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Page 155 text:
:. Practicing a back handspring on the beam, freshman Enca Rubin looks to secure her hand placement Rubm added depth to the Michigan bench in her first year on the team. Y. Qraiiata phoro Scoreboard Maui Invit 3rd ot 4 N. Illinois 194.900-186.600 Minnesota 195.125-195.025 Ohio State W 196,175-193.575 Florida W 197.000-195.425 Mich Classic 1st of 5 Georgia W 197.175-197.025 West Virginia W 196.100-195.975 UCLA Invit. 2nd of 4 Denver W 197.775-194.300 Washington W 197.775-194.250 Shanico Invit. 1 st of 4 Big Ten Champ. 1st of 7 NCAA Regional 2nd of 6 NCAA Champ. 7th place Shedding Tears of By Chelsea Anderson It was a season of achievement and disappointment for the women ' s gymnastics team in 2002. Although they posted a strong finish of 25-3 over all and 11-0 in the Big Ten, two meets stood out in the minds of the com- petitors as they finished only 7th in the nation after high hopes. The season high point came fairly early, upon defeating Georgia at home. The win was the first time the Wolverines had conquered Georgia in a dual meet in Michigan history. " Following the meet, everyone was crying. We ' ve come so close so many times, but this time the team showed we had the ability to do it, " said senior co-captain Janessa Grieco, " Georgia is the team we love to hate. " Joy After beating rival Georgia, the women ' s gymnastics team captures the 2002 Big Ten Title. In addition to capturing the Big Ten Cham- pionship, the team competed in the NCAA Tournament. However, they did not post as well of a showing as they had hoped the Wol- verines failed to advance to the second day of national competition. " Sitting in the stands watching on the second day was hard because we felt we should have been out there, " said Junior Elise Ray. " Nationals is like the final hurrah of the seasons. All meets up to that point are basically prac- tice. " While competing at nationals, Ray captured the national title for the beam for her first time in her career. " Winning felt really good. The beam is one event I struggle most at. That day I had a lot of confidence and pulled through, " she said. Ray ended the season ranked second in the nation by Gymlnfo just behind teammate Calli Ryals, who finished No. 1 for national Ail-Around Gymnast. In addition to Ray ' s Michigan accomplishments, she was a member of the 2000 Olympic Gymnastics Team. According to head coach Beverly Plocki, the key gymnasts were Ray as the MVP high scorer in addition to strong com- petitors Grieco, Shannon MacKenzie, and Jody Rosenberg. Plocki said, " They really gave 100 percent every time. You don ' t win championships from a few high scores; it ' s the depth that produces wins. " SPORTS 151
Page 154 text:
Facing Tough Competition Holding his balance, junior Jamie Hertza performs a floor routine. Because strength is vital to a gymnast ' s success, Hertza hit the weight room regularly. S. Thomas photo Scoreboard Windy City Invit. Minnesota Penn State Oklahoma Nebraska III. -Chicago Iowa California Big Ten Chamo National Qualifier NCAA Champ. 3rd of 6 212.350-204.750 209.700-212.250 208.450-218.125 208.450-206.750 213850-200.800 208.250-212.000 212.900-208.850 2nd of 6 2nd of 6 4th of 6 150 MlJHIGANE After competiting against defending NCAA Champions Oklahoma, the men ' s gymnastics prepare for a challenging season. By Han-Ching Lin The men ' s gymnastics team proved to be one of the best teams in the nation again, as they repeated a fourth-place NCAA finish. The host Oklahoma won its fourth national championship, with Ohio State and California following, respectively. Led by senior Daniel Diaz-Luong and Justin Toman, the Wolverines showed a strong performance in horizontal bars, parallel bars, floor exercise, the vault, and the strongest of all, the still rings. Five Wolverines, Diaz-Luong, Brad Kenna, Kevin George, Conan Parzuchowski, and Edward Umphrey, went on to the NCAA individual event finals. Diaz-Loung was crowned the horizontal bar champion, also finishing third in parallel bars, while Parzuchowski finished sixth on still rings, and George took seventh on the pommel horse. Toman, who has been successful all around, in NCAA competition and USA Gymnastics meets, received the prestigious Nissen-Emery Award, given to the top senior male gymnast in the country. He was also a five-time Ail-American and two-time NCAA parallel bars champion and was named the 1999 Michigan Male Athlete of the Year after leading the Wolverines to the NCAA title. Among the several exciting matches throughout the season, one of the very memorable ones took place against the No. 5 California Gold Bears. With their season-high score of 212.900, the Wolverines sailed past the Gold Bears, ending a four-year home winning streak. Toman and Kenna led the team, tied for first on the vault and splitting the still rings and parallel bars titles. Junior Jamie Hertza concentrates as he swings his legs on the pummell horse. Hertza averaged a score of 8.791 on the horse out of 1 1 competitions. S. Thomas photo IIIUANENS1AN
Page 156 text:
Boasting High Aspirations Treading water, senior Delia Sonda looks for an open teammate for a pass. Sonda scored a career-high four goals against Penn State -Beitiend. J. Weiner photo By Chelsea Anderson In their second year of varsity water polo competition, the Wolverines splashed their way to a fourth place finish at the NCAA Championships in Los Angeles, California. After progressing to the Fina Four, Michigan, ranked No. 12 at the time, was matched up against then No. 2 Stanford in game one and lost 13-3. However, the Wolverines pu the tough loss behind them to focus their effort on the third place gam against No. 7 Loyola-Marymount. " We did not even think about (Stanford ' s) game. We played a lo better. Our team bounces back from tough losses really well. We knew tha we were capable of winning, but we just did not pull it off, " said senior Deli; Sonda in a University Athletics press release. The Wolverines suffered a 6-4 loss to take fourth place in the tournament. But on the flip side, they left a lasting impression on wha Michigan water polo could accomplish. Scoring for Michigan in the final game were Jen Crisman with t goals, and Mandi Hagedorn and Casey Kerney each with one goal. " Sometimes I need a reality check and remember that we are only a second year program. We wanted to be in the championship game or at least wir third, but we are still very young. We made a lot of huge strides this year but I told the team that we cannot be satisfied. We need to keep takin: baby steps but never be satisfied, " said head coach Amber Drury-Pinto. Other outstanding accomplishments in the pool were capturing th Brown Invitational, achieving a perfect 8-0 record in divisional play ti secure the No. 1 seed for the Southern Division Championships, takin: the Southern Division Championship title by defeating No. 14-rankec Princeton 10-9, and winning the Eastern Championship title for th first time when Jen Crisman scored during the last 3 1 seconds in the firs sudden-death period to down No. 14 Hartwick 7-6. Players could only look forward to the season ahead to see what wouli come of it, and if a title could be within grasp. Drury-Pinto said about th reason behind Wolverines ' accomplishments in just two short years: " S many things have contributed to it. The year of experience we had, the fac that we didn ' t lose a lot of players. I think we graduated three players, so wi had a really solid group returning. We had a great group of freshmen tha came in. All the way across the board the players stepped up, they rose t the occasion. We couldn ' t have asked for anything more. " 152 MII Hll .ANKNS1AN
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