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August 29, 1967 - Image 28

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1967-08-29

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Swim Team Lacks Depth After Graduations Ng

m . _ , l ,

At the close of the 1966 swim-
ming season, there was almost a
feeling of an end of an era for
Gus Stager's tankers.
After maintaining consistent
runners-up spots to seven straight
Indiana swimming championships,
one of the greatest senior crops
in Wolverine history was graduat-
ing. It didn't look like, there was
much around to replace the men
who had led Michigan to either
third or fourth place in the na-
tional rankings in the past three
Heading the graduation list was
Captain Carl Robie, a 1964 Olym-
pic silver medalist who was Big
Ten champion in three events and
National Collegiate 200-yard but-
terfly champion in 1967. Behind
him was Paul Scheerer, consist-
ently. the Big Ten breaststroking
champion and last year fifth na-
tionally at both the 100 and 200
yards after winning the 100 yards
in 1966.
Russ Kingery, constantly one of
the best backstrokers in the coun-
try and remembered for some of
the great battles he gave Michigan
State's Olympian Gary Dilley, and

Bill Grofy, a leading Big Ten free-
style sprinter, were also leaving.
Also graduating were Tom Wil-
liams and Tom O'Malley, who
shocked the nation with a sec-
ond place in the 100 butterfly in
1966, and diver Bob Walmsley, who
took seventh in the country on the
three-meter board in 1967.
Completing the dismal outlook
was the scarcity of new seniors to
give the squad depth-only three
will be on the squad this year.
Stager, the 1960 Olympic swim-
ming coach, does not think that
the Wolverines will plummet to
the bottom of the Big Ten despite
all these losses.
"What is happening is the whole
conference is getting weaker as
the West Coast dominates," he
said. He cited the fact that both
Indiana and Michigan State will
be weaker and wants to see how
the team shapes up before pre-
dicting anything.
Proving that there is no panic
at Matt Mann Pool is a relatively
simple matter. Despite Robie's
phenomenal prowess as a long dis-
tance freestyler and a butterflyer,
a respectable performer at least
can be found for each of his po-

And respectable is certainly an
understatement for junior Tom
Arusoo. The blond Canadian was
fourth behind Robie nationally in
the 200-yard butterfly.
Behind Arusoo is Lee Bisbee,
also a junior, who Stager once
called potentially even better than
Arusoo, but who was ill for a
time last winter and came back
for eighth place in the NCAA at
100 yards.
Topping the sophomore butter-
flyers is Dan Natali, whose best
achievement last year was a mem-
orable leg in ;the 400-yard medley
relay at the Big Ten freshman
meet, when he passed rivals from
both Indiana and Michigan State
to lead.Michigan to a win.
Long Distances
Two men should soften the blow
of losing Robie in the 500, 1000
and 1650-yard freestyles. Junior
Mike O'Connor could improve
enough to be a national threat
at any of these distances. Sopho-
more Gary Kinkead should al-
ready be one, as demonstrated at
the Big Ten freshman meet by a
4:51.61 clocking for 500 yards.
Stager's chief prospect to re-
place Kingery at backstroke is
sophomore Bill Dorney; also com-

peting for a job is sophomore Ed
Despite the loss of Groft, it is
possible that Michigan could be
stronger in the sprints than be-
fore. Senior Ken Wiebeck should
have a chance to join the na-
tion's elite, swimming the 100- and
50-yard sprints or the 200-yard
freestyle, which has been a weak-

try to give these two "old men"
of the team a run for their money.
The individual medley races,
both 200- and 400-yards, have not
seen a respectable competitor en-
ter them recently for Michigan
except when Robie had nothing
better to do. (He was national
400-yard champ as a sophomore.)
However, things might be chang-
ing. Sophomore Juan Bao is one
of those rare birds who can do all
strokes well enough to actually be
listed, first and foremost, as an
individual medley man. And Kin-
kead also might test his stamina
by swimming the four strokes.
In diving, 1964 Olympic Coach
Dick Kimball can consider him-
self relatively loaded with talent-
ed young men. With the loss of
only Walmsley, he has the third
senior on the swim squad, Fred
Brown. Brown was fifth at one
meter and eighth at three meters
in the nation in 1967, and junior
Jay Meaden, who was coincident-
ally eighth at one meter and fifth
at three meters in the NCAA.
Sophomore Divers
Kimball has several sophomores
under his wing with Paul Mc-
Guire and Bruce McManaman ap-
parently the best of them.
This leaves only one position un-
listed so far. That is the breast-
stroke, where beyond champ
Scheerer, the Wolverines were
nothing short of sickening in 1967,
chiefly because John Robertson
was so disappointing.
And t® top this off, there doesn't
appear to be any new sophomore
breaststroker who looks like he
even deserves to swim in the same
pool with the rest of the Big Ten.
It is up to Stager to reach into
his magic hat and come out with
someone, somehow, before the 1968
season opens.
Stager concludes that finding a
breaststroker is the key to Big
Ten contention, saying "without
one, it will-be all she wrote."
"We want a winning team this
year, we don't want to build char-
"Well-we want to build char-
acter, but. . .."

TWO WORLD TRAMPOLINE CHAMPS, the current one, Dave Jacobs, left, and the 1966 champ,
Wayne Miller, form the backbone of next year's Wolverine gymnastics team.
Jacobs, Miller Carry radition
Of Wolverine Gymnastics Team

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Joining Wiebeck when he sprints
will be sophomores Tim Sullivan,
who had the second fastest fresh-
man time in both the 50 and 100,
Bob Kircher, and Robert Har-
mony. With so many candidates,
the Wolverines will have depth in
the short distances for the first
time in quite a while.
John Salassa will join fellow
senior Wiebeck at the 200 where
he will also have a chance to
come into his own. Sophomores
Fred Mertz and Zuchowsky will

The string had to end sometime.
Last year was the first since!
1957 that Michigan didn't win
any conference sports crowns and
the first season since , 1960 that
Coach Newt Loken's gymnastics
team has not reigned supreme
over the Big Ten.
Starting in 1961, Loken's gym-
nasts captured six straight confer-
ence titles before finishing a
heartbreaking second behind up-
start Iowa last year. Michigan
even took home the NCAA team
title during the six year stretch,
winning in 1963.
But 1966-67 was the season
of second place finishes for many
Wolverine sport teams and it was
especially true in the gymnasts'
case. While the wrestling, tennis,
swimming and baseball teams were
getting edged out for conference
titles, the gymnasts not only came
home second best in the confer-

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ence but also second in the mid-
east and nation behind Southern
Illinois, NCAA champs for the sec-
ond straight year.
What makes it so frustrating is
the fact that the team that won
the Big Ten crown, Iowa, finish-
ed third in the NCAA finals and
lost to the Wolverines in a dual
The 1967 gymnasts were typical
of a Loken-coached squad-a team
of few stars with tremendous depth
on the trampoline. That depth was
personified in the presence of Dave
Jacobs and ,Wayne Miller. Sopho-
more Jacobs and senior captain
Miller finished first and second in
the nation, respectively, on the
tramp while Jacobs also took home
the Midwest, Big Ten and NAAU
crowns, and most recently the
World Tramp meet crown in Lon-
don this June.
Jacobs also surprised everyone
on the squad last year by com-
ing from last man on the Michi-
gan floor exercise squad in early
January to top man on the Wol-
verine team. He also took second
in the Big Ten and then an amaz-
ing first in the NCAA champion-
ships in Carbondale, Ill.
Stalwart Twins
Michigan's free exercise stal-
warts had been Phip and Chip
Fuller who were rated the Wol-
verines' best before the 1967 sea-
son started and for good reason.
In 1966, Phip had been Big Ten
runnerup and fourth in the NCAA
and was rated as one of the top
three free ex menin the country
for most of the 1967 season. Now
with both Fuller twins graduated,
Jacobs and Miller will carry much
of the Wolverines' free ex as well
as tramp load in the 1968 season.
The two versatile athletes will al-
so participate in the long vault.
The 1967 season was a trying
one for the whole Wolverine squad,
especially Loken, a former stand-
out gymnast at Minnesota who had
tutored Michigan for 13 years be-
fore bringing them their first Big
Ten title in 1961.
The Wolverines had three ridic-
ulously close dual meets during
the season that only a horror
writer would dream up. The first
was the second conference meet
of the season when Michigan fac-
ed always dangerous Illinois in
The Wolverines barely came out
with their lives, squeaking by with
a victory by less than a point over
the Illini, who had won the con-
ference crown for 11 straight
years starting in 1950. Both teams
scored over the magic 190 figure
in the contest, indicative of a top
flight gymnastics team.
Aged 10 Years
Having aged about 10 years,
Loken came back to Ann Arbor
looking forward to defeating his
old nemesis, Michigan State. In
mid-February, the Spartans in-
vaded the IM building where the
Wolverines had not lost in six
The Spartans had inflicted the
only dual meet defeat of the sea-
son against the Wolverines in
1966. Michigan was ready for re-
venge despite painful ankle in-
juries to both Jacobs and Miller.
Jacobs put on a courageous
performance in the meet com-
ing through with a 9.7 on the
tramp against the Spartans. Still,
he wasn't able to compete in the
free ex and, with Miller on the
sidelines, Michigan State slid past
the Wolverines by three-eights of
a point, 190.8-190.425.
It was a heartbreaker to lose
but the Wolverines still felt con-
fident that they could go into the
finals in Iowa City tied for first
place. Michigan State had to face
both Iowa and Illinois within a
week while the Wolverines only
had to tackle the Hawkeyes.

The Wolverines got their wish.
Michigan State lost to both Iowa
and Illinois while the Hawkeyes
fell to Michigan by the smallest
margin possible in gymnastics,
one-fortieth of a point, 188.55-
Meet Undecided
The meet was undecided until
Iowa had finished its routine in
the final event, the rings. Going
into that event, Michigan led the
Hawkeyes by .075 and the Iowa
ring squad was considered the
stronger of the two. But the Wol-
verine ringmen cane through and
both Michigan and Iowa went into
the Big Ten finals with identical
records. MSU and Illinois both had
5-2 marks going into the confer-
ence meet.
The Big Ten meet turned out
to be a nightmare for the Wolver-
Going into the last two events,
Michigan seemingly had the meet
and the crown all wrapped up
leading Iowa by over two-and-a-
half points.
Then the roof caved in as the
gymnasts buckled under the pres-
sure allowing the Hawkeyes to
race past them for the title. Mich-
igan State finished third with Illi-
nois in fourth.
Michigan did get its revenge
against Iowa though in the NCAA
regionals and finals finishing sec-
ond in both behind SIU.
Iowa finished third in both
With the 1968 season still four
months away, the gymnasts are
looking to the new season with
caution, especially since seven let-
termen have graduated. Coach
Loken put it best himself: "Next
year looks like it will be tough,
especially since we've lost seven
seniors and MSU only lost one
and Iowa two. Still, the conference
battle seems to be headed by MSU,
Iowa, Illinois AND Michigan."
Captain Gary Vander Voort a
fine all-around man, runnerup
in the Big Ten in 1966 and most
valuable gymnast in 1965 and 1966,
leads the departure list. "Voort"
was especially strong on the par-
allel bars, horizontal bars and
rings, where he qualified for the
nationals last year.
The Fuller twins are also gone,
along with steady Cliff Chilvers,
a consistent 9.0 plus man, and
Dick Stone on the rings. The side
horse has been hurt by the gradu-
ation of Art Baessler, third in
the Big Ten as a junior, and
Chris Vanden Broek, who also
starred on the high bar.
Experienced Squad
Still, Loken has an experienced
squad coming back, especially with
his two standouts, Jacobs, most
valuable gymnast in 1967, and Mil-
ler. Six seniors and eight juniors
head the 1968 roster along with
10 sophomores who are vying to
make the team.
Along with Miller, who was also
1966 Big Ten, NCAA, NAAU, Mid-
west and World Tramp champ, re-
turning seniors include Scott Par-
is who Loken calls "a consistent
8.8 to 9.0 performer on the high
Dave Geddes, a Big Ten final-
ist last year, leads the side horse
squad while Vic Conant adds depth
on the tramp. Conant was a Big
Ten finalist last year and second
to Miller in the conference in
1966. Larry Metnick, a ringman
who came on strong near the end
of the season, and spunky Tim
Mousseau, a double amputee who
scores a respectable 8.2 to 8.8 on
the "p" bars, round out the re-
turning seniors.
Heading up the juniors is the
flamboyant and spirited Jacobs.
Both Jacobs and Miller represent-
ed the United States in the World
Trampoline Meet held in London
June 16-17 with Loken acting as
(Continued on Page 7)



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