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March 28, 1996 - Image 12

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The Michigan Daily, 1996-03-28

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12A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, March 28, 1996

Swimmers shift to
NCAA nindset

By Susan Dann
Daily Sports Writer
It's sage wisdom that has been
passed down for years in the world of
team competitions:
There is no 'I' in team.
In swimming this year, the idea of
putting the team before the individual
has been questioned.
The distractions of the U.S. Olym-
pic Trials and other foreign qualify-
ing meets have proved trying on the
team concept, as individuals have fo-
cused on their own preparedness.
Eight Michigan swimmers per-
formed in the U.S. Olympic Trials. Of
those, three earned spots on the team,
five didn't.
The emotional impact of such an
event will undoubtedly affect indi-
viduals' outlooks toward swimming,
not to mention the NCAA champion-
ships.
Therefore, the Wolverines are per-
haps the best team to put the cliche to
the test.
"The Olympic trials are an 'I' meet,"
coach Jon Urbanchek said. "The
NCAA is a team concept. Whichever
team can make the transition from 'I'
to 'team' the best is going to win."
Urbanchek's swimmers are ready
for the test.
"After a meet of that prestige and
stature which rewards great individual
performances, it is hard to refocus,"
Michigan sophomore and Olympic
team member Tom Malchow said.
"It's really an exciting shift, though.
When you are representing the whole
school, the University of Michigan,
it's not hard to pump up for the cham-
pionships."
But contradicting the team's return
to. a unified focus, the Wolverines
cannot afford to lose individual suc-
cesses.
Only I11 members of the Michigan
squad will compete this weekend,
while squads like Stanford and Au-
burn have qualified 18 to 20 swim-
mers for the meet.

Michigan knows quantity does not
translate into quality.
"Last year we won with 12 guys,"
John Piersma said. "Sure, it would be
nice to have 18 or 20 guys, but I think
we can do it."
Where the Wolverines are strong,
they are dominating.
In the 500 freestyle, Michigan is
mighty. Seven of the team's 11 will
compete in the event, including Olym-
pians Malchow, Piersma and Tom
Dolan.
Likewise, in the 1,650 freestyle,
Big Ten champion Joe Palmer and
1995 NCAA champion Dolan could
both earn the Wolverines points in
that event.
But where the Wolverines are weak,
they are not even a factor. And that
could be their downfall in the end.
"Unfortunately for us, the NCAAs
are primarily a sprinting meet,"
Piersma said. "We don't have a team
competing in the 200-yard freestyle
relay and no one in both the 50 and
100 freestyle events."
The Wolverines are also forfeiting
points in the diving competitions, as
no one from Michigan qualified on
the boards. That could be painful
against other top schools.
"Stanford, Auburn and Texas are
sprinting schools," Piersma said.
"They may finish one or two in the
sprints, but we'll make up for it in
other events. We have outrageous
numbers in the distance."
The severe lack of bodies swim-
ming for the Wolverines at the na-
tional championships returns indi-
vidual responsibility to the Michigan
swimmers.
"(The lack of numbers) puts a little
more demand on each of us to pull our
weight in not only our strong events,"
Malchow said.
"It's not just who (from Michigan)
finishes first in their strongest events,
but also who can pick up fifth or sixth
in their non-primary event and earn
us points this way."

HOCKEY
Continued from Page A
The Terriers are the defending national
champions, a title that carries with1(;t0
a different stature than they've experi-
enced in past tournaments. Q
However, BU now has the chacgo
repeat as champion, somethingthatit't
been done since Jack Kelly coached the
Terriers to consecutive titles in 19l-mod
1972.
And while most teams wouldn't need
any more incentive to win, BU coach Jack
Parker is also welcoming the return of
Travis Roy, the freshman who was para-
lyzed in an on-ice collision during, t he
first game of the season.
Roy will watch from the stands; con-
fined to a wheelchair, a sight that drove
many teammatestotears at last weekptnd's
NCAA East Regionals. .;
"There's no question that last yea '
catalyst, all year long, was to avenge t
loss the year before," Parket said.- *We
don't have that anymore.
"This year we have a chance tokbe the
first team to repeat in a long time, bu the
situation with Travis has put thiswhole
thing in perspective; we'd like t9geat
Michigan and advance, but if we, con't,
we don't."
Parker's hopes rely on a high-flying
offense led by Hobey Baker finalists.
Pandolfo and Chris Drury. The pair-have
scored 67 points apiece, while Pandolfo,
the Hockey East Player of the Yearleads
the nation in goals.
But Berenson has even more to worry
about in forwards Bob Lachance, Shawn
Bates and Mike Grier, who havelcom-
bined for another 150 points. All told,the
Terriers possesses the nation's most.pro-
lific offense, averaging more than, six
goals a game. 1
If Boston University, the No.1
the East, has an Achilles' heel, it is de-
fense. The Terriers are solid, but they
graduatedtheir top three defensemenxfrom
a year ago and needed to move~hris
O'Sullivan back to the blue line-oiso-
lidify their defense for the NCAA tourna-
ment.
Boston's line chart looks a kflike
Michigan's, with at least six playe.sor-
ing more than 45 points. But whatsc -
Parker most about the Wolverins
Michigan's top-ranked defense.
"Nobody knows how good theyere on
defense only because they're so good on
offense," Parkersaid. "They reallypresent
a lot of problems for us.",;" ;

WALKER VANUYKE/Dailyf
The Michigan men's swimming team will try to defend its national title starting today at the NCAAs.

SWIMMING
Continued from Page 9A
to score."
If Michigan is to repeat, it will have
to fend off legitimate challengers in the
sprinting events.
The Longhorns have six swimmers
entered in both the 50 and 100 freestyle
events. The Volunteers return Ricky
Busquets, who placed seventh and
fourth in the 50 and 100, respectively.
This season he tore up the Southeastern
Conference, winning both events at the
conference meets with times of 19.45
and 43.01.
Auburn also has a full complement of
sprinters entered in the meet, including

Oliver Gumbrill, who in last year's na-
tionals finished fifth in the 50 and sixth
in the 100.
Stanford, who is generally consid-
ered the Wolverines' greatest rival, is
also very strong in the sprints. The
Cardinal have entered four swimmers
in the 50 free and six in the 100 free.
Included in its lineup is All-American
Scott Claypool, who finished runner-
up to Borges in the 50 last year.
Perhaps the biggest challenge for
the Wolverines in the three-day meet
- even bigger than their sprinting
deficiency - will be to overcome
their overall lack of entrants in the
meet. While Michigan sent II guys to
Austin, top-ranked Auburn and

Stanford are both taking the full
complement of competitors to the
NCAAs.
Stanford has swimmiers in every in-
dividual event except the 200 breast-
stroke. The Tigers had so many athletes
qualify for nationals that they had to
leave some of them back at school in
order to meet the NCAA limit.
"It was difficult to leave those guys at
home," Auburn coach David Marsh
said. "The greatest weakness for our
team is that we have a lot of one event
guys"
In contrast, the bulk of Michigan's
11 athletes are swimming numerous
races. Most of these swimmers are
highly ranked in their respective events.

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COTSONIKA
Continued from Page 9A
goaltender in Tom Noble. Both teams
have loaded lineups. This game will not
come down to talent.
It won't come down to hunger either.
Michigan wants to get to the final for
the first time since 1977. Boston Uni-
versity wants to win for a fallen team-
mate. The Wolverines and Terriers both
have enough motivation.
"Last year's catalyst was to avenge
the embarrassment of the year before,"
said Boston University coach Jack
Parker, whose Terriers won the 1994-
95 NCAA title a year after being blown
out, 9-I, in the championship game by
Lake Superior. "We were a very hungry
team. Now the challenge is to repeat.
We have (paralyzed freshman) Travis
Roy as a catalyst this year."
With both teams stocked with scor-
ers, and both playing for something
more than just a ring, Mike Legg is
important. The distraction caused by

A

CHAMPIONSHIP
Cincinnati

the goal could hurt Mike Legg and,
most importantly, Michigan. It could
upset the delicate mental edge that
Berenson says his team has.
"We're a little more experienced, a
little more confident than we were a
year ago," Berenson said. "We're ready,
and we still have something to prove."
The Wolverines had better be ready.
A minute loss of focus by any player-
even for something as amazing as
Legg's goal -can kill a team in games
that are decided by a bad bounce, a
lucky break or a stick trick.
If Michigan wants to win tonight,
The Goal had better not detract from the
real goal - at all. If it does, no Wolver-
ine will be seen on ESPN for a long,
long time.
- Nicholas J. Cotsonika can be
reached over e-mail at
cotsonik@umich.edu.

5 -w
-..
...

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24th A Inuil
Dane for Mother [Eth
Ann Arbor.Pow Wow
March 29, 30 & 31, 1996
UM Crisler Arena

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NOPPORN KICHANANTVA/DAIL
Junior center Brendan Morrison, shown here sliding after the puck earlier this
season against Illinois-Chicago, is Michigan's marquee player. He is one of
the Hobey Baker Award Finalists. The Wolverines will need a strong showing
from Morrison tonight if they hope to get by Boston University and into
Saturday's NCAA title game at 1 p.m.

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