March 4, 1 p.m.
vs. Iowa State
Sunday, 1 p.m.
The Michigan Daily
Tuesday, February 21, 1989
coach makes splash with
third straight Big Ten title
BY JAY MOSES
In the end, Michigan women's swimming coach
Jim Richardson was in the pool.
That's the way it goes. In football, the coach gets
carried off on his players' shoulders. If he's really
lucky, he gets Gatorade thrown all over him. In
women's swimming, when you're a winner, you end
up in the pool.
And that's exactly where he belonged. Richardson,
in his fourth season as head coach, led the Wolverines
to their third consecutive Big Ten Championship last
weekend at the Donald B. Canham Natatorium. That's.
no small feat considering the level of competition in
But that's nothing new around here. The women's
swimming team is one of the strongest programs at
the University, and it has been for quite a while.
The Canham Natatorium. Now that's new. The
Kaepa sneakers that many of the swimmers and
Richardson are wearing. That's new. But a Big Ten
Championship for an excellent program? That's
practically old hat for the Wolverines.
THERE ARE a lot of successful athletic
programs here at Michigan. Some of them get
tremendous media and fan support.
Women's swimming is not one of those programs.
Despite the tremendous success of the team, crowds for
dual meets are sparse. And ESPN is not exactly
clamoring for the rights to televise their meets.
But there is something about this sport. It is not
flashy. It is not a "prime time" show. There is a
sincerity about the coaches and swimmers that you
just don't find in some of the more highly-publicized
Richardson epitomizes that sincerity.
This is the kind of man we are talking about. After
an exhausting weekend of hosting nine teams, which
was capped off by a conference championship, where
would you expect to find a head coach? Out
celebrating? Home sleeping?
RICHARDSON sat in a completely empty
Canham Natatorium talking to three college-newspaper
Richardson's recruiting policy is another great
example of the kind of program he has here.
"We try to recruit swimmers who want to come to
Michigan," Richardson said. "We've stopped recruiting
faster swimmers who don't fit into our philosophy."
What is that philosophy? Well, that's a pretty
complicated question, but maybe this will give you
somewhat of an idea. The women's swimming team
has absolutely no team rules. No curfew, no nothing.
"I know I don't have to worry about any of these
girls going out after a meet and doing something high-
schoolish," Richardson said.
SO THE Big Ten Championships are over for
another year, and the crown rests safely in Ann Arbor.
And the swimmers, as a sign of affection for their
coach, tossed him in the pool. A dripping wet but very
relieved Richardson didn't even bother to change his
clothes for quite a while. His fellow Big Ten coaches
were keeping him busy with their congratulations.
It seems that just about everyone who comes into
contact with Richardson has pretty much the same
opinion about him.
"Oh, he's great," Athletic Director Bo
Schembechler said. "Couldn't be better."
Nice to hear from a man who has a few Big Ten
Championships of his own.
"Jim does a great job with them," Northwestern
head coach Kathie Wickstrand-McIntosh said.
THE CONFERENCE agrees, too. After the
meet Saturday, Richardson was named Big Ten Coach
of the Year.
Richardson orchestrates one of the most successful
athletic programs at this University with a simple, yet
dignified manner. He fervently resists taking credit for
his team's success.
His swimmers know better. "He's the best coach in
the country," senior Jill Oviatt said earlier this season.
Richardson cares, and it is evident during the meets,
where he is the loudest cheerleader of them all.
So where else would the good-hearted leader of one
of the strongest and most sincere athletic programs at
That's simple. Jim Richardson was in the pool.
Michigan's Sean Gallagher placed third in the 200-yard
freestyle, this weekend against Ohio State. The Wolverines
came from an early deficit to defeat the visiting Buckeyes.
Blue swimmers easily
stroked past OSU
BY MICHAEL SPIRO
The women's track team ap-
proached last Saturday's meet at
Eastern Michigan looking to prepare
for next weekend's Big Ten
Eastern Michigan probably
would have won the non-scored
meet, but Michigan coach James,
Henry was not disappointed by the'
Wolverines' showing against th6
"We're not looking goal-wise
for anything spectacular," Henry said
prior to the meet last week. "If good
performances come out of (the-
Some spectacular performance
were turned in, despite Michigan
approaching the meet with a relaxed
Senior Dana Davidson took
second place in the 55-meter hurdles,
running her season's best time (7.90
seconds) and qualifying for the.
NCAA championships. Last week
she missed the qualifying mark by
Junior Mindy Rowand also
shined for the Wolverines. Rowand
ran the mile in under five minutes,,
as expected, finishing third with a
time of 4:50.46
Other standouts were Gillian:
Osborne, who took second place in
the 400-meters with a time of 57.9
seconds, and Traci Babcock, who
took third place in the 3000-meters
with a time of 10:21.60.
Junior Lisa DeVries, who just
returned to competition after being
sidelined by a nagging toe injury and
a bout of the flu, placed second in
the high jump with a jump of 5-feet
All in all, the weekend was a
success for the Wolverines.
The Michigan men's swim-
ming and diving team pleased the
home crowd, Sunday, by over-
taking Ohio State to win its last
dual meet of the season, 76-36.
The second-ranked Wolverines
accomplished that feat by
sweeping six events and claiming
13 first-place finishes overall.
Michigan's Rick Wilkening
accomplished the first win of the
day, by swimming the 100-yard
backstroke in a personal best of
51.37 seconds.5Teammates Ron
Howard (51.50) and Alex
Alvizuri (51.52) placed second
and third, respectively.
Wilkening had hoped to make
the NCAA qualifying time of
50.57, but was still pleased with
"I was pretty excited about my
races," said Wilkening, who also
tied Jarret Winter for first place in
the 50-yard freestyle. "Our taper
is starting to kick in now, and I
was really happy with my own
performance. It couldn't have
been any better."
Other Wolverines with dual
first place wins included Marty
Moran in the 100 and 200 but-
terfly, Mats Nygren in the 500
and 1650 freestyle, and Mike
Barrowman in the 100 and 200
Eric Wunderlich achieved a
personal best with his first place
finish in the 400-yard individual
medley while teammate Brent
Lang captured first in the 200-
Dan Wilkering was the sole
OSU swimmer to outswim a
Wolverine for a first place
victory. Both he and teammate
Andy Flood took the top two
places in the 100-yard freestyle.
Schembechler blasts network dictatorship
FROM STAFF REPORTS
College football needs "people
with enough guts" to stop television
from dictating starting times,
Michigan coach Bo Schembechler
told the NCAA's annual College
Football Preview, yesterday.
"I am going to be a little more
difficult to get along with in terms
of changing starting times,"
Schembechler said. "College football
is meant to be played at 1 o'clock in
the afternoon, and I think we ought
to come as close to that as we can."
Schembechler was particularly
angry last fall when ABC forced him
to play at 3:30 p.m. against Indiana
and Minnesota. ABC has already
asked that Michigan's 1989 season-
opener against Notre Dame be played
during prime time.
Schembechler strongly opposes
the move, and ABC is expected to
appeal to University President James
ABC has targeted nine of
Michigan's 11 regular season games
this fall for possible television.
- The Associated Press
contributed to this story.
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