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March 23, 1998 - Image 14

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The Michigan Daily, 1998-03-23

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6B - The Michigan Daily - SPORTSMonday - March 23, 1998
Experts discuss fast times

SWIMMING

By Uma Subramanian
'Daily Sports Writer
MINNEAPOLIS - The swimming world will
remember this past weekend for a long time. Many
races were the fastest of all time. The question is:
Why? There were a variety of ---..----.....--.---.
opinions on the subject as
experts weighed in ...
Michigan sophomore and Notebook
former Canadian Olympian -----------------
Shannon Shakespeare: "I think the great thing about
the NCAAs is the depth of the competitors. At an
event like the Olympic games, there are only two of
the top competitors from any one country. An envi-
ronment like this raises the caliber of the competi-
tion. Everyone is motivated to swim really fast."
Olympic gold medalist (1984) and NBC
women's swimming commentator Mary Wayte
Bradburne: "The reason this meet is so fast is
because the pool of talent is amazing. It's a pool of
athletes who are former or future Olympians."
THE END OF AN ERA: On Saturday, Michigan
seniors Talor Bendel, Ellen Fraumann, and Kim

Johnson swam in their last meet in Michigan suits.
"It's really sad," Bendel said. "I didn't think I'd
feel it so much, but this is a really great way to fin-
ish out my career. It was an amazing meet - the
fastest ever. I can't ask for much more than that. I
feel like I was the best that I've been in two years,
so it was exciting to end it that way."
Two IS TWICE AS NICE AS ONE: On Friday night,
Bendel and Shakespeare tied for second place in the
finals of the 200-yard freestyle with a time of
1:46.58. Junior Jennie Eberwein finished fifth.
"If you're going to have to tie with someone, it's
great that it's a teammate and a friend," Bendel said.
"It was also exciting that it was someone as distin-
guished as Shannon."
AND THAT'S THE Ivy LEAGUE: Columbia sopho-
more Cristina Teuscher became the first woman
from the Ivy League ever to win an NCAA title.
Actually, she won two - the 400 IM and the 500
free. But Teuscher, an Olympic gold medalist,
passed up the opportunity to add to her trophy case
on Saturday. Instead, she chose to return to New
York on Friday to study for an exam.

AP PHOTO
The hottest topic of discussion at the NCAA women's swimming championship was the fast times.
Experts from all areas of the swimming world conicuded that competition made the difference.
The grace of chamPnsheip
swimmiRng bings respeCt

SWIMMING
Continued from Page IS
apart from most swimmers, her perfor
mance during the final day of the mee
was even more remarkable. She cap
tured the 200 backstroke and 200 fl
within 40 minutes of each other - set
ting pool records in both events to boot
"I was pleasantly surprised with th
outcome," Hyman said. "I was excite
for my first NCAAs but I didn't ex4
anything like this."
While the Wolverines didn't captun
any titles, they did receive two second
place finishes.
Oddly enough, the two Michiga
swimmers who were runners-up -
senior Talor Bendel and sophomor
Shannon Shakespeare - finished sec
ond in the same event. They finishe
behind Southern Methodist's Martin
Moracova in the 200 freestyle with
time of 1:46.58. 6
"It's - great for Michigan,
Shakespeare said. "It's great to have the
kind of competitiveness on a team. It's
strange thing that happened, but yo'
know that you are competing with th
best."
The best were certainly on display
the meet this weekend, as six NCAi
and 12 pool records were set over th
three days of competition.
"It's fast isn't it?" Richardson sail
the meet. "This meet has really taken
huge step forward. Just to say that yo
are one of the 235 swimmers here is
major, major accomplishment."
Along with getting to the mee
Michigan provided a rare feat, as junic
Jennie Eberwein finished fifth in th
200 free.
Grouped with Bendel an
Shakespeare, the Wolverines grabbe
three of the top five places in the ev
Michigan was the only team to entc
three swimmers in the championshi
heat of any event.
"Its great to have three people fror
the same team in a final period,
Shakespeare said. "I don't know
we've ever done it before, but it's a gre
accomplishment."
Eberwein led the way for th
Wolverines, tying for fourth-place in th
50 free and in fifth in the 100 andi
free. Michigan exerted its strength i
freestyle races throughout the weeken
The Wolverines came in second in th
200 free relay and fifth in the 400 an
800 free relays.
Along with a seventh-place finish b
Shakespeare in the 100 and a 16th-plac
finish by senior Linda Riker in the 50(
Michigan piled on points in thl
freestyle.
"We had six people competing i4
100 and 200 free, so we definitely has
the most depth in those two events
Eberwein said.

By Uma Subramanian
Daily Sports Writer
MINNEAPOLIS - Last weekend's NCAA
women's swimming and diving championships was
arguably the fastest women's meet ever. It was a
weekend when records came and went like the ris-
ing and setting sun.
But that was expected from a meet featuring for-
mer Olympians. With at least seven of the fastest
races in history, how could it---------
not have been? While the racesS
were great, they weren't the Swimming
most memorable aspect. Commentary
What will always stand out--..----------
was the sensation of standing by the pool watching
some of the world's greatest athletes swim their
hearts out. It was a thrilling experience.
Something so pure inevitably leads to goose-
bumps. There was purity in the spirit and cama-
raderie that each individual athlete showed.
Regardless of whether Michigan stood on the podi-
um or not, it still was gratifying to watch success.
Athletics are often overshadowed by big con-
tracts or even bigger egos. At those times the purity
of the sports are lost. But that's not what matters.
Sports are trulyone of the most unifying things
known to man. But how can sports be unifying
when there are people out there willing to fight over
opposing teams?
Michigan women's swimming coach Jim
Richardson answered that question. It all lies in the
definition of sports.
"Football, baseball, hockey, those are games,"
Richardson said. "Swimming is a sport."
In sports, there is a sense of respect. This became

blatantly obvious at last weekend's meet. Regardless
of where a swimmer placed, she still acknowledged
the talent of her competition.
"It just feels great to be part of something like
this," Michigan junior Jennie Eberwein said after
swimming some of her best times ever. "I'm really
happy to see what I can do and to have the support
of my teammates"
When Eberwein mentioned support, she touched
on a recurring theme that surfaced in almost all of
the post-event interviews. That support came in
many forms - from a swimmer's teammates, to her
family, even from the competing swimmers who
were excited when she set new records.
For example, Cristina Teuscher was the lone rep-
resentative from her school. Though she was alone
when she swam the second-fastest time ever in the
500 freestyle, there were cheers from everyone.
"It was so sweet," Teuscher said. "Some swim-
mers from Nebraska saw me sitting by myself and
told me to conic sit with them."
It's hard to imagine that happening in "a game"
That's the purity in something like swimming.
People working together, supporting each other, and
pushing one another toward a common goal - to
swim fast. Michigan senior Talor Bendel was emo-
tional after swimming in her final meet.
"1 will really miss the team," Bendel said. "I think
the most important thing they should realize is that
they have each other. While only 10 of us came to
this meet, there are so many more people back at
home cheering for us and really pulling for us:'
Those are the elements of sports that came
sharply into focus at the 1998 NCAA
Championships.

ANDY KING/Special to the Daily
Amid the splash of the pool, Linda Riker and the Michigan women's swimming team finished seventh
at the NCAA Championship after winning the Big Ten Championship. Michigan's seventh-place finish was
expected as it was seeded seventh entering the meet.

K.'X
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Making a Splash
The women's swimming team placed seventh at the NCAA Championships
this weekend in Minneapolis. Here are Michigan's top results from the sea-_
son's climax.

200-yard freestyle
2. Shannon Shakespeare, 1:46.58
2. Talor Bendel, 1:46.58
5. Jen Eberwein, 1:46.67
200 freestyle relay
2. Michigan (Eberwein, Bendel,
Crisman, Shakespeare), 1:29.89
100 free
5. Eberwein, :49,25
7. Shakespeare, :49.67

50 free
4. Eberwein, :22.43
800 free relay
5. Michigan (Eberwein,
Shakespeare, Sugar, Bendel),
7:13.01
400 free relay
5. Michigan (Eberwein,
Shakespeare, Crisman, Bendel),
3:18.68

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