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February 18, 1997 - Image 10

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-02-18

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10- The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, February 18, 1997

Blue swimmers deserve respect

By John Friedborg
Daily Sports Writer
Big Ten Conference domination,
plain and simple.
These words
sum up
Michigan coach
Jon Urbanchek's
rule as the head
man of
Michigan men's
swimming.
If dominant:
athletic pro-
grams define
the reputation of universities, then
Michigan is not a football, basketball

or even a hockey school. Swimming
is Michigan's most consistent cham-
pion.
The football team had a streak of
five straight conference champi-
onships at the end of the 80s and
start of the 90s.
The basketball team has one
national championship, two other
semifinal appearances, and a confer-
ence title in the past decade.
The hockey team has one champi-
onship, four Final Four appearances
and four conference titles in the past
decade.
None of them can match the swim
team.

i

Michigan's swimmers have won an
amazing 10 of the last 11 conference
titles, losing only last year as many
of the swimmers focused on the
Olympics. Michigan's national
championship in 1995 was one in a
string of 10 straight seasons in which
they finished in the top 10 in the
nation.
Most fans would be satisfied with
the Michigan football team's recent
domination of Ohio State, having
lost only once in the past nine years.
The swimmers have not lost to the
Buckeyes in a dual meet since 1962.
The Michigan State swimming
team has also felt the burn of its
intrastate rivals. The Spartans' last
victory over Michigan was in 1967.
Urbanchek has had even better
success during his tenure.
Michigan fans demand victory,
especially at home. The football
team has not had an undefeated
home season since 1992.
The hockey team has a 31-game
unbeaten streak at Yost, but
Urbanchek's teams have put together
a run that is unprecedented in
Michigan sports.
Since 1982, Michigan has lost one
home meet. The Wolverines' only
loss was to a Stanford team that is
always one of the best in the nation.
If Michigan students are looking for
a winner, they should head to
Canham Natatorium.
Urbanchek has only lost two con-
ference meets in 15 years.
Urbanchek has a 71-2 conference
record.
LONGE
Continued from Page 9
comoetitor.
"I do not feel hardly any pressure
because I have the support of my team-
mates and my coach" Longe said. "I do
not deny that it is going to be stressful to
go out and perform, but I will perform to
the best of my capability."
Longe said the Wolverines' success is
important to her.
"Although I am have not completely
recovered, I still want to turn out a good
performance for the team," Longe said.
An important factor in Longe's ability
to handle pressure is that she is part of a
strong team.
"We have a really well-balanced
squad this season and I expect six to
eight of the teams' athletes to put forth
really good efforts, including Tania,"
Henry said.

Since Jon Urbanchek took over the reigns of the Michigan men's swimming team 15 years ago, the Wolverines have won 97
percent of their conference dual meets. Olympian Tom Malchow, above, is just one of the reasons for Michigan's success.

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Think about that for a second.
He is winning better than 97 per-
cent of the conference meets.
Even before Urbanchek took over,
Michigan had a successful swim-
ming program.
The Wolverines had not won the
conference title since he was a swim-
mer here in 1960, but they had never
finished below 17th at the NCAA
championships while capturing six
top-five finishes.
Within four years of his hiring,
STREAK
Continued from Page 9
begins.
NO NEED FOR ALARM: For four sea-
sons, Michigan was undefeated in Big
Ten dual meets.
That streak ended two weekends ago,
when the Wolverines fell to
Northwestern in Bloomington.
As Michigan prepares for the Big
Tens, Richardson said that the loss to the
Wildcats is no cause for panic.
"Some people look at the loss to
Northwestern and say 'it was the first
loss in a dual meet since the ice age,"' he
said. "But there is a lot that goes into it
that they don't see. We lost that meet
because Northwestern simply swam a
very fast race."
Against the Wildcats, many of
Michigan's top swimmers were tired
from full workouts during the week. In
fact, Richardson says Michigan is not
concerned with the results of its dual
meets.
Instead, he gauges his swimmers on
how well they preform at practice.
"As long as I'm seeing day in and day
out people swimming (well in practice),
I think we'll be where we need to be,
Richardson said.

Urbanchek's boys had recaptured
that elusive conference title that they
would not relinquish until last year.
Urbanchek also brought home the
first national championship in the
sport since his own glory days as a
Wolverine.
What can Michigan expect from
the team this season? Big things,
according to Urbanchek. The leader-
ship is there and so are the top swim-
mers. The only thing lacking is
depth.

Including Olympic gold medalist
Tom Dolan, a former Wolverine,
"this is the best class that Michigan
ever assembled here," Urbanche
said. "Depth, though, wins conf
ence championships, and Minnesota
has the depth. But Michigan has the
stars.'
Michigan has a chance this year to
win its 30th conference swimming
crown and 19th NCAA champi-
onship. And people say that
Michigan is a football school.

SLOAN
Continued from Page 9
Sloan was initially chosen as one of
five finalists from the 13 original nomi-
nees. The Hockey Humanitarians board
then selected Sloan as the winner.
Other finalists included Michael
Corbett, a senior from the University of
Denver who is married with two chil-
dren; Mike Noble, senior captain at
Brown University; April Zenisky, a
senior on the Amherst College
women's ice hockey team; and senior
Shawn Zimmerman of Western
Michigan.
Michigan coach Red Berenson says
Sloan is a deserving recipient.
"Blake is the last person in the world
to tell you he's doing these things,"
Berenson says. "He's just a good kid,
and it's nice to see he's receiving some
recognition, because he really gives a
lot back to the community."
For his part, Sloan says he won't let
the extra attention blur the original
intentions of his off-ice commitments.
"It's a very nice honor, but I'm real-
ly not in it for the recognition," Sloan
says. "It's just something that I enjoy
doing and it's something that I will
always do."

Announcing the
1996-1997

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