium. Forcier started every game for the Wolverines last season with Denard Robinson also getting time at
the quarterback position. This year, the two, plus early enrollee Devin Gardner, are locked in a preseason quarterback battle.
Why you should go to
football's Spring Game

'M' finishes 12th while
battling bad weather

Thompson and Kim
are bright spots for
the Wolverines.
For the Daily
The Michigan men's golf team
went to Raleigh, North Carolina
expecting great weather and good
scoring conditions at the Wolf-
pack Invitational.
And they got them - in the
practice round on Thursday.
Unfortunately, when tourna-
ment play started on Friday, the
conditions were far from ideal.
"The first day it was extreme-
ly windy," said Michigan coach
Andrew Sapp. "We'd gotten
almost an inch of rain the night
before the first round, so the ball
wasn't rolling at all, so it made a
long course even longer."
With the poor weather, the
Wolverines were unable to keep
up with the pace set by North
Carolina, falling 29 strokes off
the lead and sitting in 16th out of
18 teams. The only real positive
for the Wolverines was that both
sophomore Matt Thompson and

junior Lion Kim stood just three
strokes off the individual lead.
The three remaining Wolver-
ine players, however, stood firmly
at the bottom of the leaderboard,
with freshman Jack Schultz and
junior Alexander Sitompul tied at
84th and freshman Rahul Bakshi
in 80th. With the course playing
tough, Schultz, Sitompul, and
Bakshi posted first round scores
of 79, 80 and 81, driving the Wol-
verines out of contention.
"We're a good enough team
where we shouldn't have three
guys in the bottom 10," Kim says.
With better weather for the
final round on Saturday, Michigan
improved and drew upon many
positives after a tough first day.
After a 18-over 36 holes, Sitompul
shot a two-under 69 that includ-
ed an eagle on the tough par-five
first hole.
Thompson continued his strong
play with an even-par round that
earned him a tie for third. If not
for bogies on three of the four
par fives, he could have earned
the individual tournament win, a
strong confidence boost during a
tough outing for the Wolverines.
"I'm glad to see Matt play well
this week after not playing very

well the last tournament," Sapp
said. "It's good to see him getting
his game back in shape near the
end of the season."
Overall though, it seemed like
it was the same story for Michi-
gan on both days of the tour-
nament. Two players had good
rounds and the other three play-
ers' rounds hurt the Wolverines'
team score. In the final round,
Kim shot three-over, Schultz
posted a four-over round, and
Bakshi shot five-over.
"We wanted to climb up five
or six spots because we felt that
there were five or six teams that
(we felt) we could catch with a
good round," Sapp said.
With the Big Ten Champion-
ships and NCAA regionals com-
ing up, it will be important for the
Wolverines to have every member
of the team trusting each other
to play good golf. Kim says a new
attitude for the playoffs will help
accomplish that.
"It's game time, really," Kim
says. "We're gonna go out there
with a new mindset, with an atti-
tude of, 'This is a new tourna-
ment,' and just not worry about
where we stand and play good

When I was in elementa-
ry school, my dad used
to pack the car one Sat-
urday in April and drive me and
a few friends down to Ann Arbor
for the Michigan Football Spring
Game. Back then, it was actually a
pretty low-key
affair. Lloyd
Carr never
opened the
playbook - you
know, just in
case John Coo-
per or JoePa
happened to
be at the Big ANDY
House for the REID
Some years
the "game" resembled a pregame
warm-up stretch. Some years the
offense and defense actually ran
a few bare-bones plays on each
And, for a youngster like
myself, there really wasn't a whole
lot to get excited about other than
frantically trying to get players'
autographs after the game.
But last year wasn't your typi-
cal Michigan Spring Game.
The Rich Rodriguez-style is to
go all out - that included a game

that actually had excitement and,
you know, the collective elements
that comprise a "sporting event."
It had the element of surprise;
Tate Forcier, at that point just an
enigma, a huge question mark
and the team's most promis-
ing sign of hope for the future,
played the whole game and gave
Michigan fans something to look
forward to.
There was also the amazing
alumni game, which not only was
fun to watch but it also helped
quell some of the rumors and
speculation that some former
Michigan players were jumping
off the RichRod bandwagon.
And fans were treated to a
tour of the locker room at the Big
House, a very rare and treasured
occurrence for the biggest maize-
and-blue supporters.
Oh, and don't forget about the
50,000-plus fans that came, by far
the largest crowd ever at a Wol-
verines' Spring Game.
My point is this: Rodriguez has
made this an event worth going to.
I've talked to quite a few stu-
dents who don't seem that inter-
ested in going to the game.
Maybe it's the team's subpar (a
generous adjective here, I know)

performance in the last few sea-
sons, or maybe it's the fact that
finals are rapidly approaching,
but I'm surprised that there are
so many students who seemingly
plan on skipping it.
I'm here to tell you to go.
It was a great time last year,
and, like then, you'll get a first
chance to see an uber-hyped
quarterback in his first appear-
ance in a Michigan uniform.
And if you, like me, are a senior,
you've got no excuse not to at least
check it out. I'm coming to the
realization that this Saturday is
probably the last Michigan sport-
ing event I'll attend as a student of
the University. That lends itself to
some pretty mad nostalgia oppor-
tunities. Whew.
You may disagree with some
of the changes Rodriguez has
made in his time at Michigan,
but the kinks he tweaked out
of the Spring Game have really
made it fun. And, at the end of the
day, you're still a Michigan fan,
because Michigan fans are not
fair-weathered; come support the
Andy can be reached at

Blue continues to roll Big Ten foes.

Michigan comes up short in
outdoor version of 'The Dual'

New to their events,
Forys and Strizich
are two of six
first-place finishers
Daily Sports Writer
After a 22-point loss to Ohio
State in the indoor version of "The
Dual" in January, the Michigan
men's track and field team traveled
to Columbus on Saturday with a lot
to prove, underneath sunny skies
and 65 degree weather.
Coming into the meet, the Wol-
verines knew they would need
elite performances from all over
the roster to beatthe Buckeyes. But
those came few and far between,
as Ohio State pulled away with the
116-84 victory.
"We knew that if everybody on
our team performed their best,
we'd have a pretty good chance of
winning," Michigan coach Fred
LaPlante said.
And after the first few events,
it looked like the Wolverines had
a good chance of earning a season
split with their arch-rivals. Senior
Sean Pruitt won the discus and the

hammer throw, and sophomore
Robert Peddlar won the triple
jump as Michigan jumped out to
an early lead.
"We were tremendous for
the early part of the meet, and
I thought that was very good,"
LaPlante said.
Junior captain Craig Forys was
also a big part of that early success,
making quite a first impression in
the process.
Forys ran the 3,000 meter
steeplechase on Saturday for the
first time in his career-and won it
with a meet record time of 9:00.60,
besting the previous mark set by
Ohio State's Ian Connor.
Consisting of 28 ordinary jumps
and seven water jumps over the
course of the race, the steeple-
chase is not an easy event to get
used to, let alone dominate.
But Forys seemed right where
he belonged, perfectly in his ele-
"Judging by how things went
today, it feels like a really fun race,"
Forys said about the steeplechase.
"It's definitely different."
But unfortunately for the Wol-
verines, they could not sustain any
of that early momentum.
Michigan won only six out of
the 19 total events, and the Buck-

eyes ran away with the win.
"We had a few events where we
rose to the occasion," LaPlante
said. "But we also had a couple
events where we felt like we had
a chance to win and didn't, so
that certainly changed the tide of
One competitor who did exceed
LaPlante's expectations was soph-
omore Joe Strizich.
Strizich, who is normally a
decathlete, won the javelin with
a throw of 193 feet-11 inches. The
throw shattered his previous per-
sonal best by nearly 30 feet.
Strizich attributed his success
to a slower approach to the throw
and a different mental game plan.
"I was trying to focus on hitting
my positions, and just stay focused
on competing and not necessarily
how far the javelin goes," Strizich
His new strategy worked, and
his newfound confidence will be
valuable as the Wolverines look to
continue to improve in the follow-
ing weeks, with the Big Ten Cham-
pionships just a month away.
"I know now that I can slow
down and focus on my position,"
Strizich said. "So that's a really
important thing to be comfortable
with at this point in the season."

Daily Sports Writer
With Penn State and Ohio State
traveling to Ann Arbor, the No. 3
Michigan women's tennis team
needed wins against two of its
most storied rivals in order to
build a cushion on its Big Ten lead.
Instead of coming up short in
the big moments, the Wolverines
(7-0 Big Ten, 17-3 overall) stepped
it up a notch and are sitting atop
the conference even more com-
fortably now, after shutting out
the Nittany Lions 7-0 on Saturday,
and then dominating the Buckeyes
6-1 on Sunday.
The two much-needed victories
showed that Michigan is the clear-
cut favorite to win the conference
and potentially threaten for the
top national ranking.
"To be honest, I don't think that
we expected to be in the top five,"
Michigan junior Denise Muresan
said. "We knew that we had the
ability to beat every team that we
play, but we didn'tknow if we could
put it all together. After these wins
and beating Northwestern, I defi-
nitely have the confidence in our
team to win Big Ten's."
Penn State didn't do much other
than show up in the weekend's first
matchup. The Wolverines domi-
nated from the get-go, sweeping,
the three doubles matches to take
the first point.
The Nittany Lions only man-
aged to win four games in those
three doubles matches combined.
The Wolverines then kept their

feet on the gas pedal, winning all
six singles matches in straight
sets. Penn State only saw a single
set finish closer than 6-2.
The next day, the Buckeyes at
least made the Wolverines break
a sweat.
Ohio State opened the match
firing on all cylinders, jumping up
by an early break at No. 2 and No.
3 doubles, and by two early breaks
at No. 1.
But despite the early deficits
and a surprisingly boisterous
Buckeye cheering section, Michi-
gan turned things around quickly,
with juniors Whitney Taney and
Rika Tatsuno taking No. 1 doubles,
and Muresan and senior Tania
Mahtani winning at No. 3, both by
8-5 scores.
Freshman Mimi Nguyen and
sophomore Michelle Sulahian
couldn't pull out their match at
No. 2 doubles, but it didn't matter,
as the Wolverines took the doubles
point and the early 1-0 lead.
Michigan coach Ronni Bern-
stein attributes much of the team's
success to their strong doubles
play. The Wolverines are 17-2
when winning the doubles point
- a feat they have accomplished in
14 consecutive matches - and are
20-1 in Big Ten doubles matches.
"I think it gives the girls con-
fidence," Bernstein said. "We are
really disciplined in our doubles
play. They don't panic because we
put them in so many different situ-
ations in practice. When they are
confident, like they are right now,
it carries over into matches. We

got really good starts on all the
courts and just went from there."
Despite the lopsided score, the
singles wins didn't come without
difficulty either.
With Nguyen's match dead-
locked at 4-4 in the first set, nei-
ther team had taken control of
the majority of singles matches.
Nguyen then played an exhausting
game lasting as long as an entire
set, saving game point after game
point, finally prevailing with the
break and the 5-4 lead.
The crowd erupted after Nguy-
en's break, and she and the Wol-
verines started clicking from that
point on.
She cruised to an easy 6-4, 6-4
victory - her 12th in a row - and
was joined with straight-set wins
by Tatsuno and Sulahian. Mahtani
also came back from a set down to
take her match.
Muresan won in three sets -
her ninth consectutive singles
victory - improving her record to
30-10 on the year.
With the victory, Michigan
extends it Big Ten conference
lead over Northwestern. The Ohio
State triumph was the Wolverines'
100th victory at the Varsity Tennis
Center and their 11th in a row.
"We are playing so well because
we're putting out a great team
effort and battling on every single
court," Bernstein said. "I can't
attribute our success to any one
player, but we really have great
chemistry and that's a big reason
why we are one of the top five
teams in the country."

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