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December 10, 1993 - Image 12

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1993-12-10

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

12--The Michigan Daily - Friday, December 10, 1993
Men tankers prepare for tough dual season with trip

BY JEREMY STRACHAN
DAILY SPORTS WRITER
You've seen the t-shirts around cam-
pus depicting Harvard as the "Michi-
gan of the East." This weekend, the
Michigan men's swimming team hosts
the Crimson in a dual meet at Canham
Natatorium in a battle of body rather
than mind.,-
The meet is the last one before
finals begin and pairs a solid Harvard
team against a nationally ranked super-
power of the water in the Wolverines.
The Crimson are in the process of
upgrading its program. Like Michigan,
Harvard is swimming a tough non-
league schedule which features ranked
teams such as Michigan. The Crimson
have risen to the top of the Ivy League
and could pose a threat to the Wolver-
ines. However, Michigan head coach
Jon Urbanchek is confident about his
superpower's chances.
"(Harvard) is a solid team,"
Urbanchek said. "They're not neces-
sarily superstars but they have a lot of
bodies. Nothing really stands out about
them. Tom Carver is their No. 1
backstroker and is really solid.

"Their relay teamsare good. We
should have some competitive relays.
It could be a very close meet."
After finals, the swimmers will get
a week off to spend with their families
for the holidays and will be training on
their own. The team will reconvene in
Colorado Springs Dec. 26, for nine
days of high altitude training.
"It'll be a good change," Michigan
freshman Tom Dolan said. "Just be-
cause we've been training here acouple
of months now, I think it will be good
to get around and see other places."
In a new Olympic-size pool built in
October, Michigan will be joined by
Southern Cal (USC) and Cal-Berke-
ley, the only other schools to field full
teams to train. The pool is enhanced
with sophisticated state of the art equip-
ment. The site should help the team's
endurance as the swimmers adapt to
the change in altitude.
Urbanchek says there should not be
any distractions in Colorado.
"We went to Rio de Janeiro last
year, so we went from the heat to the
cold this year," he said. "This way there
are no beaches to distract anyone --

just cold. The psychological effects
and the effect of altitude are both very
positive. We really need 21 days to
adapt but we should behalfway-adapted
in nine days."
Cal and USC will both be ready and
waiting to train and compete with the

Wolverines. Berkeley finished seventh
in the nation last season and have sev-
eral strong swimmers. The Bears re-
turn Martin Herrmann, Ugur Taner and
Alex Marcek-finalists at the NCAAs.
USC was at Canham for the U.S.
Open meet earlier in December and the

Trojans' top returning swimmers are
part of the NCAA elite. Mike Merrell
finaled in the butterfly events at NCAAs
last season and John Steel is a top sprint
freestyler. After training camp, the Tro-
jans get a third look at Michigan in
January. But when the Wolverines visit

Los Angeles to swim USC and UCLA,:
they will bring only the minimum num-
ber of 14 swimmers.
The training camp is good preparaw
tion for the entire team. In January,
Michigan will be getting set for wars
with No. 1 Stanford and No. 3 Texas.

Women swimmers look to have fun in the Caribbean sun, sort of

4

BY MARC DILLER
DAILY SPORTS WRITER
With its pristine beaches, balmy
climate and beautiful landscape, St.
Croix is the largest of the U.S. Virgin
Islands. That doesn't sound bad com-
pared to cold and overcrowded down-
town Ann Arbor, now does it? The
Michigan women's swimming team
emphatically agrees.
The Wolverines will fly to St. Croix
on Dec. 28 for seven days of fun, sun
and rigorous training.
The team will prepare for the re-
mainder of its dual meet season with
the ultimate goal of winning the Big
Ten Championships in February. The
trip will constitute seven days of inten-
sive training in an outdoor, long course

(50-meter)aswimming pool, as well as
mixing in a little snorkling, whirlpool
hopping and tanning for rest.
"The St. Croix training will be the
hardest we will work during the second
semester," Michigan coach Jim
Richardson said. "We don't have the
distractions of fatigue from school and
the dual meet season."
This is the first time that the Wol-
verines will be traveling to St. Croix.
The previous two winter breaks were
spent training in Hawaii and Califor-
nia. The difference this year, however,
is that the team will not be competing
during the sojourn. Last year, the Wol-
verines competed in a quad meet at
Long Beach State and prior to that, they
swam in the Rainbow Invitational in

Hawaii.
"The best thing was a 10-woman,
50-meter freestyle relay race," said
Michigan tri-captain Tara Higgins,
sharing her best break experience. "The
winning team got to take home a crate
of fresh Hawaii pineapples."
The team is looking to improve on
its performance at the U.S. Open Cham-
pionships, held in Ann Arbor, during
its training session.
"Last weekend, a lot of people
stepped up and had some very good
swims," Higgins said. "Everyone after
the Open knows where they are in their
training."
Despite the fact that there are no
mandatory practices between now and
Dec. 28, the responsibility to train falls
on the swimmers themselves. Between
now and their departure for St. Croix,
the Wolverines are forced to be disci-

plined.
"Our success is based on whether:
they (the team) keep their priorities in
order," Richardson said.
"Everyone at this level has enough
discipline that they know they have to
train," Higgins said.
There are four meets left before the
Big Ten Championships in mid-Febru-
ary. The Wolverines will continue to
train hard up until three weeks before
the meet. They will then begin prepara-
tions solely for the Championships.
"I would have liked to see us swim
a little faster at the Open," Richardson
said. "But it's of no real concern to me..
We'll do what we need to do second
semester."
"Not everyone is swimming as fast
as they want to be," Higgins said. "But,
everyone is going to swim much faster
in February."

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