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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Feb. 3, 1999)
Dillman’s career ends at NU after sixth injury in 2 years
Senior tears achilles tendon in practice after 18-month recovery from dislocating knees
By Joan Gaskins
The Nebraska women’s gymnas
tics team lost one of its most dynamic
performers this past week.
Senior floor exercise and vault
specialist Amie Dillman, who has
been plagued with injuries the last
two seasons, tore the achilles tendon
in her left ankle in practice Monday,
Jan. 25. The injury put an end to a
“I think it was a sign - it’s over,”
Dillman said. “It’s going to be tough
not competing anymore, but in a way
The injury came just as Dillman
was mounting an incredible return to
the floor after having missed the
entire 1998 season because of dislo
cated knees. She competed in the first
I two meets of this season after being
out of action for nearly two years.
But in practice on that Monday,
Dillman was performing a floor rou
tine, getting ready to flip, when she
felt a sharp pain in her legs. She land
ed on her head and knew not long
after of her fate.
“An old coach of mine once told
me what it feels like to blow out your
achilles,” Dillman said, “and it felt
exactly the way he told me.”
“The second it happened, I was
ready to accept it. I was just laughing.
It was unbelievable, after all the stuff
that’s happened to me.”
After tests showed that the tendon
was indeed torn, she was taken into
surgery last Friday. The surgery, her
sixth in two years, was successful.
Dillman took a medical redshirt
and missed the entire 1998 season
after she tore both posterior cruciate
ligaments and dislocated both of her
knees in warm-ups before the 1997
Midwest Regional meet in Salt Lake
She spent countless hours in reha
bilitation over the next year and a
half, never knowing if she would
heal. Doctors and trainers told her it
would be virtually impossible for her
to make it back on the floor.
She didn’t care. Dillman was
determined to return, and she did. Her
mere presence in the gym inspired
her teammates to work harder.
“Last year, whenever I had a
minor injury, I just looked at Amie,”
fellow senior and roommate Jessica
Swift, who’s had her own injury prob
“She’s been an inspiration to us
all. Everyone looks up to her.
Especially us seniors who have seen
her through it all. It w ill be in the back
of our minds to win it for Amie this
Dillman’s coach, Dan Kendig,
was not at a loss for words about her
unfortunate ordeal and the courage
she showed throughout.
“The most horrible thing in
coaching is seeing one of your ath
letes like Amie get injured and go
through so much pain,” Kendig said.
“What makes it so much easier for
us to handle this is her incredible atti
tude about the whole thing. She
makes it easier for all of us because of
her positive attitude and her strength
in handling this.”
Hardabura leaves skiing to star for NU
SKI from page 9
sure of the crowds and the judges (last
weekend). It was nothing to him.”
While others have plenty to praise
about Hardabura, it seems as though all
he wants to talk about is, well, anything
“When you write this article, I want
you to stress the team,” Hardabura said.
“Mention people like (freshman
walk-on) Dusty (Jakub) and the fresh
men that play a huge role on this team.”
When asked if he’s a leader on the
squad to such gymnasts, all he wanted
to talk about was senior co-captains Jim
Koziol and Marshall Nelson, who
might have to sit out the season due to a
“This guy deserves a lot of praise,”
“To be able to come into the gym
and sit through four hours a day without
doing gymnastics just because you
know the guys need you there is incred
Hardabura said that the main rea
son he is so insistent on speaking about
his team is because in his two years of
collegiate gymnastics, he has realized
how valuable being in a team atmos
phere is to his individual performances,
not to mention his life.
Before he came to Nebraska,
Hardabura had been a veteran on the
Canadian National Team, where he said
the word “team” was just that - a word.
The Canadian Gymnastics Federation
provided little monetary support, which
hurt his chances of international suc
“If you want to be one of the best
gymnasts in the world, you have to trav
el to all die international competitions
“Judges give you the benefit of the
doubt if they know who you are, and
there’s no money for that in Canada.”
i It was a tough pill to swallow for
Hardabura knowing he had the poten
tial to be a world competitor. Such frus
tration, and his 1996 heartbreak, was
what sent him out to the ski slopes for
“We were only going to be out there
for a couple of days, but each day we
kept saying, ‘Eh, let’s stay another
day,”’ Hardabura said.
“That went on for a while. We had
When he decided to reluctantly
leave his best friends and get back into
gymnastics, Haidabura knew he could
not survive without a college education
and a scholarship and, therefore, he
needed to move to the United States.
He found his savior in Allen, who
had never before signed a foreign ath
“We’ve had a lot of athletes from all
over the world call and say, ‘I want to
come to Nebraska,”’ Allen said.
“Sometimes a foreign athlete will
ruin your team because he doesn’t fit
in, but Jason fits in.”
Hardabura fit in so well and liked
being on an actual team so much that he
said competing for the national cham
pionship individually as a freshman,
although it was a tremendous feat,
“sucked” because the Huskers failed to
qualify as a team.
“I wanted to be part of seven guys
who went to Penn State (where the meet
was held) and stand up there with them
in first place, but we didn’t make it,”
“All of a sudden my focus changed.
That is a perfect example of how tight
this team is. We go out together all the
time. We’re all best friends. It’s a good
Of course, the Huskers will have
their crack at the national title this year.
Even more exciting will be the fact that
the championships will be held in
So what is Hardabura’s No. 1 goal
for himself in the future? His own
NCAA title? The 2000 Olympics?
Don’t even try to ask. He’s not in it for
“It’s always been a goal of mine to
go to the Olympics, but the biggest part
of that goal was to be a part of a team in
that Olympics, and I have that atmos
phere here,” Hardabura said.
“I don’t think that (Canadian) team
that goes to die Olympics will be tighter
than this team here. It’s not the same at
And Nebraska gymnastics would
n’t be the same if Hardabura were still
skiing right now.
Husker women drop another road game
■ Nicole Kubik scores 34
points, but it’s not enough
in a 74-66 loss to Missouri.
From, staff reports
Nicole Kubik faced the world
Tuesday night in Nebraska’s game
against Missouri. And the world won.
The Comhusker women’s basket
ball team lost its sixth straight game
on the road in Columbia, Mo., with a
74-66 setback to the Tigers.
Kubik had 34 points, but it wasn’t
enough against MU, which trailed 29
25 at halftime. The Tigers scored 49
points in the second half, doubling
their production from the first half.
Ironically, Kubik had 34 points
last year at Missouri, but it came
along with a win. And while Kubik
had 34, she only had four assists and
was 14-33 shooting from the floor,
including 1-10 from beyond the 3
“We played terrible,” NU Coach
Paul Sanderford said. “That’s not any
other word for it.”
Next in line was Brooke Schwartz
with 14 points. Center Lisa Reitsma
added 6. But what injured the
Huskers was getting no points from
either Cori McDill or Cisco Gilmore.
Missouri, which had lost 19
games in a row to NU, dating back to
1991, trailed most of the first half,
taking only its second lead of the
game at 18-16. NU (15-7 overall and
4-5 in the Big 12 Conference)
answered with a 13-6 run to end the
The Tigers (9-10 and 3-6) took
over in the second half and made their
free throws down the stretch.
The game marks the second time
this season that Nebraska has virtual
ly blasted an opponent at home and
then been beaten on the road. It hap
pened with Colorado earlier in the
season, as well.
MU was led by forward Julie
Helm, who had 27 points.
The Huskers now move on back
home, where they will play Iowa State
Sunday. The Cyclones defeated NU
79-58 last Thursday in Ames, Iowa.
Nee candidate for Pitt coaching job
From staff reports
Nebraska Men’s Basketball Coach
Danny Nee has been named as a can
didate for the head men’s basketball
coach’s job at Pittsburgh, according to
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
The Post-Gazette reported
Tuesday that Nee was an “instant can
didate” for the position left vacant by
current Coach Ralph Willard, who
announced Feb. 1 he will resign at the
end of the season.
Other candidates reported by the
Post-Gazette include former St. John’s
Coach Fran Fraschilla, Marquette
Coach Mike Deane, Siena Coach Paul
Hewitt and Bobby Jones, a former Pitt
Thus far into the season, the
Panthers are 11-9, including a 2-7
mark in the Big East Conference.
Despite the low numbers, Pitt started
off the year 6-0 and posted back to
back victories over then No. 10 Xavier
and then No. 4 Kentucky.
On Jan. 30, one day before Willard
announced his resignation, Pitt beat
No. 23 Mjami, 60-54._
Willard said he ihade the
announcement early, so as to give Pitt
Athletic Director Steve Pederson
more time to start a search and con
duct interviews for a replacement.
Pederson, a North Platte native,
was Nebraska’s associate athletic
director and director of football opera
tions from 1994-96. The Post-Gazette
cited Pederson’s relationship with Nee
as a qualifier for Nee’s candidacy.
Nee was unavailable for comment
Tuesday, as the team was traveling to
Colorado for tonight’s game against
Marly Swick Book Reading
Please join us in a special Nebraska Bookstore
Hkm£| author event Marly Swick will be reading and
^iSiS signing her new novel EVENING NEWS.
imM.umwwM. Saturday. February 6.1999 1;00 to 2:00
Susan Lewis Wright
^ jFREE concert*"^
Saturday February 6, 1999 • 7:00 pm
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