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October 29, 1997 - Image 10

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-10-29

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10A- The Michigan Daily - Thursday, October 30, 1997

Big Ten title on minds of 'M' runners*

By Nita Srivastava
Daily Sports Writer
First in the nation, or first in the
Big Ten? Take your pick.
The Michigan women's cross
country team would never want to
make that kind of decision. No mat-
ter how much others may value
national over conference supremacy,
Michigan coach Mike McGuire said
that there's one, and only one, focus
for the Wolverines - the Big Ten
championships this Saturday in
"The mindset at this point is usual-
ly predicated on national perfor-
mance," McGuire said. "But if you
are taking care of business in your
own conference, then everything else
falls into place.
"That is why the Big Ten is the
highest priority on our schedule."
Michigan's toughest challenge will
come from No. 3 Wisconsin, the
defending Big Ten champion.

The 17th-ranked Wolverines are
the only other conference team
ranked in the top 25, although it is
the lowest the Wolverines have been
this season.
According to McGuire,
Minnesota, Penn State and Michigan
all have a chance to dethrone the
Badgers, but they will be hard to
Wisconsin returns all but one run-
ner from last year's championship
"It's just a matter of keeping
everyone rested, sharp and focused
because we have a big task at hand,"
McGuire said.
Michigan's strength has been the
consistent performances of its top
three runners - Katie McGregor,
Julie Froud and Elizabeth Kampfe.
The trio has raced together in
every meet, but the fourth-through-
ninth runners have been lagging

"We have a good base with the top
three," McGregor said. "But you
need more than three people to make
a team.
"The more we break up is when we
run our worst races."
The Wolverines will need big con-
tributions from the rest of the team if
they want to compete with
Wisconsin. Rounding out the
Michigan lineup are Lisa Ouellet,
Eileen Fleck, Katie Clifford, Sarah
Hamilton, Michelle Slater and
Allison Noe.
McGuire decided on Noe over
Tiffin Goodman based on her perfor-
mance at the Eastern Michigan
Classic last weekend.
"We'll get a great competitive
effort out of Allison," McGuire said.
"These are the nine best people we
are putting on the line this week."
Even if the Wolverines cannot stay
as close together as McGuire wants,
he is confident that McGregor,

Kampfe and Froud will place in-the
top seven.
''m confident about what we cam
do in front," he said. "But our kty is
what we do bet ween our tourth :Hd
ninth runners - they just need tobe
closer to the third,
McGuire said the course
Columbus is flat and fast, whi cW
should be an advantage to the
Wolverines, who arc accustomed to
running on the slow and -hilly
Michigan golf course.
Over the past 10 scasons,
Michigan has placed in the top three
at BigTens each year.
The Wolverines won the confer-
ence title from 1992-94.
The Wolverines have consistent
been at the top of the Big Ten., aI
the key to maintaining their con is-
tency is for the Wolverines to
increase their focus and intensity.
"We are in the championship pArt
of the season now," McG uire said.

At this weekend's Big Ten championships, the Michigan women's cross country
team will rely on Julie Froud as one of the team's top runners.

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Men's tankers
open season
against Eagles
By Jordan Field
Daily Sports Writer
Trick or treat. Smell my feet. Michigan and Eastern in
a dual meet.
As the rest of the campus is eating candy and cele-
brating Halloween tomorrow, the Michigan mens swim-
ming and diving team will open its season at Eastern
Michigan University at 7 p.m.
But it shouldn't be too scary for the Wolverines
because they are 20-0 in head-to-head competition dat-
ing back to 1971.
"I guess you could say this is a low-key match for us,
but by no means do we see Eastern as a push over"said
Michigan assistant coach Eric Namesnik, who will coach
the Wolverines against Eastern in the absence of head
coach Jon Urbanchek. "They have some very strong
swimmers and I do not see us winning every event, but I
certainly do not see us losing this match either."
Urbanchek and swimmer Tom Malchow will both
miss the meet because they are members of the USA
World championship team competing in Australia in
January. This weekend, the two are committed to a meet
against Southeastern Conference teams at Auburn.
Which leaves first-year assistant coach Namesnik in
charge of a team missing its top swimmer.
"I feel very comfortable leaving Eric in control,"
Urbanchek said. "He is an excellent coach, and he
knows what he is doing out there. He has an 0-0 record,
so hopefully he can get his first win under his belt."
Namesnik, who swam at Michigan for four years
(1989-91, '93) and has won two Olympic medals, also
down-played his position for the weekend.
"It really is no big deal," he said. "I'll be doing just
about the same things I would have done as an assistant
coach. The swimmers have all trained hard, and once we
get there, it is their job to win it."
"Unless there is some major problem with the scoring
or something, my role is basically the same, and I really
don't see that happening in our first meet of the year."
Namesnik has another special interest in the meet.
Besides coaching at Michigan, Namesnik is currently
earning his masters in educational leadership at Eastern

The Michigan men's swimming team will open its season this Saturday at Eastern Michigan University. The
Wolverines are 20-0 in head-to-head competition with the Eagles since 1971.

"It is a little ironic that I'm coaching here and a stu-
dent there" he said. "But I did my undergraduate here
and swam here for Michigan, so I"1 always be a
Despite the team's confidence in Namesnik, there is
more concern about filling in for absent All-American
and NCAA champion Malehow.
On top of his absence, the team will also be without
the services of fellow All-American and NCAA cham-
pion, John Reich, who is out with a broken ankle. Reich
was injured in a pick-up football game this past week-
Coach Urbanchek has since banned pick-up football
games from the team.
"The guys got motivated after Michigan beat State
last Saturday and went out to a field to play themselves,"
Urbanchek said. "It was a fluke injury, but I told them if
they want to play football again, to go speak with
(Michigan football) Coach (Lloyd) Carr."
With no more football, the Wolverines will hopefully
regain concentration on their season. But without two
top performers at the meet, the rest of the swimmers will
have to step up their roles.

"We have a good young team, and we are going to
need to prove that against Eastern," Namesnik sad. "It
is never easy going into a dual meet without two offour
top swimmers, but we have people who will step iniand
hopefully fill their shoes as best they can."
Both Urbanchek and Namesnik agreed that to
absence will also give some of the younger members'of
the team an opportunity to step in and play a role in'tih'eir
first meet for Michigan.
"We have some very talented freshmen who wilfire
be able to make an immediate inipact on our ta,"
Namesnik said. "Guys like Scott Werner and Cris
Thompson are true freshman who really have great
potential, and we will see what they can do for us against
Team co-captains Owen van Richter and Ci
Laskowski will also need to play a larger role for"
"This is the first chance we have to see how our lird
work over the past few months will pay off," van Riclher
said. "The freshmen will see their first meet, and mysi4f,
Chris and the older guys will need to take control acd
make sure that going with Tom and John doesn't hurt r."
Daily Sports, Nine
out of ten doctors
recommend it.

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