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September 17, 1952 - Image 38

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1952-09-17

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Grapplers Finished Second
In Big Ten Behind Illinois

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Thinclads Almost Captured Outdoor.Title

Wolverine wrestlers climaxed a
fine 1952 season by staging a dra-
matic comeback in the Big Ten
Championships to capture second
place, seven points behind title-
winner Illinois. /
In season's competition veteran
coach Cliff Keen brought his
charges along after dropping their
first two meets to sweep their next
five straight. Then, after a 13-
13 toss-up with Michigan State,
the Michigan grapplers trounced
Ohio State 16-10 to conclude their
successful dual meet campaign.
*; * *
THE INITIAL defeats were dealt
the Wolverines by Pittsburgh, in
a close one, 15-14, and Indiana,
17-11. But from then on the Maize
and Blue matmen started rolling
and continued right through the
Western Conference meet.
Victims of their five-meet win
streak included Toledo, 22-8;
Purdue, ;1-3; Illinois, 15-9;
Northwestern, 21-3; and Iowa,
In the Conference meet the Wol-
verines faltered badly in the early
competition. Entering the final
round Michigan had placed only
two men, a pair of sophomores,
while the Illini, with five men
qualified and 26 points piled up
already, were conceded the vic-
* * *
COACH KEEN'S men had to
win all their remaining matches
even to come close, and that's
exactly what they did.
Snippy Nalan copped the Wol-
verines first championship in
the 130-pound class when he
decisioned Michigan State's Dick
Gunner, who had previously
beaten. him in a dual meet.
Dick O'Shaughnessy grabbed
the other individual conference
title for Michigan in the 180-
pound division. But the real point-

makers were the Wolverines who
had been eliminated the day be-
S* * *
OF THESE SIX, five were de-
clared eligible to seek points as
third and fourth place finishers.
Four of them, Jack Gallon,
137-pounder, Dave Space, 147-
pounder, Miles Lee, 157-pounder
and Captain Bud Holcombe, who
at 167 pounds was closing out
a successful collegiate career,.
wrestled to third place finishes,
giving Michigan a big boost to-
ward its runner-up spot.
The injury of the brilliant 123-
pounder, Larry Nelson, dealt a ter-
rific blow to the Wolverines cham-
pionship aspirations.
Nelson, a senior who was plag-
ued by a series of injuries all sea-
son, hurt his back before the Ohio
State meet, thus making him a
doubtful starter in the Champion-
* * *
BUT THE GAME grappler, who
only lost one match in four years
of dual competition; entered the
conference meet even though he
hadn't seen a wrestling mat for
two years.
In his first fatch he met the
highly touted sophomore, Dickj
Gunner. Nelson had stood his
opponent on his head when they
clashed in a dual meet earlier
in the season.
This time, however, Gunner let
Nelson wear himself down and
took a decision by the barest of
margins, 3-2.
The high conference finish add-
ed to the amazing record compiled
at Michigan by Coach-Keen. In
27 years of coaching Keen's teams
have finished third or better 23
Four of his squads won the Big
Ten Championship and nine of
them have garnered the runner-
up position.

An unusually strong team in
an unusually strong conference
that's how the 1952 edition of the
Michigan track team was rated.
This year's thinclad squad was
perhaps the strongest in Michi-
gan history; yet it was unable to
take the Western Conference
crown, something that twenty pre-
vious Wolverine contingents had
* * *
IN BOTH the Conference indoor
and outdoor championships the
fighting Illini from Champaign
edged Coach Don Canham's co-
horts, 59 3/5-52, and 67 3/5-
65 1/10, respectively.
The Wolverines opened the in-
door season with a trip to East
Lansing for the Michigan State
Relays. There the Michigan
quartet of Jack Carroll, Don
McEwen, George Jacobi, and
John Ross set a new American
indoor distance medley record
of 10:04.5. Another Maize and
Blue relay squad won the two
mile relay, while Fritz Nilsson
started his long string of shot-
put victories.
The schedule continued as the
Wolverines turned in a pair of
dual meet victories, over Michigan
State, 741/3-392/3, and over Ohio
State, 75-34. Michigan's captain,
McEwen, produced the outstand-
ing performance against OSU,
romping to an easy victory in the
two mile in the fine time of 9:04.6,
tieing his own previous best in-
door clocking.
* * *
THEN THE Wolverines jour-
,neyed to Champaign for the Big
Ten indoor championships. The
Wolverines, finishing second, close
behind Illinois, had five individ-
ual Conference champions.
Nilsson, Sweden's contribution
to the Wolverine squad, took the
shot put with ease; Carroll
edged Iowa's Gary Scott in the
440; Ross set a new Big Ten
indoor mile record of 4:09.4;
McEwen easily captured the two
mile; and junior Horace Cole-
man leaped the furthest in the
broad jump.
After two weeks rest the Wol-
verines took to the ,outdoor oval
for competition in the relay car-
FIRST ON THE schedule were
the Southern Relays at Birming-

ham, 4labama. An eight-man
Michigan delegation dominated
the meet, easily capturing the un-
official team title with five firsts
and a second.
Milt Mead beat NCAA champ
Poppa Hall in the high Jump
ith a leap of 6 feet 61/ inches.
Nilsson took first in the shot
and second in the discus be-
hind Auburn's Jim Dillon, Van
Bruner won the 120 yard high
hurdle crown, while Wolverine
relay outfits took the mile and
. distance medley events.
The hfghlight of the Arkansas
relays the following weak was Nil-
sson's double triumph in the shot
and discuss.
* 4; 4;
ON APRIL 20 Canham's co-
horts journeyed to Columbus for
the Ohio Relays. The feature per-
formance of the meet was the dis-
tance medley in which the Wolver-
ine quartet of Carroll, Aaron Gor-
don, Ross and McEwen romped to
victory in the world record time
of 9:56.3. Carroll's quarter was a
swift 46.1.
Amid rain, mud, and confusion
the wearers of the Maize and
Blue ran off with three titles at
the Penn Relays. Nilsson took
the discuss, the distance med-
ley crew breezed home first, and
due to an official error in track
measurement the four mile re-
lay team triumphed in a race
thattraveled only 3% miles.
On May 2 in a specially arrang-
ed race the four mile relay squad
took another shot at the record
and smashed it. The quartet of
John Moule, Bill Hickman, Ross,
and McEwen set a new American
record of 17:08.6.
IN TUNEUPS for the Big Ten,
meet the Wolverines split the next
two meets. They were edged, 741/2
57, by Illinois in a dual affair
and they slaughtered Notre Dame,
Against Notre Dame lMcEwen
ran a magnificent two miles,
setting a new Ferry Field, Mich-
igan Varsity, British Empire, and
meet record of 9:01.8.
In the final preparation for the
Western Conference extravaganza
the Wolverines subdued Iowa and
Northwestern in a triangular tus-
sle at Evanston.
* * *
meet boiled down to a two-team

affair between Michigan afid Illi-
nois. In one of the closest finishes
in conference history the fighting
Illini came from behind to roll up
enough points in the final event,
the pole vault, to edge Michigan
for the crown.
Though the Wolverines did
not win as many individual
championships as they did in-
doors, they showed all-around
strength by scoring in every
event but the low hurdles and
the pole vault.
Ross again took the mile, Nil-
sson repeated in the shot, while
Mead tied for first with Illini Ron
Mitchell in the high jump. In the
mile relay the Wolverine quartet
of Dan Hickman, Bill Barton, Bill
Konrad, and Carroll led the pack.
S*; *
NILSSON WAS the meet's.high
individual scorer with a first and
a second. McEwen scored well with
two seconds.
The 1953 edition of the Wol-
verine squad should be well
stocked with capable perform-
ers as graduation will deprive
the team of only three of its
top men, sprinter Konrad, hurd-
ler Atchison, and distance man
Though no team could lose such
a key performer as McEwen with-
out suffering, some of the slack
Will be taken up by George Lynch.
Lynch, a transfer student who will
become eligible in the fall, is a fine
cross country runner and distance
* *; *
THE ONLY apparent weakness
on next year's outfit is the pole
vault. Lynch leads the two milers,
with Ross the top man at the mile
and half mile. Another Canadian,
Carroll, is the class of the quarter
Sprint honors will be contest-
ed by Ross Coates, 'Kerry Nulf,
and John Vallortigara. Van
Bruner returns to head the tim-
ber toppers in both the highs
and lows.
All the outstanding field event
men except shot putted Tom John-
son are back. Nilsson leads the
weight, Mead the high jumpers,
and Coleman the broad jumpers.
Canham will try to find the solu-
tion to his pole vault problems
from among Brennen Gillespie,
Roger Maugh, and Pat Monta-

-Daly-Jack Bergstrom
BY AN EYELASH-Is how close Don McEwen (right) came to winning the Mile Run at the Big
Ten track championships on Ferry Field last spring. It's also how close Michigan came to winning
the outdoor track A. le. McEwen, Michigan's captain and a senior last year, lost out in this tight
finish to teammate John Ross, a freshman, just as their Wolverine team lost the meet by 22 points
to Illinois. The two Canadians had planned to hold hands fo ra dead heat clocking, but Ohio
State's Len Truex (far left), who took third, upset their plans with a strong finishing kick. Illinois
also won the indoor track championship, outscoring Michigan, 59-52, at Champaign.





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