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February 04, 1994 - Image 11

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-02-04

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TheMichigan Daily - Friday, February 4, 1994 - 11

Seniors prepare for final
swim in Canham water

justavo Borges (lane five) prepares to swim the 200-freestyle earlier this season. He went on to win the event.

Women swimmers gear up

By DARREN EVERSON
DAILY SPORTS WRITER
It's tough to find a true dynasty
These days, regardless of whether
you're talking professional or col-
egiate sports. ,
True, some athletic organizations
seem to maintain a level of excel-
eence from year to year, but the
decade-long dominance of teams
ike the New York Yankees and
Boston Celtics has all but vanished.
However, if parity is indeed the
theme of sports today, somebody
needs to inform the Michigan
women's swimming team. The
Wolverines continue to dominate
the Big Ten as they attempt to end
their season unbeaten, taking on
Indiana at 4 p.m. tomorrow at
Canham Natatorium.
Michigan is 5-0 against the Big
Ten this season, and 7-0 in overall
competition. In addition, the Wol-
verines currently havean eight-year
conference championship run go-
ing, a streak that will be on the line

at the Big Ten Championships in
Indianapolis in two weeks.
Still, Michigan coach Jim
Richardson's focus is on the Hoo-
siers.
"Indiana will do well in the
sprints, and we're going to have to
perform well there if we're going to
swim with them in those events,"
Richardson said. "There'll be a good
400-meter individual medley race
between Garland O'Keefe and Anne
Kampfe. Garland is a former na-
tional finalist and is a senior this year
at IU, so there'll be some good races."
Wolverine Melisa Stone should
provide the Hoosiers plenty of com-
petition in the sprint department.
The Ohio native helped lead
Michigan over Ohio State last week-
end with first-place finishes in the
50- and 100-meter freestyle. She also
became the third Wolverine ever to
swim the 50 in under 24 seconds in
season.
While acknowledging Indiana's
strengths, Richardson does not envi-

for Big Tens
sion a Hoosier upset this weekend.
"I think that on paper we're a
stronger team than IU," he said. "In
swimming, there are fewer surprises
than in sports like basketball and foot-
ball just simply because there's no
ball to take a funny bounce, and be-
cause it's such a quantitative sport.
"You know the range in which
people can perform. I would expect
us to perform well, and if we do, we
should win the meet."
In order to do so, the Wolverines
will need to have continued good ef-
forts from juniors Lara Hooiveld and
Alecia Humphrey. Both had strong
showings against the Buckeyes last
weekend.
Hooiveld won the 200-meter
breaststroke by six seconds over fel-
low Wolverine Jodi Navta. Humphrey
won the 200-meter backstroke and
finished second in the 200 individual
medley.
. Kampfe also swam well forMichi-
gan last weekend, finishing first in
the 200-meter butterfly.

By BRETT JOHNSON
DAILY SPORTS WRITER
Stage two of the men's swimming
and diving season -the Big Ten dual
meets - comes to an end this week-
end as the Wolverines hit the water
against Michigan State and Ohio State.
Tonight, No. 3 Michigan (3-0 Big
Ten, 7-3 overall) takes on the Spar-
tans in the final home meet of the
season.
Tomorrow, the team travels to Co-
lumbus to take on the Buckeyes. These
meets mark the final meet competi-
tions for most of the swimmers who
will be attending the Big Ten Champi-
onships at the end of February.
Michigan State (3-2,7-3) is coming
off of an impressive victory over Indi-
ana last weekend at East Lansing.
The Spartans defeated the No. 23
Hoosiers, 124-119, thanks in part to the
performance of Uwe Volk who won
two events including the 1000-yard
freestyle where he set a pool record.
The Spartan victory ultimately came
down to a first place finish in the final
event, the 400 freestyle relay.
"Indiana was ranked and we
needed to swim well in the shorter
events," Michigan State coach Rich-
ard Bader said. "
The strength and emotion of our
team going into the final event sent a
message to the Big Ten. We're not as
down as they think we are."
However, Indiana is not the same
caliber team as Michigan, and the
Spartans should pose few problems for
the Wolverines. Senior co-captain
Rodney VanTassell indicated that some
events could be close, but that the over-
all meet should not. This meet gives the
Wolverines achanceto swim in events
they usually do not compete in.
"It's not that important of a meet,"
VanTassell said. "State has some good
swimmers and some people will be
challenged. We're looking for good

swims although some people will be
swimming off-events."
For VanTassell and the rest of the
seniors, Tom Hay, Brice Kopas, Kent
Tschannen and diver Eric Lesser, to-
night has significant importance be-
cause it will be the last home meet of
their careers.
"I hope to have a good meet," Hay
said. "It's kind of sad. We have a good
senior class, and
hopefully, we
I cancomeouton
top."
"It's the
k senior's last
dual meet so it
will be impor-
tant to me,"
VanTassell
said. "It's the
VanTassell last time I will
evercompete (at
Canham)."
As for Saturday's meet, No. 20
OhioState(3-0,7-0)possessesastron-
ger lineup than the Spartans do.
Bill Weaver leads the Buckeyes by
way of the backstroke.Weaver won the
1993 Big Ten championship in the 100
backstroke and placed fourth in the
200 back.
However,A I -American
breaststroker Judson Crawford has
sustained a season- ending neck in-
jury leaving agaping hole in the Buck-
eye lineup.
"I haven't done a good enough job
PRINTING
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of making us competitive yet," Ohio
State coach Bill Wadley said. "I have
to congratulate John Urbanchek for
putting together a great team.
"I don't expect it to be much of a
meet. We just hope to make them
swim honestly."
Another crucial part of Ohio
State's team is diver Yoshi Sakata.
Sakata won both the one- and three-
meter springboards at last year's Big
Ten Championships.
Diving against Sakata will give
Lesser and the rest of the Wolverines a
chance to see how one of the top divers
in the Big Ten is progressing.
"(Diving against Sakata) really
won't make that much difference in
how we dive, but it's a good opportu-
nity to see how he's diving," Wolverine
diving coach Dick Kimball said. "Div-
ing at someone's home pool is a lot
different than a championship.
"However, it is a good opportu-
nity to do well against a good diver."
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State pride, State of Michigan Classic at stake for women tumblers

By MELANIE SCHUMAN
)AILY SPORTS WRITER
Crowds will be chanting a variety
3f Michigan fight songs at Cliff Keen
:arena this weekend, but the gymnas-
tics duel should be a bit more fierce.
Spirits flew high in practice Thursday
when the Michigan women's gymnastics
eam prepared for its first home competi-
don, the State of Michigan Classic.
Local rivals Michigan State, Cen-
ral Michigan, Eastern Michigan and
Western Michigan will all visit Ann
*Xrbor Sunday to relive the events of
ast year's close finish, of which Michi-
gan was on the losing end.
"Last year at this meet, we didn't
necessarily have the best meet we could
have had," sophomore DiannaRanel i
said of Michigan's second-place finish
past season. "But everybody has been
working really hard and we're gonna
,)ut in areally good showing this week-
nd."
So far this season, the Wolverines
gave been victorious at three away
meets, including last week's victory
over CMU. Throughout this week it
waspracticeas usual, despite the physi-
al demands of the five-team competi-
.d on which lies ahead.

"There is no reason to change (prac-
tice) if they've done well in the other
meets,"assistantcoachGuy Thiessen said.
This will be the first home meet in
his Michigan coaching career.
"I'm kind of psyched up for the
meet and I'm trying to make it rub off
on the girls," Thiessen said.
If practice was any indication of
just how ready the gymnasts are,
Thiessen and the rest of the coaching
staff should not be worried. All agree
that although MSU is the toughest team
coming, Michigan's focus will be on
its own performance.
"We'll look at (MSU) a bit closer
because we know that they're our main
competition," senior Nicole Simpson
said. "If we do what we're capable of
doing then we should come out on top."
Since September, everyone has been
working on routines even though they're
not all competing each weekend.
With the loss of former Big Ten
Freshman-of-the-Year Wendy
Wilkinson last weekend to a knee in-
jury, as well as the season-ending
achilles injury to May May Leung, the
gymnasts fillJng the 5th through 8th
spots realize the importance of their
performances.

"Our first concern when people get
injured is for that individual over the
sport of gymnastics," assistant coach
Melissa Kutcher said. "The next most
important thing is what can we do for
the team and how is it going to affect
the team. We've had some excellent
girls on the team who picked up some
slack forus."
The Wolverines seem to believe
they simply need to perform how they
practice. Perhaps it is a superstition,

but it has worked thus far.
"I don't think we would prepare any
differently mentally or physically for
this one meet,"Kutcher said. "We train
as possibly hard as we can every day
regardless of what meet is coming up
and we try and go in with the same
mental toughness forevery singlemeet."
This week also marks Kutcher's
coaching debut at Michiganand what
an introduction to the intrastate colle-
giate rivals she will witness.

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