The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, April 11, 1997, Page 10, Image 10

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    NU track teams
travel to UTEP
By Andrew &TRNAD
Staff Reporter
The Nebraska men’s and
women’s track and field teams will
send some of their finest athletes
to compete against the world’s best
this weekend at the Texas-El Paso
World-record holder Donovan
Bailey will headline a group of sev
eral Atlanta Olympians at one of
the NCAA’s most competitive
meets erf the year.
The Cornhuskers will send
more than 40 athletes to UTEP to
take advantage of the high altitude
and windy conditions in El Paso,
Texas, to set some good marks.
Nebraska Throws Coach Mark
Colligan said anything can happen
at the meet.
“It’s always crazy in El Paso,”
Colligan said. “You’ve got the wind
blowing in every direction, and
you’re up at 4,000 feet. So a lot of
things can happen.”
Colligan said a lot of records are
set at the meet because of the ideal
conditions. A year ago UTEP’s
Obadele Thompson ran a wind
aided 9.69 100-meter dash — the
fastest time ever recorded in the
Even though some athletes will
be competing in only their first or
second meets of the outdoor sea
son, the Huskers have set 12 NCAA
automatic and provisional qualify
ing marks.
Junior shot putter Tressa Thomp
It’s always crazy
in El Paso.”
NU throws coach
son, who won the NCAA indoor title
last March, has put herself in good
position to win the outdoor crown
with an early season throw of 58 feet,
5 3/4 inches, the nation’s current
second-best mark.
“It’s early in the year, and she’s
starting to pick it up,” Colligan
said. “But I’m not going to make
any predictions right now.”
Nebraska will also send some
of its athletes to Saturday’s Tom
Botts Invite in Columbia, Mo.
Medium sprint and long distance
runners will dominate the meet.
Providing an early spark for the
Husker women in the medium
sprints is freshman Stella Klassen.
Klassen has posted the fifth fastest
time in the nation in the 400 meters
with a time of 53.62 seconds.
Klassen is one of many fresh
man making early contributions to
the team, which gives NU Assis
tant Coach Steve Smith reason to
be optimistic.
“We’ve got three or four, maybe
more, that have definitely helped
us out,” Smith said. “That is good
news of course.”
I ' I I IJ:*+ f * 111
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NU prepares for tough foes
-!- * *
By Vince D’Adamo
Staff Reporter
The way the schedule in the next
two weeks looks for the Nebraska soc
cer team, the Comhuskers aren’t tak
ing any breathers.
NU will
take on Notre
Dame — the
NCAA Champi
onship runner-up
— on Saturday at
South Bend, Ind.,
followed by an
April IS game
with NCAA
champion North
Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Nebraska concludes its spring slate
with an April 26 game against the U.S.
Under-20 National Team, which has
defeated the Ihr Heels this spring.
Husker Coach John Walker said
the next few weeks will be a good
measuring stick for when the real sea
son begins in August.
“We couldn’t ask for three harder
games,” Walker said. “The most im
portant thing is we’ll know exactly
where we stand. We’ll have a really
good idea of what we need to work on
come the fell.”
We’ll have a really good idea of what we
need to work on come the fall.”
John Walker
NU soccer coach
Senior midfielder Kari
Uppinghouse said NU will like noth
ing better than to go into its fall sea
son with a full head of steam.
“We want to finish these next few
games strong,” Uppinghouse said.
‘We’ve been preparing for them be
cause they’re all top-five teams.”
Against one Final Four team this
spring, Nebraska has been successful.
The Huskers rallied to win at Santa
Clara 2-1 on March 15.
NU enters this weekend’s action
pretty healthy.
The only significant injury this
spring came when senior defender
Thnya Franck sustained a medial col
lateral ligament injury to her knee.
Franck did return to practice Monday.
“She looked good,” Walker said.
‘We’ll see how she does as the week
goes on.”
Overall, the Huskers’ workout sched
ule has tapered slightly as of late, Walker
said, but the team still remembers how it
became a success last season.
“We’ve backed off on weights to
two times a week,” Walker said. “We
gave them a week off for spring break,
then last week they had four hard prac
tices. We know we ask a lot of them,
but they’re holding up well.”
In practice, Nebraska has been
working on offense, Walker said, by
focusing on crossing and flank plays.
Uppinghouse said things have
gone well.
“We’ve been working on a lot of
competitive things,” Uppinghouse said.
“Just going hard with a lot of one-on
ones. Also, we’ve been working on
bringing the ball out of the back, look
ing for shorter passes and working the
ball through the midfield”
' •.• .ir ■'
Huskers add 3 guards, lose Mitchell
i : A - "'
H00P8 from page 9__
Playing 40 minutes in place of an in
jured lyronn Lue on Dec. 31, Mitchell
scored a career-high 16 points in an
84-73 loss to Cincinnati in the Puerto
Rico Holiday Classic.
Mitchell sat out the 1995-96 sea
son as an academic casualty and will
be forced to redshirt next season —
with two years of eligibility remain
ing — if he transfers to a Division I
Smith, Cochran and Williams will
play a large part in replacing Mitchell
next season, Nee said. Each of the
three guards visited Lincoln the first
weekend of March, when they watched
Nebraska’s regular season-ending 85
65 loss to Kansas before a season-high
crowd of 14,759 at the Bob Devaney
Sports Center.
“We just think they’re solid play
ers,” Nee said. “We recruit for two
reasons, one for long term and one for
short term. These players will contrib
ute to the short term, but we’re also
excited about their long-term poten
“They are eager to learn, and tal
ented, and their best basketball is
ahead of them.”
Smith, who averaged 22 points, 11
rebounds and nine assists per game
last season at Baldwin High School,
has not qualified academically and
needs a score of 17 on the ACT to be
come eligible to play next season.
Nee said he expects the guard trio
to adjust well to the college game play
ing behind Lue, a junior next year, and
sophomore Cookie Belcher.
“Someday, we won’t have Tyronn
Lue,” Nee said, “and these young play
ers will have to take control. But I
don’t think they can play or practice
with anybody better than those two.”
The Huskers, who now have 10 of
13 scholarships filled for next season
— including 6-11 November signee
Brant Harriman of Mason City, Iowa
— continue to recruit 6-10 forward
Antoine Broxsie of Tampa and 6-10
center Steven Eldridge of Tyler
(Texas) Junior College.
Signing a post player to replace the
departed Bernard Gamer and Mikki
Moore now becomes “a very impor
tant” objective in the month-long sign
ing period, Nee said.
Lue has been invited to try out for
the USA Men’s Under-22 World
Championship Team and the U.S.
World University Games Team. Two
12-member teams will be selected
from the May 30-through-June 2 try
outs at the Olympic TYaining Center
in Colorado Springs.
Playing for a group of professional
scouts, Moore averaged 7.5 points, 8.5
rebounds and blocked six shots in two
games at the Portsmouth (Va.) Invita
tional Tournament, April 2 through 5.
Huskers take on A&M
.1.. :
AGGIES from page 9
“They’re all good ball clubs.”
Against the northern teams of the
conference, Texas A&M is 6-3—in
cluding a three-game sweep of Iowa
State last weekend.
“I don’t think about sweeping
teams,” Johnson said. “I think of win
ning series. In this league, you have
to count your blessings if you win a
series. It’s unrealistic to say we will
sweep them this weekend.”
The Aggies enter the series batting
.323, led by sophomore outfielder Ja
son Tyner who leads the Big 12 with
68 hits.
Husker senior Steve Fish will make
his ninth start today looking to im
prove his 6-3 record. The right-hander
ranks second in the Big 12 in wins
and owns a 4.57 eamed-run average.
But the Aggies’ main concern,
Johnson said, is NU first baseman
Todd Sears. The All-America candi
date is batting a team-high .446 this
season and has knocked six hits in his
last nine at bats.
“Sears is really tearing it up,”
Johnson said. “He is protected well in
their lineup. (Francis) Collins is hit
ting very well, so its hard to pitch
around him. As a team they are al
most hitting .300 so they are a pretty
good hitting club.”
As a team Nebraska is batting .293,
but the Husker bats will be up against
an Aggie pitching staff that owns a
4.53 ERA — second best in the con
Texas A&M had a seven-game
winning streak snapped Tuesday in a
10-4 loss to Southwest Texas in the
fourth game of a nine-game
homestand. The Aggies own a 19-8
record at Olsen Field.
“Getting home has helped us,”
Johnson said. “We’re better than
whoa we were when we started the
season, but we still need to make up
some ground.”
The Aggies rank sixth in the Big
12— 314 games behind league-lead
ing Texas Tech (12-3).
The Huskers are 614 games behind
the Red Raiders and rank tenth in the
conference. Only the top six teams
qualify for the Big 12 tournament May
15 through 18 in Oklahoma City.
Nebraska returns home to play
Hastings College on Tbesday at 2:30
pm at Buck Beltzer Field.
From Staff Reports
The NU softball team’s four
game homestand this weekend is
feeling die effects of the inclement
The Comhuskers (15-15 over
all and 2-2 in the Big 12 Confer
ence) will not play Baylor (28-19
and 1-7) in a doubleheader on Sat
urday as scheduled. The games
with the Bears have been moved to
Monday at 1 p.m. at the NU soft
ball complex.
Nebraska is still scheduled to
play Texas Tech in a doubleheader
on Sunday starting at noon. The
Huskers* game with Iowa State on
Thursday was canceled because of
the weather.
After the Baylor games Mon
day, NU is scheduled to play at
Creighton in a doubleheader on