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February 18, 1993 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily, 1993-02-18

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The Michiqan Daily- Thursday, February 18,1993 - Page 11

Andrew Levy-

WOMEN'S SWIMMING BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIPS
'M' ready to claim seventh title
by Charlie Breitrose >ad D ve raf
Daily Sports Writers_

Other athletes need
input in AD searc
The University's athletic department is currently at a crossroads. With
the retirement of Athletic Director Jack Weidenbach looming at the end of
August, the University stands poised to appoint his successor.
And make no mistake - this will be the biggest decision made regard-
ing the athletic department for years, perhaps decades, to come.
"The next athletic director will probably carry me through to my re-
tirement," said Bruce Madej, 40, an assistant athletic director for public
relations.
And as Madej will be happy to tell you, that's a long time.
But when I asked the chair of the athletic director search committee,
University Chief Financial Officer Farris Womack, whether the commit-
tee's deliberations would be open, he responded with a firm "No."
So, if this is the biggest decision regarding the athletic department in
decades, since former AD Donald Canham was selected, why was I
greeted with such a resounding "No." from Womack?
That's a good question.
The ramifications of the selection are many. Michigan is clearly one of
the top five athletic programs in the country, and is consistently a pioneer
in intercollegiate athletics.
The new AD will be responsible for focusing on increasingly complex
budget matters and implementing the recently-approved Big Ten guide-
lines mandating improved gender equity in athletics - all with the added
pressure of maintaining Michigan's high standards of athletic excellence.
Without question, those selected to serve on the search committee are
quite capable of finding someone who will meet these qualifications.
Some of the most important input will undoubtedly come from
Education Prof. Percy Bates - the University's faculty representative to
the Big Ten and the NCAA - and from the three student-athletes chosen
to serve on the committee.
And Womack will be valuable to make sure the nominee respects the
financial bottom line.
But despite the committee's ability to find a candidate worthy of
Michigan's high standards, the doubt I have is its ability to adequately
represent the athletes - present and future - who will have to deal with
its decisions.
No coaches are serving on this committee, and the three student-ath-
letes on board are all seniors. Where is the input of others who have a
vested interest? With closed meetings, the committee only gets the input it
directly seeks out.
I would argue that every athlete who has something to say, something
to offer that might guide the committee in its decision, ought to be lis-
tened to. Though the bottom line is important (increasingly important to-
day), there is no way that three graduating athletes can represent all ath-
letes' interests.
On Sept. 4, when thousands converge on Michigan Stadium for the
football team's season opener against Washington State, we will have a
new athletic director. Very few will notice the difference.
Ten years from now, will we recognize Michigan athletics?
The answer is yes, but only if the search committee considers all pos-
sible angles and consequences of its decision. And the only way that will
happen is if everybody who has something relevant to say can be heard by
the committee.
That alone will guarantee that the new athletic director will respect
Michigan's traditions, keep putting outstanding teams on the field, and
continue the University's reputation as a trailblazer in intercollegiate ath-
letics.
And Michigan deserves no less.

Yf
h4

If a course were to be offered on
Big Ten women's swimming history,
the only prerequisites would be
knowing that Ohio State and Mi-
chigan are both members of the con-
ference.
You see, from the beginning
(1982) the women from Columbus
won the first five Big Ten champi-
onship meets. Then in 1987, a team
from Ann Arbor came along led by
coach Jim Richardson. This team,
known as the Wolverines, proceeded
to take the next six titles.
And it doesn't look like there will
be a changing of the guard when No.
10 Michigan attempts to win its sev-
enth consecutive conference cham-
pionship beginning today at Canham
Natatorium.
Ohio State has slipped into medi-
ocrity, and few teams have chal-
lenged the Wolverines this season.
Even Penn State, the only Big
Ten team to defeat the Wolverines
this season, gives itself little chance
for victory this season.
"No way under the sun (can Penn
State win Big Tens)," Penn State
coach Bob Krimmel said. "Michigan
will win the meet easily, hands
down."
The Wolverines are blessed with
top swimmers and divers. Going into
the conference championships, Mi-
chigan boasts three swimmers who
have qualified for the NCAA
championships in Kathy Deibler, La-
ra Hooiveld, and Alecia Humphrey.
Ironically, this may hinder the
team's efforts to repeat as champs.
Richardson has chosen not to have
the qualifiers shave down and rest
for Big Tens.
"We've decided to have our
NCAA qualifiers train though the
Big Ten meet," Richardson said, "so
they can focus on NCAAs."
The 1992 conference champi-
onships were a cakewalk, with the
Wolverines winning nine of the 13
individual events. Eight of the nine
victories came from swimmers who
will try to repeat their winning ways
today.
Leading the path is senior Mindy
Gehrs, a three-event winner in 1992
in the 200- and 400-yard individual
medleys and the 200 butterfly. Also
returning are individual champions
Humphrey (100 and 200

FLE PHOTO/Daily
Canham Natatorium plays host to the 1993 Women's Big Ten Swimming and Diving Championship today through
Saturday. The Wolverines are attempting to capture their seventh straight conference title.

backstroke), Hooiveld (100 and 200
breaststroke) and Kirsten Silvester
(500 freestyle).
These swimmers will be a key to
the Wolverines' title hopes.
"We need to swim well in the
500 (freestyle), the breasts and the
backs," Richardson said. "These
should be our strong points."
Richardson expects this year's
meet to be much closer than last sea-
son's massacre, when Michigan top-
ped second-place Northwestern by
423.5 points.
"I think it's going to be a much
faster meet," Richardson said.
"There's a lot more depth in the con-
ference. Plus we lost five NCAA
qualifiers from last year."
The No. 14 Wildcats will be the
closest challenger. Northwestern is
led by four freshmen - Meredith
Booker, Kim Paton, Laura Yenglin
and Margret Brandenstein - who
have all met NCAA consideration
times. Northwestern will rely on its
sprinters.
"(Northwestern) is so good in the

freestyles," Gehrs said. "That's an
area where we're lacking."
Kathie Wicktstrand, Northwest-
ern's coach, sees the relays, where
the points are worth twice the
amount of an individual event, as a
place for her team to score points.
"We have really strong 200, 400
and 800 free relay teams," Wick-
strand said.
The dark horse challenger, Penn
State, returns a double-event winner
in Fran McDermid (100 and 200
freestyles). Krimmel said he also ex-
pects Regen Stacey and Heather
Nicholson to swim well for the
Nittany Lions.
The other teams in the conference
will not challenge for the champi-
onship, but they do have swimmers
that could make a splash at Canham.
Some of these women are: the sister
tandem of Kim and Amy Fritsch,
and Susan Wolfe - all from Purdue,
Leann Lousier from Michigan State,
and Minnesota's Laura Herman.
With the swimming portion of

the Big Ten meet tightly contested,
the diving portion will have added
importance.
"Diving, this year, will be a real
big factor," Michigan diving coach
Dick Kimball said.
If this is the case, the Wolverines
are well-prepared.
"It's a real advantage being in
your own field pool," Kimball said.
"You get used to the boards, the
pool, and other things like that."
Margie Stoll is only one of a
number of divers having a successful
season for Michigan. Junior Cin-
namon Woods and freshman Carrie
Zarse have won events consistently
in dual meets.
The Big Ten is blessed with a
number of talented divers. Both
Indiana and Minnesota boast defend-
ing Big Ten champions in Kristen
Kane (three-meter and platform
events) and Laurie Nelson (one-me-
ter).

The outlook of the meet is
for the Wolverines who are
fident history will repeat itself.

good
con-

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