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September 15, 1958 - Image 89

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1958-09-15

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

rimming

Team

Repeats

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Champi

By DICK MINTZ
igan, traditionally one of
ation's outstanding swim
surpassed all previous rec-
rformances last year with a

power-laden varsity that swept to
its second consecutive NCAA swim
championship.
The NCAA victory climaxed an
undefeated season that included a

4 ... :. d. . . . ... ... -
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By CARL RISEMAN
Mann's Suecessors
[ATT MANN STEPPED down in 1954. He had. begun as swimming'
coach at Michigan in 1926 and had guided the Wolverines to 16
Big Ten Championships and six National Collegiate crowns. It was
truly an outstanding record. He was recognized as the greatest coach
n the sport and' had produced many champion swimmers and
coaches.
Who could replace Mann? Two youthful coaches were selected.
Swimming coach Gus Stager and diving coach Bruce Harlan. Stager
had been a great swimmer for Mann in the 1940's and later a high
school coach. Harlan had been tutored by. Mann's rival, Mike Peppe
of Ohio State, and became an Olympic diver. He had also coached
In high schools.
The coaches had rough going at first. They had to settle for a
third in the 1955 Big Ten meet. The following year the Wardrop
twins, Jack and Bert, were removed from the team in midseason be-
cause they wouldn't cooperate with their mentors. This was the low
point for Stager and Harlan. A great deal of grunillng was heard on
the Michigan campus for the removal of the' Scottish stars from the
team. This was supposed to have been Michigan's year in swimming
but now all hope. was lost.
Stager and Harlan climbed out of the hole which they had dug
for themselves with the Wardrop incident and began a climb which
put' them at the top of the swimming world by the end of the 1958
season -- proving themselves capable of filling' the shoes of their
worthy predecessor.
Somehow in that dismal 1956 season, the Wolverines were able
to finish second in the Big Ten meet right behind powerful Ohio
State.
The Sophomore Team...
BEFORE THE SEASON began in 1957, the team was of questionable
potential. It was mainly made up of untried sophomores and a few
good veterans like .Fritz Myers, Don Adamski and John Narcy. The
team turned out to be good as sophomores Cy Hopkins 'nd Dick
MIanley blossomed out into championship swimmers and Dick Kimball
became a ranking diver in his first season. The team mowed over its
opposition in its dual meets but failed to take the Big Ten title as. the
Spartans of Michigan State emerged as victors because of their tre-
mendous depth.
Michigan was keyed up for the NCAA meet which was held that
year in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Michigan's chances. were sup-
posedly slim against favored Yale spearheaded by its sophomore
star, Tim Jecko. The Wolverines couldn't stop Jecko, he was a triple
winner; but they were .able to stop Yale and thus gain the, first NCAA
title for Michigan since 1948. It was a great victory but still more
thrills were in line for the '58 season.
The '58 squad was even stronger than the '57 one. The Wolverines
were bolstered by sophomore swimmers Tony Tashnick and John.
Smith; the addition of diver Alvaro Qaxiola; eligibility reinstatement
of versatile Carl Woolley. The team quickly won its early contests
b'ut both Stager and Harlan were wondering how powerful the squad
actually was. The test came in a dual meet with Michigan State.
MSU was swamped 67-30 and Michigan had one of its greatest

two year skein of 16 dual-meet vic-
tories and its first Big Ten title
since 1948.
Wolverine coach Gus Stager, a
former great Michigan swim star
himself, stated, "this team was:
certainly the greatest I've ever
coached and the greatest I've ever
seen."
All Agree
After the three day NCAA swim'
spectacular held at Michigan's
Varsity Pool, contending swim-
mers, coaches, and the thousands
of gathered fans were in full
agreement.
Michigan, producing a 72-point1
total; decisively defeated Yale, the
perennial Eastern champion who1
totaled 63 pts. and Big Ten runner-
up, Michigan State.
The other 56 teams represented
by 244 of the nation's foremost
collegiate swimmers followed far
behind in the point score.
Great Depth
The key to Michigan's over-
whelming victory lay in the tre-
mendous depth and versatility
found in their line-up. Picking up
valuable points in every one of the
14 events they entered, the Wol-
verines forged a chain that had no
weak links.
Tony Tashnick, the brilliant
Wolverine sophomore,rose to peak
performance in his young career,
cracking two NCAA records in the
100 and 200 yd. butterfly events'
and produced the only individual
Wolverine victory. Tashnick easily
outdistanced Yale's heralded Tim
Jecko in the meet's featured con-
test, the 200-yd. butterfly.
Divers Great
In the opening day of competi-
tion Dick Kimball and Alvaro Gax-
lola agilely twisted off the one-
meter board to place second andj
third respectively behind Ohio
State's infallible Olympic star,
Don Harper. Michigan's unexpect-
ed strong showing in the diving,
which Ohio State perenlally domi-
nates, enabled them to tie for the
meet lead at the end of the first
night's competition. Kimball went
on to take another second to Har-
per on - the- three-meter board,
while Gaxiola later placed fifth.
Michigan stalwarts, Dick Hanley,
Cy Hopkins, John Smith and Carl
Woolley were able to add to the
point total as they finished close
behind the winners in their respec-
tive events.l
Hanley Upset
Hanley, defending NCAA 220-
yd. freestyle titlist, was upset by
Yale's Roger Anderson. Anderson1
caught Hanley on the last lap ofj
the race with a strong finishingj
kick and won the title only by a
touch. Hanley in the hotly contest-
ed 100-yd. freestyle finished fifth.
Hopkins, the Wolverine jack-of-
all-strokes, finished a strong sec-
ond in the 200-yd.individual med-
ley. Overtaking Yale's tiring Tim
Jecko, who was favored in the
event, Hopkins placed second be-
hind Illinois' Joe Hunsaker who
pulled a stunning upset victory.
Smith Third'
John Smith, the powerfully builtj
Hawaiian trained backstroker who
joined the team at mid-semester,
conditioned himself well enough to
take a third in the 200yd. back
stroke and 100-yd. bockstroke.
Carl Woolley, noted primarily as
a sprint swimmer during the regu-
lar season showed his freestyle
versatility with a sixth in the ex-
hausting 1,500 meter event. At the
shorter 440 yd. distance Woolley
impressed with a third place.
Al Maten also contributed to the
point total with a sixth in the 200-
yd. breaststroke.
Just a finishing place in the
last event of the championship,

CY HOPKINS
. . tank captain

the 400-yd. medley relay, was
needed to insure a Michigan vic-
tory. Ohio State had long dropped
out of contention after they
showed their strength in the dive
and only Yale now seriously chal-
lenged. But Michigan's. third in
the event turned back the Eli's
final surge.
The great team-spirit and coop-
eration that brought Michigan the
NCAA title contributed as well to
their Big Ten title.
No one individual was respon-
sible for the victory at the rugged
Big Ten Championship meet at
Iowa City. "It was the most amaz-
ing team performance I've ever
seen',' coach Stager exuberantly
stated.
Stars and Balance
Tony Tashnick, Cy Hopkins and
Dick Hanley combined f'or seven
of the Wolverines' eight first places,
but in the Big Ten Meet, as was
soon to be true in the NCAA, the
winning team needed depth; it
needed to be able to place several
men in every race to win.
This Michigan was able. to do.
Pete Fries, Ed Pongracz, Carl
Woolley, Al Maten, and John
Smith were unable to gain first
places, but their second, third,
fourth and fifth place finishes all
bolstered the Michigan point total.'
Woolley Stars
Woolley recorded two seconds
and a third. In the gruelling 1,-
500-meter freestyle and also the
440-freestyle he finished second.
He also finished behind teammate
Hanley who won the 220-yd. free-
style.
Smith's two second places in the
100 and 200-yd. backstroke secured
the Michigan lead.
Fries placed in his three events,
the 1500 meters, the 440-yd free-
style and the 220-yd. freestyle.

Stager was pleased, too, with the
performance of Maten and Pon-
gracz. Both men were on the win-
ning 400-yd. medley relay team.
Maten also finished fourth in the
100-yd. breaststroke and sixth in
the 200-yd. breaststroke.
Tashnick Surprises
Sophomore Tashnick, who in less
than a month would play such a
prominent role in leading Michi-
gan to the NCAA title wasn't re-
garded at the beginning of the
season as a title- threat. But he
was thrust into national promi-
nence by his brilliant performance
at the Big Ten show. He captured
three record-breaking firsts: the
100 and 200-yd.- butterfly and the
individual medley.
Hanley and Hopkins each won
two races. "By the second day of
the meet, stated Stager, "Hanley
and Hopkins had completely de
moralized our opposition."
Another Year
And what of the 1958-1959 sea-
son? Can Michigan again achieve
their double victory? The return
of the varsity that won the NCAA
title and the graduation of a pow-
erful freshman squad to varsity
ranks indicates that the Wolver-
ines will have an even more pow-
erful lineup.
Making his debut at Michigan,
Sophomore Dave Gillanders, the
former All-America high school
star, bettered the school record,
with a 2.11 clocking in the 200-
yd. butterfly event.
Tough Twosome
That mark was recorded back in
December at the annual Michigan
"Gala" but Gilladers, has put a lot
of swimming under his belt since,
and is regarded as one of the"top
young swimmers in the nation.
When teamed v'ith Tashnick,
Michigan will be represented by
the most formidable butterfly two-
some in the country.
Frank Legicki, an All-America
high school selection from Penn-
sylvania heads the array of fresh-
men freestyle stars moving up to
the varsity. Legacki topped the
country in the interscholastic 100-
yd. sprint.
Harry Huffcacker, the Michigan
interscholastic champion in the
individual medley, will. add to the
all-around team depth.
Move Divers
The diving duo of Tee Francis
and John Deininger, the respective
high school state champions from
Michigan and Ohio, will add their
talents to a team that diving coach
Bruce Harlan hopes will shortly
shoo Ohio State from the throne
they have occupied too long.
I
Hairstyling to pleasel
Try us for:

But the other teams across the,
nation are well prepared to match
Michigan in the coming season.
Australian world champ Murray
Rose will carry the standard for
USC, the Pacific Coast's leader,

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while in the East, Yale is again
being strengthened by a strong
sophomore squad.
In their own rugged Big Ten
league, Michigan will be hard
pressed again by MSU and Indi-
ana, whose freshmen squad broke

V

A bevy of records last season.
sier star Frank' Mckinney has
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Michigan will have to ma]
best better if they are aga
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