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February 26, 1996 - Image 10

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-02-26

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2B - The Michigan Daily - SPORTSMonday - Monday, February 26, 1996

Veterans spark swimmers

By Chris Murphy
Daily Sports Writer
After the Michigan women's swim-
ming team's startling victory in this
weekend's Big Ten Championship,
one can only wonder what spurred the
team to such complete dominance.
Isn't there any parity in the Big Ten
anymore?
Apparently not,
as far as women's
swimming is con-
cerned.
This weekend
the Wolverines Notebook
flexed their collec-
tive muscle and ba-
sically put to rest
any doubt about
theirposition in the --- i
national rankings.
So how did Michigan achieve this
standing?
The reason is really simple: while
in Minneapolis, the Wolverines re-
ceived a boost from two of their top
upperclassmen. The return of junior
Rachel Gustin and senior Beth Jack-
son helped Michigan to one of their
best team performances in recent
years.
Gustin returned from a shoulder
injury sustained earlier in the season.

The injury has been nagging; Gustin
hasn't been able to compete since
mid-January.
Jackson has been sidelined with
mononucleosis. The ailment has kept
her out of action since January. The
co-captain missed the Wolverines'
dual meets against Indiana and Ohio
State and wasn't sure if she would be
in shape for Big Tens.
The team was more than happy to
have two of its top swimmers back in
the fold.
"When you have a couple people
who haven't swum a meet since early
January, and they come in and step up
and perform, that really picks the team
up," Richardson said.
FOR THE RECORD: Several records
were broken this weekend in Minne-
apolis. While many Michigan swim-
mers turned in strong individual per-
formances, the Wolverines' strongest
area might have been their relay teams.
Michigan set four Big Ten records
in four different relay events.
The Wolverines took first in the
200-yard relay. Megan Gillam, Melisa
Stone, Dana Van Singel and Jen
Eberwein combined for a record time
of 1:30.89.
Kim Johnson, Karen Bunting, Talor
Bendel and Eberwein took the 800-

yard freestyle relay with a record time
of 7:17.23.
Jackson and Gustin combined with
Bendel and Johnson to win the 400-
yard medley relay. Their time of
3:42.18 was a new Big Ten record.
The 400-yard freestyle relay team
continued its dominance with Eberwein,
Bendel, Gillam and Stone combining
for a record time of 3:19.77.
MICHIGAN'S MOST VALUABLE?: The
Wolverines obviously enjoyed a
whole slew of strong individual per-
formances. So who was the team's
most valuable swimmer?
There is no real award given out
but, unofficially, the honor could go
to the freshman Eberwein.
Competing in her first Big Ten
Championship, Eberwein asserted
herself as one of the Wolverines top
young swimmers.
"It's always good to see a freshman
step up," Bendel said. "She raced re-
ally faced."
Eberwein took first in the 50-yard
freestyle by finishing with a record
time of 22.86. Also, of the four record-
setting relay teams, Eberwein com-
peted in three of them.
Eberwein's classmates also were
key in the Michigan victory.
"All the freshman really stepped up

Michigan women's swimming team captured its 10th consecutive Big Ten title this weekend

WALKER VANDYKE/Dgly
in Minneapolis.

and that's great to see for the future of
Michigan women's swimming,"
Bendel said.
UP NEXT: The Wolverines are now
setting their sites on the team's two
final tests - Olympic Trials and the

NCAA Championship. A healthy ros-
ter with the freshmen stepping up
could be the key to Michigan winning
its first NCAA Championship in
school history.
The Wolverines had their best

NCAA Championship performance
last year. In 1995, Michigan finished
second behind Stanford.
"As long as everyone stays healtN
we should have a really good shot at
NCAAs," Bendel said.

Michigan State gymnasts vault over Blue

By Sharat Rau
For the Daily
In sports, a "dual" meet is one that
involves two teams, whereas a "duel"
implies a battle between two individu-
als.
This minor change in spelling means
a world of difference. In a dual there
can be several duels, and one team can
dominate the dual while the other man-
ages to win many duels.
All that can get confusing.
However, it is a valid argument for
explaining all the positives in No. 20
Michigan's loss, 209.75 to 221.4, in its
dual meet with unranked, intra-state
rival Michigan State Saturday at Cliff
Keen Arena.

For the Wolverines, individuals
shined while overall, the team did not.
"For this point in the season, we are
doing great. Although it's not the con-
sistent effort we'd like to see, we're
getting different highlights from differ-
ent guys at different times," Michigan
coach Bob Darden said..
Two gymnasts in particular that are
coming through with important perfor-
mances for the Wolverine tumblers are
juniorJason MacDonald and senior Kris
Klinger.
They not only performed well in the
floor exercise Saturday (9.3 and 9.15
respectively), they also electrified the
bipartisan crowd with their high bar
routines. Klinger recorded a 9.6 and

took first while MacDonald came in
second with a 9.55.
"(They were) phenomenal. They have
the talent to take it as far as they want to
go. And that's going to be a result of
their continued hard training in the
gym," Darden said.
"We were very pleased with our se-
nior leadership in Chris Onuska on his
premier event, which is pommel horse."
Darden said. Not only did Onuska place
second in the pommel horse with 9.25,
he came in second in the all around with
52.85.
As far as dueling, Onuska and fellow
Wolverine Flavio Martins (third in the
all around with 50.5) had to contend
with the Spartans' Ethan Sterk, who

came in first in the all around with
54.45. Sterk finished in the top five in
every event except the pommel horse in
which he placed in sixth.
Credit should go where it is due.
Michigan State took the top four spots
in the floor exercise, the top three in still
rings, the top three in parallel bars and
six of the top eight spots in pommel
horse.
A large part of this team effort came
from first place finishes by junior Sam
Smith, junior Joe Duda, senior Chris
Skidmore and sophomore Keith Dou-
glas.
Smith took first in vault (9.25), Duda
in both parallel bars (9.6) and rings
(9.65), Skidmore in the pommel horse
(9.4) and Douglas in the floor exercise
(9.4).
Michigan may have won some duels,
but the Spartans won the overall battle.
"We always have that rivalry be-
tween Michigan and Michigan State.
They had a down year a couple of years
ago, and now they're in an upswing,"
Darden said. "We might be in a rebuild-
ing year right now ... the guys know
that. We we're working very hard to
show that we have the potential, that we
do have the base nucleus of what it is all
about to be a team in the sport.
"There's a lot of room for improve-
ment, that's the upside. The downside
of it, it's going to take a lot of work."

SWIMMING
Continued from Page 11
Big Ten champions, so it's no surprise
that the team was happy about their
return.
"It was great to see them back in
competition," sophomore Talor Bendel
said. "It's great to have their enthusi-
asm."
There's no question that Gustin's and
Jackson's contributions were key, but
like Richardson said, this was a team
performance.
The highlights came from the entire
roster.
Sophomore Talor Bendel followed
up her sensational 1995 Big Ten perfor-
mance by taking first in both the 100-
and 200-yard freestyle. Her time of
49.94 in the 100 freestyle was a new
Big Ten record.
Another key contribution came from
freshman Jen Eberwein. Eberwein won
the 50-yard freestyle with a Big Ten
record time of 22.86.
Eberwein was also part of Michigan's
record-setting 400-yard freestyle relay
team. She joined Bendel, Melisa Stone
and Megan Gillam in finishing with a
time of 3:19.77. Eberwein paced the
entire relay team; her lead leg time of
49.77 broke Bendel's previous mark.
The Wolverines completely domi-
nated certain events.
Michigan took 1-2-4-5 in the 200-
yard backstroke. Melisa Stone won the

"It was great to
see them back in
competition. It's
great to have theb
enthusiasm."f
-- Talor Bendel
Michigan swimmer
event with a time of 1:59.01.
.Eberwein and Gillam joined Bendel
in going 1-2-3 in the 100-yard freestyle.
Junior Jodi Navta took first in the
200-yard breaststroke with a time
2:14.77. Sophomore Kerri Hale co -
tributed arguably her best performance
of the season. Hale took second in the
mile and third in the 400-yard indi-
vidual medley.
Another sophomore who stepped up
her swimming was Kim Johnson. After
struggling this season, Johnson partici-
pated in two of the team's record-set-
ting relay teams.
The numerous strong individualp
formances resulted in an effort thatW
volved the whole team.
"It was a great team performance
across the board," Richardson said.
"The swimmers who were having dis-
appointing performances still got be-
hind their teammates. And the swim-
mers who were swimming well. got
behind them."

Tankers are men among children

By Susan Dann
Daily Sports Writer
The freshman members ofthe Michi-
gan men's swimming team may not
have earned "big men on campus" dis-
tinction like some of their world-class,
Olympic-caliber teammates.
But this weekend, a handful of fresh-
men swimmers proved they were ca-
pable of performing like men among
children, literally.
The Michigan Open, held this week-
end at Canham Natatorium and co-
hosted by the Ann Arbor Swim Club
and the Michigan, was an age-divi-

The Michigan men's gymnastics team could not spin its way by the Spartans this weekend.

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sional meet, with participants ranging
from youth to senior, for both girls and
boys.
Several Wolverine swimmers took
to the lanes in the senior division heats,
competing for the last time this season.
"The meet really gives (the younger
swimmers on our team) a chance to
unwind after the season," coach Jon
Urbanchek said. "It is a good season-
ending meet for those on our team who
will not be competing in the Olympic
Trials or at NCAAs."
Despite the lack of team awards, the
meet was no less important for those
who competed.
"The point in the meet is to try to
make (national qualifying times) and
just to better our personal times," fresh-
man Dawson Hughes said. "The meet is
a great end to the season and gives us a
chance to look forward to next season."
The open-aged format contrasted with
collegiate dual meets the Wolverines
have competed in this season.
"These are the types of meets I was
swimming before I came to college, so
it was a little weird to be back in the
same atmosphere after competing in
(college) dual meets," Hughes said.
The role of a freshman on the defend-
ing national champion squad is a diffi-
cult one. The swimmers put in the same
hours at the pool, but with the exception
of a few freshmen, do not get equal time
on the award podium.
But their role is no less important to
the team.

"Some freshmen can immediately
contribute to the team score,"
Urbanchek said. "With the other fresh-
men, we need to nurture them to'con-
tribute along the road."
The swimming and diving team is
allotted only 9.9 scholarships each year,
so walk-ons fill a majority of the rost .
"(Walk-ons) are equally as impW
tant (as scholarship swimmers),"
Urbanchek said. "With such a limited
number of scholarships, the role of a
walk-on is really important."
The freshmen learned that Michigan
swimming is a team sport.
"At the beginning of the season, the
upperclassmen treated us hard to stress
the importance of the team," freshman
David Stephens said. "It was re
tough, but it's been worth it to be pa
the team, being able to swim with guys
who are going to the Olympics and are
the best in the world."
Although you may not have readtheir
names in the paper, the freshmen swim-
mers are really no different from the
veteran Wolverines.
"The young swimmers (at this
weekend's meet) may not have known
us as much as the big names in Mic
gan swimming like Tom Dolan
John Piersma, but when they see a
Michigan cap, they still think it's.cool
to swim against us," Hughes said.
Itjust goes to show that the maize and
blue are the same for the "big men" and
the not-so-big-men of the Michigan
swimming team.

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