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November 30, 1988 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1988-11-30

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Women's Basketball
vs. Toledo
Thursday, 7:30 p.m.
Crisler Arena


Men's Basketball
vs. Grambling State
Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Crisler Arena

The Michigan Daily

Wednesday, November 30, 1988

Page 9


S 'r


'M' swimmer
Jill Oviatt
sets record
Wake up. Brush your teeth. Eat breakfast. And
swim 45 miles?
It's all in a day's work for Jill Oviatt.
Oviatt, a senior breaststroker on the Michigan
women's swimming team, set a new world record for
the longest distance swum in a 24-hour period.
Beginning last Wednesday at 8 a.m., Oviatt swam a
distance of 45.45 miles in less than 24 hours, breaking
the previous record of 42.05 miles set by Allison Gib-
bons of the United Kingdom in 1985. Oviatt covered
3,200 lengths in the pool at the Canham Natatorium.
"It was long," said Oviatt, who took an eight
minute break each hour. "It was a real test of the will."
THE IDEA for the swim first occurred to Oviatt
when she saw Dave Goch, then a swimmer for the
Michigan men's team, set the world record for men in
May of 1986.
To prepare for a monumental task like this, you
would think some special training would be required.
Visions of tents pitched poolside, endless training, and
swimming in the dark come to mind.
Oviatt prepared by taking one day off from practice.
Since she was training with the women's
swimming team, she was already in good enough
condition to complete the distance. If that is the case,
then what is so special about her accomplishment?
THE ANSWER is, plenty. If being a strong
swimmer was all that was necessary to make the 24-
hour swim, then Jill Oviatt would notbe the world
record holder.
Oviatt is not the strongest swimmer in the world.
She's not even the most gifted swimmer on
Michigan's team.
Oviatt knows that. She also knows that what she
may lack in raw talent, she more than makes up for in
fortitude and mental toughness.
That's part of what attracted her to the idea of a 24-
hour swim.
"I knew that because this event weighed heavier on
mental factors than physical, I could do it," said
Which is not to say that it wasn't a physically
trying feat either. Oviatt needed her mental strength to
overcome sneezing fits, cramps, and exhaustion.
THREE OF Oviatt's teammates attempted the
event last year. All of them were faster swimmers than
she was. None of them made it past the fifteenth hour.
It is this kind of thing that makes you start to think
that Jill Oviatt is not your average swimmer.
She didn't swim for Michigan her first year here.
She started in spring training that year, and started

Jill Oviatt swam 45 miles in 24 hours.
swimming for the team her sophomore year. She made
the Big Ten team, and was rewarded with the Conger
Alumni Scholarship, under which she still swims.
Nothing in swimming has come easily to Oviatt.
As a result, she hasn't forgotten those who have helped
her. As part of her 24-hour swim, she received pledges
from over 20 local businesses. The proceeds will go to
the Conger Alumni Scholarship fund.
OVIATT is grateful to head coach Jim Richardson
as well. Richardson stayed with her through the whole
swim, keeping her informed as to her distance and
conditions, and to help her mental state.
"I give a lot of credit to my coach for that swim,"
Oviatt said. "There is no better swim coach in the
country. He sincerely cares."
Richardson was also complimentary.
"Jill is just a terrific person to work with," said
Richardson. "She has a great sense of responsibility."
He added that Oviatt has had to work during the
summers, which has required her to train that much
harder during the season.
Swimming at Michigan has been a rewarding
experience for Oviatt. She is majoring in English and
hopes to go to law school, but she feels that
swimming has helped prepare her for life after college
as well.
"I couldn't have gained better life skills," Oviatt
said. "Swimming was a great complement to
academics in preparing me for whatever I do when I
leave here."

Drama surrounds
'M' wrestling team
As the collegiate wrestling season approached, the
Michigan wrestling team was concerned about
maximizing their talent and keeping everyone healthy.
Last weekend's Northern Open at Madison,
Wisconsin, which saw 350 wrestlers competing for
titles in all 10 weight classes, exposed these and
several other concerns.
Although Michigan was the only collegiate team
to emerge with two champions - John Fisher, 134
pounds, and Joe Pantaleo, 158 pounds - they are
unsettled in many respects.
AN EPISODE of "All My Children" can't match
the Wolverines for drama. It should be noted, however,
that many teams would love to be in the the fourth-
ranked Wolverines' position.
For your enjoyment, here is the latest installment
of that Ann Arbor favorite, "All My Wrestling
The camera hones in on heavyweight Bob Potokar.
The caption: Will the erratic Potokar live up to his
No. 5 ranking? After winning the Eastern Michigan
Open, he failed to place in the top six in the Ohio and
Northern Opens.
Next the camera focuses on Larry Gotcher and Sam
Amine sitting on the Wolverine training table.
Amine's ankle injury kept him out of the Northern
Open and Gotcher's torn bicep has slowed his progress.
GOTCHER'S injury has placed him in a awkward
situation. He is more comfortable at 142 pounds,
where he placed fifth nationally, but the injury has
forced him to wrestle at 150 pounds. Gotcher failed to
place at the Nortern Open.
Then, the camera catches the fierce intra-team
competition. 177 pounders James Dye and Justin
Spewock are battling. Dye and Spewock finished
fourth and fifth, respectively, in a highly competitive
weight class at the Northern Open.
190 pounders Fritz Lehrke and first-year wrestler
Phil Tomek are also neck and neck. Lehrke finished
fifth at the Northern and Tomek finished fifth at the
Ohio Open.
Pantaleo appears, a bit on his guard, as Sam
Amine, last year's 150 pounder, is bucking for the top-
ranked 158 pounder's job. Pantaleo has had all he can
handle from his teammate.
What drama!
The episode ends on a more positive note as the
camera scans Fisher training with two other consistent
Wolverines, Mike Amine and Pantaleo.
Amine, a finalist in the Northern, seems to have
retained last year's All-American form, and Pantaleo
has lost only once this year. Fisher, named the
tournament's outstanding wrestler, has been
tremendous. He has won three tournaments and in the
Nortern he pinned four of his six opponents.

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