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March 18, 1959 - Image 6

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1959-03-18

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-Dally-R. N. Hockett
SHORT TRIP TO SUCCESS - Alex Gaxiola has developed in six
short years into one of the United States' top backstroke swim-
mers. During this season, he has lowered his personal time for
200 yards from 2:12 to 2:02.8, and currently holds the Michigan
record for that distance.
Backstroker Gaxiola Rises
To SecondBest in i en

Phi Sigs,
Phi Gains
Win Titles
Phi Sigma Delta and Phi Gam-
ma Delta rolled to victories last
night in the final playoffs for
third and fourth places in Fra-
ternity "A" basketball.
Grabbing most of the rebounds
and employing q pass-and-break
offense, the Phi Sigs jumped off
to a four-point lead in the open-
ing minute of play and were-never
headed, downing Zeta Beta Tau,
Trailing, 18-9, at halftime, ZBT
threw up a rock'em-sock'em de-
fense in the second stanza, giving
up no field goals and only two
foul shots, but fell short in a
seven-point comeback bid. Gil
Asher led the winners with seven
points, while Stan Alfred tossed in
five for the lasers.
The bruising rebounding of Ray
Locke and the sharp shooting of
Dick Peterson spelled the down-
fall of Theta Delta Chi in the
fourth -'place playoff, the Phi
Gais romping, 37-21.
Peterson, who poured through
19 points on nine field goals and
a free throw, paced the winners to
an eight-point intermission ad-
vantage and was a constant thorn
in the Theta Delt side defensively.
He combined with Walt Scherer
(10 points) on fast breaks.
Earl Gottschalk kept the losers
in a respectable position with
sturdy work on the boards, besides
racking up 10 points.
"for class, college & university"


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Postponed Again
ST. LOUIS-Welterweight. box-
ing king Don Jordan, his training
routine shattered momentarily by
the birth of a premature baby to
his wife, yesterday was granted a
three-week postponement in his
title rematch against Virgil Akins.
The fight was- reset for April 24.
Yt was the second postponement.
Originally, it was scheduled for
March 6 but a tornado damaged.
the St. Louis Arena and caused the
first postponement till April 3.
1 I

Michigan's Big Ten champion
track team will split up into three
squads for this weekend's busy
The first contingent leaves Fri-
day fortthe. Knights of Columbus
meet in Cleveland that night.
Comprising this group are 13 Wol-
verines, recent Conference -title-
Heading this group is double-
winner Tom Robinson, who cap-
tured the 60- and 300-yd. dashes.
Robinson will be entered in- the
50-yd. dash, and will be matched
against Olympic sprinter Ira Mur-
chison and other veterans of the
indoor circuit.,
Landstrom, Gibson Vault
The Wolverines will be well rep-
resented in the pole;, vault with
Eeles Landstrom and Captain
Mamon Gibson entered in the
event. Gibson recently tied for
the Big Ten title with Jim John-
ston of Purdue and Landstrom has
cleared 15' outdoors.
Pete Stanger and Bennie McRae
will compete in the hurdles. Stan-
ger is fresh from his conquest in
the 70-yd. lows at Madison. McRae
is a freshman, but has beaten
Stanger in practice. Ergas Leps,.
another sensational freshman, will
run in the 1000-yd. event.
Unaccustomed to Boards
The mile-relay team will be
composed of Don Chalfant, Bryan
Gibson, Marsh Dickerson, and
Tony Seth, Big Ten 880-yd. cham-
pion. The two-mile relay team will
have Wally Schafer, Fred Mon-
tour, Dave Martin, and Seth.
Michigan track Coach Don Can-

-- first with figures

ham said "Our relay teams should
have a tough time because they
will be running on a board track
for only the second time while the
Eastern squads have been com-
peting on the boards all season."
The second squad will head for
Denison University at Granville,
0., where the Livingston Relays
will be held Saturday night.
Les Bird, Big Ten broad jump
king, and Lou Williams, another
varsity broad jumper, will compete
in their specialty. Joel Boyden and
Ermin Crownley will put the shot.
Gibson will fly from Cleveland to
compete in the pole vault, and
Dick Cephas will high-jump and
run in the low hurdles.
The third team of 14 men will
travel 'to Hamilton, Ont. for the
Highlander Games. Earl Deardorff
will compete in the 600-. or 1000-
d run.
Open House
Intramural Director Earl Riskey
announced yesterday that the an-
nual I-M Open House will be held
tomorrow, beginning at 6:45 p.m.
The program opens with two
'B" basketball games for the resi-
dence hall and social fraternity
championships, followed by four
other championship basketball
games. These include the "A" resi-
dence halls and fraternity games,
the Independent game and the
professional fraternity contest.
Swimming championships will
be decided in residence hall and
fraternity divisions.
Other action during the Open
House, which is free to the public,
includes residence hall paddleball,
an all-campus gymnastics tourna-
ment, and an all-campus diving
championship for which there are
already six qualifiers.
There will also be some inter-
esting exhibitions in water polo,
volleyball, badminton, handball,
squash, codeball, and basketball.
In the basketball game,,girls will
play fellows. The men, however,
will play under a handicap. They
will be wearing boxing gloves.

JoseBAlejandro Guillermo Gaxi-
ola Robles, better known as Alex
Gaxiola, may well be the most.
improved swimmer that has given
a hand to Michigan's efforts this
One can hardly believe that only
after six years' experience in the
water, he has established himself
as the second-leading backstroker
in the Big Ten and is also one of
the potential greats in the country.
It was just before his 14th birth-
day that Gaxiola first entered the
water. "I wanted to learn how to
swim since all my friends did, but
I was always somewhat shy of the
water," said Gaxiola. "The will to
learn overcame my fears and the
desire to become a good swimmer
even pressed me more.
Develops Backstroke
"I swam in Mexico City for our
swim club, and in 1954 went to the
National AAU Outdoor meet at
Indianapolis with six others from
Mexico City. I entered the 1500-
and 400-meter freestyle and also
the 400-meter backstroke. The
coach thought that the backstroke
would developmy ability better, so
I worked on that the hardest.
Loses to McKinney
He returned to the United States
for the National AAU Outdoor
meet and attempted to qualify in
the 100- and 200-meter backstroke,
but was jolted by Frank McKin-
ney (who presently holds the world
backstroke record) in bth events.
Gaxiola went back to Mexico to
compete in the Pan-American
Games, but McKinney once more
put the damper on him.
After the Pan-Am Games, Alex,
too, returned to the United States
to learn English in order to pre-
pare for entrance into the Uni-
Ailments, Injury,
"I wanted to do much better
than I did, but between my last
year in high school and my fresh-
man year in college, I ran into
difficulty. At the beginning of the
school year I got appendicitis.
Then, after Christmas, I got bron-
chial pneumonia and between
semesters I broke my arm."
Gaxiola added, "When I finally
was able to return to the water
this year, I really wanted to do
well but was far behind everyone.
I knew I would have to work
hard," so he did.
"Gus (Stager, swim coach)
helped me all the time. He pressed
me to swim harder and the re-
sults are beginning to show."
Gaxiola swam the 220-yd, back-
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stroke this year in 2:12.2 against
Indiana (the old nemesis McKin-
ney again took first place with a
then world record-breaking time
of 2:03.6). Next, against Michigan
State, he did 2:11.1 and repeated
the same time against Ohio State.
"It didn't seem as if --ny efforts
were paying off, but I continued
working hard and finally gained
some speed," added Gaxiola.
"At the Big Ten meet Stager
told me I would really have to
swim to make the finals. This wor-
ried me greatly, thus forcing me
to put in an all-out effort."
Breaks Varsity Record
"In the qualifying match I did
the 220-yd. backstroke in 2:08,
which broke the Michigan varsity
record. This seemed to build up
some confidence in me. When the
finals came, I remembered Stager's
words of warning, 'Don't try
harder but move your arms faster,'
which I didn't forget. I went
"I raced against McKinney once
again and this time we both broke
his world record. I was one second
behind the world's fastest 200-yd.
backstroke time of 2:01.8.
Strenuous Schedule
"I would still like to beat Mc-
Kinney and am practicing hard all
the time. Stager makes me take
forty 50-yd. laps across the pool
with only 30 seconds' rest, but that
is the way to improve. I sure owe
a lot to the coach."
Stager replies, "With all his ef-
forts, the only way he can get now
is better and better ..."

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