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January 22, 1996 - Image 13

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The Michigan Daily, 1996-01-22

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The Michigan Daily - SPORTSMonday - Monday, January 22, 1996 -5

ing and Dvng Outioo
Wolverine men s lineup pnmed to repeat
)efending national champions are focused on upcoming Big Tens and NCAAs

Men's swimming and
diving

ty Susan Dann
nd Doug Stevens
>aily Sports Writers
Some people are born champions.
)thers have to work at it. Then, there
re those who combine their natural
s with a devoted work ethic to
eme the best at what they do.
Impressive resumes and extraordinary
otentials don't necessarily spell suc-
es's.
"(Swimming) is the greatest sport,"
aid coach Jon Urbanchek. "The more
ou put in, the more you get out.
hat's why I love it. Those who work
sually succeed."
This year, the Wolverines are bear-
e burden of an unusually heavy
ork load. Although the squad has
nly one meet remaining in their regu-
ir season, the focus of the team is
ardly as narrow. Not only is the team
reparing to defend its Big Ten and
lational crowns, but it is also gearing
ward the Olympic Trials.
Urbanchek is working hard to keep
is team togetherdespite the individual
ocus of Olympic training. Working as

a unit should prove very beneficiz
the upcoming weeks as the Wolver
prepare to repeat their titles from 1l
With 24-time All-American Gus
Borges graduated, other member
the team will have to step up to fil
large void in the lineup.
"Gustavo left some really big sl
to fill," Urbanchek said. "Really
size 15 shoes."
Michigan's roster combines the
cesses of accomplished veterans'
an impressive group of young swI
mers.
Michigan will struggle in the sp
ing events. Borges won the 50-
100-yard freestyle events at last ye
NCAA Championship. No other Mi
gan swimmers finished in the top 3
these events.
Derya Buyukuncu returns as
of the Wolverines' top sprinters
anchored Michigan's sixth- p
200-yard freestyle relay team and
most likely anchor both the 200-
400- yard relays this year.
Without Borges, the Wolverines
struggle in the two sprint relays.

al in
ines
995.
tavo(
s o f
1 the
hoes
big
suc-
with
Vim-
rint-
and
,ar's
ichi-

loss will especially affect the 200 relay
team, which placed sixth at last year's
nationals.
Michigan is perhaps
the strongest team in the Men's Natio
country in the middle 1. Michigan
distance freestyle 2. Stanford
events. 3. Auburn
All-Americans John 4. Texas
piersma and Chris 5. Tenness
Rumley return in the 6. 6a1ifornia
200; Dolan, Piersma, 7. Southern
Rumley and Owen von
Richter are back in the 8. Southern
500: and Dolan. Rumley 9. Arizona
and von Richter are re- 10 Minnes
turning All-Americans
in the 1650.

spot on Turkey's national team.
"Derya can fully concentrate on

i .

n
,ee
is
nC
tM
iota

0 in The talents of Piersma. Rumley, von
Richter and Dolan should enable the
one 800-yard freestyle relay team to win
H Hie the NCAA title for the fourth consecu-
lace tive year.
will In addition to the returning swim-
and mers. the arrival of freshmen Joe
Palmer, Andy Potts and John Reich
will should give the team a boost in the mid-
His distance events. '
The fate of Michigan's backstroke
performance will lie in the hands of
proven international talents Royce
Sharp. Derya Buyukuncu aid Ryan
Papa.
Sharp. who placed second in the 200
at NCAAs. is a former U.S. Cdympian
and took the bronze at the 1974 World
Championship.
Although he red-shirted lt fall to
concentrate on his training for the
Olympics, Sharp has de(ided to
forego the trials and focus on the
team goals. '
(Royce) has been there before and
didn't think lie had enough to make the
team," Urbanchek said. "It's a very
mature decision which will really help
the team. It's quite an honorable dis-
charge."
Like Sharp, I3uyukuncu, will be
swimming this season without the dis-
Dailv traction of the upcoming trials. The
s. Istanbul native has already secured a

the NCAAss'"
Urbanchek said.
al Rankings "Because of that,"
Derya will be a vi-
able candidate to
win the 100 and 200'
backstrokes at
NC'AAs."
Papa has also
al qualified for his
country's Olympic
ethodist squad. lie now is fo-
cusing his energy on
a Michigan's goals.
With the loss of
A I I - A m er i c a n
Steve West, the Wolv erines find
themselves struggling in the
breastroke. Freshman JeffFlermoen
is the only true specialist in the stroke.
This season, Michigan has turned
to other members of the lineup t('
give the team some depth in this
event. Dolan. Potts, Shuichi
Matsumoto and Chris Laskowski
have all competed in this event.
Unlike with other strokes, the
Wolverines are showcasingyouth in
the butterfly.
Jason Lancaster, a six-time All-
American as a freshman. and first-
year swimmer Tom Malchow, a '95
World University Games gold med-
alist, provide a perfect complement
to each other.
Lancaster looks to better his stel-
lar freshman campaign by impro -
ing upon his fourth-place 100-yard
and his eighth-place 200-yard but-
terfly finishes. Ie is currently nurs-
ing an injured shoulder and is only
practicing once a day.
Despitean early season battle with
pneumonia. Malchow is basicaly
back to full strength and has proved
himself in recent meets including
first-place finishes in meets against
Arizona State. Arizona and Purdue.
The individual medles remains
Michigan's strong suit. The Wol-

verines return the first, third and fourth
place finishers from last year's 400 IM
event at nationals in Dolan, von Rich-
ter and Sharp, respectively. In addi-
tion, Lancaster is back to improve upon
his second place finish in the 200 IM.
The Wolverines have also found a
replacement for Wouda, who took third
in the 200 IM and fifth in the 400 IM.
Potts is ranked 17 in the world in the
400 1M.
"Andy Potts will fill the spot vacated
by Marcel Wouda in the 400 IM, 500
free and 1650 free," Urbanchek said.
"He's versatile and will fill in in the
breastroke."
The div ing contingent is comprised
ofs eteran Alex Bogaerts and a plethora
of freshmen.
Al Fleming, Jeremy Hert/a, Nathan
Shephard and Brett Wilmot. Unlike
their ss imm ing counterparts. the divers
will be more focused on gearing forthe
.Big Ten meet as opposed to the NCAAs.
Michigan will face a tough task as it
loo s to overcome the loss of two-time
All-American Abel Sanchez.
I Jowever, Bogaerts is coming off his
best season asa Wolverineaslhe earned
Honorable Mention All-America hon-
ors on the platform at NCAAs.
"Alex had a good year last year,.
said dis ing coach Dick Kimball. "ie
competed at the NCAA meet and
scored. Alex is diving really well (this
season). I'm really pleased with the
\\ a', he's competing."
Kimball is also pleasantly surprised
sith the work of his freshmen this
season.
"They have done a great job,"ihe said.
-These freshmen have worked hard."
While Kimball is very happy with
the effort being put forth by his divers,
lie is trying to be cautiously optimistic
in his expectations.
-For the freshmen, this will be a big,
big learning year,"' Kimball said. "It is
touh ito walk into Big'Tensand do well."
This fact aside, the 1996 campaign
should be both an excitingand success-
ful one for the Wolverines.

Tom Dolan: Junior ... IM/Distance
Free ... Five-time NCAA Champion
...Nine-time All-American ... Seven-
time Big Ten Champion ... World
Record holder-400-meter IM
1995 Big Ten Swimmer of the Year

Jason Lancaster: Sophomore ... IM/
Butterfly ... Six-time All-American ..
Five-time Big Ten Champion ... 1995
Big Ten Freshman of the Year
Two gold medals at World University
Games -100m Butterfly, 400m
medley relay

7 1 4 7 -~

F ..

r_ "? w.

FILEPHOTO
imley is a key member of the powerful middle-distance freestyle corps

Foreigners come to'U' in search of better training

y Susan Dann
aily Sports Writer
Buyukuncu, Matsumoto, Papa, von
i ter. The men's swim team ros-
e ith its four foreign swimmers,
eads like a United Nations delega-
ion.
Turkey's Derya Buyukuncu, Shuichi
atsumoto of Japan, Ryan Papa of the
hilippines and Owen von Richter of
anada are causing waves not only in
'anham Natatorium, but also in intema-
ional waters.
What brings
hese foreign greats
r j their home-
an s to don the
aize and blue?
"1 knew that
kiichigan swim-
ringhad a history
>f being abso-
utely the best in
the world," von von Richter
Richter said. "The
:omibination of (this reputation) and
hl ademics being as outstanding
as Tey are really what brought me
here."
With his international swimming rec-
agnition, von Richter caught the atten-
tion of the Michigan program.
With NCAA competition restricted
to amateurs, it is often difficult to
attract talent from abroad.
'Ifa foreign swimmer is good enough

to qualify for a full scholarship, they
are most likely already collecting
money, said
coach Jon
Urbanchek.
"Foreign swim-
mers are usually
better off (staying
in their own coun- ;
try). In America
there is not a lot of
money for swim--
ming. Inothercoun- Matsumoto
tries, swimmers are
stars. They don't compete with more
visible athletes in bigger sports who take
the money."
With the Olympics approaching. these
swimmers are preparing to represent their
respective nations in the 1996 games in
Atlanta.
The Wolverine training regimen
should prove beneficial as these athletes
prepare to face national and international
competition. Matsumoto will return to
Japan for the Japanese Olympic Trials
April 4-8.
Papa, who qualified for his national
squad in December in Thailand, will
focus the rest of his season toward the
Wolverine's national championship bid.
Buyukuncu has also already qualified for
his Olympic team.
"Fortunately for us, these foreign
swimmers will not be distracted by the
trials," Urbanchek said.

Michigan will miss the contribution of
von Richter at the NC'AA Qhampion-
ships, as the Canadian Olympic Trials
will be held the same weekenid.
"It really was not even a question."
son Richter said. "This year is a special
thing that only happens evcry 'bury\ears.
I'm sure everyone understands."
For the quartet.
swimming with -
their national teams
will not cause any
dissension with
Wolverine team-
mates.
"I don't see
them as interna-
tional rivals - vonI
Richter said. "I Buyukuncu
see them as team-
mates. They are rivals, but in fact
they're just friends. There are rival-
ries in the pool, but it doesn't appear
that way all the time as it would with
European or other swimmers that I
don't know."
Swimming against their Wolverine
teammates does not invoke many com-
petitive feelings for these swimmers.
"(Swimmingagainst them) seemsnor-
mal because I train with them." Papa
said. "It is actually good. I know who I
can and cannot beat based on our training
together."
His swimming experiences in the
United States make Matsumoto more

comfortable inIiternationa I competition.
"I feel at home swimming against
them'' Matsumoto said. "I know all of
the foreign swimmers. but I sometimes
feel more at home with the U.S. National
team or the Michigan team."
The strength of sswimming programs
in the United States resounds throt ghout
international waters.
Buyukuncu. Papa and Matsumoto left
their respective homelands to traiP in the
United States while still in high school.
"Turkey's background is not that
good." Buyukuncu said. "That's why I
came here (to the United States) to
train. We don't have that many facili-
ties and coaches to get better and bet-
ter. I started swimminsg when I was
seven. lorthefirsteighty-earsTurkey's
facilities and coaches were fine. But
after that. the pools and coaching
weren't enough."
Buyukuncu at-
tended high school f
in California.swher
lie broke many
Southern California
records.catapulting
him into state and
national honors. y
le competed un-
derhisnatiseflag at Papa
the World Champi-
onships in Rome, as well as the 1992
Olympic Games in Barcelona, Spain. In
1991, he was named Turkey Sportsman

of the Year.
.People understand that there is not
much in ITurkey fortraining,"Buyukuncu
said. "They understand my reasons for
traiing here.''
The level ofIcompetition is improving
in Japan Matsumoto said.
"Sssimming is becoming sery popu-
lar," Matsumoto said. "(A few) young
kids from Japan are some of the best at
the international level."
Papa's start as a swimmer is unusual.
"We had a pool at our house," Papa
said. "My parents made us learn to swim
for safety. The coach who taught us to
swim said I hadthe potential tobeareally
good swimmer."
When he was 10 years old, Papa began
summercompetitionsinthe United States.
H e enrolled in high school in Pennsylva-
nia after appearing in the 1992 Olym-
pics.
Swimming is not a wide-known sport
in Papa's native Philippine islands.
"I am more famous in the Philippines
(than I am here), especially after big
meets and winning gold medals," Papa
said.
"Mostly sw immers and big sports fans
know me, though, not everyone."
' hese four iiternational swimmers are
united on the Wolverine squad, their
blood running maize and blue. Having
prosen their success across the globe,
they truly are Champions of the West.
East, North and South.

Tom Malchow: Freshman ...
Butterfly/ Freestyle/Intermediate
Medley ... 1995 World University
Games gold medalist - 200m
butterfly ... 1995 Pan-Am Games
silver medalist - 200m butterfly

John Piersma: Junior ... Freestyle .
NCAA Champion .. Four-time All-
American ... Four-time Big Ten
Champion ... Ranked No. 1 in FINA
Long Course World Rankings in 400-
meter freestyle

Six Michigan swimmers prepare for U.S. Olympic Trials

By Doug Stevens
Daily Sports Writer
1996 is a very significant year for
many Americans.
For some, it is their big opportunity to
vote in a presidential-election. To a more
select few, it is their once-in-a-lifetime
che to qualify for a spot on the U.S.
t& ~

Olympic Team.
The former is an opportunity opened
to every citizen above the age of 18. The
latter is a viable goal realistic only for
those with enough talent, will and deter-
mination to earn a trip to Atlanta for the
Olympic Games.
For many members of the Michigan
men's swimming and diving team, the
dream of earning a spot on the Olympic
team is within reach. Given the magni-
tude of the event, these individuals have
focused much of their energy towards
that goal.
"This year. it has been more intense

set your goals at the highest."
While Urbanchek acknowledged that
it is awkward that members of the Wol-
verines will be competing against each
other for Olympic spots, the consensus
has been that more positives will result
from this factor than negatives.
"Every workout is dog-eat-dog,"
Urbanchek said. "The internal competi-
tion is very intense and very stressful.
What makes this program so good is the
internal competition."
Freshman Andy Potts, who is going
to try to make the team in the 1500 free,
felt that the level of competition, while

well but not to the point where we are at
each other's throats."
In attempting to prepare his swimmers
more adequately for the Olympic Trials,
which take place March 6-12 in India-
napolis. Urbanchek has tried numerous
tactics to get everyone swimming inpeak
form by the meet.
For instance, Urbanchek has had the
team partake in numerous meets, in a
long-course pool, similar to Olympic
competition, as opposed to short-course,
which is utilized in NC'AA competition.
Michigan gained exposure to long-cou-se
pools in meetsat Arizona and 'Texas, plus

that now is the time to work because
there will be no excuses once the Olym-
pic Trials arrive. You have to train two
years for only a couple of races.
"The swimmers are in the pressure
cooker," Urbanchek said. "On a given
day; you have to be top one or two.That's
it. You need to be the best when the best
is needed and that's on the Olympic
Trifils. Ifnot, you watch the meet on TV."
Dolan, who redshirted last term to
concentrate solely on his training, also
recbgnizes the magnitude of the trials.
"In many ways, the trials are more
pressure than the Olympics," lie said.

Chris Rumley: Junior ... IM/
Freestyle ... Two-time NCAA
Champion ... Eight-time All-
American ... Two-time Big Ten
Champion

fAIN W - MMI

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