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January 09, 1995 - Image 15

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The Michigan Daily, 1995-01-09

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The Michigan Daily - SPORTSMonday - Monday, January 9, 1995 -

Wouda returns to Wolverine lineup

MARK FRIEDMAN/Daily
Royce Sharp and his Michigan teammates trounced South Carolina at Canham Natatorium Saturday, 114-81.
Illue . ies by Su th Carolina
Wolverine semiors shine in win over Gamecocks

By MICHELLE LEE THOMPSON
Daily Sports Writer
Senior - n. One who is older, of
igher rank, in one's last year of col-
fege.
, In other words, persons who will
graduate soon.
For the Michigan men's swim-
ming and diving team, Saturday's vic-
tory over South Carolina was for the
seniors, lock, stock and barrel. It was
the season's last home meet, and the
last time most the seniors will swim in
CanhamNatatorium.
On the day termed "Senior Recog-
ition Day" (somewhat of an under-
statement), coach Jon Urbanchek gave
the soon-to-be-graduates their time in
tlhe limelight. And that limelight was
a pright one, much brighter than the
filial score of 114-81 showed.
, Although Urbanchek swam his best
swimmers early in the meet, he posted
his big names as exhibition swimmers
,jajer in the meet, so as not to run up the
core. Standouts including Tom Dolan,
DeryaBuyukuncu and Owen von Rich-
ter posted the fastest times in their
events, but the Wolverines took no
points for their efforts.
"(The Gamecocks')coach isafriend
of Alex (Braunfield)," Urbanchek ex-
plained. Braunfield is the Wolverines'
assistant coach.
Although the meet was another non-
*hallenge for the top-ranked Wolver-
ines, the Michigan swimmers still
made an effort, despite tiredness re-
maining from their training trip to Ha-

waii last week.
"It was the seniors' last meet to
swim at home," Dolan said. "They all
swam well, considering being tired
from training camp."
But they weren't all that tired.
Brazilian Gustavo Borges, possibly
one of the best sprinters in the NCAA,
anchored the winning senior 200 med-
ley relay and won the 200 freestyle, but
placed third with three fellow seniors in
a 200 freestyle exhibition.
"I think everybody was excited
about the relays-everybody wanted
to beat the seniors," Urbanchek said.
"Gustavo is always pretty steady. You
can always count on Gustavo.".
But Borges was more sentimental
than proud.
"It's a special meet being my last
meet," Borges said. "It's sad in a sort
of a way. This is the last time I swim
as a Michigan swimmer in (Canham
Natatorium)."
A walk-on four years ago, Thomas
Blake took third in the 200 freestyle
and second amongst the counted 200
butterflyers.
"You just go out there and you've
got to race and do your best no matter
if it's for points or not," Blake said.
The Gamecocks' Jay Telford, a
sophomore All-American, placed sec-
ond behind Wolverine Chris Rumley
in the 1000 freestyle, and first in the
500 freestyle. Gamecock backstroker
Charles Girdlestone placed second in
the 200 IM behind Dolan and timed
third and placed first officially in the

200 backstroke.
South Carolinacoach Keith Switzer
said that he scheduled the meet know-
ing his team would likely not win.
"We used it as sort of a learning
process of what we want to be in 5 to 8
years," Switzer said. "We're a very
young team and Michigan has a chance
to win a national championship."
Blake has a personal interest in the
NCAA championship meet, held in
his home town of Indianapolis.
'It's a special meet
being my last meet...
This is the last time I
swim as a Michigan
swimmer in (Canham
Natatorium).'
- Gustavo Borges
Michigan senior
"It's very exciting forme, not only
winning (an NCAA championship)
my senior season, but swimming in
Indianapolis where I've swam so
many other big meets," Blake said.
Freshman Buyukuncu said he had
learned a lot about workouts from the
seniors and was sad it was their last
meet.
"They're not all great swimmers
but they all want to do it and they all
want to win the NCAA champion-
ship," Buyukuncu said.

By NICHOLAS J. COTSONIKA
Daily Sports Writer
Marcel Wouda is back.
The seven-timeAll-American, four-
time Big Ten Champion and three-
time NCAA Champion has rejoined
the Wolverines' run for the national
championship.
The senior swimmer had returned
to his native Uden, the Netherlands, for
the fall semester in order to recuperate
from the pressures of competition.
"He just wasn't ready for school,"
Michigan coach Jon Urbanchek said.
"He was mentally, emotionally and
physically spent. He trained real hard
for the World Championships that were
swum in late September. He didn't
have any time to relax. He didn't get
any time off."
But Wouda's fall retreat has given
him that time off, and now he is regain-
ing a competitive mindset.
"It looks like he's gotten his break,"
Urbanchek said. "He's swimming well
and he's swimming confidently. I think
he's ready for a championship effort."
Woulda feels he is ready as well. In
fact, he is more ready than a year ago.
"I'm really looking forward to
NCAAs," Wouda said. "Compared to
last year, I'm really excited. Last year,
I wasn't really looking forward to it,
but this year I am. I want to show what
I can contribute to the team."
Wouda wasn't always sure about
his contributions, however. After a
highly successful sophomore season,
in which he won NCAA champion-
ships in the 500 freestyle, 1650 free and
800 free relay, Wouda struggled in his
juniorcampaign.
A combination of high expecta-
tions and new competition took its toll,
and Wouda soon felt their weight on
his shoulders.
"He's had a lot of pressure on him
because he didn't do as well as he
would have like last year. He just had
a lot of pressure on him last year, both
academic and athletic," Urbanchek said
of the two-time U-M Athletic Aca-
demic Achievement award winner. "He
had competition from the freshmen
and Tom Dolan was dominating and
that was tough. So he took a semester to
cool off."
During the fall, Wouda trained with
his old club and national teams. The old
atmosphere helped him to regain his
focus after his "disappointing" perfor-
mance in Rome, where he finished 9th
in the 400 IM medley, 10th in the 200
IM, and 11th in the 400 free.
"I was really disappointed with my

performance in Rome," Wouda said. "I
decided to take some time to get back
on my feet, to get back my dedication
for swimming. I'm ready to go back
now."
Urbanchek now hopes that Wouda
will return to his championship form of

Urbanchek, swimmers
are NCAA's classiest act
By MICHELLE LEE THOMPSON
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan men's swimming and diving team, poised to win its first
NCAA championship since 1961, may well have been swimming its entire
season wearing tuxedos.
The Wolverines are a class act.
Coach Jon Urbanchek, knowing full well that his squad could have blanked
South Carolina Saturday, utilized the meet to let all his seniors swim on Senior
Recognition Day.
After opting not to count some of the events at all, Urbanchek decided
midway through the meet to swim some of his stars as exhibition. They tallied
no points, and the score was kept close.
"We try to make it fun and exciting and challenging," Urbanchek said. 9
Urbanchek does that kind of stuff just to be nice. Besides, South Carolina
coach Keith Switzer is a friend of Wolverine assistant coach Alex Braunfield.
See, none of these meets really matter.
Unlike major sports like hockey and basketball, the dual-meet season
doesn't matter to the swim team's final standings.
What matters are the NCAAs, held in March in
Indianapolis. The Wolverines should have no prob-
IN THE TANK lem winning there this year, after settling for second-
and third-place finishes the past two years.
So in the regular season, Urbanchek and his
swimmers can do whatever they want, so long as they
stay focused on preparing for the national champion-
ships.
In order to maintain their No. 1 ranking throughout the season, the
Wolverines needed to beat No.2 Texas -and they already did that- and No.
3 Stanford, which is coming up this week.
No need to run up the dual meet scores now. That would be classless.
The team has the depth of a diving well to back up the standouts, but with
guys like Royce Sharp, Chris Rumley, Gustavo Borges, Tom Dolan, Marcel
Wouda and Derya Buyukuncu, the Wolverines should not have much of a
problem in Indianapolis.
Part of being classy means being intelligent, and if Urbanchek wanted
smarts, he's got 'em.
Seven swimmers, including Wouda and freestylers Courtney Faller and
Thomas Blake, are Academic All-Big Ten.
Urbanchek pulled his squad from the pool at the Harvard Invitational early
to get home for classes. The meet wasn't even finished, and the Wolverines
didn't win it, but those guys were sitting in their classes Monday morning.
But it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out this is the Wolverines'
year to shine at NCAAs, and they're going to win it all for the 18th time.
The returning swimmers have 12 NCAA individual championships and a
total of 46 All-American plaques to their credit. Three of the freshmen are
ranked in the top 50 in the world. The Wolverines should not have much of a
problem in Indianapolis.
And when these hard-working student-athletes win the national champion-
ship, they will do it with class. Just like any other meet.

1993, when he was named Big Ten
Swimmer ofthe Year. Instead of swim-
ming in the events he swam in the
NCAAs before, Woulda will try the
200 IM, 400 IM and 200 breaststroke.
If Wouda does that, he finally may
be able to truly rest.

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