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January 18, 1994 - Image 14

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The Michigan Daily, 1994-01-18

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4 - The Michigan Daily - SPORTSTuesday - Tuesday, January 18, 1994

1994

en's and Women's

Men's Conference Preview
Wolverines favored for number nine
Minnesota, Ohio State in battle for second place in Big Ten

By BRETT JOHNSON
DAILY SPORTS WRITER
This time last year it was a foregone
conclusion that the Michigan men's
swimming and diving team would win
its eighth straight Big Ten title. How-
ever, things change, and this season
looks like a tougher challenge for the
Wolverines to win number nine.
The squad returns a number of All-
Americans, including Gustavo Borges,
Marcel Wouda and Rodney VanTassell,
but it will be important for the other
swimmers to pick up for the loss of last
year's seniors. Michigan coach Jon
Urbanchek expects this to happen,
though, and still views his team as the
favorite.
"Probably the end result will still be
the same. I think Michigan will still
win it," Urbanchek said. "The margin
will be much less than it has in previous
years mainly because of the other teams.
Minnesota and Ohio State are going to
make major gains this year. Overall,
the entire Big Ten is picking up."
Michigan's top two challengers, as
Urbanchek indicated, will be the Golden
Gophers and Buckeyes.
Minnesota has been the bridesmaid
to the Wolverines for four straight sea-
sons. Redshirt senior Paul Nelsen will
be expected to lead the Gophers. Nelsen
finished second in the 400-yard indi-
vidual medley (IM) at the 1992 NCAA
Championships and was a member of
the U.S. National Team that traveled to
Mallorca, Spain, for the World Short-
Course Championships in December.
Nelsen also keys Minnesota's breast-
stroke events.
In addition, the Gophers return All-
Americans Matt Brown (100 and 200
breaststroke) and Bernie Zeruhn (500
freestyle) as well as NCAA platform
diving champion P.J. Bogart.
Despite having a solid squad, Min-

nesota coach Dennis Dale does not
see his team as having enough to de-
throne the Wolverines.
"Michigan will go unchallenged,"
Dale said. "It will be a good battle for
second."
A steadily improving Ohio State
should be a part of that battle and is
looking to rise from last season's
fourth-place conference finish. The
team's strength lies with the 1993 Big
Ten champion in the 100 and 200
breaststroke, Judson Crawford, and
the Big Ten's two-time defending 100
backstroke champion, Bill Weaver.
Sophomore Jay Hladish is also a solid
sprint freestyler.
The Buckeyes also have strength in
diving with Yoshi Sakata, 1993 Big
Ten Diver of the Championship at the
conference meet.
Iowa and Indiana round out the top
five teams in the conference. The
Hawkeyes have a tremendous talent in
Rafal Szukala, who won the 200 butter-
fly at the 1992 NCAA Championships.
He followed that up with a silver medal
in the 100-meter butterfly at the 1992
Olympics in Barcelona. Last season at
the NCAA Championships, he finished
third and fourth in the 100- and 200-
yard butterflies, respectively.
"Not only is he fast, but his interna-
tional experience rubs off on other ath-
letes on the team," Iowa coach Glenn
Patton said. "His experience can help to
provide a calming effect to the rest of
the team."
The Hoosiers are currently trying to
overcome the death of swimmer Peter
Johnston, who was killed in a car crash
last summer. The team is dedicating the
season to his memory. In the water,
Indiana coach Kris Kirchner sees his
team as being capable of challenging
Michigan and the rest of the Big Ten
elite for the conference title.

"We're coping with (Johnston's
death)," Kirchner said. "We have T-
shirts with his name on them. We have
not forgotten him, but we certainly do
miss him.
"We definitely are counting on
moving up in the Big Ten. We have to
rise to a new level for a chance to
challenge Michigan and the other upper
echelon teams."
That chance to challenge will de-
pend on the whole team, but more spe-
cifically on All-American backstroker
Manning Field, co-captain Jason Arnold
and redshirt sophomore Andy Boersma.
Kirchner believes Boersma has a
chance to be a force.
"If we can harness (Boersma), he
could be an NCAA champion,"
Kirchner said. "He's a stallion, but he
doesn't realize how good he can be."
As for the lower half of the Big Ten,
Michigan State coach Richard Bader
says that it is a crap shoot.
"From sixth to 10th, I think you can
just roll the dice," Bader said.
The Spartans look talented enough
to move up from their eighth-place
finish last season. Bader's squad is led
by Chris-Carol Bremer, who is strong
in the distance freestyle and 200 butter-
fly. Ron Orris, Tom Munley and Uwe
Volk aid the Spartan lineup.
Last season's sixth-place squad,
Wisconsin, figures to be in a similar
position as Michigan State, but the losses
of Robert Pinter, Terry Butler and Thai
Rea will put added pressure on the
returning Badgers. Topping the list of
returning swimmers is Valter Kalaus.
The Hungarian is one of the top dis-
tance freestylers in the conference and
the nation. Ed Pierce, a sprint freestyler,
will be counted on heavily as well.
Wisconsin will be under the direc-
tion of new head coach John Davey.
"Obviously, it's not the best situa-

tion to have a coaching change in the
middle of the season," Davey said. "It
will be difficult to move up in the con-
ference because there are five good
teams, and we lost a lot, but I'm opti-
mistic."
Penn State, Northwestern and Pur-
due are all good enough to move up in
the conference standings. The Nittany
Lions are coming off of a seventh-
place finish at last year's Big Tens but
have lost 90 percent of last year's
squad. They have added what coach
Peter Brown calls "a talented group of
newcomers."
Northwestern has a solid group of
returnees including seniors Dan
Greyber, a backstroker, and Brock Wil-
liams, a freestyler. The addition offresh-
man Shae McCowen, a National Inter-
scholastic Swim Coaches Association
All-American, should have an imme-
diate impact for the Wildcats.
The Boilermakers round out the Big
Ten. Last season, they finished 10th as
well but didn't finish in last place. Illi-
nois took 11th place but has since
dropped its program.
However, Purdue is a better team
this season and could find themselves
climbing up in the standings. John
Klinge is the strength of the Boiler-
maker lineup as he swims the 200 but-
terfly and the 200 and 400 IMs.
Steve Renie holds down the sprint
freestyles, and Daron Pearce and Frank
Ambrose are solid in the distance
freestyles.
"We've got John Klinge coming
back," Purdue coach Dan Ross said.
"He's a multiple finalist at the Big Tens.
We finished 10th last year, but the last
five teams can be in any order. No
coach wants to tell you where they'll
finish."
-Daily Sports Writer Charlie
Breitrose contributed to this story.

Backstroker Royce Sharp is one of the favorites to win the 200-yard event h
Sharp finished third in the 200 back. He currently holds the American record in
Men's Team Preview
Blue as strong as ever as
break Stanford's hold on

By JEREMY STRACHAN
DAILY SPORTS WRITER
So the Michigan men's swimming
and diving team lost three All-Ameri-
cans after finishing second at the 1993
NCAA Championships. No big deal for
the Wolverines; they lose All-Ameri-
cans every season and always remain in
the thick of the national title hunt.
That's what Michigan swimming
coach Jon Urbanchek and diving coach
Dick Kimball are shooting for this year.
Urbanchek is leery of top-ranked
Stanford but believes his third-ranked
Wolverines, led by five returning NCAA
All-Americans, could sneak into the
top spot at the championships.
"I think we have a team that's as
good as we were last year at the
NCAAs," Urbanchek said. "Stanford is
obviously the team to beat, but I think

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,:. :.

Michigan and Texas could have a g
battle for second.
"I think the goals for us this year are
to swim to our potential and have us go
for as many titles this year like we did
last year."
In order to achieve its goals, Michi-
gan faces the toughest schedule in the
nation. The Wolverines hosted top-
ranked Stanford at home and will travel
to No. 2 Texas this week. They ha
already swum against perennial natio
contenders California, UCLA and USC
on the road -coming away with a 2-4
ledger - blemished only by a loss to
the Trojans.
Michigan is led by two prominent
names from the international swim-
ming community in the freestyleevents.
Junior Gusatvo Borges held the
short-course world record in the 100-
meter freestyle until late last year ag
won the silver medal in the 100freest
for Brazil at the 1992 Summer Olym-
pics.
At the NCAA level, Borges won
titles in the 100-yard freestyle and as a
member of the 800 freestyle relay last
season. Urbanchek says Borges should
dominate the three sprint freestyle events
and help out on four relay teams at the
NCAA level.
"It looks really good for Gustavo,
repeat for the third time to win the 100
in NCAAs," Urbanchek said. "I don't
think it's been done before because
(Matt) Biondi didn't win it his fresh-
man year, but it definitely looks like
he's going to win it four years in a row,
"I think we'll do pretty good (at
NCAAs)," Borges said. "We're looking.
pretty strong. All of the freshmen are step-
ping up, doing their jobs, and I think*
team overall has improved a lot."
Junior Marcel Wouda, the 1993 Big
Ten Swimmer of the Year, won three
NCAA titles last year in the 500
freestyle, 1650 freestyle and was amem-.
ber of the 800 freestyle relay. The All-
American from the Netherlands holds
Wolverine records in the 500,1000 and
1650 freestyles.
"My personal goals are to end up
NCAA finals) in all of my events,
Wouda said. "I want to help out the
team there and that's the main thing for
me. I think personal goals are important
but not as much as team goals."
"1 think Marcel is definitely the fa-
vorite to win again at NCAAs but he's.
going to be pushed by his own freshman
teammate, Tom Dolan," Urbanchek .
said.
Dolan was a two-time prep A
American at Yorktown High School in
Arlington,
Va. The dis-
freestyler
swept top
honorsatthe
U.S. Open
with titles in
ertsthe 400- a
Bogaerts 1500-me
freestyle and the 800 freestyle relay .In
addition, he currently ranks eighth in
the world in the 400-meter IM.
Dolan is only one part of a talented
freshman class.
John Michael Piersma was a prep All-

Tom Dolan paces himself during his victory in the 500 freestlye against Stanford last Saturday. Dolan is one of the nation's top freshman and is expected to score well at the NCAA championships.

DOLAN
Continued from page 1
Calif.
"I was very impressed with the
way he handled himself at that meet,
especially in the events that I enjoy
working with people (the IMs and
distance freestyle events),"
Urbanchek said. "I thought he could
perhaps follow in the footsteps of
Eric, not only on the NCAA level but
on the international level."
However, his swimming talent
was not the only reason Dolan
decided to come to Ann Arbor. The
honor roll student said his first
requirement was strong academics
and that out of the three schools he
looked at - UCLA, Florida and
Michigan -he felt Michigan had the
strongest academics by far.
Dolan's stay at Michigan has been
quite productive, despite an early-
season bout with asthma, an affliction
diagnosed originally a few years ago.
The problem arose once again when
he arrived at Michigan last fall. Since

In the first college meet of his
career, a quad meet against Michigan
State, Minnesota and Wisconsin,
Dolan finished second in the 1000-
yard freestyle. He lost track of a
swimmer from lane one who was way
out in front and immediately learned
his first lesson about college
swimming.
"There were two guys next to me,
and I caught them," Dolan said. "I
thought I was in first, and going into
the last 25, I saw this guy just ahead
of me sprinting.
"That was a good start, because it
opened my eyes to what goes on and
what can happen. High school meets
are kind of joking around. No one
takes it too seriously. Here,
everyone's gunning for you.
Everytime you step on the blocks,
someone's trying to beat you."
Since that quadrangular meet,
Dolan has steadily improved. He won
the 400- and 1500-meter freestyles at
the U.S. Open in December. Against
Stanford, Dolan won both the 1000-
and 500-yard freestyles, and in the
process, he broke the Canham

contributes the most to the team.
"His biggest strength is his
competitiveness," Urbanchek said.
"He's the toughest competitor we
have. The bigger the challenge, the
bigger his performance."
The freshman said he is now
fully adjusted to the training aspects
of college -lifting weights,
something he did not do in high
school, and the daily training and
competition with Namesnik and
Wouda.
This orientation has permitted
Dolan to reevaluate his goals as far
as the Big Tens and NCAAs. At first,
he just wanted to get acclimated to
the college environment, but now his
objective is to help the team finish as
high as possible at the national

"We're concentrating on his
weaknesses," Urbanchek said. "We
feel that it takes four strokes to do
well in individual medley. His
weakness right now is in butterfly. In
time, I think all four of his strokes
will come up to the world-class
level."
Dolan has also been concentrating
on his turns in order to have a better
shot at the conference and NCAA
meets. Dolan said this will be the key
to having a successful national meet,
which is a must if the Wolverines are
to pick up the lost points of last year's
seniors.
As for the pressure to replace
Namesnik, Dolan said he really hasn't
felt that much. He said the burden
falls on the whole team, not just an

experiences and is looking toward
the 1994 World Championships and
the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. The
Pan Pacs experience from this
summer taught him a lot about
international competition as well as
his own racing ability.
"(The Pan Pacifics) were a really
good learning experience," Dolan
said. "Going in, I wasn't sure if I was
going to make it. When I did, my
coach said 'Have a good time and
make sure you get something out of
it.' I talked to a lot of past Olympians
and made a lot of good friends. I got
a lot of experience under my belt.
"Another thing I learned is that I
might have been a little better than I
thought internationally. I had never
really thought about how well I
could do internationally. I think it
helped my confidence."
This seasoning, Dolan hopes, was
the beginning of many more
international competitions to come. It
was a start in reaching his goal of the
Olympics. Urbanchek sees no reason
that Dolan cannot eventually succeed
his training partner, Namesnik.

'Dolan's going to be a superstar in our sport. I
hope that he can reach a peak by 1996, because
the United States can really use him. He could be
a big-time help in the Olympic Games.'
- Stanford coach Skip Kenney

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