The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, January 29, 1997, Page 7, Image 7

Below is the OCR text representation for this newspapers page. It is also available as plain text as well as XML.

’Af*?".. |jj& -j
p i5]
f Mitch1
Husker star
returns home
to run, farm
Jonah Kiptarus loves to farm al
most as much as he loves to run.
In his hometown of Kapsabet,
Kenya, Kiptarus works in the fields
every day, farming com. He also
raises cattle.
And then he runs.
Kiptarus, the runner-up at the
NCAA Cross Country Champion
ships last November, hopes some
day to qualify for the Kenyan
Olympic Team — a feat just a little
easier than running from here to
Africa without stopping for water.
But for now, he farms because
he has no choice.
“There were problems on the
farm at home,” said Phillip Maiyo,
Kiptarus’ brother and a member of
the Comhusker track team.
Last month, Kiptarus left Lin
coln after tearing through his jun
ior season, the most successful in
dividual campaign in NU history.
“I got a call from Phillip,” said
Jay Dirksen, who coaches NU’s
distance runners. “He said he didn’t
know if Jonah would be able to
come back. I didn’t exactly know
the details.”
Kiptarus and Maiyo come from
a large family, and according to
Maiyo, Kiptarus faced a difficult
decision, opting to stay in Kenya
and tend to his land.
Had Kiptarus, who turned 24
this month, chosen to return to NU
instead of raise cows in Africa, he
would have competed for a national
title this spring in the 3,000 meters.
“It’s a big loss at the national
level,” Dirksen said.
In fact, Kiptarus may have made
the difference between a Husker na
tional title and a top-three finish in
the indoor and outdoor seasons.
“You can’t say that for sure,”
uincsen said, dui ai me end or me
year, if we’re within four points of
a national title, he probably would
have made the difference.”
So Dirksen waits for his star to
return in August for another year
alongside fellow Kenyan standout
Cleophas Boor, who finished one .
spot behind Kiptarus at the Cross
Country Championships. Maiyo
said his brother is coming back.
“Who knows?” Dirksen said.
“It’s hard to tell. I hope he’s back.
They are tremendous young people,
and the thing that impresses me is
how hard they work at their stud
ies. Jonah loves farming, and it’s
important to him to get his degree.”
Kiptarus and Boor major in
agri-economics, and Maiyo wants
to work as a physician’s assistant.
Back home, Kiptarus still runs
daily, staying in shape and hoping
to grab the attention of prestigious
Kenyan National Team.
But mostly, he farms.
Sherman is a senior news-edi
torial major and a Daily Nebras
kan senior reporter.
MHOQ MOORE goes up for a dunk earlier this season. Nebraska plays No. 11
Iowa State tonight. . .... ,. ^ ,
Cornhuskers try to
end two-game skid
against Cyclones.
By David Wilson
Staff Reporter
It’s all about consistency.
Even Nebraska Basketball Coach
Danny Nee doesn’t know which
Comhusker team
will show up at
7:05 tonight to
face llth-ranked
Iowa State at the
Bob Devaney
Sports Center.
“We don’t
know night in and
night out if we can
get the consistent
play from eve-y
one,” Nee said. Ham,lton
“We need eight guys to play well and
After winning three straight con
ference games at home, the
Cornhuskers (11-7 overall and 3-3 in
the Big 12 Conference) lost two con
secutive games on the road against
Missouri and Oklahoma.
But Iowa State Coach Tim Floyd
said NU is a strong team on its home
“I think they’ve played very well
at home,” Floyd said. “They had a
tough week last week, but that’s un
derstandable given who they played
and where they played the games.”
In its next four games Nebraska
will face four ranked opponents in
cluding No. 1 Kansas whom the Husk
ers play Saturday in Lawrence.
“It’s probably one of the toughest
parts of our schedule,” Nee said. “The
mentality would be just to defend your
home court and win your home
The young Husker squad will go
up against a Cyclone team that starts
five seniors, giving ISU (13-3 and 4
2) an experience advantage.
“(The Cyclones) know each other and
they know the system,” Nee said.
“They have the ability to win close
games. All the things that spell for
success, I think Iowa State has. It’s a
stronger, better basketball team.
“When they have that unit together,
that’s as strong of team as there is in
the Midwest.”
Guard Dedric Willoughby, who
scored 63 points in three games against
Nebraska last season, leads the Cy
clones averaging 16.8 points per game.
But Willoughby still may not be at full
The 6-foot-3, 180-pound senior
pulled a hamstring in the second half
of the Cyclones 80-67 loss at Kansas,
and sat out against Colorado and Kan
sas State. Although not 100 percent,
he played against Texas Tech last Sat
“I think Willoughby would be the
heart and soul for the offense,” Nee
said. “We’re expecting him to play.”
NU point guard Tyronn Lue
Please se$ ISU on 8
Welder sees
ISU dual as
big chance
By Sam McKewon
Staff Reporter
Nebraska 126-pound wrestler
Jeramie Welder isn’t intimidated by
the nation’s fourth-best 126-pounder,
Dwight Hinson of
Iowa State.
“He’s just
another guy,”
Welder said.
“That’s the way
you have to ap
proach it.”
plans to take that
attitude into
w M Sunday’s dual
we,aer against the Cy
The 1 lth-ranked Welder’s match is
important not only for personal reasons
but for the team as well. A victory at
126 could give the No. 11 Huskers(10
4) early momentum against seventh
ranked Iowa State (4-5-1).
“We’d love to have that win at
126,” NU Coach Tim Neumann.
“Jeramie is prepared to win, and he’s
got a good chance.”
Welder (30-5) won his 30th match
of this season by pinning Wyoming’s
Corey Hamrick 1:44 into the match.
“I saw Jeramie and this team take
it to another level,” Neumann said.
“We matured a lot with the National
Welder is coming off an injury
plagued sophomore season where he
Please see WELDER on 8
NU swimmers glad
to compete at home
By Jay Saunders
Staff Reporter
With road trips to California and
Iowa in the past month, the 15th
ranked men’s and 16th-ranked
women’s Ne
braska swim
ming and div
ing teams are
happy to fi
v’ nally compete
at home.
T h e
have home
meets at the
H . Bob Devaney
Sports Center
pool the next two weekends. Mis
souri visits Saturday for a 1 p.rn.
dual, and Kansas comes to Lincoln
Feb. 9.
NU Coach Cal Bentz said the
meets against the Tigers and
Jayhawks will help the Huskers
determine who will swim in what
races for the Big 12 Championship
meet Feb. 27 through March 1 in
College Station, Texas.
But for now, Bentz said, it’s just
good to be home.
“It is nice to be at home, but it
is not necessary for us to swim
well,” Bentz said. “This is a team
that travels very well.”
The two-meet homestand
comes after a long stretch of com
peting on the road. The Huskers
spent a weekend in California over
^winter break and used the time for
intense practices and meets against
Cal-Santa Barbara and Southern
Both the NU men and women
won the dual against Gauchos but
lost to the Trojans.
Bentz said the California trip
has paid dividends for his team.
“We had great training in Cali
fornia and swam well,” Bentz said.
“We were pleased with our perfor
mance. The trip was very beneficial.”
The Huskers notched some of
their top times of the season in their
win over UCSB. Freshman Carlos
Assertahad a time of 2 minutes 5.06
seconds in the 200-yard breast
stroke, and freshman Christine Troy
swam a 10:22.33 in the 1,000-yard
After the California trip, the
Husker men won at Iowa and at
Iowa State, and the women won at
Iowa State two weekends ago.
Although it has been two weeks
since the Huskers last competed,
the team has settled back into a
routine schedule, Bentz said.
“We have also been training
hard on a regular basis,” he said.
‘With the way we have to train,
competition disturbs our schedule.”
~ Bentz said NU is excited to com
pete at home and will have to swim
well against MU. The Tiger men
enter their meet with the Huskers
with a record of 4-5 but have won
three-straight duals. The Missouri
women have improved to 4-5.
“Missouri has been making
steady improvements,” Bentz said.
“I am sure they will provide good
competition. We have to be ready
for that.”
Iowa State
gives Beck
By Mike Kluck
Senior Reporter
. Unable to control its destiny in the
national polls, the Nebraska women’s
basketball team has turned its focus to
achieving one
goal it can attain
— winning the
Big 12 Confer
ence title.
T h e
Comhuskers (15
1 overall and 5-1
in the Big 12) are
tied with Kansas
for the lead in the
North Division.
icaos nos uic oesi
conference record of any team with a
6-1 mark. The Longhorns are 13-3
“If we win the Big 12 Champion
ship we will get a lot of national re
spect, we’ll be the best and then ev
erything we want will fall in line,” NU
Coach Angela Beck said. “I just don’t
have any feelings about the rankings.
... Right now we are more wearied about
what we can control. And what we can
control is our record.”
In order to stay in the hunt for the
conference crown, the Huskers need
to win the games they are supposed to
starting Thursday night at Iowa State.
The Cyclones (9-7,2-4) have been
a pesky team for foes this season. Iowa
State has not lost a game by more than
11 points this year, and its four con
Please see BECK on 8