The Michigan Daily - Sports Monday - December 3, 1990 - Page 5
1987 - 1988 - 1989
'M' swimmers aim
for national success
Swimmers look to
ride rookie wave
by Jason Gomberg
Daily Sports Writer
by Andrew Brown
Daily Sports Writer
As the 1990-91 campaign un-
folds for the Michigan women's
swimming team, many questions
loom in the balance that need to be
The biggest issue on the mind of
coach Jim Richardson is how to re-
place what he termed, "the best se-
nior class ever assembled," during
his tenure as Michigan's head coach.
For starters, last year's squad, led
by eight seniors, continued its dom-
ination of the Big Ten Conference
with a fourth consecutive team
*championship and fourth straight top
ten finish at the NCAA
Included among the graduates
were Ann Colloton, winner of three
straight Big Ten titles in the 200-
yard breaststroke, Gwen DeMaat,
All-American on the 800-yard
freestyle relay team, Jennifer Eck, a
100 and 200-yard breaststroker, and
*Stefanie Liebner, a Big Ten cham-
pion in the 100-yard backstroke and
All-American in the 200 and 400-
yard medley relays.
The Wolverines' total of nine
All-Big Ten performers and nine
NCAA All-Americans were
Michigan records. The team also ex-
tended the school record dual meet
winning streak to 36 before losing
to NCAA runner-up Stanford.
The Wolverines have now estab-
lished themselves on the national
map as one of the finest women's
swimming programs in the country.
The challenge will be to continue
this tradition - certainly not an
"Many of these girls have never
swam at this level and they are very
#eger to improve," Richardson said.
"We just need to maintain our
aggressiveness and our desire to
excel throughout the duration of this
Upon entering the 1990-91 sea-
son, Richardson has made it clear
that the goals of this team are long-
"We are certainly looking down
the road and I feel this team will
swim much better in February and
March," Richardson said. "1 do not
feel as if we will show much speed
until then, but the purpose is to
build systematic endurance over the
course of the season."
The team has trained rigorously
during the fall, not concentrating so
much on fall competition, but rather
on the major winter events.
On December 30, Michigan
faces Hawaii and Arizona State in
Honolulu. In January, its toughest
competition will come from No. 2
ranked Stanford, No. 3 Cal-Berkeley,
No. 10 SMU, as well as top ranked
Texas. The latest coaches' poll ranks
Michigan No. 8.
"We want to go head-to-head with
the best," Richardson said. "Stanford
is like the old UCLA of basketball,
who every year is right at the top."
"We are looking to switch our
goals from the Big Ten to the na-
tional picture," junior butterflyer
Molly Hegarty added. "We are not
expecting tremendous results from
these matchups with the national
powers, but I feel as if we are tal-
ented enough to hold our own."
This is the first time in the last
five years that the Big Ten race is
"We are an unknown, unproven
quantity," Richardson said. "This
year's race will be very interesting."
Northwestern, Minnesota, Ohio
State, and Purdue are all capable of
capturing the title. Purdue is reported
to have the strongest recruiting class
in the Big Ten.
Upperclassmen expected to shine
for Michigan are junior backstroker
Lisa Anderson, sophomore freestyler
Kathy Diebler, and sophomore
Rookie standouts on the squad
include Kate Girard, a 1500-meter
freestyler, Karen Barnes, a distance
freestyler, and Canadian breaststro-
kers Val Hyduk and Tara Higgins.
Women swimmers hope to hold the Big Ten plaque for a fifth
consecutive year as pictured here in 1990.
Women's Swimming and
30- December 2
30 - Decemberr 2
27 -January 10
at Eastern Michigan
U.S. Open (National Team)**
MICHIGAN INVITATIONAL (Coed)
Training Cam p**
at Hawaii, Arizona St., Air Force
at Univ.wof California
at Texas, SMU
Big Ten Championship****
MICHIGAN OPEN (Coed)
NCAA Zone C Diving Meet*****
Michigan swimmer Kate Girard
used to travel 40 miles after school
True competition at high school
meets for Tara Higgins came only
from girls in her own swim club
representing other schools.
The 1990-91 rookie class to
which Girard and Higgins belong at
Michigan hasn't always had it so
good. Not always has practice meant
a mere five-minute walk to a gleam-
ing new swimming pool, and not
always have there been adequate
weight rooms and athletic trainers.
But now these newcomers have
become an integral part of what
coach Jim Richardson calls "a young
and fun team to coach," which
aspires to capture its fifth consecu-
tive Big Ten title.
"They're aggressive swimmers
who aren't afraid to work,"
Richardson said. "They've just
walked right in and it's like they've
been there all along."-
Six frosh have done much more
than just buoy the bench. They have
qualified for this past weekend's
U.S. Open and hold some of the
fastest times on the squad.
Vallery Hyduk has recorded the
team's top breaststroke times, fin-
ishing the 100-yard race in 1:13.00,
and the 200 in 2:34.55. Higgins is
close behind with times of 1:13.30
and 2:38.85. Stephanie Munson has
also posted impressive times of
1:14.87 and 2:40.85.
Within the freestyle ranks, Karen
Barnes ranks No. 2 in three separate
distances, the 200 (1:50.61), the 500
(4:50.02), and the 1650 (16:42.53),
and fifth in the 500 (4:54.5).
Versatile Nicole Williamson pos-
sesses the fourth best time on the
squad in the 500 free (4:53.5), the
second best in the 100 back (59.5),
and the fourth best in the 200 indi-
vidual medley (2:05.5).
Girard ranks among the twenty
fastest women in the world for the
1500-meter free. But rather than la-
bel her a 1500 racer, Richardson
chooses to discuss her range in
"She's got adequate speed at the
200," he said. "So she can handle all
the intermediate distances."
Girard owes as much to Henry
Ford for her success as she does her
talent and desire. "We didn't have a
swim team at my high school," she
said. "I had to drive to Lockport, 45
minutes away, to practice with my
The Orchard Park, New York, na-
tive maintains that she had little
trouble adjusting to training with
two dozen other women. "It was a
little bit different," she said. "But I
was in the same competitions so I
knew some of them before I came
Competition was sorely lacking
for Tara Higgins at her hometown of
Kitchener, Ontario. "My high school
team was really, really poor," said
Instead of concentrating on high
school athletics, she focused her en-
ergies toward her swim club, where
different problems emerged. "I had
trouble training there," she said. "I
was faster than all the other girls,
but I couldn't always keep up with
"Also, I was older than the other
girls. One time we all went out to
the movies, and I was the only girl
who had her driver's license."
Vallery Hyduk experienced a sim-
ilar problem with her training in
Scarborough, Ontario. "I was one of
only three national level swimmers
in my swim club," said Hyduk, "and
we got to travel a lot, but it was re-
ally hard finding someone to work
with all the time."
Hyduk seems most worried by
the lengths of the races. "I never
swam (races) in yards before; our
pool was 31 meters long - kind of
an irrelevant distance," she said.
"The races are shorter, and I have to
focus more on my turns. That makes
me a little panicky in my races,
'cause my turns aren't too good."
21 - 23
* at Evanston Illinois
** at Indianapolis, Indiana
*** at Honolulu, Hawaii
**** at Minneapolis
at Columbus, Ohio
HOME MEETS IN CAPS
Higgins, like the other swim-
mers, praises Richardson's new
long-term, long-distance philosophy.
She says the training "is a lot harder
(than in her club) but I know it's
what I need."
As the season progresses,
Richardson expects and hopes to see
all of his prized rookies mature and
develop into a class which he thinks
"may become as good as the senior
class we graduated last year."
That class included four All-
For now though, Richardson will
be content with their consistent im-
provement. "You're talking about
people who don't know what it's
about yet," he said, "They haven't
been to the Big Ten's, and they
haven't swum a tough dual meet
"But," he added, "I don't think
we've recruited any chokers."
Diving squad buoyed
by depth, experience
by aid Kraft
Diy Sports Writer ______________
M reaps Canham s benefits
Natatorium offers first-rate swimming facility
by David Kraft
Daily Sports Writer
Women's swimming coach Jim Richardson
believes "the facility will... give the swimmers
and divers the opportunity to train in an atmo-
sphere which is very similar to any national or
Senior captain Minoo Gupta speaks of "the
the well-established realization that a first rate
Michigan swimming and -diving program de-
served a first-rate facility.
The program has earned the rewards of the
natatorium, especially considering the adversities
it faced in the previous facility.
Before the construction of Canham, Michigan
of-the-art locker rooms and training and weight
facilities that were virtually nonexistent at the
"In'the Matt Mann pool, we had to share
lockers so small that we had to leave our shoes
and coats outside by the pool," senior Molly
The Wolverines will dive into the depths of their backup squad this
season. After losing only one senior to graduation last season, expectations
are high for the women's diving team.
"Not only do we have a lot of experience with returning divers, most of
our opponents each lost a lot of seniors," senior Julie Greyer said.
Coach Dick Kimball will try to lead his eight divers to a repeat
performance of last year's Big Ten Champioships in Indianapolis, where the
Wolverine divers outscored all of their opponents, and the swimming and
diving team captured its fouth straight conference title.
With seven divers retuning, an even stronger performance than 1990's is
highly likely. "Only Ohio State could be a real challenge," Greyer said.
Individually, however, Michigan State's Julie Farrell-Ovenhause takes
top preseason honors in the conference on both springboards, if not the