The Michigan Daily - Sports Monday - January 25, 1993 - Page 5
Blue tankers strive for lucky seven
~Wornen swimmers look to continue streak of Big Ten titles
-- _ .. i ce .. _.__._ .. __ . , "---- ____. ti
a enge of recruiting
by Charlie Breitrose
Daily Sports Writer
Talent is something that all coaches search for when recruiting athletes.
Michigan women's swimming coach Jim Richardson has landed a very tal-
ented class this recruiting season.
"Two of them are world-ranked and the other two are right behind
them," Richardson said.
But when you look at where these talented women come from, you will
not find the traditional swimming hotbeds of California, Florida and Texas.
Instead they hail from some of the colder regions of the nation, like
Cincinnati and upstate New York.
"You can draw a line from Northern California to Maryland, straight
across the country," Richardson said. "Nobody below that line is coming
"Unless they used to live here (the snow belt), or unless there is a really
close tie to the school through the parents or through the coach of the insti-
tution, a school in this part of the country cannot recruit as effectively as a
sun belt school can."
This is the case for most of the current Michigan swimmers who are
from "below the line."
Junior Stephanie Munson of Richmond, Va., cited her coach's advice as
a major factor in her decision.
"My coach in Virginia knew Jim; he thought that it was a good place for
me," Munson said.
Richardson had some help signing California native Nicole Williamson
while being recruited three years ago.
"Nicole's aunt went to the University of Michigan and her aunt did a
good job of recruiting her," Richardson said.
In addition, Williamson and Munson both had a desire to leave home.
"Basically I wanted to get away from Virginia," Munson said.
Although there are still plenty of talented swimmers in the northern sec-
tion of the country, many of them choose to leave the chilly north for
"I would say that at least 50 percent of (top prospects) are going south or
west," Richardson said. "They're tired of the cold, the ice and the snow.
This is their chance to get out - and they're getting out."
Richardson said he concentrates his efforts on swimmers from the north
who are interested in staying closer to home.
"The really good swimmers we end up recruiting from the north are the
ones that just don't want to go far from home. Being close to their families
is important to them," Richardson said.
Other Big Ten coaches have had similar experiences when recruiting.
Both Richardson and Northwestern coach Kathie Wickstrand said they have
found that it is not "smart" recruiting to try and pursue swimmers from the
West and South unless they show some interest.
"I think everyone we have that is from California, except two, sent us
letters saying they were interested in Northwestern," Wickstrand said.
"I think you can waste a lot of time going after people (from the warmer
areas). Nine times out of 10 it's going to be a waste," Richardson said.
Michigan does indepth research before it commits a lot of energy on a
The effects of the disparity between the two halves of the country is ap-
parent in the results from recent NCAA championships.
Consider the number of schools above Richardson's line with top-10
finishes in the last 10 NCAA championships.
"You take that line and see how many dots you have on the map above
the line," he suggested.
"And to my thinking I think you'll only have three places (with dots)
above that line. You'll have: five dots at Michigan, one dot at Northwestern
and I believe one dot at Minnesota."
by Wendy Law
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan women's swim-
ming and diving team will shoot for
its seventh straight Big Ten champi-
onship title in its home pool at
Canham Natatorium next month.
But will the Wolverines rake in an
easy jackpot as in years past?
Despite having three aces in the
forms of NCAA qualifiers Alecia
Humphrey, Lara Hooiveld, and
Kathy Deibler, Michigan swimming
head coach Jim Richardson is play-
ing his cards close to the vest for
"We will rest everyone (for Big
Tens) except the three people who
have made NCAAs, because those
people are focusing on NCAAs,"
Richardson said. "So that places us
rankings as of Jan. 20
1. Florida 517
2. Texas 483
3. Stanford 479
4. UCLA 444
5. SMU 441
6. Georgia 409
7. Arizona St. 365
8. California 349
9. Michigan 339
10. Arizona 337J
at a bit of a disadvantage at the con-
ference meet because we'll be the
only team there with some people
who are unshaved. All three of them
are former Big Ten champions from
years past, so I think that we're go-
ing to have to swim very, very
tough at Big Tens to be competi-
Richardson has other concerns as
well, in the forms of top rival
Northwestern and his own team's
lack of balance.
"I think that on paper,
Northwestern has every event cov-
ered," Richardson said. "They have
both depth and quality. There were a
lot of people at the beginning of the
season who felt that on paper,
Northwestern had the team to beat
this year. I think they have a lot
more balance than we do. So we
have to do well wherever we're
swimming. That sounds pretty sim-
ple, but we just don't have a well-
balanced team for Big Tens. We're
going to be weak, very weak in
In compliance with the Big Ten
squad limit, the Wolverines will be
taking 21 or 22 swimmers and 4 or
5 divers to the conference meet.
Almost half of their roster will be
tied up in the breaststroke and back-
stroke events, leaving them weak in
the sprint and the shorter distance
Despite Northwestern's prowess,
Richardson does not count out the
other players at the table. Ohio
State, Minnesota, and especially
Penn State could pose as obstacles
"I think Ohio State is better this
year than they were last year,"
Richardson said. "I think Minnesota
is very good this year. Penn State is
certainly much better than they were
last year. They beat us. They took
advantage of our weakness. We are
not a very good sprint and freestyle
team and the meet went to the final
relay and they beat us with their
Whatever the factors in play for
Big Tens, both the women swim-
mers and divers look forward with
anticipation to the meet.
"I'm excited about it," captain
Mindy Gehrs said. "I think we'll do
well. For myself, I'd like to win the
200 and 400 IM (individual medley)
at the meet."
Captain and diver Margie Stoll
said she is also looking forward to
"I'm very excited," Stoll said.
"It's the last Big Tens that I'll be a
part of. We have a very good, very
strong diving and swimming team. I
personally think we can win. So I'm
excited for it myself. I would like to
at least be in the top five people on
the one-meter and three-meter."
According to Stoll, the divers
have been training very hard since
October and have been mentally and
physically preparing themselves for
"We've been working hard really
since October," Stoll said. "Our
Christmas training is very tough and
intense training. We came back on
December 27. We have two work-
outs a day, probably for a total of
four hours. And then closer to Big
Tens, we do more quality work. We
do less number of dives, but better
Beth Jackson competes in the Speedo Cup earlier this season. Michigan.
hosts the 1993 Big Ten Championship in February.
quality of them to mentally prepare
ourselves for the meet."
Joining Stoll at the Big Tens
will be divers Jennifer Rotondo,
Cinnamon Woods, Carrie Zarse, and
If Stoll has one disappointment
about the Big Tens, however, she
said it is the absence of tower diving
at the competition.
"There's no platform diving this
year," Stoll said. "It's kind of a dis-
appointment. It was in the Big Tens
for two years and I was the Big Ten
platform diving champion in 1991.
So I'm kind of disappointed that I
don't get to compete in it again. But
I guess that's one less worry."
Richardson shares this sentiment.
"If they hadn't thrown out tower
diving," said Richardson, "this meet
wouldn't be such a close one. It's
going to be a barn burner."
Michigan also has plans extend-
ing beyond the Big Tens - namely
improving upon last year's seventh
place finish at the NCAAs. With
three definite qualifiers and more to
come, Richardson has a specific goal
for this year's competition.
"I think with respect to NCAAs,"
Richardson said, "the goal is cer-
tainly to finish in the top 10, and
beyond that, then as high as possi-
However, the Wolverines will
face the same heavy competition at
Is the same old story,"
Richardson said. "It's the top three
- Stanford, Texas, and Florida.
After that, I think UCLA looks re-
ally good this year. They could per-
form this year. SMU and Arizona
fall fifth and sixth. After that I think
we fall in there with several teams
- Georgia, ASU, USC, and
Kansas. Kansas is good this year. I
think Northwestern is going to be a
sleeper of a team (also)."
Michigan, though, has a lot of
talent to draw from for this matchup.
With three swimmers who were
NCAA finalists last year - Gehrs,
Humphrey, and Hooiveld- as well
as such talent as Deibler, Beth
Jackson, Kirsten Silvester, Karen
Barnes, Tara Higgins, Val Hyduk,
and Missy McCracken, Michigan's
chances of improving this year are
The Wolverines will defend their
Big Ten title Feb. 18-20 at Canham
Natatorium. They will then prepare
for the NCAA national champi-
onships, which are hosted by Minne-
sota, March 18-20.
Aussie Hooiveld's arrival marked a g'day for tankers
by David Kraft
They call it the land Down Un-
der. And for Lara Hooiveld, that is
exactly where she spends most of
her time - down under. Under the
water, that is.
Since the ripe age of five,
Hooiveld, a native of Brisbane,
Australia, has seen the depths of
pools all over the world. Australia.
Holland. England. And now the
In only her second year on the
Michigan women's swimming
team, Hooiveld has already estab-
lished herself as one of the top col-
legiate breaststrokers in the coun-
try. Last year as a freshman, she
took home four first-place titles at
the Big Ten championship, includ-
ing the 100- and 200-yard breast-
strokes. At the NCAAs, her 200
medley relay team placed sixth, set-
ting a Big Ten and school record.
Not surprisingly, she was named an
NCAA all-American in five events.
"She's very gifted," Hooiveld's
coach, Jim Richardson, said. "I
think she is probably one of the
most powerful female swimmers
that I've ever seen."
Richardson is not the first coach
to offer such praise. When
Hooiveld began swimming, her
coach Laurie Lawerence told her
that one day she would be a world
record holder. While not there yet,
Hooiveld possesses a determination
that may well help her acheive this
"When she gets focused,
whether it's a workout or competi-
tion, don't even bother trying to set
limits on what she thinks she's go-
ing to do," Richardson said.
Hooiveld is much quicker to
crack a joke than to speak of her in-
tense demeanor in the water. "In
Australia, everyone is so much
mc.e at ease and relaxed,"
Hooiveld says. "Over here, there's
a set schedule for everything. It's
so much different."
Yet despite this and other differ-
ences, Hooiveld feels she has been
able to adjust quite well, something
she attributes to Lawerence, who
has also coached the Australian
Olympic team since 1984.
"Laurie was the most intense
coach I've ever had so I got used to
really competitive swimming right
away," Hooiveld says.
By age 12, Hooiveld was al-
ready swimming in international
competition. While at John Paul
College (the name of her high
school in Brisbane), Hooiveld's
continuing training under Lawer-
ence helped thrust her into the spot-
At age 17, Hooiveld made the
1988 Australian Olympic team in
two events and headed for Seoil
Hooiveld competed in the Com-
monwealth Games in Auckland,
New Zealand, in Jan. 1990, where
she picked up a gold medal in the
400 medley relay. Shortly after, she
went to Europe where she trained
for six months under British
Olympic head coach Terry Deni-
"Terry is one of the best breast-
stroke coaches in the world,"
Hooiveld said. "He really enabled
me to swim my best." The results
told the story as Hooiveld won the
British and Scottish Games in con-
In Feb. 1991, Hooiveld enrolled
at Queensland University of Tech-
nology and continued training un-
der former Lawerence assistant Ian
Findlay. After several talks with
coaches including Richardson and
U.S. Olympic head coach Dick
Shulberg, Hooiveld decided to at-
"Good academics and good
swimming is what everyone told
me," she said.
"I'd seen her swim on TV at the
Commonwealth Games and saw
how quick she was," Richardson
said.-"It didn't take a Ph.D. to real-
ize she'd nrohah1v h verv iood
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Continued from page 1
run both days.
Senior Margie Stoll won the
event the first day with her score of
the 500 and 1000 freestyles. Gehrs
and Jackson were the other swim-
mers to win two races.
Although they did not officially
swim against Penn State, Michigan
was challenged by the Nittany Lions