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January 15, 1997 - Image 11

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-01-15

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The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, January 15, 1997 - 11

Richardson's swimmers
use bus time for grades

By Afshin Mohamadi
Deily Sports Writer
Silence.
That is all anyone hears for the
first two hours of the Michigan
women's swimming team's long bus
trips.
The Wolverines, however, are not
deep in their thoughts, contemplat-
ing their upcoming meet. Instead,
they are hard at work to succeed in
their classes.
As mandated by coach Jim
Richardson, the Wolverines must
study for the first two hours of bus
trips, and the team complies.
In fact, the swimmers study so
hard that their mean first semester
grade-point average was around 3.3,
the highest of any semester during
Richardson's 12-year tenure at
Michigan.
"One of our team goals this year
was to have a (team) GPA of 3.2 or
higher, which we achieved," senior
captain Anne Kampfe said.
That the Wolverines did so well
academically should be no surprise
to those who know how highly
Richardson values success in acade-
mics.
"Jim is very much the type of
coach who definitely stresses acade-
mics over athletics," Kampfe said.
"He stresses that (academics will be)
all we have in our post-Michigan
careers."
Richardson, in fact, demands that
future Michigan swimmers under-
stand the importance of getting a
decent education.
"When I recruit, I make sure to
(emphasize) that (athletes) are here
to learn first," Richardson said. "I'm

"tWhen I recruit, I make sure to
(emphasize) that (athletes) are here
to learn first. I'm clear about what's
important"
- Jim Richardson
Michigan women's swimming coach

AP PHOTO
Michigan sophomore Tom Maichow competed for the United States over the summer in Atlanta, but now he's back to com-
pote for the Wolverines. Malchow took first in the 200-yard butterfly against Stanford last Friday and finished behind team-
mate John Plersma in the 200 freestyle.
Wolverines r fequent-
}Ier mes between meets

clear about what's important."
To enforce concentration on
schoolwork, Richardson institutes
policies that ensure his swimmers
are caught up in their studies and not
exhausted at the same time.
Included in these is a policy which
states that if any swimmer is study-
ing past 2 o'clock in the morning,
she must skip the team's workout at 6
a.m.
While Richardson's rules help the
Wolverines maintain a high GPA, he
gives most of the credit to the will of
the athletes to work.
"When we're on the road, you can
see how they operate," Richardson
said.
"They always have their books
with them. They don't want to be
average (and are) willing to do more
work than what's required. You never
have to question their work ethic."
Not only does studying hard push
the Wolverines to succeed in their
classes, but Kampfe said it relaxes
them a bit going into meets.
"The two hours (you are studying),
you aren't thinking about the meet,
which kind of helps take your mind
off of your race," she said.
Because the Wolverines emphasize

schoolwork, they faced a dilemma
during their training trip to
Coronado, Calif. over the past two
weeks.
The winter term began in Ann
Arbor toward the end of the trip, so
the swimmers had to missehe begin-
ning of their classes.
Richardson decided to send 12
swimmers back to Michigan to
attend classes.
The Wolverines ended up losing
their last two meets.
Michigan's best swimimers stayed
in California to keep its commitment
to compete against Stanford and
California, and Richardson made
some of his other athletes take care
of business in the classroom.
Perhaps, as Richardson said, a rea-
son the Wolverines are able to main-
tain high academic standards is
because their sport is not one in
which they have a professional
future, nor the lure of agents and
millions of dollars.
Nevertheless, they have exceeded
the academic performance of the
majority of the student body at
Michigan - not to mention the other
athletic teams - and have done so
through nothing but hard work.

By TJ. Berka
Deily Sports Writer
During the past month, the Michigan
men's swimming and diving team has
ben flying at a rate that would make any
1vel agent quiver with fright.
Since Dec. 21, the Wolverines have
flown 29 hours and have had to change
time zones 16 times. The Wolverines
started their incredible journey four days
before Christmas,
flying from Detroit
to Perth, Australia.
" 'After 17 days of
training in Australia,
the Wolverines flew
to San Francisco
last weekend for
meets against
California and
Stan ford.
Predictably, fatigue set in for the
Wolverines in the Bay Area, and they
dropped both meets.
"We had a terrific training camp, but
the jet lag got to us,' Michigan coach Jon
Urbanchek said.
*Although the Wolverines finally
returned to Ann Arbor on Sunday, their
luggage isn't being put away any time

soon. Instead, the Wolverines head to
Dallas this weekend for the Dallas
Morning News Classic.
SEEING RED: With their 139-104 vic-
tory over Michigan on Friday, Stanford
holds a 6-4 lead in the all-time series
against Michigan and gave itself a five-
meet winning streak against the
Wolverines.
The win also helps keeps the Cardinal
in an exclusive group. The top-ranked
Cardinal is the only squad to post a win-
ning all-time record over the Wolverines
in Michigan's 76-year history.
TO BE THE BEST, ONE MUST PLAY THE
BEST: While their two losses this week-
end add up to one more than they had all
of last season, the Wolverines can't be
accused of setting up an easy schedule.
Of their four meets so far, three have
been against the top five nationally-
ranked teams. The Wolverines lost to
Stanford and fifth-ranked California last
weekend, but they also boast a victory
over then-No. 1 Texas in November.
Michigan is not set on taking the rest
of the regular season off, however.
This weekend in Dallas, the
Wolverines will once again have to prove
themselves against top competition, this

time facing the top six teams from last
season's NCAA championships.
Along with the Longhorns and the
Cardinal, Michigan will have to fight off
Auburn, Tennessee and host Southern
Methodist to capture the Classic.
ANOTHER OLYMPIC MOMENT: The
Wolverines' prowess in Atlanta this past
summer is set to be rewarded once again,
this time at halftime of Sunday's
Michigan-Iowa basketball game at
Crisler Arena.
During the nationally-televised game,
Visa Gold will contribute S1,000 to the
University in honor of Eric Namesnik, a
two-time Olympic silver medalist and
current graduate assistant coach.
UNTOUCHABLE: If every other
Michigan coach's record were judged
against Jon Urbanchek's record in his 14
years at Michigan, job security would
become a contradiction in terms. Even
with the two losses this weekend,
Urbanchek has compiled a 117-15
record at Michigan.
While this winning percentage of .886
is impressive, it is overshadowed by his
Big Ten record of 67-2. Coupled with
this record is a 33-meet winning streak
dating back to 1989.

I I

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