Bev Plocki and Carol Hutchins
are among the most successful
coaches at the University but Wednesday
m own. For details see page 14.Daly , 1997 1
By Chris Farah
Daily Sports Editor
The form taken by greatness is often
True, this does sound like a phrase
found on the crinkled strip of paper
inside a fortune cookie. But the idea is
not without validity.
For proof, one needs to search no fur-
'her than Kevin Sullivan.
Relatively mild-mannered, thin and of
moderate stature, the native of Ontario
seems to fit the
\ bill for some
kind of Canadian
version of Clark
alter - ego
when one exam-
accomplishments - which could very
easily belong to the Man of Steel.
The distance runner's ridiculously
extensive resume includes three NCAA
track championships, eight Big Ten track
championships, three Big Ten records,
three Canadian national records ...
You get the point.
0 This list of achievements demands the
question: Is Sullivan the greatest
Michigan track athlete of all time?
A quick scan of the record books pro-
vides no solid conclusions. Sullivan
appears frequently, but so do many others.
To find Sullivan's true worth, one
must look beyond the numbers.
In 1996, bursitis in Sullivan's right
achilles put a temporary halt to what had
d een a spectacular career. After missing
wo seasons because of his injury,
Sullivan's greatness was truly tested.
How many athletes have dominated
their sports, only to succumb to a nag-
ging injury? Aside from the obvious
By Chris Farah
Daity Sports Editor
Michigan track star Kevin Sullivan has
a knack for doingthings on a grand scale.
In his first thee years of collegiate
competition, Sullivan established a huge
reputation - winning three national and
seven Big Ten championships.
Then Sullivan's career was stopped
short -again, in a very big way.
Bursitis in his right ankle forced
Sullivan to sit out the 1996 cross country
season and the 1997 indoortrack season.
Now, only 20 weeks have passed since
Sullivan began his comeback bid. And
once again, Sullivan is doing it big.
Still far from top form, Sullivan set a
new Canadian record in the 1,500 meter
run with a time of 3:35.19 at Gottlieb-
Daimler Stadium in Stuttgart, Germany,
on July 13. Sullivan's time was only
good enough for sixth place, but still
managed to beat the former Canadian
record of 3:35.27.
Sullivan already holds the Canadian
records in the indoor and outdoor mile
(1,600 meters), but his record-setting
time in the 1,500 was unexpected.
"I kind of surprised myself," Sullivan
said. "I'm very strong right now, and I
can run pretty well off a fast pace. I got
in there and ran, and it just happened.'
Following his performance in
Germany, Sullivan placed second at last
weekend's Canadian championships.
His time of 3:46.54 at the Canadian
nationals nut him less than one second
behind winner Graham Hood -the pre-
vious owner of Canada's 1,500 record.
Sullivan's performance at the champi-
onships served as an indication of the
progress of his training. Hood managed
to outkick him at the end of the race,
meaning Sullivan will have to work on
speed training in the weeks to come.
"I really need to work on my closing
speed right now," Sullivan said. "I can
handle a fast pace, but when it comes
down to a slow pace where I have to kick
really hard, I can only get to a certain
point and then I'm maxed out."
The second-place finish at the nation-
al meet would have qualified Sullitn
for the world championships beginning
Aug. 1 in Athens, but he had already
earned a spot at the competition with his
time in Germany - meeting the quali-
fying standard of 3:37.
Although Sullivan's injury prevented
him from competing in the 1996
Olympics, he has experience on the
world level. Sullivan placed fifth in the
1,500 at the 1995 world championships.
"I'm going to take it one race at a
time," Sullivan said. "I'm looking to get
back into the final heat. Fromthere, any-
thing can happen."
0, CANADA: Michigan sent another
athlete to the Canadian championships
-- with results mirroring Sullivan's.
Nicole Forrester placed second in the
high jump with a mark of 5-foot-10 1/2.
Forrester will join Sullivan in represent-
ing Canada at the world chamoionshios.
After only 20 weeks of post-injury training, Kevin Sullivan is still compiling record
times. He set the Canadian outdoor 1,500-meter record last week in Germany.
physical obstacle his injury presented,
such a blow can do irreparable harm to an
athlete's motivation and self confidence.
How must it feel for a man accus-
tomed to winning every race to return
after several months off, discovering he
lost the edge he worked so hard to gain?
For many of the best athletes, having to
start all over again - having to develop
strength, as well as the speed to win a
race in the final stretch - would have
been too much to endure.
Considering the glory Sullivan
attained in the past, it would have been
easier to ride out his college career
enjoying the place in Michigan history
he had already earned.
But that simply was not enough for
Sullivan. He couldn't bear sitting on the
sidelines, watching his teammates com-
pete. In only 20 weeks, he regained
enough of his form to do what no
Canadian had done before - run the
outdoor 1,500-meter dash in 3:35.19.
Twenty weeks to do what no one had
accomplished in the history of a nation.
The talent and sheer willpower it took
to make that kind of comeback - a
comeback that isn't yet complete - is
what distinguishes Sullivan from the
rest. That, along with a mysterious aver-
sion to kryptonite.
Fisher's fans 'believe in Steve'
By Mark Snyder
3aily Sports Editor
Tomorrow night, Michigan basketball
coach Steve Fisher will be able to do
something he probably hasn't done in a
long time - relax.
Jin Duggan, a Wayne County execu-
tive, is planning a party for Fisher.
"A bunch of Steve's friends got togeth-
ei to show they carc:' Dgga said.
The "We Beleve in Sieve' raly is
scdukd for o'rorcow from (s-8 peer. t 5
*icLDoublcre H11e in 'Nov.
fP-aes icude a nigt of feseivities red
c elebits ag to seppor I 'Ie n.
beeCfie Iocal chae C
"Some se foe Miia p eyes wr I
be attending," Duggan said.
Former WDIV news anchor Mort
Crim will emcee the event.
Former assistants Jay Smith and Scott
Perry will also be at the party.
A connection of Perry's will aid the
silent auction being held for charity. His
father was a roommate of actor James
Earl Jones while at Michigan and con-
vinced Jones to donate an actographed
Darthi \ader heLet o bte auction booty.
lTre prceds Is ecre aecee it
Asede fr bhe orIrc Cres'Ces
Personnel problems began when
Maurice Taylor went to the NBA and
Brandun Hughes wasKdismissed from
On top of player issues, Fisher has
contended with media speculation
regarding possible NCAA violations.
A Kansas law firm is investigating on
behalf of the University.
1 he unusual circumeneces are not
inerded as an appert her thre NCAA's
softer sede, tOwever.
I don'telik th- NcAA cars seal
we d), DI)g' anesid
Iut Ihcr s ean do creendtey e
eete by tehunrdsI tomocow.
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