Page 4-The Michigan Daily - Sports Monday - January 25, 1993
BIG TEN PREVIEW
Iowa leads race for second
by Brett Johnson
Daily Sports Writer
It's a known fact that the
Michigan men's swimming and
diving team is the squad to beat in
the Big Ten conference this year.
The Wolverines are looking for their
eighth straight conference crown and
this year's might be the easiest to
claim. Michigan. has created the
biggest disparity of talent between
itself and the rest of the conference
in coach Jon Urbanchek's career.
"There's a whole bunch of teams
clumped together fighting for sec-
ond, third, fourth, fifth," Urbanchek
said. "But we're definitely a couple
hundred points (better)."
With this in mind, the real fight is
for second place. And this could be a
Iowa (2-0 Big Ten, 3-0 overall)
established itself as the team to beat
for the silver with its dual meet win
over Minnesota last November. The
squad from Iowa City placed fifth at
last year's Big Ten meet and 13th at
the NCAA championship.
The Hawkeyes are led by sopho-
more Rafal Szukala. Szukala won
the NCAA title in the 200-yard but-
terfly as a freshman and won a silver
medal at the 1992 Olympics in the
Another strength is in the diving
category with junior B.J. Blair. Blair
placed eighth in the 10-meter plat-
form at the NCAAs last year and
14th in the one-meter springboard.
Minnesota (2-1, 3-1) is in a tran-
sition year but will still put the heat
on Iowa for second. The Golden
Gophers are coming off their third
straight second-place conference fin-
ish to the Wolverines. However, the
loss of six seniors who scored at the
Big Tens and NCAAs will be felt.
"We want to do as well as we
can," Minnesota coach Dennis Dale
said. "It's realistic for us to be in the
top four. It's clearly a rebuilding
year. We lost a lot, and we're red-
shirting our best swimmer (Paul
Nelsen has previously won both
the 200- and 400-yard individual
medleys at the Big Tens, and he
placed second and fourth, respec-
tively, at last year's NCAA champi-
onship. Minnesota will be counting
on upperclassmen Can Ergenekan in
the butterfly, Matt Brown in the
breaststroke, and Eric Jorgensen and
Steve Busse in the sprint freestyle
Ohio State (3-0, 7-0) is anchored
by a strong corps of juniors. Most
notable of the group is Justin
Crawford, who was the Big Ten
champion in both the 100- and 200-
yard breaststroke last year. He also
placed third at the NCAAs in the
200 breaststroke, earning all-
In addition to the talented junior
class, Ohio State has three outstand-
ing sophomores and 10 talented
"The team is better, but so is ev-
erybody else," Ohio State coach Bill
Wadley said. "The Big Ten
(championship) is a three-day meet.
We have to be well prepared physi-
cally, emotionally, and psychologi-
cally. With Michigan being so far
ahead (for the championship), we
want to get as many people as possi-
ble to the NCAAs."
Indiana (2-2, 4-2) is trying to re-
capture its late 1960s/early 1970s
glory years of Mark Spitz, when it
won six straight national champi-
onships. Although the Hoosiers do
not have those types of swimmers
this year, they will still challenge for
an upper level spot in the confer-
ence. Indiana is strongest in the dis-
tance freestyle events thanks to three
sophomores: Brian Barnes, Greg
Krisko, and Stephen Sanchez.
Michigan State (3-1, 4-1) has a
solid team. Redshirt senior and tri-
captain Kevin Zielinski returns from
his attempt to make the Olympic
team and will lead the Spartans by
way of the breaststroke.
Wisconsin (1-2, 2-3) is hoping to
improve on last year's sixth-place
conference finish. They will be
counting on two honorable mention
all-Americans, Robert Pinter and
Victor Kalaus, to give the squad
leadership and experience.
Penn State, Northwestern, Purdue
and Illinois fill out the Big Ten.
Penn State (1-0, 4-1) is entering
its second year in the Big Ten and
has eight conference opponents on
its schedule. Coach Peter Brown
feels the team wasn't prepared for
the Big Ten championship last year
and hopes the stronger schedule will
give it an advantage.
Northwestern (0-1, 4-4) looks to
move up from its 10th-place finish
last year. Wildcat coach Bob
Groseth believes the team is heading
in the right direction but admits that
the strength of the conference makes
"The Big Ten conference ... has
probably been the strongest
(conference) from top to bottom,"
Groseth said. "We could have a
great performance and get eighth at
the Big Ten championships or we
could have ansoutstanding perfor-
mance and get sixth."
Purdue (2-3, 5-4) is counting
heavily on Brian Daly in the back-
stroke, Dean Fredette in the distance
freestyles, and John Klinge in the
individual medley. All have a chance
to do well at the Big Tens.
Illinois (1-4, 2-5), last year's cel-
lar dweller, rounds out the Big Ten
and is just looking to move up in the
Breaststroker Steve Duttenhofer and the rest of the Michigan men's swimming and Hiving team will attempt to take
their eighth consecutive Big Ten title this season. The Wolverines are currently ranked second in the country.
1992-93 men's swimming and diving schedule
at N'western Relays
at Michigan State
Feb. 26-27 f
Mar. 30-Apr 3
Red Lobster Invite
Big Ten Champ.
Mich. Time Standard
NCAA Div. Zone
Nat. Diving Prelims
Nat. Diving Finals'
Blue should strive flor
by Brett Johnson
Daily Sports Writer
IDespite the accolades given to other sports at Michigan, the fact re-
mains that the most successful Wolverine team over the past several years
resides in Canham Natatorium.
The Michigan men's swimming and diving program has dominated the
Big Ten since the mid-1980s, winning seven consecutive conference titles.
This trend doesn't look like it will end soon. Coach Jon Urbanchek has
his strongest squad ever, offering little hope for the rest of the Big Ten.
With the title almost conceded to the Wolverines, a new goal might be
in order. Instead of being satisfied with a Big Ten title, Michigan should
focus its sights on a national crown.
Last weekend, the second-ranked Wolverines took some initial strides
toward this goal. Michigan headed to California to take on No. 1 Stanford
and No. 4 California, swimming well both days. The team beat the Golden
Bears, but the effort was not quite enough to pull out a victory over the
This, however, does not mean that the Wolverines should pack up their
bags and give the championship trophy to Stanford. They did not swim a
great meet but were still in a position to win it going into the last event.
The talent was there, but the attitude was not.
"We are supposedly the second-best team," senior tri-captain Eric
Namesnik said. "We have to approach meets in that way. We need to pre-
sent ourselves as one of the best. I don't know if we showed that (against
Stanford) ... It was not a difference in depth. They were able to race
Stanford has a great team, but it is not invincible. The Wolverines
boast one of the strongest clubs in college swimming and they need to go
out and display this attitude each time they swim. Urbanchek has said that
realistically the team can only hope to beat Texas for second place.
"The best Michigan can hope to do is challenge Texas for second
place," Urbanchek said. "Stanford is about head and shoulders above every-
body else at the NCAA level."
However, talent doesn't always guarantee championships. Teams with
winning attitudes can overcome a disparity in skill, especially when it is
such a minimal one. One of the reasons Namesnik came back after the
Olympics was because of the talent level and chance to win a national title.
"I came back this year to concentrate not on individual goals; I want to
do well for the team," Namesnik said. "I feel that Michigan has a chance to
do something real well ... and that's to maybe win a national champi-
Depth and experience propels 'M' optimism
by Doug Neye
The primary goal of most
Michigan athletic teams is to win the
Big Ten championship. In certain
rare cases, however, a team is
blessed with such tremendous talent
that a national title can be included
in the list of preseason objectives.
With seven consecutive Big Ten
championships and six straight top
10 NCAA finishes under its belts,
the 1992-93 men's swimming and
diving squad is one of these rare
teams. Swimming coach Jon
Urbanchek and diving coach Dick
Kimball are understandably confi-
dent in this year's team, which re-
turns eight all-Americans, and seven
Big Ten champions.
"This is the finest swim team we
have assembled in the last thirty
years," Urbanchek said. "We won't
be challenged in the Big Ten and we
would like to finish in the top three
at the NCAA Championship. I have
Continued from page 1
as an assistant coach for the U.S.
swim team. Although Borges spent
most of the time with the Brazilian
team, he did have contact with
Urbanchek and also Michigan team-
mate Eric Namesnik.
"I had everything written out by
Jon, and he'd watch me a couple
times," Borges said. "But I was
mostly with the Brazilian team".
"He was the youngest kid at the
Olympics (in swimming) and he
held up pretty well under extreme
pressure," Urbanchek said. "The
Olympics are the biggest thing you
can have in swimming. It was a
great honor for him.
never felt this way about a team be-
Depth throughout the lineup
should prove to be a key to the
team's success. The return of the
two "Erics" provides the Wolverines
with talent and experience. Eric
Namesnik is expected to lead the
team in the individual medleys while
Eric Wunderlich returns as the
Wolverines' No. 1 breaststroker. The
senior all-Americans return from a
redshirt season spent preparing for
the U.S. Olympic Trials.
Sophomore Marcel Wouda
should challenge Namesnik's spot as
the top individual medley specialist.
Wouda swam the 200- and 400-me-
ter IM, and the 400 freestyle, while
representing the Netherlands in
Senior Steve Duttenhofer will
provide help in the individual med-
leys and the breaststroke. He is
coming off second- and seventh-
place Big Ten showings in the 400
IM and 200 breaststroke, respec-
Sophomore Gustavo Borges re-
turns from a season in which he was
named Big Ten Freshman-of-the-
Year. The freestyler qualified for the
NCAA Championship meet in six
events, earning all-American status
Urbanchek feels that to win a na-
tional title, the experienced team will
need support from younger swim-
mers. Freshman Royce Sharp should
fill this need admirably. The new-
comer holds the American record in
the 200 backstroke. He competed in
the same event in Barcelona as a
member of the U.S. Olympic team.
Several other Wolverines are ex-
pected to play prominent roles if the
team is to succeed. Juniors Rodney
VanTassel, Tom Hay and Kevin
Glass will contribute in freestyle re-
lays and individual freestyle events,
as will senior Noel Strauss and
sophomore Dan Abruzzi. Junior
Brice Kopas will add to the depth in
the individual medleys.
While the swimmers tend to get
most of the attention, the divers are
also extremely talented. Kimball has
a team with an impressive combina-
tion of youth and experience.
Junior Eric Lesser and senior Jeff
Jozwiak are the leading returnees.
Lesser finished sixth in the three-
meter and third in the 10-meter
competitions at the 1992 Big Ten
Championship. At nationals, he dove
to 13th- and 14th-place finishes in
the three-meter and tower events,
Jozwiak finished fifth at the Big
Ten meet on the tower. Kimball ex-
pects sophomore Abel Sanchez,
freshman Alex Bogaerts and senior
Brad Lambert to compete for the
third and fourth spots on the diving
"It was pretty nice to return to
Br-. 1," he said. "I didn't spend a lot
of me with the guys. I was mostly
in my :ometown with my club."
"I thought it was a nice gesture
of the Brazilian team to invite us
down there," Urbanchek said. "The
fact that Gustavo is from Brazil and
he's done well in America is great."
Borges swam for the Brazilian
National Team against Michigan in
a meet that was shown on television
"It wasn't really a major meet,"
Borges said. "I wish I could have
swam for Michigan too, but it was
great to swim for Brazil again."
"Not everyday kids are silver
medalists in the Olympics. A lot of
colleges would give an arm and a leg
to have someone like that on their
While Gustavo has accomplished
a great deal in a very short period of
time, he is not content with what he
has done. Not all of his goals have
been achieved, a fact which contin-
ues to drive him.
"I want to go to another
Olympics," Borges said. "So up to
'96 I'll be training as hard as I have
After lowering Brent Lang's
school record last year in the 200-
yard freestyle, Borges looks to
someday top Lang's records in the
50- and 100-yard events as well.
other four or five like him and we're
in good shape.
"He works real hard and he's fo-
cused, looking at the next Olym-
Borges does not let the popularity
of Michigan's big-time sports and
the anonymity of sports like swim-
ming get him down. In fact, he rel-
ishes what effect those major sports
have had on the swimming program.
"We have to thank them, the
football team, the basketball, for
bringing in the revenue for us,"
Borges said. "If it weren't for them
we wouldn't have this great pool
that we have today.
"On the other hand, we could
have a little more support for non-
revenue sports. Some more scholar-