The Michigan Daily - Thursday, March 25, 1993 - Page 9
'M' crews open spring
season vs. Purdue
by Brian Hiliburn
Daily Sports Writer
The men's and women's crew
teams will row, row, row their boats
quickly down the stream. More pre-
cisely, the Wolverines will be row-
ing down the Wabash River against
Purdue in their first regatta of the
spring season Saturday.
The squads are anxious for the
season to begin, as they have been
training hard for several weeks.
While many of their fellow students
spent spring break relaxing on tropi-
cal beaches, club members went to
Tampa for training. Upon returning
to Ann Arbor, the rowers were dis-
appointed to find that the Huron
River was frozen.
"We've only been on the water
for less than a week because the win-
ter's been so bad," senior rower
Fletcher Jones said. "It's really set
us back as far as water time goes."
Despite this misfortune, the team
has been trying to make up for lost
time by practicing twice on some
"That's one of the benefits of be-
ing a club," Program Director Will
Brewster said. "We can do double
days and not worry about the NCAA
rules for only practicing 20 hours a
Not that Brewster wouldn't jump
at the chance to become a varsity
sport. Varsity-status crew teams like
Wisconsin and Harvard are the best
around because they receive funding
from their schools. Being a club
sport, Michigan's budget of
$140,000 is far less than
The club's lack of funding has
led to a high rate of attrition. The
squad had approximately 200 rowers
last fall, compared to the 95 now
"Those are the burdens of a club
sport," women's varsity coach Mark
Rothstein said. "Not many people
stick around because of the money."
The team's high rate of attrition
has hindered the development of its
rowers. Crew is a sport of experience
and the rowers not only have to get
into shape but also must perfect
their rowing technique.
"It's better to row well than work
hard," Brewster said. "You can go a
lot faster if everyone is rowing well.
It takes a lot of coordination."
The Wolverines hope that all of
that preparation will pay off against
Purdue. Because the Boilermakers are
virtually even in ability with
Michigan, the races should be close.
"They're pretty strong in the
Midwest," Brewster said. "It's pretty
even year to year. Usually, they win
early in the season and we win later.
Their novice men are doing very
well, and their varsity heavyweight
men are doing well too."
The Michigan teams are looking
forward to the contest. The competi-
tion will highlight the areas on
which the Wolverines need to focus.
"It's early in the season and we're
still working out some of the
glitches," Jones said. "But it's usu-
ally a pretty good race. We're pretty
Marcel Wouda will try to add to the medals he accumulated at the Big Tens when he competes in the NCAA Championships this weekend.
Continued from page 1
eighth. Wouda is also qualified in
the 500- (second) and 1650-yard
freestyle (seventh) events.
Namesnik, however, should pose
a strong challenge to Wouda for the
title. The 1992 Olympic silver
medalist did not shave or taper for
the conference meet and should
swim a substantially faster time. Ad-
ditionally, Namesnik will be a factor
in the 200 IM and possibly the 200-
The Wolverines' other two No. 1
seeds are sophomore Gustavo Bor-
ges in the 100 freestyle and senior
Brian Gunn in the 200 butterfly.
Both Borges and Gunn will be com-
peting in other events as well.
Borges is the third seed in the 200,
freestyle and number seven in the 50
freestyle. Gunn is highly seeded in
the 500 freestyle and will also com-
pete in the 100 butterfly.
"We are highly seeded," Ur-
banchek said. "We're favored to win
those events, and we should be able
However, to challenge Stanford
for the top spot and to hold off
Texas, the Wolverines will need
more than just their No. 1 seeds to
hold their position. Other swimmers
must move up in the field. In addi-
tion to Sharp's third seed in the 400
IM, he is also a threat in the 200 IM
as a fourth seed and should chal-
lenge fellow Olympian and Ten-
nessee swimmer Tripp Schwenk in
the 200 backstroke, Sharp's best
event. Sharp is seeded second and
said he expects to swim much better
at the NCAAs.
"I didn't taper that much (at Big
Tens)," Sharp said. "I was satisfied
with (his performance). I think I can
go a lot faster at NCAAs."
Junior Rodney Van Tassell, in
addition to his relay performances,
will need to score points individu-
ally. Van Tassell has qualified in the
100, 200 and 500 freestyles and
should score in at least two of those
Brice Kopas will be another
Michigan swimmer competing in
three events - the 400 IM as well as
the 500 and 1650 freestyles - and
has a chance to pick up some points,
especially in the 1650.
Tom Blake is also in a position to
score in the 1650 and will be com-
peting in the 200 and 500 freestyles
as well. Other Wolverine swimmers
competing will be Steve Duttenhof-
fer, Shuichi Matsumoto, and Tom
Eric Lesser and Abel Sanchez
will compete for Michigan in the
diving events. The divers are hoping
to score well and pick up points.
These will be keys to the
Wolverines' ability to challenge
"Our divers will do better than
Texas and Stanford," Urbanchek
said. "They'll (especially) help us be
competitive with Stanford."
Lesser agrees with Urbanchek's
"If we can perform well, perform
where it counts, we can possibly win
(the national championship)," Lesser
said. "Stanford doesn't have any
divers. We went out there in January
and swept them, so that's a lot of
points we can pick up."
What Stanford does have are 16
swimmers, many of whom can chal-
lenge for top spots. Freshman Joe
Hudepohl, who will challenge for
three individual titles, leads the
Cardinal. Erik Maurer, Derek
Weatherford, Trip Zedlitz, Bill
Schell, Dan Kanner, Mayfield and
Grote should all score points for
Stanford. The Stanford relays return
most of the cogs of last year's five
national champion relays, making
them almost unbeatable.
Texas, the Wolverines' other
toughest competition, has Josh Davis
and Brad Bridgewater leading the
way, both having earned All-
American status in previous years.
Other key Longhorn swimmers in-
clude Matt Hooper and Johnathanf
"Florida is very good and will be
there with UCLA and California for
the next three spots," Urbanchek
Sharper spikers to show
up at Midwest tourney
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Daily Sports Writer
After a disappointing finish at the
* Big Ten finals two weeks ago, the
Michigan men's volleyball team will
seek redemption in Angola, Ind. this
weekend at the Midwest Intercolle-
giate Volleyball Association
(MIVA) championships. The
Wolverines will compete with 23
teams for the title of "best in the
The spikers were stunned by their
frustrating eighth-place finish at Big
Tens, but say they have struggled to
turn their disappointment into a
valuable learning experience.
"I think we expected to beat
teams just because we beat them last
year. We went into it with the wrong
mental attitude," Michigan coach
Pam Griffin said. "We have the tal-
ent to play with everybody who was
there. Now we understand the impor-
tance of the mental game and not
just the physical."
Since that tournament, Griffin
has implemented a more challenging
practice regimen in an effort to rem-
edy the general lack of mental
toughness that was such a factor in
the conference finals. She said she is
encouraged by the results.
"I think they're working a lot
harder. After we came back, I made
I practices harder. We're breaking
down everybody's individual game,
working on what they're doing at
any given point, and hoping that
they'll come together in games," she
Another lingering effect of the.
Big Ten tournament is the ankle in-
jury sustained there by outside hitter
Michael Rubin. The injury may
cause Rubin to miss games this
weekend, which would be a key loss
to the team.
The MIVA championship is an
important landmark on the road to
the national finals to be held in
Austin, Texas in three weeks.
Placement this weekend will deter-
mine seeding in Austin. The MIVA
finals are also an opportunity for
teams to gauge each other in antici-
pation of nationals.
However, the tournament has lost
some of its prestige this year due to
the decreased number of participat-
ing teams, down from 48 last year.
Many respected teams, such as Pur-
due and Indiana, are on a waiting list
Having turned a disappointing
Big Ten finish into a source of inspi-
ration, this weekend will be a chance
for the Wolverines to once again es-
tablish themselves as a force in the
"We're putting pressure on our-
selves to play at the level we know
that we are capable of. We know we
can play, we just have to get our
minds to that level," sophomore
Chad Engel said. "We all know that
Big Tens was sort of a fluke. Our
goal is to go in there and beat some
Big Ten teams and prove ourselves
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