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October 26, 1995 - Image 12

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-10-26

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12A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, October 26, 1995

iM'_harriers off to Minneapolis in search of Big Ten

title

i

The Wolverines hope to badger
Wisconsin for championship

No.14 Blue women to compete
for fourth straight conference title

ByJames Goldstein
Daily Sports Writer
The rivalry between the Michigan
and Wisconsin men's cross country
teams parallels that of "ER" and
"NYPD Blue" - in fierce competi-
tion with one another but always at
the top of their class.
While the two top television dra-
mas fight for ratings, the Wolverines
and Badgers vie for conference
rankings.
The Badgers are winning that battle
this year, remaining at the top of the
conference for the season and boast-
ing a No. 1 national ranking.
However, the Wolverines are just
one notch below Wisconsin in the Big
Ten sandings and No. 9 in the coun-
try.
Strap on your running shoes be-
cause the conference foes will be at it
again for Saturday's Big Ten Cham-
pionships in Minneapolis beginning
at 11:30 a.m.
The 5000-meter race will decide
the fate of the conference's teams.
The top five runners from each team
will be scored and the one with the
lowest score will capture the team
title. The winner will have the No. 1
seed in the NCAA District IV Cham-
pionships Nov. 11.
The Wolverines are looking for their
second Big Ten team title in three
years. Michigan captured the title in
1993 and finished second to Wiscon-
sin in 1994.
The Badgers have been a fixture at
the top of the conference, capturing
15 of the last 18 titles.
This season, Wisconsin has been
the team champion in all of its three
meets, blowing away the competi-
tion..-
Now, you may be wondering about
the rest of the conference. Sure, every
other school in the Big Ten will com-
pete, with the exception of North-
western. But none of these teams are
in the top 25 of the country. They are
equivalent to Fox's show "The Medi-
cine Ball", which couldn't get out of
the ratings basement.
It will be a two-team race. The
Badgers are the favorites, yet this
could benefit the Wolverines and their
attitude.
"We've got nothing to lose," Michi-
gan coach Ron Warhurst said. "We're
going in as the underdog so (the Wol-
verines don't) have to feel like there's
pressure on them."
Michigan feels that the outcome of
the meet lies in the performance of the
five through nine runners. After last
weekend's showing at Eastern Michi-
gan, things are looking up for
Saturday's meet.
"The way our number five through
nine guys ran at Eastern last weekend,
they were grouped up the best I've
seen all year," Kevin Sullivan said.

"If they can run like that at the Big
Tens, then we'll have a really good
shot at winning."
Sullivan, a two-time All-American,
is pursuing his third straight Big Ten
Championship individual title. He
would join a list of five other confer-
ence runners who have accomplished
such a feat.
The Wolverine junior says that he
is sharp, rested and confident in de-
fending his individual title.
The runners that Sullivan praised
are Don McLaughlin, Todd Snyder,
Kris Eggle, Ryan Burt and Nick
Watson.
This five man crew ran side by side
for five miles in the Eastern Michigan
meet last weekend.
During that race, Burt fell off the
pace just a bit, but with a half-mile to
go, he caught up with the pack and
finished second with the same time as
his teammates.
The Wolverines came away with a
lot more than just experience. They
gained a never-say-die attitude that
they hope will carry over to Saturday's
meet.
"That's the type of attitude you've
got to have in big-time races,"
Warhurst said. "You just can't let
people walk away from you. You can't
be quitting in the middle of the race."
Sullivan's only competition should
be Wisconsin's James Menon.
In last year's conference champi-
onship, Menon lost to Sullivan by ten
seconds, finishing third overall.
The Badgers are not just a one man
team, though. Pascal Dobert and Mark
Hodger are a formidable supporting
tandem. The Wisconsin pair have fin-
ished in the top 10 five of the possible
six times in its three meets.
Warhurst feels that the Badgers will
succeed in placing six runners in the
top 20. In order for the Wolverines to
have any chance of winning, they must
do the same.
"We've got to run in a group with
Wisconsin's group," Warhurst said.
"We've got to beat them man to man."
John Mortimer, Theo Molla and
David Barnett fill out the Michigan
squad.
Mortimer has been a success his
freshman year, placing in the top 10
in all four of his meets. Both Molla
and Barnett each have two top 10
finishes under their belt.
There is another factor that might
affect the Big Ten Championships -
snow!
Yes, there may be a slippery white
coating as the runners slosh around
on the Minneapolis track. Last year
on the same weekend while Michigan
was in Iowa, a foot of snow hit the
Minneapolis area.
"If we have a foot of snow on Sat-
urday, we'll just have to run in it,"
Warhurst said.

By Nancy Berger
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan women's cross coun-
try season sounds like a well devised
plot. The Wolverines began the season
ranked third in the country and as the
defending Big Ten Champions and
NCAA runner-up.
The Wolverines seemed to be on a
roll after two impressive showings in
Miami (Ohio) and Boston College, but
the action started to heat up when they
headed out to the wild west.
Michigan confronted foes Arizona
and Washington without its big gun,
Courtney Babcock.-
Michigan's trip to the west began its
steady descent in the polls. It fell as low
as No. 15, behind Big Ten rivals Wis-
consin and Penn State.
The season looked to be turning
around after the Wolverines captured
the Michigan Intercollegiate tourna-
ment, which pushed them up to No. 14.
Michigan looks to continue its climb
in the polls with the Big Ten Champi-
onships Saturday in Minneapolis. It is
looking to capture an unprecedented
fourth-straight Big Ten title.
Minnesota's Les Bolstad Cross Coun-
try course will host a different contin-
gent of Michigan runners than the Iowa
course did last year.
Last year, Big Ten Champion Deanna
Arnill and Karen Harvey led the Michi-
gan squad. Since then, Arnill has trans-
ferred to cross country powerhouse
Villanova, and Harvey has graduated.
This year's team will also have to
deal with the loss of Pauline Amill.
She has been nursing a lower back
injury for the last week. Michigan
coach Mike McGuire will make no
comments about her running status
until today.
"She hasn't been out that long but she
has to be pain-free," McGuire said.
"She has been making progress," he
adds. If Arnill is not free of pain, senior
Mayrie Richards will be her replace-,
ment.
McGuire doesn't see Arnill's injury
as killing Michigan's chances. "We
have never had a pecking order here,"
McGuire said. "I am expecting nine
runners to run their butts off."
The squad includes co-captains
Babcock and Kelly Chard as well as
Jennifer Barber, Katy Hollbacher, Jen

We have never
had a pecking
order here. Iam
expecting nine
runners to run

their butts off."
- Mike McGuire
Michigan women's cross
country coach

t

Stuht, Michelle Slater and Katie
McGregor.
No. 9 Wisconsin will look to capital-
ize on Michigan's weaknesses. The
Badgers are led by last year's Big Ten
runner-up Kathy Butler, who beat the
defending NCAA Champion, Jerr
Rhines, in her last race.
Butler will set the pace for five team-,
mates returning from last year's meet.
Penn State also suffered some losses
due to graduation with their top three
runners gone, but the Lions will return
five runners from lastyear's team, which
is led by Erin St. John.
Minnesota's Lori Townsend, who
finished fifth last year, will also be.
among the runners in the thick of the
action.
Michigan will not only have diffi-
culty repeating as champion, but it
will also have a hard time duplicating
its performance last year. The Wol-,
verines finished with 29 points, their
best score over the last three years,
placing seven in the top 20. Wiscon-
sin finished with 68, while Penn State
trailed with 81.
To increase the probability of a suc-
cessful day, the team will taper a little
during practice.
"We cut our practice down: Usually
we are at 10 miles, but now it is at
eight," Chard said.
"We have been grouping together
and improving in practice; our team is,
still strong enough."
The team is taking the same approach
to the meet that they have brought to
every other meet this year. They will
talk to each other and work together to
try to keep people packed within 10-15 .
seconds.

TONYA UKUAVJ~ailY
The Michigan men's cross country team is hoping to run to its second Big Ten
title in three years.
Drop off your picks for this week at The Michigan Daily sports desk on the second
floor of the Student Publications Building at 420 Maynard. Deadline is 4 p.m.
tomorrow. The most accurate prognosticator will receive a $15 gift certificate to
Steve and Barry's University Sportswear on State Street. Contestants are limited
to five entries per week, please.
1. Minnesota at Michigan 14. Clemson at Georgia Tech
2. Iowa at Ohio State 15. Virginia Tech at West Virginia
3. Michigan State at Wisconsin 16. Kansas at Oklahoma
4, Northwestern at Illinois 17. Oklahoma at Missouri,
5. Indiana at Penn State 1S. Utah State at Utah
6. Boston College at Notre Dame 19. Bowling Green atW. Michigan
7. Kansas at Kansas State 20. Miami (Ohio) at Central Michigan
8: Nebraska at Colorado 21. Eastern Michigan at Toledo
9. Scuthern Cal at Washington 22. Cornell at Brown
10. Florida at Georgia 23. Columbla at Princeton,
il. Ark. vs. Auburn @ Little Rock, Ark. 24. Dartmouth at Harvard .
12. Hawaii at Brighaur Young 25. Pennsylvania at Yale
13k East Carolina at Southern Miss.
Tiebreaker Minnesota at Michigan, total points:
NAME:
PHONE:

STATE PRIDE
Continued from Page IA
With fourplayers registering double-
digit kill totals, it is no wonder that
Michigan State is a top five team.
The Spartans were led by sopho-
more outside hitter Veronica Morales'
16 kills. Freshman outside hitter Jenna
Wroble tallied 14 kills while junior
middle blockers Val Sterk and Dana
Cook scored 13. Sterk also contrib-
uted 10 digs.
Perhaps the only bright spot for
Michigan was the play of Brownlee.
The senior co-captain tallied a
match-high 18 kills and now leads the
team with 294 on the season.
"Shannon did a good job of work-
ing the line to beat their blockers,"
Giovanazzi said.
Also contributing for the Wolver-
ines were sophomore middle blocker
Sarah Jackson and junior outside hit-

ter Sharreen Luze.
Jackson had nine kills while Luze
led the team with 13 digs.
Senior middle blocker Suzy,
O'Donnell never really got on track,
which could explain Michigan's
weakness up front.
Junior outside hitter Kristen
Ruschiensky returned to action but
played sparingly.
A healthy Ruschiensky will be an,
important component of the Wolver-
ines' second half of the season.
Currently in fourth place, MichV'
gan is on the bubble for an NCAA
tournament berth.
With Iowa coming up this weekend
Giovanazzi hopes the team can turn,
things around in a hurry. r,
"Right now we're playing a sur-
vival game to win the matches we
should the rest of this season,"
Giovanazzi said.
"We feel fourth place will get us to
the tournament."

I.

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