The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, February 15, 2001, Page 10, Image 10

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haunts NU
Sports are Play-Doh. Their
importance molds from situa
tion to situation.
In one breath, sports are life.
In another, on the low end of the
they’ve been
put into per
spective by
life . :
„ Coach Paul
Sanderford Samuel
took the lat- McKewon
ter approach ■mhhh
in his discus
sion of a 10-14 (now 10-15)
record at Monday’s press con
Now that consistent win
ning is no longer an option for
NU, Sanderford has resorted to
looking in the mirror each
morning and liking himself, or
so he said. He has instructed his
team to do likewise, consigning
them to a group of recovering
alcoholics, carnival workers
and “Snow White” villains.
Funny what losing does and
die mystery that it brings along
with it. Nebraska, a team that,
according to one of its players,
has as much talent as any team
in the Big 12, is merely trying to
get through the season.
Not any real reasons for it
There are, but there aren’t. And
depending on who you ask, the
reasons that are for one aren’t
for another, or they aren’t for
anyone publicly, whereas, in
actuality, they really are. Just
nobody will say it Got that?
Losing teams never do. They
look in the mirror or watch
inspirational movies, as
Sanderford has said they did
before losing to Oklahoma like
“Hoosiers,” an Indiana basket
ball film in which Dennis
Hopper plays a recovering alco
i hoUc. See the connection?
Losing teams don’t. It never
gets set right. There's no reason
to have expected a season like
this. Nebraska does have talent.
And quicks. And hops. And
'bows. It may lack smarts, but
that hasn’t stopped many a
dumb collegiate men's basket
ball team - Cincinnati and
Maryland come to mind - from
enjoying parcels of success.
What gives?
Like losing teams know. It’s
the schedule, or inexperience,
or luck or misfortune. It’s a bet
ter Big 12 Conference than last
year. It's a head-scratching
Nebraska offense that tries too
hard to pound the ball inside.
It’s an endless bench of talent
and a 12-woman rotation.
It's one of those seven dead
ly sins - forced gluttony.
Sanderford had a boatload of
skill and not a lot of role players.
How do you fit talent into roles?
Not so easily sometimes. And
how do you manage a team that
rarely has four players click on
the same night?
It just goes on and on, a
litany of clauses glomming
together like an insurance
agreement. Just sign at the bot
tom and admit defeat
A lot like life. I mean per
spective. I mean mirrors. I
mean Dennis Hopper, post
“Apocalypse Now." That
includes “Hoosiers” you know.
Freaky things, man, freaky
It hasn’t been fun, I’ll tell
you. Watching four games in
person and seven or eight on
the tube, there's a point where
one loss morphs into another.
Different game, different rea
sons, still losing, same thing. It’s
taken a wear on Sanderford,
and you gotta cop a feel for the
man - his past is better than his
And he had to use it Monday
- “I've won 400 games folks" - to
remind us he still gets Xs and
Os. We trust, Paul. We ain’t mad
The game has not passed
the man by, and the best games
are still in front of many of his
players. This isn't forever. A sea
son like this you play, you lose,
you momentarily weep, you
move on.
Losing is a haunting thing;
you can't put your finger on it all
the time, fry and ask Nebraska’s
players about it. See above for
attributed confusion, and if
they don't know, then who?
Mirror, mirror on the wall...
4 y *f
NU swimmers begin Big 12 journey
■ It's a race for second place in the Big 12
championships as host Texas is expected to
run away with swimming title.
Usually you settle for second place, but
the Nebraska women’s swimming and diving
teams would welcome such a finish.
Big 12 championships start today and run
through Saturday in Austin, Texas, but expec
tations of knocking off perennial power
Texas, especially at home, is slim.
Interim Coach Paul Nelsen is realistic
about how any of the other five teams com
peting will fare against the No. 9 Longhorns.
“I expect it (the finals) to be top-heavy
with Texas,” Nelsen said, “and the teams that
are going to get second and third are going to
be the teams that get in the finals with them.”
For Nebraska to gamer a second-place
finish, Nelsen said most if not all individuals
need to record season-best times and even
personal-best times. Those time expecta
tions aren’t expected only from seasoned All
American leaders Beth Karaica, Elvira
Fischer and Lindsey Highstrom, but produc
tivity is expected from many of the budding
and talented freshmen.
Interim Assistant Coach Doug Humphrey
is confident with the Huskers’ young talent
and their ability to step up for the Big 12
championships if the team aims to take
home second.
“We have quite a few swimmers who are
ready to break out that are really kind of
unknown,” Humphrey said. “Barbara Auer,
Rebecca Wolfe, Kristin Souppa - some of
those freshmen who we haven’t seen what
they can really do.”
With the help of young talent, proven
leaders will still need to hold steadfast to
anchor the team.
In the Big 12, Karaica has the third fastest
time in the 50-yard freestyle and fourth in the
100-yard freestyle. She is being counted on to
make the finals especially with the team slim
in the freestyle sprints.
Jackie Lobdell heads up the distance
events. Her times for the 500-, 1,000- and
1,650-yard freestyle races rank her in the top
three times in each event in the Big 12.
Both the 100- and 200-yard backstroke
times are lead by Highstrom, but Auer may
also make a strong showing for the Huskers.
The one-two punch of Fischer and Kari
Hehn in the 100- and 200-yard breaststroke
matches could prove to be too much, maybe
even for Texas.
Recent addition Carmen Cosgrove will try
to continue her early success in the 100- and
200-yard butterfly races. In addition to being
relied upon in the butterfly, Cosgrove is part
of five different relays.
In a move made by the Big 12 Conference,
both the men’s and women’s diving champi
onships are being held this weekend. The
Please see SWIMMERS on 9
Women’s Big XII
[The Skinny:|
Three freshmen
provide NU boost
A winning season can be
built on the success of a few ath
letes. However, turning a win
ning season into a champi
onship requires a total team
In order for Nebraska's gym
nasts to reach that goal, the
Comhuskers looked for others to
stand out and pick up the slack
left by departed athletes. In the
process, three freshmen have
picked up that slack nicely.
Heading into the season, the
sixth-ranked Nebraska women’s
gymnastic team found itself
without graduated NCAA all
around champion Heather
Brink. The Huskers also had to
deal with injuries to sophomores
A.J. Lamb (back) and Bree Dority
O'Callaghan (knee).
ine talented trio ot uina
Bruce, Tami Harris and Libby
Landgraf joins the already estab
lished Alecia Ingram, a two-time
Big 12 gymnast of the week, to
form this year’s freshman class
and help put NU back in the
midst of a tide chase.
While Ingram has consis
tently been in the spotlight filling
the void left by Brink, the contri
bution of Ingram’s three fellow
classmates helped propel NU to
its highest team score in school
history, 197.050, last week in the
West Virginia Quadrangular.
With the injuries to Lamb
and O’Callaghan, Coach Dan
Kendig has used the young gym
nasts to fill the void.
“Our freshman class has
done a terrific job for us all sea
son,” Kendig said. “We rely on
them a lot, and they have com
peted well for us from the very
first meet.”
Harris has been a positive
constant for NU this season. The
Virginia Beach, Va., native is sec
ond on the team in the number
of all-arounds competed in.
In four all-arounds, Harris is
averaging 38.762 for the season,
including a career-high 39.3 in
last week’s fifth-place showing at
the quadran
Harris, “Our
start value in ClCtSS has
the vault to a done a
10.0, record
ed a career- terrific
high 9.90 job for
score in the /JC nii
event last uu m
week. season.
She also
set a career- Dan Kendig
high 9.95 on gymnastics
the uneven coach
bars at the -
lar, tying her with teammate
O’Callaghan for first place in the
Kendig said he feels that
Harris has the potential to do
bigger and better things for the
“Tami is one talented gym
nast,” Kendig said. “What she is
capable of in the long run, she is
going to be the one to turn some
Bruce has also turned some
heads with her power and her
ability to step in at any event
Nebraska broke the 197 point
barrier for the first time in school
history against Missouri earlier
Please see FRESHMEN on 9
Wildcats not a
test this time
The Nebraska basketball team seemed to forget
that it was Valentine’s Day, showing anything but love
for its Big 12 conference brethren Kansas State on
Wednesday night.
Instead, the Cornhuskers (12-12,5-6) used an
impressive dynamic duo attack by senior center
Kimani Ffriend and freshman forward Brian Conklin
to whip the Wildcats (8-14,2-9) 82-56before 7,022 fans
at the Bob Devaney Sports Center, itv. . =i
Ffriend, admittedly playing up y7~~~r7. jfj?
and down recently, reasserted him-1"*”3*3” 301
self in a big way, claiming 17 points and 11 rebounds
in only 24 minutes of play. Conklin popped in 11
points and grabbed a career-high 17 boards.
Conklin continued his recent tear, following up
his career high 18-point performance against Baylor
on Saturday with his first career double-double on
U T _•_.4.1 • • r 1 xl. n. rr
J.1C3 UpCIUllg Up Ulv llldJLUC IU1 UUU1 OlClIUll
(Bradford) and I,” Ffriend said. “In today's game, they
couldn't help out as much on me when they set the
double team because they didn’t want to leave
(Conklin) out there to shoot a three-pointer.”
Conklin drew the start for Nebraska in place of
Nebraska senior forward Steffon Bradford, who was
benched after a pie-game dunk gave NU a technical
foul before the game even started.
“If you’re coming off the bench or starting, you’re
still going to be playing in the game,” Conklin said.
“Coach wants you out there for a reason. You just got
Please see WILDCATS on9
H ¥
ISU coach still plugging away
Iowa State wrestling coach
Bobby Douglas has been around
the wrestling world for what
seems to be an eternity.
In his 27th remarkable year as
a college wrestling coach, Douglas
is leading his fourth-ranked
Cyclones to another charge at a
stellar NCAA finish. His ISU squad
will square off against Nebraska
on Friday at the Bob Devaney
Sports Center - just another
match in Douglas’s near three
decades in the sport
However, despite the emerg
ing gray hairs and the trophy cases
of accomplishments, the gritty 59
year-old coach from Ohio is still
going strong and isn’t planning on
even tapping the brakes anytime
“I’m on an eight to 10 year
plan,” said Douglas, who is using
that period as a timeline to usher
out his current crop of wrestlers
and push through another hand
ful of recruiting classes.
"It's been real tough; it's been a
challenge,” Douglas said of his
longevity. “I've had outstanding
student athletes, worked with a lot
of administrative support and had
a lot of fan support”
In that time, the wrestlers that
Douglas has already had a hand in
overseeing have been some of the
most productive ever, individually hi a ait a
A member ofseveral hallsof TuC DCSt QtfllCt6
fame already, including the
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X1UUV/11UI llivviumg 1XUU U1 X (XXXXIs
(inducted 1987), Douglas started
his coaching career at Arizona
State in 1974 after he won a Big
Eight championship wrestling for
Oklahoma State and helped them
win the 1964 NCAA title.
Leading the Sun Devils to a
225-77-6 record over his 18 years
in Tempe, Ariz., Douglas’ 1988
ASU squad is the only team out
side the Big Ten or Big 12 to win a
national title since 1950.
Assisting on Olympic teams in
1976, 1980, 1984 and 1988,
Douglas was coach for the 1992
United States freestyle team and
led it to heights never achieved. All
10 competitors wrestled to top 10
finishes, and three gold medals
were handed out to Americans
that year.
Other coaches around the Big
12 Conference have marveled at
Douglas’s accomplishments, such
as his357 career wins and his stay
ing power.
Oklahoma State Coach John
Smith and Nebraska Coach Mark
Manning, both relatively young
coaches, said they shudder some
what at the idea of being a coach
Please see DOUGLAS on 9
you dontknow
It's sad, kind of disappointing even.
One of the greatest athletes of our time, if not all
time, is going to be at the ^—,
Devaney Center, and you won t
go see him. What’s more, you
probably don’t even know he
Ninth-ranked Nebraska’s
wrestling team takes on No. 4
Iowa State in wrestling on
Friday in the Devaney’s track
pavilion. Gael Sanderson will
be there, and you should be, David
to°. Diehl
In fact, if you’re not there,
you’d better be dead or in jail.
And if you’re in jail, break out.
Sanderson, Iowa State’s top-ranked 184
pounder, is probably the most dominant wrestler in
collegiate history, and it is unfortunate that nobody
outside the world of wrestling knows about him.
Gretzky, Jordan, Ali, Sanderson. I’m not kidding.
He’s that good. If wrestlers wore numbers on sin
glets, they wouldn't just retire his, they’d take it out
of the whole numerical system.
Sanderson, a junior, has never lost in his three
years of college competition. He blew past Iowa
Please see WRESTLER on 9
i 4t