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January 21, 2014 - Image 12

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The Michigan Daily, 2014-01-21

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4B - January 21, 2014

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Can't stop Coon: Freshman stays unbeaten

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ichigan upsets "Gettingthe win right off the
start there was big," McFarland
D. 2 Minnesota said. "It got the crowd going
right away, and helped boost
the confidence of some of our
By ZACH SHAW other guys."
Daily Sports Writer After sophomore Rossi
Bruno's three-point loss to No.
winners of four straight 9 David Thorn, Michigan's
es, it was clear the improbable run began in earnest.
gan wrestling team was on Junior Stephen Dutton, senior
But few could've predicted Eric Grajales and freshman Brian
ie 19th-ranked Wolverines Murphy defeated the No. 5, No.
topple No. 2 Minnesota. 2 and No. 8 wrestlers in their
in front of a near-sellout weight class, respectively.
at Cliff Keen Arena on With each victory, the crowd
y, the Wolverines (3-0 Big grew louder. When Murphy
'-2 overall) did just that, scored a two-point takedown in
ing four top-ten wrestlers the final seconds to seal a come-
19-14 victory over the from-behind 5-3 victory, all
usly undefeated Gophers. 1,300 fans erupted and gave the
h the entire crowd Wolverines a standing ovation
ng and chanting, for earning a 13-3 lead and all
gan freshman Adam Coon the momentum heading into the
wo-time defending NCAA second half.
ion Tony Nelson locked "Murphy had a great win
rips with victory on the to send us into the break,"
after the third round, the McFarland said. "That got a lot
was tied at one apiece, of energy going in the locker
ig the nation's top-two room and put the momentum

on our side. I think that helped
our last five guys hang tough
even though we had some tough
opponents coming up."
As the match resumed, a
victory by senior Dan Yates
gave Michigan a nearly
insurmountable 13 point lead,
but Minnesota (3-1, 7-1) still
had four top-ten wrestlers left.
And the Gophers had previously
defeated four Big Ten teams
- three in the Top 25 - by a
combined score of 124-24, so
winning the final four matches
was well within reach.
One by one, Minnesota
wrestlers looked ready and able
to do just that, winning three
straight matches by a combined
score of 41-13 and setting up the
deciding heavyweight matchup
between Coon and Nelson.
"We needed a moment like
this," McFarland said. "We keep
hammering this home: If you go
out and believe in yourself and
compete and your effort is there
every time, good things are
going to happen."

Hundreds travel to
watch Coon
By BEN FIDELMAN
Daily Sports Writer
Freshman Adam Coon stared
at his feet as he paced the side
of the gym just moments before
his match Sunday afternoon. The
top-two heavyweight wrestlers
in the nation were about to clash,
and Coon had some special fans
contributing to the raucous
atmosphere at Cliff Keen Arena.
Scores of supporters from
Coon's hometown of Fowlerville,
Mich., made the 45-minute trip
south on US-23 to cheer on their
top-ranked hometown product.
Fowlerville has a population
of just under 3,000, and around
200 of them made the journey
to watch their hometown hero
compete on one of the biggest
stages the sport has to offer.
In a crowd that one would
expect to comprise almost

entirely maize and blue there
was another color dominating
the stands: purple. That's
Fowlerville's school color, and
there was enough of a presence in
the building to add a significant
hue to the near-sellout.
The Fowlerville contingency
contributed to a final attendance
that rested at 1,354 and helped
inspire what multiple Michigan
officials called one of the best
wrestling atmospheres in years.
Michigan (3-0 Big Ten, 7-2
overall) was leading the match
16-3 heading into the 174-pound
weight class, but things took
a turn for the worse for the
Wolverines, and they led just
16-14 heading into the final match
of the evening: heavyweight.
Coon and his opponent,
Minnesota fifth-year senior
Tony Nelson, were pacing their
sidelines for minutes as the
previous weight class came to a
conclusion and the time finally
came to decide the dual.
"I was really focused, and then
saw all the purple and thought.

'Wow, there's a lot of people
supporting me,"' Coon said. "It
threw my focus a little, which
was good. I was getting a little too
keyed up, so it helped me to get
a little relaxed and realize that
there was a bunch of hometown
support here."
As Coon took the mat the
crowd cried "Coooon," and the
match began. The match ended
up being a low-scoring one, and
it eventually wound up in a third
overtime period tied, 2-2.
By that point, the anxiety in
the crowd was palpable. Coon
sensed it and began to take more
and more chances, eventually
landing a two-point takedown to
win both the match and the dual
for the Wolverines.
"The place erupted," said
Michigan coach Joe McFarland.
"I couldn't hear myself think."
For the Fowlerville residents,
their love for Coon runs deeper
than his on-the-mat success.
"He's the first high-profile
wrestler to come out from
Fowlerville in a while," Burma
said. "It's given the area someone
to stand behind and rally for.
It creates a lot of talk in the
restaurants and barber shops and
the schools all mention when he's
going to be wrestling."
According to Fowlerville
residents, whenever Michigan has
some time off, Coon is back home
working with the wrestling youth
of Livingston County.
"Ithascertainlyhelpedthenext
generation of wrestlers, especially
the middle schoolers," said trip
coordinator Mindy Burma. "He's
quite an idol to them. Another
nice thing about Adam is that he
is very intelligent, so he talks to
them a lot about working hard on
their academics as well."
Coon is in his first year
of collegiate wrestling, and
is already one of the sport's
biggest stars. In the post-match
autograph session, Coon even had
to have his own table and line, but
to the visitors from Fowlerville
he was just another friend.

heavyweight wrestlers into
overtime. In the third round
of extra time, a failed attack by
Nelson was countered by Coon,
securing the triumph for the
Wolverines and improving the
freshman's collegiate record to
23-0, extending the mark for the
best start in program history.
"If you're a wrestling fan,
you couldn't ask for a better
finish," said Michigan coach
Joe McFarland. "The place
absolutely erupted at the end. I
couldn't even hear myselfthink."
The afternoon began with
an early bang as Michigan
freshman Conor Youtsey nearly
pinned Samuel Brancale just 40
seconds in and dominated the
first two rounds, Youtsey built
up an 11-2 lead before late-match
fatigue narrowed the margin of
victory to 12-6.
Despite surrendering the late
takedowns, the electric crowd
recognized the message: Sunday
belonged to the Wolverines.

The Michigan wrestling team seemed to havea stranglehold on Minnesota on Sunday, but a late Gophers comeback set up the decisive heavyweight competition.

MEN'S TRACK AND FIELD
Wolverines dominate in
non-scoring competition

n
m

Michigan sophomore CindyOfii took first place in the 60-meter hurdles, the 60-meter dash and the 200-meter dash.
M' ominates invitational

By DANNY VARGOVICK
Daily Sports Writer
The No. 13 Michigan
women's track and field team
accomplished exactly what
it wanted to in its second
non-scoring competition,
dominating the Red Simmons
Invitational, a meet named after
the program's first head coach.
"We wanted to get some good
marks," said Michigan coach
James Henry. "We wanted to get
some good starts. For everybody,
that was our first home meet,
so we wanted to post some
good marks, and I think we
accomplished that."
Michigan competed against
Bowling Green, Concordia,
Detroit Mercy, Eastern
Michigan, Marygrove, Notre
Dame and Siena Heights,
as well as some club team
members. The Wolverines, the
top-ranked team in the Big
Ten, had no trouble against
their unranked opponents.
Fifth-year senior Kiley Tobel
finished first in the pole vault
with a mark of 4.25 meters,
breaking her previous school
record of 4.22. Tobel's mark beat
the second-place finish by 0.60
meters as Michigan took first,
second and third in the event.
Tobel was relieved to break

her personal best and school
record again.
"Getting that mark out of the
way takes a lot of the pressure
off and gives me a little bit of
confidence going forward,"
Tobel said. "I always want to
set it higher and leave my mark
here, so just getting that done,
especially so early in the season
already, makes me happy and
makes me a little bit hungrier."
Henry certainly couldn't
be happier with the two-time
captain.
"If you looked for a Michi-
gan Wolverine, there would be
a picture of her, because she's
a great kid, great individual,
great student, great team per-
son and great athlete, and that's
what a Michigan Wolverine is,"
Henry said.
Sophomore Cindy Ofili was
the other key performer, tak-
ing first place in the 60-meter
hurdles, 60-meter dash and 200-
meter dash. Her time of 8.27
seconds in the hurdles beat Jade
Barber of Notre Dame by a mere
0.006 seconds, while her times
of 7.56 in the 60 and 24.45 in the
200 won by 0.7 seconds and 0.93
seconds, respectively.
Ofili's success was certainly
notunprecedented. She took first
place in the 60-meter hurdles
and dash last week at the Grand

Valley Open and found success
in the preliminaries Saturday as
well. Four of the eight qualifiers
for the hurdles were Wolverines,
and senior Erin Busbee joined
Ofili as qualifiers in both the
hurdles and dash.
Michigan's bread and but-
ter has been the mid-distance
races, and it dominated the mile,
taking the top four spots with
the top three breaking the five-
minute mark. Senior Megan
Weschler finished first with a
time of 4:54:50.
Freshman Jaimie Phelan
placed first in the 600-meter run
with a time of 1:34:76, and three
of her teammates finished fifth
through seventh in the event.
Freshman Erin Finn won the
3,000-meter run with a time of
9:15:82, with Wolverines also
taking third and fourth.
"We always can use youth
with our veterans, so we're
always excited about the young
kids coming in and being able to
contribute right away," Henry
said. "We will need that to be in
contention for Michigan State."
After a dominant performance
in the non-scoring portion of the
schedule, the Wolverineswillget
a well-deserved rest. Michigan
won't return to action until Feb.
1 in its first scoring meet against
Michigan State.

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Jerry Clayton being consistent," he said. "So
to be able to come into the first
cakes debut as meet and get all six throws as
fair throws is something to be
lichigan coach happy about."
Both Riffle and Dennis take
By MINH DOAN on responsibility as leaders of
Daily Sports Writer the rest of the throwers, and on
Saturday, the duo led by example.
rmer Auburn coach Jerry "I think the best way to lead is
on stood on the sidelines to lead by example," Dennis said.
e Indoor Track Building "If someone sees you putting
the Simmons-Harvey in the work and knows what it
tional. takes to be at your level, I think
instead of wearing blue that's just as effective."
range, Clayton rocked a While many of the top
and blue polo. Wolverine runners were not
e non-scoring event was competing in the meet due to
on's first meet coaching the the short
gan men's track and field track, the
as he looks to revitalize a long-distance
am that finished second- team did Our goa
t in last year's Big Ten well. It swept .b
pionship. the podium estabhs
a very successful meet positions in
layton's Wolverines, the the mile and pattern4
distance teams and the placed first
'ing teams delivered with and third in
performances. the 1000-
ding the way for the meter race.
'ing team was captain and Junior long-distance runner
irt junior shot putter Cody Jeff Sattler's performance stood
, who won his event with a out in the mile with a time of
ng throw of 17.38 meters. 4:15:62.
other star performer was "Our goal was to establish
irt senior weight thrower good patterns early," Sattler
Dennis. His 20.32-meter said. "Being the first race of the
blew away the rest of the year, we didn't want to take a
n his first win of the season. step backwards."
ennis seemed more pleased Former Michigan runner Jeff
11 six of his attempts were Porter, who graduated in 2007
legal throws. and participated in the 2012
ne of the biggest things Olympics, also made a return to
ave been working on is the University in the 60-meter

hurdles and the 60-meter
dash. He participated as an
unattached runner and finished
with a time of 7.68 seconds in
the hurdle finals, breaking the
facility record.
"Whenever Jeff Porter and I
get a chance to race, it's always
fun," said Michigan senior
hurdler Herman Washington.
Washington placed third
in the 60-meter hurdles final
and said that it was a mediocre
performance by his standards.
Though Michigan finished the
meet with four personal bests
and five wins, the first meet of
any track season is usually less
about wins and
losses and more
about the team
l was to as a whole and
individually.
h g"First meets
,, regardless of
-early program is
just to give you
a marker for
where you're
at," Clayton said. "These meets
in January are for us to do a lot
of evaluation of the team."
While the Wolverines will
continue to evaluate their
performance throughout the
rest of January, the coach
explained that they need to
continue putting in work leading
up to the Big Ten championships
in late February.
"It's a beginning, not an end,"
Clayton said. "We just need
to keep moving in a positive
direction."

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