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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (March 2, 2001)
Huskers have a solid lineup for Biq 12s
BY DAVID DIEHL
Glancing at the Big 12 confer
ence’s lineup at 197-pounds, there
may be very’ little discussion on what
conference that weight’s national
title will come from.
The Big 12 stakes claim to the top
three wrestlers in the nation in the
class with Nebraska’s Brad Vering,
Iowa State’s Zach Thompson and
Oklahoma State’s Mark Munoz,
ranked one thorough three respec
tively. Oklahoma's Waymon May is
ranked 11th at 197-pounds.
All four will be fighting for a Big
12 conference championship and a
likely top seed for the NCAA
Championships on March 15-17 in
Iowa City, Iowa, at the Big 12 champi
onships today and Saturday in
Vering, Thompson and Munoz
finished in that order at last year’s
NCAA championships with Vering
“It’s going to be whoever
has their two days there. ”
top-ranked senior wrestler
defeating Thompson in double
overtime, 2-1, for the national title.
“It’ll be a dogfight,” Nebraska
Coach Mark Manning said. "I think
Brad is really prepared for it.”
This year, each of the four
wrestlers has beaten at least one of
the other three, proving that nothing
is for granted in the Big 12’s premiere
The top-ranked Vering has com
piled a 2-2 record against the other
three wrestlers. He was upset by May,
3-2, on Feb. 11 but came back the
next weekend to thoroughly domi
nate Thompson 4-0. He has split his
two matches with Munoz, winning in
double overtime Feb. 10.
Against the other three,
Thompson has compiled a 4-1
record, Munoz a 2-3 record and May
a 1-3 record. Vering, while his overall
record is worse than the other three,
is still likely to be the No. 1 seed for
the conference meet on the strength
of his wins over Munoz and
Aside from May, the other three
wrestlers all competed at the Big 12
tournament last year in Lincoln.
Munoz defeated Vering in double
overtime to clinch last year’s individ
“It’s going to be whoever has their
two days there,” Vering said.
“Whoever is ready to wrestle and put
their time in the last couple months
and made the right adjustments
from the end of the season to the Big
Besides Vering, Nebraska will
most likely have No. 1 seeds with
133-pounder Todd Beckerman and
157-pounder Bryan Snyder. Seeding
will be finalized today at a coaches
meeting prior to the meet.
< Snyder, a junior, will be shooting
for his third consecutive Big 12 title.
The only other wrestler in NU history
to win three conference champi
onships was Tolly Thompson from
The second-ranked Snyder, who
said he wouldn’t talk to the media
until after the season, figures to be in
good position to win the 157-pound
title as his closest competitor. Iowa
State’s sixth-ranked Cole Sanderson,
has never beat him.
Manning said Snyder really
couldn't be touched if he wrestled at
his peak, which he said Snyder had
been doing since Christmas.
“There's not too many people in
the country that can challenge him,”
Manning said. “He’s doing a tremen
dous job for us.”
DN File Photo
The Nebraska wrestling team heads to Stillwater, Okla.,for
the Big 12 wrestling championships.
NU faces bu s
BY JOSHUA CAMENZIND
As Nebraska is receiving its final pep talk from
Coach Barry Collier on Saturday before its game
against Iowa State, Hilton Coliseum’s decibel level
just may blow the roof off the place.
And the Comhuskers will know' exactly why. It
will be senior night for the Cyclones, something NU
went through just three nights before against Texas
The gamut of emotions, which will most likely
leave ISU’s motor running at a fevered pitch to begin
the contest, is something NU can relate to.
“We are going to have to match their emotional
charge right away because the same emotion that we
were going through on Wednesday is what they are
going to be going through on Saturday,” Cary
Nebraska’s emotional charge led to a 97-69 win
over the Aggies, but add that type of effort to a team
with a 35-game home-winning streak and sole pos
session of the Big 12 title on the line and Iowa State,
24-4 and 12-3 in the conference, looks to be unbeat
able on paper.
But on the court - the Devaney Sports Center
hardwood to be exact - NU stood toe-to-toe with ISU
and came within .8 seconds of pulling off the upset
“I’ve been waiting a long time for this game,” said
Kimani Ffriend, who was beaten by Martin Rancik
for a layup on the final play of the game in Iowa State’s
60-59 win. “But I am not getting too excited. The last
time I did that, things didn’t go too well.”
While a lot is riding on the game for the Cyclones,
such as the conference regular season title, a possible
No. 1 NCAA Tournament seed and its home-court
winning streak, NU is playing for something as well.
At 14-14 on the season, the Huskers’ postseason
hopes for an NIT berth would certainly go up with a
win at Hilton Coliseum.
Both Ffriend and Cochran said a Nebraska upset
was not all that far-fetched.
“We can beat anybody,” Ffriend said.
Said Cochran: “I think we match up very well with
them. I think we pose some problems that they nec
essarily respond well to.
“I fully expect a good game.”
Meet to decide
Saturday’s Last Chance track meet will be
exactly that for a number of Nebraska athletes.
It’s the final opportunity to post a national
qualifying mark, which would allow a free pass
into the NCAA Championships next weekend in
Though Lesley Owusu and Melissa Price are
the only Huskers to have automatically qualified
for nationals, NU could receive several more
berths from provisional-qualifying athletes.
The total number of competitors in each
national meet isn’t known until next week, howev
er, so it is unclear how many provisional marks will
NU athletes on the bubble include triple
jumpers Krisztina Kovesi and Sheldon
Hutchinson. Kovesi, a sophomore who won the
Big 12 meet last weekend with a personal-best leap
of 41-feet, 2Vi inches. Hutchinson is trying to
recover from a groin injury suffered last Friday.
Nebraska Coach Gary Pepin, who was named
Big 12 indoor coach of the year, said this Saturday ’s
meet was more than just a final opportunity to
qualify for nationals.
“Each person is competing for a little different
reason,” Pepin said.
For more inexperienced Huskers, it’s a chance
to set personal bests, Pepin said.
Even Owusu will compete in the mile relay and
600-yards, trying to qualify in a fewr additional
events. The star sprinter, who was named Big 12
indoor female performer of the year, has already
qualified in the 400 and has set a provisional mark
in the 200.
The Huskers, whose new hydraulic banked
track is one of the top facilities in the nation, will
not receive an advantage because of the track’s
speed, Pepin said.
This is due to national conversions that add a
Please see TRACK on 9
Mills back with vengeance after injury
Lance Mills is undefeated this year.Two weeks ago, he moved up to Nebraska's No.1 singles position. Since then, he's won three matches.
■ After sitting last year out,
the senior is now No.1.
BY VINCE KUPPIG
Lance Mills is back.
Since taking over the No. 1
singles spot for the Nebraska
men’s tennis team two weeks
ago, Mills has been on fire, win
ning three consecutive matches
to improve to 9-0 overall in
Mills was supposed to be the
No. 1 player last year on a
Nebraska team that had expec
tations of its first NCAA
Instead, the injured Mills
spent the season from the
bench watching the injury
plagued Cornhuskers finish
dead last in the Big 12 with a 7
13 overall record.
“It was pretty difficult,” Mills
said. “It’s really hard to sit back
and watch your teammates
have an awful season and not be
able to do anything about it.
That was the most helpless feel
ing as far as the team is con
Sidelined with a foot injury,
Mills hit the weights to improve
his strength and, as it turns out,
his overall game.
“I put in a lot of hard work in
the weight room,” Mills said.
“My serve has gotten much
stronger, much more powerful.
It’s more of a weapon.”
Despite having high individ
ual goals this season, Mills said
he was OK with playing behind
senior Jorge Abos Sanchez.
“Starting off at number two,
that was probably the best thing
for me since I was hurt last
year,” Mills said. “Jorge had a
really good fall season. I play
better generally when the
team’s involved, not so much
when it’s just for me. When the
team's on the line, that’s when I
It was at the No. 2 spot that
the unranked Mills notched his
biggest win of the year. In his
fourth match of the dual sea
son, he defeated Rice’s William
Barker, 6-4, 6-4. Barker is cur
rently ranked 79th.
Last weekend, Mills won a
Please see MILLS on 9
same rival: Texas
FROM STAFF REPORTS
Swimming upstream might be an understate
ment when talking about the chance of dethroning
the defending national champions in Austin, Texas.
The Nebraska men's swimming team is looking
to do just that as they face the Texas Longhorns at
the Big 12 championship.
The Cornhuskers, wrho have finished second in
the conference behind the Longhorns each year
since the formation of the Big 12, are coming off a
regular season-ending sweep from Georgia and
Despite the hard-to-swallow loses. Interim
Coach Paul Nelsen knows that the rough times will
only help the young squad in the future. There are
only two seniors this year.
"We have a young team,” Nelsen said. “But these
kids are gaining the experience that they will need
to compete at a high level in not only the Big 12, but
also in the NCAA.”
Texas A&M is the only other school in the con
ference to be ranked in the CSCAA/Speedo poll. The
Aggies find themselves ranked fourth.
The Big 12 Championships will be held March
1-3 at Austin, Texas with the preliminaries at noon
and the finals at 7 p.m. each day.
Buchholz emerges as leader
■ After playing basketball and
softball last year,the Ogallala
native is focusing on softball.
BY VAN JENSEN
.Amanda Buchholz has a good
jump shot - for a softball player.
As a freshman last year,
Buchholz played both basketball
and softball, two of the sports she
starred at in high school.
Buchholz led Class B players
with 21.7 points per game and 7.6
steals per game for the Ogallala
Indians. The prep'star also led
Ogallala to a state softball champi
onship and placed fifth in the high
jump at state trade
But after averaging 1.7 points
per game on the hardwood and
batting .265 on the diamond for
NU last season, it was time to
choose one sport. Buchholz found
the rigor of playing two sports in
college too demanding.
“Coach Sanderford wanted a
little more time than I could give
him," Buchholz said.
Buchholz faced a tough deci
sion. and she chose to play the
sport in which she would have the
“I love both sports equally, but
right now there is more opportu
nity for me in softball,” Buchholz
Now that shqis focused entire
ly on softball Buchholz has
emerged as a team leader. The
starting shortstop has at least one
hit in the last five games, including
a 3-3 batting performance against
New Mexico and a 2-3, 2-RBI
game against Long Island. For the
season, Buchholz has a .378 bat
Coach Rhonda Revelle
stressed the many different ways
Buchholz helps the team.
“Whether it's a stellar defen
sive play, a big clutch hit or even
great base running, she has talents
in all areas of the game,” Revelle
Buchholz’s contribution is not
limited to statistics or big plays
“I’m an on-the-field leader,”
Buchholz said. “I’m pretty vocal. It.
anybody has any questions, they
can come ask me.”
Buchholz and the Huskers
travel to St. George, Utah, this
weekend for the Red Desert
This will be the fourth consec
utive tournament in which
Nebraska faces at least two top-10
Revelle feels that the difficult
schedule serves as preparation for
“We want to start out playing
the teams at the first of the season
that we think we’re going to see at
the end of the season,” Revelle
said. “It prepares us for that level of
competition. It also prepares us
for conference play.”
The Huskers open the tourna
ment on Friday against Brigham
Young (5-10) in the early game
and later face Southern Utah (6-9).
On Saturday, NU meets with No. 9
Stanford (16-1-1) and later plays
Utah State (3-7). The last game for
the Huskers is on Sunday against
No. 10 Washington (11-6).
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