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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (March 19, 2001)
Daily Nebraskan Monday, March 19,2001 Page 12
Brad Vering met
up with oft-faced
Iowa State rival
at the NCAA
except this go
to watch, as was
most ofVering’s tournament.
This latest bout between
2000’s top two 197-pounders
had no captivating story lines
behind it save that the same
match that determined last
year’s NCAA champion was
determining which senior
would be an All-American and
which would go home with
nothing in his last NCAA meet.
Vering won 2-1 again, not
needing the two extra sessions '
this time, but there was no thrill
anywhere to be found.
Thompson nearly scored a win
ning takedown at the end but
couldn’t and exited the tourna
ment he stormed a year ago.
Seemingly assessing the big
picture after the final buzzer
rang, Vering looked at
Thompson and gave a short,
wry smile shaking his head. It
was as if to say, "Man, this really
sucks. For both of us.”
The match, as well as the
last two days of the champi
onships, were undoubtedly
hard for Vering as he stumbled
to a seventh-place finish. It
doesn’t matter that he became
just one of 10 Cornhuskers to
ever be a three-time All
American. He wanted to be the
first to ever win two national
That's why it was so hard to
just watch the last two days of
Vering’s tournament without
feeling sorry. It was like seeing a
dog being put to sleep. It was
painful. And that was just
w'atching it; going through it is
something nobody but Brad
Vering can even come close
“This is the worst I’ve wres
tled in two-and-a-half years,”
he said. "I'm so disappointed.”
Vering said he felt sluggish
the whole tournament and
dragged through his matches. It
was evident as you didn’t see the
bulldog that had won 19
straight matches to begin the
season, 24 including last year’s
run to the title.
"This tournament’s just a
wreck,” he said, "emotionally,
physically and mentally.”
That still does little to
explain why he felt like he had
been carrying a piano on his
back into his matches. Maybe
the man was running on fumes
after going pedal to the metal
for the last three years, day in
and day out. Even Mack Trucks
run out of gas.
If so, it surely happened on
Friday when Vering fell in the
quarterfinals to the eventual
runner-up, who he had
whipped twice before. He came
back that night to lose in the last
seven seconds to an unseeded
wrestler, who Vering would nor
mally have staring at the lights,
writhing in pain in the first peri
hriday was trie worst day ot
my wrestling career,” Vering
As hard as the finish was to
watch, Vering’s total career is
something he should be proud
He is the state’s only home
grown national champion. A
three-time All-American. A
model man, in the classroom
and in life. He put everything he
had into every second he was in
a wrestling room, a weight room
or on the mat - that alone, is
reason enough to stand proud.
His accomplishments speak
“It’s been great representing
Nebraska; not just the universi
ty but the state, too,” said
Vering, who plans to continue
his wrestling career beginning
next month at the U.S. Open in
Las Vegas. “It’s a huge deal.
“I didn’t finish my career the
way I wanted to, winning
another title. But being an
NCAA champion and a three
time All-American, hopefully
that lights up somebody’s life.”
Wrestling fans, especially
the youngsters, from Chimney
Rock, across the Sandhills, over
the Platte and to the banks of
the Missouri, no doubt, are
already shining brightly - have
been and will be for years.
Snyder falls just short of gold at NCAA's
■The Huskers finish eighth despite a dis
appointing performance by Brad Vering.
BY DAVID DIEHL
IOWA CITY, Iowa—The unfriendly sur
prises Nebraska got at the NCAA wrestling
championships easily overshadowed the
team’s triumphs at Carver-Hawkeye arena
during the weekend.
Bryan Snyder’s second-place finish at
157 pounds and Ati Conner’s All-American
achievements did little to offset No. 2 Brad
Vering’s disappointing seventh-place finish
and No. 4 Jason Powell’s 0-2 performance,
which ended on the first day of competi
Potential wins by the pair would have
helped NU in the team standings. The
Huskers did finish in eighth place for the
second straight year with 52.5 points, 13
behind seventh-place Michigan.
Minnesota, despite not having one wrestler
in a championship match, dethroned six
time defending champion Iowa, seizing the
championship plaque from the Hawkeves’
iron grip by riding the power of an unprece
dented 10 All-Americans.
Nebraska finished the season with four
.All-Americans -Vering, Snyder, Conner and
133-pounder Todd Beckerman, who fin
"It’s reality,” Nebraska Coach Mark
Manning said of NU’s status with four .All
Americans. "We’d like to have six, we’d like to
have 10. We’d like to have more, but we ll
1 he most shocking tinish ot any ot
Nebraska's All-Americans was undoubtedly
Vering’s seventh place.
Admittedly sluggish for all six of his
matches, Vering was outwrestled, 8-4, by
Illinois’ Pat Quirk in the quarterfinals, scor
ing zero takedowns to Quirk’s four. He then
dropped his consolation match 4-3 to
unseeded David Shunamon of Edinboro
when he was taken down with seven sec
Vering did come back to cap his 124-26
career at Nebraska by dismantling
Michigan State’s Nik Fekete 14-8 in his last
match, finishing the year at 27-5.
"This is the worst I’ve wrestled in two
and-a-half years,” confessed Vering, who is
a three-time All-American and just one of
seven Huskers to win national titles. “I’m so
Vering said he weighed just 190 pounds
going into the third day of competition and
couldn't finger why he became so drained.
The fatigue was obvious as Vering started
slowly in almost every match and never
built the commanding early leads he was
"Going into matches I even felt good,”
Vering said. "1 just didn’t get my shots in like
I wanted to.”
Vering’s 2000 national championship
may be matched by Snyder next year. He’ll.
be a favorite for the 2002 title, seeing that the
senior-to-be won’t have to deal with Iowa
senior T.J. Williams, who dealt him a 3-2
tiebreaker loss in Saturday’s final, ending
Snyder’s season at 28-2.
Snyder. NU’s winningest wrestler with a
103-10 career record, was obviously the
aggressor against Williams, a 1999 national
champ who was 98-1 in his three years at
The Easton, Pa., native twrice took
Williams down on the edge of the mat, once
in each of the first two periods, but the refer
ee ruled both actions out of bounds.
The match went into double-overtime
knotted at two with Williams choosing the
starting position because he scored the
match’s first offensive point, a reversal to
open the second period scoring.
Seven seconds into the tiebreaker,
Williams escaped Snyder’s grasp, taking the
three-time Big 12 champion’s national title
Afterwards Snyder said he just remem
bered the entire match as a blur. It all hap
pened so quickly, he said, but he could be
sure he left it all on the mat.
"Obviously I’m disappointed a bit,”
Snyder said. “But I’m proud to say I gave it
everything I had.”
Manning said he was proud of how
“As far as effort, Bryan gave it his all,”
Manning said. “Hey, he didn’t hold back at
all. He went out to win, made a lot of
attempts. I didn’t think Williams made that
many attempts. Bryan gave it his all; he
went for it.”
Manning said he also was pleased with
Conner, who finished eighth, four places
above his No. 12 seed.
The senior forged his path to All
DN File Photo
NU wrestler Bryan Snyder lost a double-overtime heartbreaker in the 157-pound NCAA Championship
finals. Snyder has one more chance to win gold as he returns for his senior season next year.
America status after enduring a 13-11 regu
lar season in which he lost seven of nine
matches near the end. After placing third at
the Big 12 meet, Conner continued his turn
around by defeating Oklahoma’s Michael
Barger 4-3 to clinch All-America status.
“This is the most important thing in my
life right now," an exultant Conner said, still
overjoyed with his accomplishment even
after dropping his eighth-place match, 7-4.
“I thought with how my season was
going it was so far away. Anything can hap
pen, I just had to keep the right frame of
mind. I always knew I had the ability.”
Baseball winning streak snapped
at 13, but Cornhuskers still rolling
FROM STAFF REPORTS
A baseball spring break
trip to Cajun country may
have snapped Nebraska’s
13-game winning streak,
but it still left the
Cornhuskers in strong posi
tion to remain among the
top-five teams nationally
NU finished the week
long vacation to Louisiana
on Saturday with a 12-L win
over Centenary College of
Louisiana, who had
snapped the streak Friday
with a 9-8 win in 10 innings.
But it was the only loss in
five games, as the 4-1 over
all mark improved the
Huskers’ record to 16-4 for
Four of the wins were
easy - two over aforemen
tioned Centenary' (12-1 and
17-4) one over Louisiana
Tech (13-2) and one over
Northwestern (La.) State
(13-1), the program current
NU Coach Dave Van Horn
used to lead. One game
against Tech was rained
One w7eek before,
Nebraska opened its home
schedule with a 9-6 win
over Kansas State, the 500th
career victory for Van Horn.
NU overcame an early
deficit by scoring three runs
The Nebraska baseball team heads to congratulate Dan Johnson following his home run against Kansas State in
NU's home opener. The Huskers have been celebrating a lot lately, as they've won 14 of their last 15 games.
in the fifth and four in the
Against Louisiana Tech,
first baseman Dan Johnson
continued his hot streak,
going three for four with
another home run, moving
him into a tie for lO1^ in
Nebraska history. Jamie
Rodrigue picked up his sec
ond win of the season,
pitching what Van Horn
called “his best outing of
Then, NU All-American
Shane Komine turned in his
best outing one day later
against Northwestern State,
striking out a season-high
12 batters, which moved the
Honolulu junior within one
strikeout of the school
record of 289.
“Everything fell into
place tonight,” said Komine
afterward. “I was able to
throw a lot of strikes, and
that helped to set up my
curve ball with two strikes.
The last couple of starts. I
have not been effective with
two strikes, but I got into a
groove and our defense was
Friday, N’U rolled in
game one of its Centenary
twin bill, then fought to
send game two into extra
innings. When center field
er Jeff Liese misplaved a sin
gle, CU won the game with a
runner scoring from first.
One day later, freshman
Mike Sillman shut down
any question of a repeat
with a dominating, eight
inning performance against
Centenary. Sillman allowed
only one run and six hits.
NU returns to action
this week with a game at
Wichita State, which
Nebraska beat 8-7 earlier
Wertz nails NU's third-ever perfect 10
■ *00$1&A gym ends
Arizona State's five-year home win
BY JASON MERRIHEW
The Arizona State gymnastics
team may have lost to Nebraska dur
ing a ceremony prior to the quadran
gular hosted by ASU.
Then again, the Sun Devils’ fate
may have been sealed when
Nebraska’s Jess Wertz nailed the
school’s third-ever perfect 10.
The eighth-ranked Sun Devils,
honoring their seniors for never losing
at home, celebrated prematurely, as
the seventh-ranked Huskers, coming
off a school record 197.575 against
Iowa State earlier in the week, used the
ASU rejoicing to fuel a 197.100 to
195.575 victory at the quadrangular.
“Additional motivation came dur
ing opening ceremonies when they
(ASU) recognized the senior class for a
undefeated career record at home,”
NU Coach Dan Kendig said.
It must have motivated Wertz, who
hit a perfect 10 while performing a
new routine on the vault.
Wertz joins former All:American
and Honda award winner Heather
Brink in the Big Red record book.
"We needed her just to hit.” Kendig
said. “It was something very exciting
Kentucky finished third in the
quadrangular with a team score of
194.350, while 12l^-ranked Iowa
rounded out the field with a 193.425.
The Husker victory, the first visit
ing win at ASU since Feb. 2, 1996,
marks the seventh time this season
Nebraska has eclipsed the 197 mark.
The Huskers filled the top spot in
all four events.
Sophomore Julie Houk took the
uneven bars title with a 9.950 score.
Sophomore A. J. Lamb posted a victory'
on the floor exercise with a 9.875,
while senior Amv Ringo took home the
balance beam title with a 9.9.
The quadrangular concluded
Nebraska’s regular season on a high
“The whole season is a big spring
board for the next five weeks.” Kendig
said. “We need to stay focused and
keep our goals in front of us."
The Huskers will begin the post
season next weekend when they travel
to Norman, Okla., for the Big 12
Spring football to
Who's Paul Kastl?
As Nebraska opens spring foot
ball practice today, the story, as
always, is about who isn’t participat
ing and who must step to replace the
graduated or injured.
Gone are seven offensive
starters, including three offensive
linemen that made the Eric Crouch
attack go. Center Dominic Raiola was
mavbe the best linemen in college.
Also wave goodbye to standout middle line
backer Carlos Polk and standout rush end Kyle
And then there are the walking (or hobbling)
The most noticeable absence is quarterback
Crouch, recovering from another shoulder surgery.
This isn’t that big of a deal, provided he heals enough
to lob some deep balls to a wTide-open Tracey
Wistrom in the fall.
By the way, don’t expect much more than that
from the NU passing game. It’s fairly clear that
Spring football hamper his
In the next two weeks, his senior season,
the Daily Nebraskan will take and the Huskers’
an in-depth look at the wide receiving
Comhuskers during spring J*
football, breaking down NU corPs 'i m
position by posSon. ened, particularly
a a bv the loss of Matt
0 S*°V°V “
* « More impor
... . . .. ,r, tant are the
Week one It the Hosker offense absences of Ion
Tues. - quarterback Rutherford (torn
Wed. - fullback/l-back anterior cruciate
Thurs. - wide receiver/tight end ligament), who
Fri. - offensive line was expected to
fill Raiola’s center
Judd Davies, who was penciled in at fullback now
may never see the field again.
Rutherford will be back in the fall, but the largely
untested line could use him this spring.
Davies’ situation, meanwhile, seems bleak. The
fullback would’ve been a big part of NU’s rushing
attack next season, both running and blocking.
The pinched nerve in the sophomore-to-be’s
back has other ideas. I doubt Davies plays this fall,
and I hope the injury isn’t career ending - the former
Millard North standout has a chance to be one of
Nebraska’s best fullbacks ever.
Which brings us to Paul Kastl.
Before Davies’ injury became public knowledge, I
didn’t know the name. Now, the junior from Lincoln
Pius X is a leading candidate to start at fullback.
Another possibility' is converted I-back Robin Miller,
provided he can block.
It’s guy's like Kastl that must begin to bloom this
spring if the Huskers want to harvest a cornucopia of
Ws in the fall. It’s a pun so bad 1 actually cringed while
typing it (Cornucopia?!), but it is true, at least.
A gaggle of offensive linemen, including Chris
Please see SPRING on 11
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