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May 12, 2003 - Image 16

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Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2003-05-12

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16 - The Michigan Daily - Monday, May 12, 2003
Brannen, Waits shine at
Len Paddock Invitational.

4

By Ellen McGarrity
Daily Sports Writer
It's amazing what a little competition
can do for one's time on the track.
It was the final baton handoff in the
4x400-meter relay of the Len Paddock
Invitational, and by the time Nate Bran-
nen grabbed hold of the baton, he was
barely in third place. The sophomore
was 90 feet from the second-place run-
ner and even farther from the runner in
the lead --normally distances impossi-
ble to make up. It's easy when a runner
is in this situation to just give up and
accept their position, but Brannen obvi-
ously wasn't ready to accept his.
Instead, he flew around the track for the
anchor leg of the race as cheers arose
from his teammates and the hometown
crowd, trying to close the gap between
himself and the second place runner.
Although Brannen ended the race still
in third, he did what many runners
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would never attempt. In fact, he nearly
took second for the relay team with his
fast lap of 47.7.
"Nate's time in the mile relay was
very impressive," Michigan coach Ron
Warhurst said. "He almost caught the
(second place) guy, but he was coming
from about thirty yards behind. That
was a great finish for him."
In addition to Brannen's speedy time
in the relay, he cut a second off his time
in the 800-meter run, finishing in
1:49.18. Brannen currently holds the
NCAA 800-meter indoor track title and
plans to capture the outdoor title in the
event as well.
While the team didn't add any more
NCAA regional qualifying times to the
20 they already have, two individuals
came close.
Sophomore Nick VanderPloeg was
just three inches from qualifying with
his discus throw of 164'-9". The throw
was a nersonal best for the Grand

Rapids native and fifteen inches farther
than his prior best.
Another standout in the invitational
was sophomore Seth Waits. Waits also
just missed a qualifying time in the 400-
meter hurdles. His finish of 52.88 was
fast enough to claim first, but a couple
hundredths of a second from the NCAA
standard.
But Waits stressed that the race was
not a disappointment. The hurdler
knows he has another chance next
weekend in the Big Ten Championships
to improve on his time.
"Coach (Warhurst) and I have been
working on getting my steps between
the hurdles consistent," Waits said. "You
just can't be scared of it - it's a daunt-
ing-looking thing with all those hurdles.
I mean, it's a hard race even without the
hurdles. You just have to be aggressive
and keep your momentum throughout."
It was questionable if Waits would
find his rhythm in this race after he
tripped a bit on the first hurdle, but by
the end of the race he had taken the lead
by a sizeable distance.
Waits also took second in the 400-
meter dash, establishing Michigan's

4

4

Sophomore Seth Waits barely missed a NCAA qualifying time in the 400 hurdles
Saturday with a mark of 52.88. Waits will get another chance this weekend.
fastest outdoor time in the event this Michigan finished tenth, so the team
season. looks to progress considerably.
The Wolverines will head to Min- "We're going to improve," Warhurst
neapolis this weekend for the Big Ten said. "There's only one way to go and
Championships. Last year at Big Tens, that's up."

4

Hauser-Price captures three wins

By Mustafizur Choudhury
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan women's track and field team displayed its
talent and skill this past weekend, as the Wolverines competed
in their final home meet of the season at the Len Paddock
Invitational at Ferry Field.
"We were able to get some good competition," Michigan
coach James Henry said. "We came out unharmed, as far as
injuries go."
On the field, April Phillips put on another record-breaking
performance as she continues to push the limits of her throw-
ing ability. The senior made the best of her final home meet
as a Wolverine by breaking her own school record in the ham-
mer throw with a toss of 199'-3". With that mark, Phillips is
now the overall leader in the Big Ten and the Mideast Region.
She wrapped up the first day of competition with another
event victory, launching the shot-puta distance of 51'-8 12".

Junior Melissa Bickett wrote her own name in the Michi-
gan record books by setting a new Ferry Field record in the
discus throw with a toss of 178'-1".
On the second and final day of competition, sophomore
Sierra Hauser-Price seemed unstoppable, as she sprinted to
three event victories. Hauser-Price got things started with a
win in the 100-meter dash, crossing the finish line at 11.66
and later helped the 4x100-meter relay team finish first with a
time of 45.36. She ended the day with a victory in the 200-
meter dash, clocking in atla personal-best time of 23.66.
"Sierra is going into the Big Ten's on a high note," Henry
said. "She's going to be someone to be reckoned with."
Michigan used this non-scoring meet to prepare for this
week's Big Ten Championships in Minneapolis, where the
team looks to defend its conference title. After winning the
Big Ten Championships in cross country and indoor track and
field, the Wolverines hope to capture the Big Ten "triple
crown" for the 2003 season.

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By Ian Herbert
For the Daily
This weekend was a roller coaster
ride for the Michigan women's tennis
team.
No. 42 Michigan swept No. 37 Col-
orado 4-0 on Friday in the first round of
the NCAA Tournament, but was shut
out against top-ranked Stanford on Sat-
urday. Although the outcomes were not-
icably different, both sophomore
Michelle DaCosta and junior Chrissie
Nolan agreed that the Wolverines were
prepared for both matches.
"We had a good couple weeks of
practice," DaCosta said. "We were all
ready, and very confident going into the
Colorado match. We just had to put it
all together."
Michigan (14-10) came out strong
from the start against Colorado, win-
nin the firs twn d bnlC mt hc The

No. 1 pairing of DaCosta and sopho-
more Leanne Rutherford, dominated
their first match 8-2, and Nolan and
freshman Debra Streifler followed at
No. 2 with an 8-4 win to clinch the dou-
bles point.
"The doubles did a great job keeping
us going," Nolan said. "We won almost
all of our first sets."
The Wolverines didn't stop there.
Michigan cruised through the singles
matches as well, getting straight-set
wins from Nolan, Rutherford and junior
Kim Plaushines. These three victories
clinched the win for the Wolverines,
giving them their first NCAA tourna-
ment win since 1997.
"Last year we lost in the first round,"
Nolan said. "We learned a lot from that
and everyone played much better this
time around. Against Stanford there was
no pressure. We put it all out there, but
we knew that everyone needed to ;play

their best tennis."
The Wolverines never got started
against the Cardinal, the region's host.
They lost two doubles matches 8-1 and
8-4, and then were swept in the first
three singles matches. Michigan's
Kavitha Tipirneni, coming back from
injury and playing the No. 4 singles
spot, was up 6-4, 3-1 over Stanford's
Alice Barnes, ranked 11th in the coun-
try. The match, however, was abandoned
after the Cardinal had clinched the win.
"We wanted to do our best to
advance, but we at least wanted to end
the season well," Nolan said.
The loss to Stanford will be the
last match of the year for the Wolver-
ines, but there is a lot of hope for
next season. The team finished 14-
10, and the majority of the players
are returning next year, including
everyone from the top-six singles
and top-two doubles spots.

Stanford too much for netters

I I

E ng le rs two ()o es mans le

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