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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (March 20, 1997)
Russell leads NU charge
SWIM from page 7_ .._
Bentz said. Apparently we had to go
through the drama of winning the Big
12 meet before people across die coun
try recognized us.”
Now that Nebraska has accom
plished the goal of being ranked in the
Top 10, it is looking to reach even
higher with a good performance in the
“We want to go as high as we can
possibly go,” Bentz said. “We have
placed ourselves in a position to have
the opportunity to do that.”
For the Huskers to be able to climb
up the rankings even more, they must
focus on the task at hand in Indianapo
lis. Fourteen NU swimmers make up
the largest representation of any team
at the national meet.
A youth movement will carry NU
into Indy as nine of those 14 competi
tors are freshmen. With only two se
niors and one junior, Bentz said he is
not apprehensive about how his team
will perform in such a big meet.
“We have a lot of young people,
but a lot of those swimmers have com
peted in big meets before,” Bentz said.
“They have gone up against fast people
this year and have done well. Our feel
ing is they should perform at that
Leading the way for NU is All
American Julia Russell. The senior
from South Africa said she wants to
make a big mark at the NCAA meet.
Russell, who was named the Big 12
qualified for three events in nation
She ranks second nationally in
both the 100-yard breaststroke and the
I would love to go
out with a bang.”
200-yard individual medley. Russell’s
time of 2:10.25 is the fastest time in
the NCAA this year in the 200-yard
“I think this will be a really fun
meet,” Russell said. “I have heard it
is one of the fastest meets in the world.
I would love to go out with a bang.”
Russell has just returned to the
United States from her native coun
try. While in South Africa she wot the
200-meter breaststroke and 200-meter
IM and finished second in the 100
meter breaststroke. All the competi
tion in a short time has left Russell a
little tired, she said.
“I know I have been at the confer
ence meet and went home for nation
als,” Russell said. “Keeping that in
mind I just want to swim my best
times. If I do that I will be very satis
Russell and the rest of the 13
Husker swimmers are hoping to put it
together like they did in Texas and
maybe come back to Lincoln with
some more hardware.
“We will be ready to compete,”
Bentz said. “We have to be sure ev
eryone goes faster or duplicates their
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NCAA from page 7 _
Thompson has dwelled on the
thought since a surprise upset last
year in the meet’s semifinals
against North Carolina’s Justin
Harty. Thompson ended up third.
“I learned how to deal with ad
versity,” Thompson said of last
year’s finish. “This year, I don’t
care who’s out to get me. Nobody
can stay with me for seven min
NU Coach Tim Neumann said
Thompson is wrestling better than
“He’s wrestling better than any
time in his career,” Neumann said.
“The only thing stopping him is his
mental outlook. The two standing
in his way have beat him this year.
He feels like an underdog.”
That’s no big deal, according to
“I feel like a million bucks,” he
said after his workout Tuesday.
So do the Huskers, Neumann
said. He said the practices leading
up to the NCAA Championships
have focused on each of the wres
tlers’ weaknesses. For the fresh
man qualifiers, Beckerman and
McTorry, the important thing is to
get the experience of wrestling in
the NCAA Championships.
“Winning matches is realistic,”
Neumann said. “Once they get on
the mat, that’s how important this
For juniors Canoyer and
This year, I don’t
care who’s out
to get me. Nobody
can stay with
Welder, this is a chance to earn All
America status before their senior
season. It would be the second time
for Canoyer who finished fifth in
1995. For Kraft, NU’s lone senior
besides Thompson, it’s his last shot
at a national title. Neumann said
Kraft — although not a high seed
— has a chance at the title.
“He’s capable of winning the
tournament.” Neumann said.
Neumann’s hoping the home
mat advantage and emotion carries
Thompson to the finals. On the
road to the championship match,
Thompson must get by Neal to face
off against McCoy for the final
time. Thompson wouldn’t mind
that at all.
“The third time’s the charm,”
he said. “I need to worry about
UNO from page 7
the mound than have them throw
in the bullpen,” Sanders said.
But it wasn’t all fun and games
for the Huskers. In the first game,
the Mavericks gave NU a run for
In the top of the sixth inning,
sophomore Joe Cunningham
tripled home senior Derek Voss to
tie the game at five. Cunningham
later scored to give UNO a 6-5 lead
when NU right fielder Gabe Garcia
biffed a routine fly ball.
Nebraska struck back with six
runs on four hits in the bottom half
of the sixth to take an 11-5 lead.
“The first game was a little
sloppy,” Sanders said, “but we did
better at the end of the game. Of
fensively, we did a pretty good job
Todd Sears finished the day 4
for 8 with five runs scored and three
RBIs and raised his team-high av
erage to .461.
“I like Sears,” Gates said. “I’ve
seen him a lot. The other kids, I
haven’t seen a lot.”
Harrington, who played his first
career game against UNO, raised
his average to .327, which ranks
second among Husker hitters.
Nebraska needs to continue its
winning streak to enter the Rain
bow Easter Tournament with con
fidence, Harrington said.
“We just need to put some wins
together going into a tough tour
nament against some good teams,”
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