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February 09, 1998 - Image 16

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The Michigan Daily, 1998-02-09

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8B - The Michigan Daily - SPORTSMonday - Monday, February 9, 1998


Swimmers down Buckeyes, Spartans

By Rick Freeman
Daily Sports Writer
"Derya Buyukuncu ... " The Canham Natatorium
announcer boomed.
And so Buyukuncu trotted between two rows of
teammates, slapping palms and getting "chill bumps" as
le listened to the litany of his accomplishments and
those of his teammates. In their last meet at Canham,
Michigan swimming and diving seniors were honored
before the meet, and then they dunked Michigan State,
But there was no time to celebrate after the meet.
Bodies needed to be rested for Saturday's matchup with
Ohio State, a much more formidable opponent.
The Wolverines never trailed the Buckeyes, but could
never get more than a handful of points away from
them. Egged on by cheerleaders and their mascot,
Brutus, the Buckeyes had the Wolverines on edge until
freshman Scott Werner turned around what had been a
disappointing day, clinching a 127-116 victory.
His first swim of the day felt terrible, he said. He was
off his usual pace; he felt tired, flat. As he climbed the
blocks for the second-to-last race, the 200-yard breast-
-_ Schedule AttimesE

stroke, he knew he needed a victory.
The strength of the Buckeyes' relay teams had come
as an unpleasant opening to the meet. But the only race
left was the 400 freestyle.
"I was really worried," Werner said.
As he took his place on the blocks, lie just thought
about fundamentals, stroke technique. lie knew all he
needed was a victory.
"I went out to race," he said of his time of 2:01.95.
Not everyone raced just for the win. Tom Malchow
shattered the 1971 record set by Indiana swimmer Mark
Spitz, who swam in the Olympics 20 years ago.
On the bus going to Columbus, Chris Thompson
thought he should be back in the 1,000 - his team
would probably need the points. Urbanchek thought the
Thompson sought out his coach on the way back to
the bus, but before he could speak ...
"Chris, you're back in the thousand" Urbanchek said.
Thompson's victory - and pool record - reassured
the Wolverines, coming on the heels of their meet-open-
ing loss to Ohio State's 400 medley relay team.
The turning point, according to Urbanchek, came

when he put Buyukuncu, a backstroker, into the fast-
and-furious 50 free to "wake up" the Buckeyes. The
two-time Olympian answered with a surprising first-
place finish in 20.87.
Surprising, that is, to everyone but him.
"I mean, you never try to get second or third, do
you?" Buyukuncu said.
The close meet made Michigan a little uneasy, but,
"that': how a dual meet should be"' Urbanchek said.,
The Wolverines used the emotion of the pre-meet*
introductions against Michigan State.
But Friday night was for the seniors, and Buyukucu
made the most of his night in the spotlight.
His girlfriend, freestyler Jocelyn Fusaro of Eastern
Michigan, had his video camera to tape the introduc-
tions and Buyukuncu's races.
One to show the kids, Derya?
"Sure! I think that's a pretty historical piece there," he
The best part of his four years as a Wolverine though?
"You learn about life," he said, still dripping on the
Canham Natatorium tile, "You grow up." 6

Tom Malchow isn't at the Olympics, because swimming Isn't a winter sport. But
he still broke former Olympian Mark Spitz's Ohio Statel pool record Saturday.

JL1.rs ea. tan

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MICGHIGAN Tens, Minn. Meet, Miami
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wo~uye, zaemors
The Michigan men's swimming and diving team said goodbye to the last members of its 1995 National
Championship team. Friday's meet with Michigan State was their final competitive swim.
a Derya Buyukuncu -Two time Olympian. Turkey; Michigan records in 200 medley relay, 200, 400 free relay.
a Chris Laskowski - Co-captain; two-time academic All-Big Ten; placed 5th in 200 fly at Big Tens
a Ryan Papa - Two-time Olympian, The Philippines; 5th place 200 back at Big Tens
a Owen von Richter - Co-captain; 1995 NCAA champion, 800 free relay.
x Steven Williams - Swam 1.650 at NCAAs; 5th place in 1,650 at Big Tens.

Mar. 26-28
at NCAAs,
Noon/7 p.m.


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