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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Jan. 26, 2000)
Muller hitting stride in senior season at NU
By Brian Christopherson
Helene Muller got on an airplane
in January 1997 knowing only that it
was supposed to land in a place called
Once she got there, she hadn’t a
clue what was to happen, other than
that she was supposed to swim for a
university for some coach she had met
at an Olympic Trial named Cal Bentz.
“I didn’t know where I was going
to live or what I was going to do,”
Muller said. “I just knew that if that
plane didn’t land in Lincoln,
Nebraska, I was in trouble.”
Muller knows her way around
And the South African also knows
quick routes through the pool - she
has been engulfing the competition
this season in the 50-, 100- and 200
meter freestyle events.
The swimming pool has also
given Muller the
ships from team
mates, serving as
a “family away
(on Saturday) was
for me,” Muller
said. “These are
the people that support me and who
are my friends,” she said, looking on
as her teammates work out.
Despite the love for Nebraska and
her teammates, Muller is forced to
have more on her mind than just the
task of helping the team do well at the
Muller is talented enough to be a
force in the 2000 Olympics as well,
and trials for her South African team
will approach very quickly in the rear
view mirror after the collegiate sea
However, Muller doesn’t see it as
a problem and is hungry for a high
finish at the NCAA meet this year.
She even has her parents flying in to
watch her swim at the meet in
“After all the coaches and team
mates have done for me, I owe it to
them to do all I can to win at NCAAs,”
Muller said. “If I do well at NCAAs, I
should be fit enough and should do
really well at the Olympic Trials.”
She has all the admirable traits,
and just the pure skill, to do some
damage in the coming months,
according to Assistant Coach Keith
Moore, who works with Muller on a
Mike Tyson goes international,
gets global fighting gig offers
Mike Tyson is no longer the world
champion, but he’s still a world attrac
As he prepares for British heavy
weight Julius Francis in Manchester on
Saturday, Tyson is getting offers to fight
from all comers of the globe.
His boxing adviser, Shelly Finkel,
said calls have come from Germany,
France, Russia, Austria, South Africa,
Japan, China, Wales and, of course,
First, he has to beat Francis, a 16-1
underdog. Francis, a former kickboxer,
is undergoing hypnosis and has also
sold the sole and heel of his boxing
shoes to The Mirror. The London news
paper expects such a purchase to come
in handy when Francis lands flat on his
back from a Tyson punch.
Tyson has been hounded whenever
he steps from his five-star Park Lane
hotel across from Hyde Park.
“It became like Beatlemania and
just escalated from there,” said Finkel,
recalling mob scenes in Brixton, a
chaotic airport reception and wild
shopping trips for jewelry and cars.
Somehow Tyson managed to train
despite the threat of being arrested for
jogging at 3 a.m. in Hyde Park. And
he’s looked sharp enough to talk about
getting his undisputed title back.
On Tuesday, Tyson went through his
final London workout before heading
to Manchester. He pounded combina
tions into the girdle-protected midsec
tion of trainer Stacy McKinley and
treated familiar footwork like new
“I was working on my balance, my
feet Going through repetitions” Tyson
said. “If you don’t remember die little
things, you’ll never remember the big
things. Because the little things add to
the big things.”
Tyson said he’s not yet ready to
^ Lennox Lewis needs Mike Tyson.
Mike Tyson doesn’t need Lennox
fight for the title.
“I have a little ways to go,” he said.
“I wish I felt as good as everyone says I
look. But I’m on my way.
“Sometimes I do things better than
when I was champ,” he added. “It’s just
all about getting my head together and
believing I can put it all in perspective.
... I move better, I’m faster and I punch
McKinley, who calls his job of get
ting hit by Tyson “the hardest a man
could have,” said Tyson has been
buoyed by the British fans.
“This reception ... has made him
feel good and really super great,” he
said. “Now-when a fighter feels great
and he’s straight about everything
around him, you’re going to see Mike
Tyson get his title back.”
After Francis, Tyson might fight
Shannon Briggs or Lou Savarese in late
March in New Jersey. That’s contingent
on a number of things. Among them,
Tyson must beat Francis, get a New
Jersey boxing license and stay out ol
Finkel also wants a June or July
bout to keep Tyson sharp and fighting
every three or four months.
Then there’s the matter of undisput
ed heavyweight champion Lennox
‘Tyson and Lewis is the only other
fight out there,” Finkel said.
But it might not happen. Lewis is
under contract with HBO and Tyson
with rival network Showtime.
Jay Larkin of Showtime said
Tuesday there were no negotiations
with HBO. Basically, he said it’s
Showtime or nothing.
“Lennox Lewis needs Mike Tyson,”
he said. “Mike Tyson doesn’t need
Larkin said the offers for Tyson
bouts have been competitive, and he
would consider a world tour.
“Oh, what a circus or what a show
that would be.... Hopefully, it’s a giant
step towards getting Mike back to the
center of public attention in the States,”
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“She’s very talented and very
strong, and she puts everything she
has into it and has the competitive
drive that forces her to do whatever it
takes,” Moore said.
Right now, Muller admits that she
is about a second off the pace she will
need to qualify for the South African
Olympic team in the freestyle events.
Muller swims 26.11 seconds in the
50-meter, 55.9 in the 100 and 2:02.12
in the 200.
“Since Christmas, the workouts
have been the hardest, and it’s been
like hell, but I think I’m at a good
point to be where I need to be by
Olympic Trials,” she said.
She swam the butterfly leg for the
South African 400-meter relay team
that finished just off the medal stand
in fourth place at the 1996 Olympics
Muller says she was in awe of the
Olympic atmosphere and the athletes
around her, which may have detracted
from her focus in the various events
she raced in.
“I didn’t do what I set out to do
there,” she said. “I was a bit flabber
gasted, and I felt inadequate.”
As Muller walks pool side, she
jokes around with teammates and
coaches, very comfortable with her
surroundings three years after step
ping on that airplane.
“I had no idea what this confer
ence and NCAA stuff was that every
one was talking about when I first got
She knows now. “I want at least a
top-three finish at NCAAs,” she said.
“I really think I can do that.”
And maybe after that, she can hop
on a plane again heading towards
South Dakota i
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