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February 06, 2012 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 2012-02-06

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2B - February 6, 2012

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Balance is goodfor Michigan-Michigan State rivalry

WenMichigan State
visited Crisler Center
two weeks ago, you
might remember that the 60-59
balgame was Michigan's third
straight vic-
tory in the
rivalry. Or you
might remem-
ber specifics.
it was Trey
Burke's dish
to Stu Dou-
glass for the STEPHEN J.
game-win- NESBITT
ning layup.
Maybe it was
the lockdown defense in the
final 31.4 seconds. Maybe it was
seeing the Spartans walk off the
court with their heads bowed,
But, more than likely, your
lasting memory isn't something
that happened on the court.
It's Denard Robinson and
Roy Roundtree bouncing up and
down in the front row of the
student section, donning maize
shirts and dancingto the Blues
Brothers. That was captivating.
It's OK to remember that.
Try to remember the guy
standing, singing, jumping next
to Denard. Not Roy - the guy on
the other side. He had a maize
No.1 jersey painted on his body.
At first, people thought it was
Lloyd Brady, then it wasn't.
It was Zac Boyd, a senior Engi-
neeringstudent. For one night,
his face was plastered across
Twitter and ESPN, as he was for-
tunate enough to have been Rob-
inson's bench buddy in a thriller
against Michigan State.
But that's not important. It's
his backstory that brought him

non Brown, Paul Davis, Drew
Nietzel. You remember the win-
I knew Michigan football,
though. Mike Hart, John
Navarre and Braylon Edwards
were a little more memorable
(and somewhat less criminal)
than Jeff Smoker, Charles Rog-
ers and T.J. Duckett.
That all has changed, obvious-
ly. You'd be a fool not to notice
that the tide has shifted.
Michigan State has toppled
Michigan four straight seasons
on the gridiron. The Wolverines
responded with three consecu-
tive victories on the hardcourt
for the first time since 1998 -
wins that were later vacated
after the Robert Traylor inves-
The Spartans defended
home court valiantly yesterday,
downing Michigan 64-54 at the
Breslin Center. It was a little
ugly. Draymond Green tied the
entire Wolverine team with 16
It's OK. Really. Rivalries
swing back and forth, that's the
beauty of them.
As the clock wound down at
the Breslin Center yesterday, the
Izzone shot one last barb toward
the Michigan bench.
"Where is Shoelace?" the stu-
dent section chanted.
He wasn't there. Neither was
his bench buddy Zac. The night
belonged to Sparty, but that's
not the whole season. The fall
doesn't belong to Michigan any-
more, and the Spartans finally
have competition in the winter.
- Nesbitt can be reached
at stnesbit@umich.edu or on
Twitter: @stephenjnesbitt.

Engineering senior Zac Boyd, standing alongside Roy Roundtree and Denard Robinson, cheers Michigan's Jan.17 victory against Michigan State at CI

onto this page.
Zac graduated from Grand
Ledge High School a few years
back. He went to school with Al
Horford. He went to school with
Jon Horford. He went to school
with ... me.
Zac played Little League base-
ball with me. We were in French
Club together.
Still not important.
He's from Spartan country,
right smack dab in the heart of
it. If you've never ventured near
East Lansing, it's a Utopian place,
where traditions are passed
down from generation to genera-
It's the kind of place where
every teacher is a Michigan State

grad, where every grandpa doffs
his Spartan cap at you on the
sidewalk. It's the kind of place
where every child has a trade-
mark Michigan joke.
"You've got a stain on your
"That big 'M.' I think you
spilled something on your shirt."
Sometimes it's a little less
"I like you, but I hate Michi-
Fair enough. It's a rivalry. It's
about taking a punch and react-
ing with a right of your own.
If author and professor John
U. Bacon has his facts straight,
the "Spartans" moniker came as

a response to Ann Arbor being
dubbed the Athens of the West.
Point. Counterpoint.
In the first decade of the mil-
lennium, the Michigan college
sports scene was pretty struc-
turally sound. Fall was football
season. Football season was for
Michigan. Winter was basket-
ball season. Basketball season
was for the Spartans. (We could
stretch back into the 1990s and
the trend holds, but then we'd be
trudgingthrough my infancy.)
No need to mess with success.
Michigan has gone to11 bowl
games - five BCS games - since
2000, but has only two NCAA
Tournament appearances.
Michigan State has seen

eight bowl games - zero BCS
- but hasn't missed the NCAA
Tournament since 1997 and has
reached five Final Fours since
Rivalry games were tight, for
the most part. (Raise your hand
if you're willing to forget the
Spartans' 114-63 win in 2000.)
But by the end of the season, the
sentiment remained: The state
was painted maize in the fall,
green in the winter. Football
school versus basketball school.
Neither knew success in the
other's realm.
I didn't know Michigan bas-
ketball until I stepped foot on
campus. I knew the Spartans.
Mateen Cleaves, Mo Pete, Shan-

Osika proves her mettle at Meyo

Greenlee, Washington shine

For the Daily
In a sea of hundreds of ath-
letes, a modest freshman from
Waterford, Mich. shined.
This past weekend, the No.
23 Michigan women's track and
field team attended the Notre
Dame Meyo Invitational.
At the event, Michigan wom-
en's track and field freshman
Shannon Osika proved that class
standing is really just a label.
Osika was one of the 14 Wol-
verines that had top-10 perfor-
mances this past weekend. She
placed first in the Meyo Mile
with the eighth-fastest time in
the country and a personal best
of 4:38.42. Osika also beat her
personal-best of 4:41.31, which
she set at the team's meet at
Nebraska on Jan. 28.
"It was her turn today, (Osika)
was the freshest competitor, and
we're hoping we'll get many good
performances out of her. I know
the other athletes will step up
as well," said Michigan coach
James Henry.
Henry was also referring to
teammates junior Jillian Smith,
who placed second, and junior
Rebecca Addison, who placed
Osika also led the distance
medley relay to place first,
running the 1,200-meter leg,

followed by senior Brittani Wil-
liams, Smith and Addison. This
was the team's first time com-
peting in the distance medley
relay this season, obtaining a
first-place finish with a time of
Because of their score, the
team is already NCAA Division-
I qualified, having beaten the
qualifying time of 11:03.50. Their
time is the fourth fastest in the
nation, and the best time of any
Big Ten team so far.
"It felt really good, really great
for my confidence," Osika said. "It
makes me excited for the future,
for the future meets, and seeing
what I can do for my team."
The team also got good perfor-
mances out of sophomore Taylor
Pogue, sophomore Amber Smith
and redshirt sophomore Kiley
Tobel. Pogue placed third in the
mile run, Amber Smith placed
third in the 60-meter hurdles
and Tobel placed fourth in the
pole vault. The athletes had
the upcoming Big Tens on their
minds, and used this event to
prepare themselves for the event,
their most important of the sea-
"I think I need to work on my
speed a little bit," Pogue said. "I
think my endurance was there,
and I have a good base, but I
need to work on my turnover at
the end of the race. And I think

I need to improve on my overall
race strategy."
Tobel has been hard at work
this season with assistant coach
Shean Conlon, perfecting her
pole vaulting in light of the
upcoming Big Tens. She tied in
fourth place at Notre Dame after
placing second at their meet at
"There was a lot of good com-
petition, so it was good jump-
ing against some competitors in
the Big Ten," Tobel said. "But I
would liked to have jumped high-
er today but I still am working on
things and getting ready for Big
Tens a couple weeks from now."
The main thing on the girls'
minds is preparing for the Big
Tens on February 24th and
25th. The SPIRE Invitational is
another opportunity before the
Big Tens for the girls to get ready,
both with their performance and
their mentality.
"Just got to keep moving
ahead, and as I would call it stay
connected," Henry said. "And
by that I mean as the competi-
tion improves, we must improve.
As conditions change, we must
change with the conditions. This
was a big track, our first 300-
meter track - 300-plus meter
track - and we stepped up to the
conditions. As the competition
improves, it's important that we
must improve."

By GREG GARNO though, both set lifetime bests
For the Daily in their respective events, the
hurdles and pole vault, duringthe
Michigan's men's track and weekend.
field coach Fred LaPlante may Washington, who has con-
have more depth on his squad sistently finished near the top
this season than he originally of each of his races, had another
thought. fantastic performance. His time
At the Notre Dame Meyo Invi- of 8.00 seconds in the 60-meter
tational on Friday and Saturday, hurdles was only hundredths of
LaPlante and his squad walked a second better than his last, but
away with a number of positives, hundredths of a second turns out
including a surprise finish from tobe several feet in this event.
a team of young runners. The Washington, though, did not
distance medley relay team of begin the meet on a good note, as
sophomore Nathan Karr, redshirt he barely qualified for his second
freshman James Yau, freshman record-setting run. Washington
Brian Snyder and freshman Dan wasn't pleased with his first per-
Martin took second place with a formance, but realized that he
time of 9:54 in a field including had bounced back nicely.
Ohio State and Indiana. "I felt like my start (of the
LaPlante rested redshirt soph- meet) was pretty bad, but then I
omore Bradley James, redshirt ended up adjusting and was able
sophomore Ethan Dennis, and to bounce back," Washington
redshirt senior Craig Forys dur- said. "But I reacted well and I felt
ing the non-scoring Notre Dame more comfortable on the steps in
Invitational in preparation for the end."
the upcoming SPIRE Invitational Washington is aware ofhow he
in Geneva, Ohio. Agood indicator has maintained success through-
of how the Wolverines will fare out the season though, and what
against stiff competition from the he must continue to do.
Big Ten and SEC, the Invitational "I feel my focus this year is
requires a well-rested squad. more competing rather than run-
"Next week is really a big deal ning for time," Washington said.
for us, and we'll have all of our "When I think about trying to
best guys competing," LaPlante run a certain time, there's a lot
said. more pressure on me. I end up
Sophomore Herman Wash- tryingto run faster, then I realize
ington and junior Jack Greenlee that I'm trying to beat the person

in the lane next to me."
Greenlee, a junior pole vaulter,
has also set multiple personal
records early in the season, and
his jump of 16 feet, 11 inches was
another feat in a successful sea-
son. Though for Greenlee, this
personal best was somewhat
bittersweet, as he was unable to
reach his goal of 17 feet.
LaPlante noted that despite
Greenlee's inability to clear 17
feet, he is still proud of his work
ethic and ability to finish against
some strongcompetition.
"I think he'svery determined,"
LaPlante said. "I like his attitude
because he is atrue competitor. I
don't think he fears anybody and
I think he knows he has to work
hard to do well."
Greenlee is optimistic after
Saturday's performance though,
as he finds himself in prime posi-
tion for this month's Big Ten
LaPlante knows that every
track meet is worthwhile though,
even when his stars aren't com-
"Any time you go to a meet
in the sport of track and field,
something good always hap-
pens," LaPlante said. "Somebody
always has to do something well
and sometimes there's not always
a guy at the top of the heat, but
there's always a way to build con-



Michigan tops Spartans for 35th consecutive season

Michigan State
hasn't beaten
Michigan since 1977
For the Daily
Entering Saturday afternoon's
dual meet, the Michigan men's
swimming team hadn't lost to
Michigan State since 1977.
That streak was kept alive,
as the Wolverines defeated the
Spartans 186-102 on senior night
at Canham Natatorium in Ann
No. 4 Michigan (9-0, 4-0 Big
Ten) dominated in its final dual
meet of the season, sweeping
Michigan State in all 16 events.
Starting with a 100-yard back-
stroke win by senior Jan Konar-
zewski with a time of 49.69

seconds and finishing with a
200-yard freestyle relay win by
Michigan's A relay team - con-
sisting of Konarzewski, junior
Miguel Ortiz, freshman Bruno
Ortiz, and senior Dan Madwed
(1:22.40) - the Wolverines treat-
ed the meet as an opportunity to
warm up for the Big Ten Cham-
"Michigan State's not too
good," Madwed said. "But
they're always our last meet and
they're a good tune-up to prac-
tice the little things before we
head off to Big Tens."
Michigan coach Mike Bot-
tom echoed Madwed's senti-
ment, saying "we're just getting
ourselves ready for the Big Ten
Championships. That's going to
be a tough battle with Ohio, and
we'll see what comes of that. But
these guys are ready, and they'll
swim well."

Along with the f
victory, Madwed w
vidual 200-yard fre
time of 1:38.23 and
butterfly in a time o
Konarzewski, M
Casey Sreen-
an and Dane
were all hon-
ored through-
out the meet
- their last at
Bottom had
only glow-
ing things to
say about his
senior class.
"If you look at th
what we're graduat
we're not losing sot
but the personaliti
ership that they b

reestyle-relay incredible," Bottom said. "Those
von the indi- guys have led this team, and are
estyle with a my first group here at Michi-
the 200-yard gan. We have bonded and talked
f 1:50.44. about what they want to create,
adwed, Chris and you saw this group stick
"Their aca-
demics and
"They had a community
service are all
lot of fun, and strong, and
they all want
that's half the to be Michigan
battle, right?" Bottom gave
the upper-
to shine on Saturday, going with
ie points, and a more senior-heavy lineup than
ing, you think he normally would.
nething huge, "It was fun," Bottom said.
es and lead- "Guys got to swim some differ-
ring are just ent events. I tried to put some

seniors into the events that they
would do well in, and they did."
Vanderkaay - the youngest of
four Vanderkaay brothers, who
have all left legacies at Michigan
- placed first in the 500-yard
freestyle, outlasting sophomore
Ryutaro Kamiya and Michigan
State's Pat Falconer with a time
of 4:36.93.
"It's something that my broth-
ers and I can share as we get
older," Vanderkaay said. "It's
something that I always like to
take pride in.
"That was my first dual-meet
win, so it was pretty exciting
bringing the best for last. I'm
going to miss this place a lot, and
I'm glad I was able to win in my
last meet."
Other notable performers
included sophomore Connor
Jaeger, who won the 400-yard
individual medley with a time

of 3:59.16; junior Roman Willets,
who won the 100-yard freestyle
with a time of 45.04; junior Con-
nor McCarroll, who won the 200
backstroke with atime of 1:50.60;
and sophomore Kyle Duckitt,
who won the 200 breaststroke
with a time of 2:04.00.
The Ortiz brothers also found
individual success on Saturday:
Bruno won the 200 individual
medley and Miguel won the 100
Michigan is looking to con-
tinue its success at the Ohio State
Invitational next week.
Bottom is confident in his
team's chemistry moving for-
ward to the Big Ten Champion-
ships in Iowa City, which begins
on Feb. 22.
"(Saturday's meet) got them
together as a team, and they had
a lot of fun, and that's half the
battle, right?" Bottom said.


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