Distance key to close second
Wednesday, May 28, 1997 - The Michigan Daily - 15
By Chris Farah
Daily Sports Editor
CHAMPAIGN -- On the surface, the
Michigan women's track team's impres-
sive second-place finish in the Big Ten
championships seems to conform to a
very simple standard.
The standard of Tania Longe.
Without Longe's 29 points, the
verines wouldn't have come as close
as they did to knocking offlhighly favored
But the real difference in Michigan's
performance - the factor that got the
Wolverines within 10 points of defeating
the Badgers - wasn't Longe. It was the
Michigan distance runners.
The Wolverines also placed second at
the Big Tens during the indoor season.
The difference between the two finishes?
Wisconsin demolished Michigan in the
Sor venue, beating the Wolverines
1T9-82 - a whopping 37-point margin.
The Badgers' indoor dominance
stemmed from its distance crew.
Wisconsin runners took the top three fin-
ishes in the 800- and 3,000-meter runs
and the top two finishes in the 5,000 and
1,500. That's 84 points in four events.
In last weekend's outdoor Big Tens, the
Badgers took the top two spots in only
the 5,000. As expected, Wisconsin's
Kathy Butler finished first in the 3,000,
1,500 and 5,000, but the Badgers weren't
able to put up the flawless front they had
demonstrated at the indoor meet.
A lot of credit should be given to other
teams - runners from Michigan State
and Penn State were key in breaking up
the Wisconsin packs.
But Michigan's distance crew also did
a great deal to slow down the Badgers,
effectively costing Wisconsin points
while gaining them for the Wolverines.
The Wolverines' distance efforts began
in the 10,000, with Michigan's Katy
Hollbacher, Julie Froud and Elizabeth
Kampfe all scoring points.
But Michigan's largest individual dis-
tance contribution came from sopho-
more Katie McGregor. McGregor com-
peted in an exhausting schedule this
weekend, running in the 5,000, 3,000
and 1,500 - placing third in the 3,000
and 1,500, and fourth in the 5,000.
Even when it became clear that
Michigan wouldn't beat Wisconsin,
McGregor's competitive nature kept her
striving to do as much damage as possi-
ble to the Badgers' efforts.
"With the disappointment we were
already facing and how it was going to be
so close, I just wanted to go out there and
mess with Wisconsin's strategy (in the
5,000)," McGregor said. "I just wanted to
get in their face and not let them do what
they wanted to do. They took the cham-
pionships away from us, so the least I
could do was mess up their game."
McGregor also led her teammates
through her emotional toughness. When
she wasn't competing, she was one of
the most vocal Wolverines on the side-
lines - motivating the other Michigan
athletes into impressive performances
against a potentially intimidating
"Katie already is a stalwart on the
team, and we'll be relying on her a lot in
the future," Michigan distance coach
Mike McGuire said. "Wisconsin is a real
rivalry, and the kids get really fired up
for it - Katie's a fiery kid to begin with,
so she really gets into it."
Although the distance crew's efforts
may not have resulted in first-place fin-
ishes, McGregor and the rest of the dis-
tance runners helped crack Wisconsin's
distanee foundation enough for a more
than respectable Michigan finish.
Katie McGregor and the other Michigan distance runners played a large role in
slowing down the Wisconsin juggernaut at last weekend's Big Ten championships.
'chigan sopho- - i|Eat
her first individ- z
ual Big Ten
high jump with
a height of 5-
Her first place
ond place Big nw 5 .'
Badgers maintain Big Ten dominance,
laim third-straight conference title
Continued from Page 12
After dominating the heptathlon,
Longe finished a disappointing
fourth in the long jump with a jump
of 6.11 meters - 0.49 meters less
than her jump in the heptathlon.
"I was really, really, really, tired,"
Longe said. "That's why I just could-
n't pop one out."
Michigan's only other Big Ten
individual champion was Nicole
Forrester who took first in the high
jump, clearing a height of 5-foot-11
1/2. Although Indiana's Nathalie
Belfort and Illinois' Stacy Grant also
jumped 5-11 1/2, Forrester took first
place because she was able to clear
the height in lets attempts.
"I knew I had to do that on my first
attempt," Forrester said. "At the
indoor Big Tens I goofed up my first
jump and ended up knocking (the
bar) down. It came back to haunt
Michigan's distance runners also
had a strong meet. Along with her
fourth-place finish in the 5,000,
McGregor took third in the 3.000 and
1,500. In the 10,000 Hollbacher took*
fourth and Froud placed fifth.
Michigan's sprinters had an up-
and-down meet. In the 100-meter
dash, Maria Brown finished fourth
followed closely by teammate Kenise
Bocage at fifth.
In the 4x 100-meter relay and the
200-meter dash, the Wolverines
could do no better than seventh.
Despite coming close, the
Wolverines were disappointed with
the final outcome.
"I think that we had the personnel
to win, but we didn't." Henry said.
"The team is dejected and they're,
really upset that they didn't pull t
By Chris Farah
Daily Stsos Editor
CHAMPAIGN - Someone might
want to find out what Wisconsin puts
in its drinking water - and then
Last weekend, the Wisconsin
men's track team won its third Big
Ten championship in a row with 145
*nts, while the women's team won
its second consecutive title with 121.
Each team had an outstanding per-
formance from one individual,.
Leading the way for the men
Badgers was senior sprinter Reggie
Torian. Torian placed first in the
110-meter hurdles, second in the 100
and ran in Wisconsin's second-place
Torian's winning time of 13.24 was
good enough to qualify him automati-
cally for the NCAA championships.
The victory may have been espe-
cially gratifying, considering that
Torian has had bad luck in the 110
hurdles in the last two indoor sea-
sons. At the indoor NCAAs in both
1996 and 1997, Torian tripped during
competition, never even advancing
to the finals round.
The Wisconsin women's jugger-
naut was senior Kathy Butler. To no
one's surprise, Butler easily won all
three of her distance events - the
5,000, the 3,000 and the 1,500. Her
average margin of victory was just
under three seconds, and all three of
her times were NCAA provisional
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