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January 17, 1995 - Image 18

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The Michigan Daily, 1995-01-17

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4 - The Michigan Daily - SPORTSMonday - Tuesday, January_17, 1995

LA'S

,s-

MEN'S SWIMMING
AND DIVING

Recent loss to Stanford only glitch in men's season;
aen hope to siem
to national crown ~K.
Stanford shakes Michigan's confidence Ii!I11t

Gustavo Borges: Senior.
Freestyle ... All-American..
seven-time NCAA champion ...
15-time Big Ten champion ...
World Record holder (400-
meter free frelay ... Silver-
medalist in 100-meter
freestyle in 1992 Olympics

Derya Buyukuncu: 1reshman
.. Backstroke/Individual
Medley ... U.S. Open Record
holder (100-meter backstroke)
.. represented Turkey in 1992
Olympics

By DAN McKENZIE
Daily Sports Writer
Every once in a while, a team or an
athlete comes along that is so domi-
nant that everyone else in their field is
left to battle for second place.
Muhammad Ali. John Wooden.
Michael Jordan. They revolutionize
their sport, raising the standrds to a
level that nobody else can achieve.
This year's Michigan men's swim-
ming and diving team is attempting to
add its name to this list.
When last year's Wolverines fin-
ished at No. 3, most people associated
with swimming expected them to be
even stronger this year. Michigan would
be returning one of the best groups of
swimmers in the NCAA. That group
would be joined by one of the strongest
recruiting classes in the country.
Up to this point in the season, Michi-
gan has made a strong case for the No.
1 ranking. The Wolverines opened up
with an easy victory over Southern Illi-
nois, Kansas and Nebraska before at-
taining similar results against Wiscon-
sin a week later. Michigan was sup-
posed to face their first big test when
No. 3 Texas came to town. However,
the Wolverines easily defeated the
Longhorns, 169.5-73.5.
"That was probably the biggest
dual meet of the season," sophomore
Tom Dolan said. "In the long run,
dual meets don't really matter just
because you can lose dual meets and
still win NCAAs. But it gives you an
edge up and you look for any edge up
that you can get."
On paper, Michigan's season then
took a strange twist. After dominat-
ing Texas, a split Wolverine squad
placed third in the Harvard Invita-
tional, behind Harvard and Florida.
However, this "upset" is explained by
the fact that head coach Jon Urbanchek
decided to emphasize academics, pull-
ing his team out of the meet before it
ended in order to get the swimmers
home in time for classes.
The invitational had no baring on
the Wolverine's dual meet record, leav-
ing them at 5-0 going into winter break.
While most students use the break
as a chance to rest in preparation for a
new semester, the Wolverines used
the extra time to put in one of their
most grueling training sessions of the
season. Even though this session gave
Michigan an excuse to go to Hawaii,
it was anything but relaxing.
"It was outstanding training,"
Urbanchek said. "We stayed at a prep
school that had a pool. There was not
much distraction and, 24 hours a day,
we had good control of the group. It
was a team building project. It helped
to unify the team."
In their first meet back, Michigan
defeated an overmatched South Caro-
lina team in an even more convincing
fashion than the 114-81 final score
indicates. In an effort to swim the
seniors in what was the final home
meet of their careers without embar-
rassing South Carolina, Urbanchek de-
cided to exhibition many of his best
swimmers, meaning that their efforts
would not count towards the final score.
"It's a courtesy that we extend,"
Urbanchek said. "It lets the swim-
mers swim. We don't want to run up
the score against an opponent that's
not very strong."
This past weekend, Michigan met
two of the strongest teams that it would
face all season. Friday, the Wolver-
ines took on No, 2 Stanford. The

Cardinal beat the Wolverines for the
fourth year in a row by a score of 134-
109. However, because the results of
the dual meets have no effect on de-
termining the national champion,
Urbanchek had decided not to rest the

team in preparation for the event.
"We're not rested or anything like
that," Dolan said before the meet. "It's
going to be a good test to see if we can
swim fast when we're very tired."
"We just had regular workouts,"
Wouda added. "We're not doing any-
thing special."
After the disappointment at
Stanford, Michigan then traveled south
to take on No.5 California, who it beat,
141-102. The Wolverines rounded out
the weekend with the Berkeley Invita-
tional, where they placed first.
The three straight days of swim-
ming that the Wolverines encountered
on their trip to California were sched-
uled by Urbanchek to give team mem-
bers a taste of what they would be up
against in the postseason championship
meets in which they will also be swim-
ming on three straight days.
"It mimics the Big Tens and the
NCAA Championships," Urbanchek
said. "It will get them used to swim-
ming three days in a row."
Now that the Wolverines are past
what will probably be the toughest com-
petition of their regular season, none of
the rest of the opponents on their sched-
ule appear to pose much of a threat to
them. They will conclude the season by
first traveling to Indiana and then on to
Michigan State. Although both of these
teams are in the Big Ten, the conference
champion won't becrowned until nearly
amonth later at the Big Ten Champion-
ships. Michigan appears to be confi-
dent about is chances against its confer-
ence foes.
'Michigan is not going
to walk away with the
NCAA Championships.
If anything, it's going
to be a tremendous
challenge.'
- Jon Urbanchek
Michigan men's
swimming coach
"We've won a lot of Big Ten cham-
pionships in a row," Wouda said. "We
will win it this year again. There's not
much competition in the Big Ten."
Senior Thomas Blake appeared to
reflect his teammate's relaxed atti-
tude toward the rest of the season.
"The dual meets are nice to show
you where you're at in the season and
they're always nice to win, but it all
comes down to the fact that we have
a national championship meet that we
have to concentrate on and that's what
determines the national champion-
ship," he said. "All dual meets mean
are bragging rights."
The fact that dual meets do not
have an affect on the national cham-
pionship has caused the Wolverines
to spend most of the season looking
forward to the NCAAs.
"Ithink rightafter last year'sNCAAs
in the spring, everyone was looking
ahead," Dolan said. "Already the media
was hyping us up to walk away with
NCAAs. I think it's been on everyone's
mind since last season's NCAAs.
"It's one of the longest seasons of
any sport. It does get tough during the
dual meet season. You just have to keep
your motivation and intensity up."
So how do the Wolverines feel about
their chance for a national title?
"For four months, everyone is read-

ing how Michigan is going to walk
away with the NCAA Championships,"
Urbanchek said. "Michigan is not go-
ingtowalkaway with the NCAACham-
pionship. If anything, it's going to be a
tremendous challenge."

Freestyler John Piersma dives in at Canham Natatorium. Piersma is one of the team's 10 NCAA All-Americans.

Tom Dolan: sophomore ... IM/
Distance Freestyle ... All-
American ... NCAA champion
(800 free relay) ,.. World
record(400-meter IM) ... U. S.
Swimming Swimmer of the Year
... Sullivan Award Nominee

DIVERS
Continued from page 1
have my not-so-great houses.'
There is definitely a parallel between
diving and my life."
Its parallel is almost like religion.
"(Diving) is almost a way of life,"
says Sanchez, a Minneapolis na-
tive. "You have to be in tune with
your body to dive, or else you would
be falling all over the place. You
have to find that center point, that
oneness within yourself. Diving
makes you do that."
The way of life has made them
almost brothers. Sanchez and Bogaerts
were roommates for two years, and
they feel that fraternity while they train.
"Going through all of this together,
the early mornings and such, a family is
formed," Bogaerts says. "We're a tight-
knit family."
That is advantageous to Michigan
diving coach Dick Kimball, who says
their relationship helps them improve
their diving.
"All of the divers push each other,"
Kimball says. "They are great kids and
they help each other."
They are pushing each other now.
This is the moment of concentration
just before the dive. Minds are cleared.
Muscles are set to take over. It is time
to jump.
0**O
Sanchez and Bogaerts propel them-
selves into the air and their training
takes control. High above the water,
there is no time to think. "Muscle
memory," as they say, takes over. This
is where their training pays off.
But few are there to see it. The
divers' twists and turns are swallowed
up by the empty venue, at practices and
at meets.
These divers do not get that much
recognition. They are rarely written
about. They
-"%"-3 draw few fans.
They are the
only two
Michigan men
competing this
year. Often,
they become a
sideshow to
Sanchez the more
glamorous
swimmers.
"It's really unfortunate that a
great program such as this ignores a
program like ours, with coach
Kimball," Bogaerts says. "A lot of
the swimmers don't realize what
goes into diving. They don't know
what we do.

mer. I don't want to wear a 'Michigan
Gymnastics' or a'Michigan Underwa-
ter Basket-Weaving' t-shirt. I want to
wear 'Michigan Diving.'
"The athletic program has the
money, so it would be nice if they
would recognize us."
Divers figure into the scoring for
the NCAA Swimming and Diving
Championship and can be crucial to a
team's success in the national meet.
However, Sanchez says that divers
are not always treated as if they are
part of the team.
"If they want to unify us, they
should treat us as a true swimming
and diving team," Sanchez says. "It's
a pattern they've gotten into and they
should be conscious of it and try to
break it. If they do, who knows, they
may have 50 more banners or so up
there."
This is not to say that the divers
do not get along with the swim-
mers or that there is tension be-
tween the two groups. Bogaerts
feels that the relationship is the
"best (he's) ever seen," despite
the divers' ob-
scurity.
Yet, there is
a rift, and the
divers feel it is
caused by ig-
norance and
misunder-
standing of
their sport.
Bogaerts "People see
divers work
out and it doesn't look like much,"
Bogaerts says. "Meanwhile, they
look at the swimmers who are work-
ing their (rears) off. Swimming is
the hardest physical sport in my
opinion, it drains you. But diving
drains you both physically and men-
tally."
But it is more important to the
team for the divers to do their thing
at the far end of Canham Natato-
rium, unwatched, than to make their
obscurity an issue.
"We let our diving do the talking
for us," Sanchez says. "We don't want
to create any animosity between
people. I love to be here. It's a privi-
lege just to wear the block 'M.' That's
good enough for me."
But perfection creeps into the
backs of their minds as they head
toward the water. Will they make it?
The divers approach the final mo-
ment, the climax. They have come
out of their spins, they are descend-
ing.
Will there be a splash? Will they
make waves?

and to do so, they must finish in the
top 12 at the Zone C meet at Miami
(Ohio) University in March.
Bogaerts hopes to qualify in the
one-meter and ten-meter events. He
placed fifth on the ten-meter platform,
16th on the three-meter springboard,
and 17th on the one-meter at last year's
Big Ten Championships.
"My personal goal is to qualify for
NCAAs and to (be a finalist) in the
Big Ten meet," Bogaerts says.
Sanchez hopes for berths in the
three and ten-meter events. He fin-
ished sixth in the one and ten-meter
events and eighth in the three-meter
at last year's Big Tens, but he did
not qualify for nationals as he did in
his sophomore year.
That year, he was an All-Ameri-
can, finishing fifth at NCAAs on the
ten-meter board.
Sanchez will not reveal his per-
sonal goals for this year, but he
wants to do well at the national
meet. He did not qualify for NCAAs
last winter after he had a "bad year,"
in his words.
"They're working really hard and
they have a good chance," Kimball
says.
The divers are confident in their
abilities as well.
"Our chances are good,"
Bogaerts says. "I feel strong. We're
going to do well. We're going to
(NCAAs in) Indiana. Definitely
Abel, he has the best chance of the
both of us."
"We all have a good shot," says
Sanchez, like a brother.
As they climb out of the water,
they realize that few people have
climbed out of bed yet. Sanchez and
Bogaerts see that diving has given
them a good shot at more than just the
NCAA meet.
The divers emerge from the wa-
ter, back into the still air. The pool
remains quiet, but this time there
are waves.
Nevertheless, they feel satisfaction.
"It's awesome to know that you're
active while everyone's still asleep,"
Sanchez says. "You've accomplished
something alreadyjust by being there.
By doing it, you get to experience that
sort of peace."
Kimball says their enthusiasm
for the sport gives them incentive to
train harder than more talented
divers might.
"They're above-average divers, but
they're not blue chip," Kimball says.
"But they work harder than anyone
else to make up for it. They're nice kids
who give it all they've got."
They do so because they want to be

Jason Lancaster: Freshman .".
IM/Butterfly ... prep All-
American ... No. 1 in nation in
100 butterfly and 200 IM

Royce Sharp: Junior
Backstroke/lM ... All-American
...five-time Big Ten champion
... American Record holder
(200-meter backstroke)

STANFORD
Continued from page 1
"Stanford was really pumped up,"
freshman Derya Buyukuncu said. "We
didn't do that well because I think the

both relays again. The Golden Bears
won three other events, including the
50 free, as the Wolverines did not swim
superstar sprinters Borges or Derya
Buyukuncu. Buyukuncu also won the
200 butterfly, and German Bart Sikora

0,~,,

I

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