Sun, May 25: No rest for the hungry

Sun, May 25: No rest for the hungry

   CHAMPAIGN  When her day was finally done, Tonia Longe felt like a boxer who''d gone 15 rounds, a marathon runner at the finish line or a swimmer emerging from the English Channel.


   "I''m exhausted, but I have one more day," the Michigan junior said. "When I''m done (Sunday), I can sit down and be exhausted."

   Longe is carrying an extra-heavy load at this weekend''s Big Ten Outdoor Track and Field Championships. The Wolverines need all the points they can get  make that, all the points Longe can get  if they stand a chance against Wisconsin, which has been The Roadrunner to everyone else''s Wile E. Coyote since last spring.

   Longe won the heptathlon with 5,861 points, breaking her own Michigan record, and provided more points in the long jump (fourth) and high jump (sixth).

   Her plate is full today, too, with a triple jump, some hurdling and a 400 relay to do. There''s no busier bee, male or female, competing this weekend.

   "My team needs me," said the Norway native, happy to help. "I''m used to it."

   The duo of Longe and Nicole Forrester pushed Michigan to the top of the team standings heading into today''s final round.

   The Wolverines have 53 points  two more than the Badgers, who have Canadian Olympian Kathy Butler in two more finals. Penn State''s at 50.

   Forrester gave the Wolverines their second title in six finals, winning her fourth Big Ten high jump championship with a 5-11 1/2 effort. Illinois'' Stacy Ann Grant, who beat Forrester for the conference indoor title, took third.

   "I always want to see her do well because she''s the one who pushes me," Forrester said.

Gone with the wind.

   Bad news, Big Ten. Benita Kelley says she was just warming up when she ran that 11.09 seconds in the 100 meters Saturday.

   "I feel like I''ve got a lot more in me," said Kelley, a UI sophomore.

   Kelley''s mad dash comes with an asterisk next to it  the wind was blowing too hard, so it''s no school record  but was enough to guarantee her an automatic invitation for the NCAA Championships.

   She''s going in the 200, too, thanks to a 23.06-second clocking.

   If Kelley wins today''s 100 final, it''ll be a major upset. Also competing: Michigan State''s Sevatheda Fynes, who ran a leg on The Bahamas'' silver medal-winning sprint relay team at the 1996 Summer Games.

   "All I can say is that everybody''s beatable," Kelley said.


Big fan.

   He was in the area anyway, so Indiana assistant coach Randy Heisler zipped down to Charleston on Friday to get his first up-close look at Hoosier-to-be Jennifer Brown.

   He didn''t stick around long enough to see St. Joseph-Ogden''s Brown repeat as Class A shot put and discus champ, but saw enough to get excited.

   "And it''s not like she''s peaked out or trained her whole life to do this," Heisler said. "She''s fairly new at this, still very raw. She''ll improve a lot."

   Said head Hoosier Roseann Wilson: "We look for her to come in and be a Big Ten player right away. If she makes a normal improvement, she''s someone that could at least provisionally qualify (for the NCAA Championships) that first year."

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