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March 15, 1995 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily, 1995-03-15

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The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, March 15, 1995 - 11
eBlue to wrestle crowd at NCAAs

By Jed Rosenthal
Daily Sports Writer
When theMichigan wrestlingteam
concludes its postseason schedule at
the NCAA Championships in Iowa
City this weekend, the Wolverines
will face a different kind of opponent.
One which they have yet to con-
front this season.
The crowd.
And to make matters more com-
plicated, Michigan will have two in-
experienced freshmen wrestling. This
will be no easy task.
Complete from a season of medi-
ocrity which ended with a sub-par
showing at the Big Ten Champion-
ships where they placed fifth, the No.
13 Wolverines will face their stiffest
competition this year. The top wres-
tling programs from across the nation
will be represented at . this tourna-
ment.
And then there is Iowa.
The Hawkeyes sport as much
success in their wrestling program
as David Hasselhoff does in Ger-
many. They have won 22 consecu-
tive Big Ten titles and the most
*National Championships ever in the
history of the sport. And they are
No. 1.
Having been deemed "pointless"
and "meaningless" by 167-pound
Chad Biggert, the dual matches have
been finished for a month. The Wol-
verines have been preparing for this
moment allseason, and with five wres-

tiers qualifying for NCAAs, they have
a legitimate chance of placing in the
top ten.
"I'd like to think that of our five
guys, we can come out with at least
three All-Americans," Michigan
coach Dale Bahr said. "And possibly
Chad (Biggert) could contend for the
national title."
Yet the Wolverines will miss one
of their mainstays in the lineup. Jun-
ior Jesse Rawls Jr. (177-pounds),
wrestling with a torn anterior cruci-
ate ligament at the Big Tens, wors-
ened his condition and opted for
surgery. 126-pound freshman Bran-
don Howe replaces Rawls as a
wildcard entry.
"We're going to definitely miss
Jesse, both as a wrestler and for emo-
tional support," Bahr said. "He's a
real good kid, and it's just a shame
what has happened to him this sea-
son."
Howe has not had such a fine
season, and he will have some huge
shoes to fill. However, he can relate to
Rawls' condition.
"I can sympathize with Jesse,"
Howe said. "I tore up my knee last
season, and I know what it's like.
Jesse has had this problem before and
has had surgery. He's going to have a
long road ahead of him with recovery,
but I know he'll bounce back. He's
done it before."
Accompanying Biggert and Howe
will be 190-pound Jehad Hamdan,

158-pound Jeff Catrabone and fresh-
man heavyweight Airron Richardson.
Richardson has come full circle this
season, as he played football for
Morehouse College last year instead
of wrestling.
"Airron is a question mark," Bahr
said. "He could do real well or he
could lose a couple like the way he did
in the Big Tens. He's right there with
everybody, but then again, he hasn't
had so much experience that he could
hammer everybody. It just depends
on how he gets going in the tourna-
ment."
And then there is the crowd, which
poses the threat of intimidating the
referees.
"That's the one thing that bothers
me as a coach," Bahr said. "It hap-
pened at the Big Tens. I think the fans
could influence the officials to a cer-
tain degree, and it might happen here.
But the fans can't get out there and
wrestle the match."
The Wolverines hope to keep the
crowd out of the match by coming out
aggressive and making an impact on
the officials.
Biggert is anxious about his na-
tional audience.
"I look forward to the Iowa faith-
ful," Biggert said. "It's not often you
get to wrestle in front of a big crowd
like this weekend. It will just get me
up more. But I don't care, because
when I hear them cheer, Ijust imagine
it's for me."

EVAN PETRIE/Daily
Michigan heads to Austin, Texas this weekend for the NCAA Championships. The second-ranked Wolverines are
taking 17 swimmers to race against archrival No. 1 Stanford as well as Southern Cal and Florida.
Women 'S waiting is over
Swimmers finally get to make bid for NCAA crown

By Rebecca Moatz
Daily Staff Writer
After an entire season of antici-
pation, the time has come.
The Michigan women's swim-
ming team will begin its first day of
competition at the NCAA Champi-
onships in Austin, Texas tomorrow.
The Wolverines enter the three-
day event ranked second, with a full
roster of 17 swimmers. The team
finished the season with a 7-1 over-
all record, losing only to top-ranked
Stanford by two points.
Last month, the Wolverines won
their ninth consecutive Big Ten
Championship, with first place fin-
ishes in 12 of the 20 events.
Even though senior captain
Alecia Humphrey won four events
at Big Tens, she, as well as sopho-
more Rachel Gustin and freshman
Talor Bendel, were not rested for
the meet. They did not swim their
fastest times.
The three have been tapering for
two or more weeks to prepare for
NCAAs.
Since Michigan finished its sea-
son over a month ago, the Wolver-
ine coaching staff was worried about
the length of time between Big Tens
and NCAAs and thus scheduled a
triangular meet to break up the time.
Michigan hosted Texas and Penn
State two weeks ago to give them-
selves one final competitive prac-
tice before the national champion-
ship meet.
That leaves them with this
weekend's meet.
For the first time ever, Michigan
may infiltrate the ranks of the
nation's swimming powerhouses
and be the first team to steal an

NCAA title from Stanford, Texas
and Florida.
"I think there really is a chance,"
Humphrey said. "It just depends on
how the other teams swim."
Stanford enters the meet with
the No. 1 seed in
its attempt to earn
a fourth consecu-
tive NCAA title.
Southern Cal
holds the third
seed and Florida
holds the fourth.
Michigan's
Humphrey success at the Big
Ten meet has the
team excited and confident for
NCAAs.
The unprecedented first through
fifth place finish in the 200-yard
backstroke at Big Tens has
Humphrey, senior Jennifer Almeida
and junior Beth Jackson seeded in
the top six for the event in Austin,
while freshman Linda Riker and
sophomore Melisa Stone are seeded
in the top 20.
Both the 200 freestyle relay and
the 200 medley relay teams are
seeded second, while Michigan's
other relay teams, the 200 medley
relay and the 400 and 800 free re-
lays are ranked in the top five.
Relays always play an important
role in NCAA meets. Last year
Florida coach Chris Martin summed
up all of the coaches' feelings when
he said, "No relays, no meet."
The results of the relay races
may prove to be crucial for the Wol-
verines, as they lost the Stanford
meet in the final relay.

This weekend's meet will pro-'
vide Humphrey with her final op-
portunity to win an NCAA title. In
four years of swimming for Michi-
gan,
Humphrey has garnered 16 Big
Ten titles, eight All-American hon-
ors and has grasped the natio'n's top
times in both the 100 and 200 back-
strokes.
In December, she swam the third-
fastest 200 backstroke ever.
Of the 17 Michigan swimmers
participating in the meet, eight are
returnees. The nine newcomers feel
they are ready to enter the biggest
meet of the season.
"The most important thing is
sticking together and being a team,"
Bendel said. "We have to remain a
team and not be individuals if we
want to win the meet."
"The most im
Portant thing is
sticking together
as a team. We
have to remain a
team and not in1-
dividuals,"
- Talor Bendel
Michigan swimmer
And after having a successful
season, the Wolverines have their
eyes on one thing - the national
crown.

JOE WESTRATE/Daily
The Wolverines are hoping to grapple a top-ten finish at the NCAA Championships in Iowa City this weekend.

Lacrosse hopes to improve against the Spartans
Michigan will try to stick another Big Ten title when it hosts Michigan State tonight at Oosterbaan

By Amber Uyesato
For the Daily
The Michigan men's lacrosse
eam's first conference match for the
1995 season has finally arrived, and
not a day too soon.
The Wolverines, thedefending Big
Ten Champions, have not been play-
ing up to expectations.
In its last contest, Michigan was
routed by the Lake Shore Lacrosse
Club of Chicago, 23-11, dropping to
1-2.
Today, Michigan hopes to redeem
itself andreturn to championship form
against Michigan State. The Wolver-
ines begin their quest to defend their
title atl0 p.m. tonight at Oosterbaan
Fieldhouse.
Michigan lost four key players
from last year's championship team,
including its top two scorers and top
two defensemen.
The Wolverines will especially
Oniss attackman Steve Simich, who
was the team's best offensive player

think it' good that we're starting
our Big Ten season because it gets
guys thinking of the bigger picture."
- John Kolakowski
Michigan lacrosse player

whelmed Michigan State last season,
beating the Spartans, 12-0. Never-
theless, Michigan coach Robert
DiGiovanni thinks this upcoming DO
match may not be as easy a win as last
season."1 * * *
"I think it is going to be a more
difficult game this year because I think
they're more organized and they're N
going to have more talent out there," POOL
DiGiovanni said. "But I'm confident
that we can chalk up our first Big Ten 1220 South Uiversity 665-7777
victory." 21 and over after 9n
RESERVE OFFICERS' TRAINING CORPS

two years in a row, and defenseman
Ben Homuhth, who was Michigan's
top defensive player for two years.
Both players graduated along with
defenseman Gannon Dudlar. Junior
midfielder Dave Reichel is study-
ing abroad, and he will return next
season.
The team, however, has 24 return-
ing players and also has starting
goaltender Anil Arora returning from
injuries.
Despite this, the Wolverines are
still not playing as well as they would
like to on the field or in practice.
"Lately, in practice, wejusthaven't
seemed to have much focus and we

haven't been playing well at all," se-
niormidfielderJohn Kolakowski said.
In spite of the team's sub-par play,
Kolakowski is still confident about
its first Big Ten game.
"I think it's good that we're start-
ing our Big Ten season because it gets
guys thinking of the bigger picture,"
Kolakowski said."This will hopefully
get guys focused and hopefully will
improve our play." .
Interstate rival Michigan State may
be just what it takes to motivate the
Wolverines. The Spartan club team,
only in its third season, has played
Michigan twice and lost both matches.
The Wolverines easily over-

1
I

There's a world

beyond your campus.
" Earn academic credits while taking
classes in Spanish or English at the S.U

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