Wednesday, May 21, 1997 - The Michigan Daily - 15
NCAA dream becomes golf reality x
9y Jacob Wheeler
Daily Sports Writer
When Jim Carras took the job of
Michigan men's golf coach fifteen years
ago, he set three goals for the program.
Carras wanted to build a strong foun-
dation, give direction to golf at
Michigan, and design a competitive
schedule that would challenge the
But qualifying for the NCAA champi-
nship was never anything more than a
"It was just icing on the cake," Carras
said. "Qualifying for nationals was
above and beyond anything I asked of
Michigan earned its first berth in the
big dance since 1968 after finishing
eighth among 21 teams at the Central
Regional tournament Saturday at
Oklahoma. The top ten received trips to
onway Farms in Lake Forest, Ill., for
next week's chamnionshin.
"I thought our chances were very min-
imal" Carras said. "But I knew we had a
Michigan was among five teams bat-
tling for the last few spots. But a score of
290 in the final round solidified its place
in the top 10.
The Wolverines finished with a total
score of 874 - cruising in ahead of
Drake and Northwestern, which tied for
ninth at 881. Oklahoma State won the
tournament, tallying an 843.
"We had to beat teams we didn't in the
regular season," Carras said, referring to
Northwestern. "On this particular day
we rose to the occasion, and they didn't."
Balance was the key factor all week-
end for the Wolverines. Senior David
Jasper led Michigan, garnering a total
score of 214 after opening with consec-
utive rounds of 71. Jasper tied for I1th
overall in the regional.
Freshman Michael Harris tied for
30th overall, with a 218. Ironically,
senior Kyle Dobbs managed only a
third-place team finish after winning the
Big Ten championship the previous
week. Dobbs shot a 218 at the regional.
"It's a crazy game," Carras said.
"Dobbs didn't even medal for us before
(Big Tens). Then he shot the worst score
of his season (at Indiana) the week
before his big win."
Seniors Brent ldalski and Isaac Hinkle
rounded out Michigan's scores. Idalski
bounced back with a 73 on the last round
to finish at nine over par. Hinkle record-
ed a three-round total of 242.
Making their first appearance in the
national championship in 29 years, the
Wolverines certainly won't be favored to
take home any trophies.
But Carras doesn't see any reason
why Michigan can't turn a few heads and
place in the nation's top 15.
"Any team can have their day in the
sun,' he said. "We can very well have
ours if we all surface at the right time.
Senior Kyle Dobbs shot a 218 this weekend as the Michigan men's golf team shot
its way to its first NCAA championship berth in 29 years.
Track sets tone for Big Tens at Paddock
By Chris Farah
Daily Sports Editor
A meet like Saturday's Len Paddock
Invitational - a relatively meaningless compe-
tition directly preceding the Big Ten champi-
onships - can really result in two outcomes for
the Michigan men's and women's track teams.
It can either: A) Provide some last-minute
momentum before the Big Tens.
Or: B) Give athletes a chance to fail unex-
pectedly, damaging their confidence right
before they'll need it most - at Big Tens.
While the men's team walked away from
Ferry Field stronger and more confident, unfor-
tunately for the women's program, Saturday's
test didn't result in straight a)s.
Sophomore high jumper Nicole Forrester,
who was undefeated, lost for the first time
But the loss itself wasn't nearly as significant
as Forrester's actual performance. Forrester, who
just weeks ago set a school record with a jump of
6-foot-2 3/4, failed to hit a comparatively minor
5-8, disqualifying her from the field.
"Officially, that breaks her unbeaten streak;'
Michigan women's coach James Henry said.
"But if I was a judge, I'd call it a forfeit - to
make her feel good. She could've three-stepped
5-6 and then won the competition"
Forrester said she will have to rediscover the
winning mentality she displayed earlier in the
"I have to regroup," Forrester said. "When I
know I'm going to have a good day, it's like an
internal feeling. I didn't really have that
Saturday. I have to figure out what it is that
makes me have that feeling."
The Paddock meet was far from entirely neg-
ative for the women's team, however. ,
Tania Longe dominated her events, as usual.
Longe placed first in the javelin and 100-meter
hurdles and picked up where Forrester left off in
the high jump, winning with a height of 5-3 3/4.
Sophomore Katie McGregor established a
high standard for herself before the Big Tens,
finishing first in the 1,500 with a season best,
NCAA-provisional qualifying time of 4:20.28.
The men's team matched the success of the
women, without the disappointment.
Leading the way for the Wolverines were
seniors Neil Gardner and Scott MacDonald.
Gardner smoked the competition in both the
1 10- and 400-meter hurdles, winning each event
with NCAA provisional-qualifying times.
MacDonald took off last week's Diamond
Invitational after an experience familiar to many
Michigan seniors: graduation-day weather.
"My workouts have been really good - up
until a few weeks ago;" MacDonald said. "For
graduation, I sat out there for three hours in the
rain. I was sick for about 10 days after that"
MacDonald came back strong Saturday, plac-
ing first in the 1,500 with time of 3:44.92, a pro-
visional qualifying mark for nationals. But the
time wasn't the highlight of MacDonald's race.
MacDonald beat unattached Paul McMullen to
win the event, giving the victory added signifi-
"I was pretty happy to beat Paul," MacDonald
said. "He's been running so well the past couple
of years - he's an Olympian and a national
champ, so that felt pretty good. The time was
slower than I wanted. It's provisional, butI don't
know if it'll get me into nationals. I guess I'll
just have to go fast at Big Tens next week:'
The parked van might as well have been NeHiGardner's com-
petition Saturday. He won the 400 hurdles by a long shot.
ators bite M' netters
By Jacob Wheeler
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan women's tennis
team's dream season ended abruptly
last Thursday. The Wolverines were
rudely awakened by No. 1 Florida in
the first round of the NCAA champi-
onship in Palo Alto, Calif.
* The Gators proved why they held
the nation's top ranking all season,
demolishing Michigan, 5-0, in straight
The early exit closed the book on
Michigan's finest season ever - one
that saw the Wolverines win their first
Big Ten and regional titles.
But taking on defending NCAA
champion Florida proved one obstacle
too many for Michigan.
0 Winning only 22 games the entire
match, the Wolverines barely had time
to enjoy the warm California sun.
At No. I singles, Big Ten player of
the year Sarah Cyganiak fell quickly,
6-3, 6-2. No. 3 singles Tumeka Harris
didn't fare much better, losing, 6-4,
No. 2 singles Sora Moon and No. 5
singles Erryn Weggenman had the
roughest outings of the day, losing , 6-
2, 6-0. At No. 4 singles, Brooke Hart
battled hard, eventually collapsing, 6-
Florida's victory Thursday extend-
ed its winning streak to 60 matches.
Michigan boasted a 12-match win-
ning streak of its own entering the
Despite the unlucky draw in
Michigan's first championship appear-
ance, the Wolverines' regular season
domination of the Big Ten made this a
The Wolverines posted a record 21
wins in 1997, along with the Big Ten
and regional titles.
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