After a solid season marred by a handful of close defeats and athlete deaths, the Wolverines jousting team finished the regular season strong with a comeback victory over the Minnesota Golden Gophers in the finals of the Big Ten Tourney.
“They had us down early,” relayed senior captain Tyler Montgomery. “One of their riders was able to unhorse our guy for a first round win, and we lost another teammate when our opponent’s lance shattered and sent a piece of shrapnel right into his carotid. It’s always painful to lose one of our brothers like that, but we were able to battle back in the later rounds to secure the W, and we dedicated it to his memory. Now, it’s time to prepare for nationals.”
The University of Michigan has a long tradition of success in the sport of jousting, which dates back to the eleventh century. Those knowledgeable in the sport point to the superior pedigree of the Wolverine’s mounts, top-of-the-line equipment, and dedicated coaching staff as reasons for the team’s continued success.
“Overall, it was another solid season for the squad,” said coach Will Haggerty. “We hit a few bumps in the road and lost some fine young men to impalements, lacerations, and tramplings, but that’s all par for the course in this sport. On the whole, I’m real proud of how this team was able to come together through that adversity, and it paid off today with a Big Ten title.”
The Michigan jousting team will spend the next few weeks preparing for the NCAA jousting tournament in Lexington, Kentucky, where they’ll square off against national powerhouses such as Texas A&M, Montana, and Princeton. First, though, the team will soak in a well-deserved conference crown at the team banquet held in the Crisler Center. A memorial service for the six student-athletes slain on the pitch this season will precede the event.