10A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, February 4, 1999
Blue recovering from mid-season illness
By Jon Zemke
Daily Sports Writer
After weeks of the "Blue plague"
that has ravaged the ranks of the
Michigan men's swimming and div-
ing team, the Wolverines are looking
their healthiest in quite some time.
"Pretty much everybody is back,"
Michigan coach Jon Urbanchek said.
"Everybody who is able is back in the
water ... No more flu, no more cold,,
no more wimpies."
That should be something different
for the Wolverines as they travel to
East Lansing for their second Big Ten
dual meet in as many weeks.
Last weekend, the Wolverines went
to Bloomington and were upset by
the Hoosiers. But Michigan was
without the services of five swim-
mers because of injuries and illness.
Two of the five, freshmen Jon
Arndt and Jason Mallory, are out for
the rest of the season after having
major surgery on their shoulder and
Senior all-American Tom
Malchow, Michigan's top swimmer,
was one of the three that were the
most severely affected by the
"plague," missing two meets with the
Fellow senior all-American John
Reich and freshman Tim Siciliano
were also kept out of practice and
meets because of sickness, including
last week to Indiana.
"Indiana was a different story,"
Urbanchek said. "Malchow,
Siciliano, and Reich - three of the
big point getters - were out. Now
they're back in the water. They're not
a 100 percent, but they're good
enough to get by this dual meet."
The Spartans should not prove not
to be too much of a problem for the
Wolverines. On paper, Michigan has
faster times than just about the entire
Michigan State squad.
"It should not be a very difficult
dual meet," Urbanchek said. "State is
not that strong, but they have a cou-
ple of real good swimmers."
Michigan State only sports two
swimmers that have comparable
times to Michigan's elite.
Sophomore John Munley is the
Spartans' best swimmer, competing
in the 200- and 500 yard freestyle. He
took fifth and 13th place in both
races at the 1998 Big Ten
Championships. He also took 14th in
the 1,650 free.
Munley was also the first alternate
at the 1998 World University Games.
The other swimmer that threatens
to Michigan is Spartan freshman
Mahaney was 1998 USA
Swimming all-American in High
school and US Swimming Junior
National Champion. He the Spartans'
best chance to score in the butterfly
and is another threat in the free.
"They (Munley and Mahaney) will
probably be able to challenge us,"
Urbanchek said. "Other than that
nobody else will."
Challenging is really all the
Spartans can hope to do because
Malchow is Michigan's fastest man
in the 200 and 500 free and in the 200
Malchow won a silver medal in the
1996 Olympics in the 200 fly.
When Michigan takes on Michigan
State this Friday at 7 p.m. Urbanchek
and his team can expect to win by a
landslide on paper.
With his team just recovering from
the "Blue plague," the meet is in dan-
ger of becoming an upset. But
Urbanchek is unfazed by his team's
chances of winning.
"Basically we're ready to go,"
S ha rat in the Dark
Like it or not, Notre Dame
and Big Ten could zvork
M' to host Classic
By Nita Srivastava
Daily Sports Writer
After finishing with its highest team
score of the season last weekend, the
Michigan women's gymnastics team
looks ahead to the upcoming State of
Michigan Classic this Saturday with a
great deal of confidence and excitement.
"With every meet we compete in, our
confidence grows and we get more
excited," Michigan's Sarah Cain said.
The sixth-ranked Wolverines will host
Eastern Michigan, Western Michigan,
Central Michigan and Michigan State in
the 4 p.m. competition at Cliff Keen
Arena. Michigan has winning records
against all of the schools, except
Michigan State, who leads the
But the Spartans have been on some-
what of a losing streak this season, los-
ing three of their last four meets.
Michigan State's highest score this sea-
son is 190.925 - a far cry from the con-
sistently higher scores realized by the
Wolverines throughout their past four
meets. The reason for the Spartans' low
scores this season is partly due to
injuries. "Michigan State is a really good
team, despite all of their injuries," Cain
said. "Their having a lot of injuries is
just an advantage to us this time."
Despite Michigan State's injuries and
the fact that Michigan has performed
consistently better in competition in
comparison with the other schools par-
ticipating in the meet this weekend, the
Wolverines are not using the apparent
advantages to pump themselves up for
The Wolverines are focusing more on
their own performances and making
themselves better rather than relying on
any mistakes by other teams.
"We have been working on bringing
what we do in practice into the meets,
like cleaning up skills," Cain said. "If we
just keep performing like we have been
in practice and also in the meets, we
should be fine."
Michigan has been performing con-
sistently better with every meet this sea-
son, and the ultimate goal for the
Wolverines is to have no falls. But in
previous meets, the falls that they have
had to count helped them to focus in
other areas and to perform better.
Last weekend, Michigan had a couple
of falls on the balance beam, but Cain
said this encouraged them to get even
more excited for the floor exercise,
which is perhaps the reason why the
Wolverines ended up scoring their sea-
son high of 49.325 on the event.
"Floor exercise is our favorite event
because it follows beam, and we can
usually step up our performance," Cain
said. "It is also the most fun."
The Wolverines will be at an obvious
advantage this weekend because of their
home crowd, but they will also have the
advantage of competing in Olympic
order - vault, uneven bars, balance
beam, floor exercise.
Michigan usually starts off strong on
the vault, which gives an initial boost of
confidence, and it gets to finish with its
"We have very strong vaults, so hope-
fully we will get off to a good start"
Cain said. "And then we are just going to
try to hit 24 for 24 routines."
en does 10 equal 12? When
Penn State and Notre Dame
do the math.
In 1990,;Penn State was annexed by
the Big Ten, creating that neat little
logo that says "Big Ten" but actually
has an 11 hidden within it.
And now, nine years later, Notre
Dame might up the ante. The only
question is, how are they going to fit a
12 into that logo?
Actually, there are several questions.
Notre Dame's internal debate about
whether to join the Big Ten continues
in London, of all places. The last time
Catholics had as serious a debate in
merry ol' England, King Henry VIII
was excommunicated and began his
Perhaps this meeting is not as cru-
cial to the face of society as
a whole as the previous one. IS It W
But it is very crucial to the admit
face of college football. Notre
In South Bend, students i.
and alumni alike are having
their own debates about Ten Gi
whether or not it is a good perhoi
idea to join a conference. sacrif/
And by the looks of it, the the bj
overwhelming answer is rVair1
'No, we don't want to be in lege 1
That is definitely under- T
standable. Take a look at the situation
from Notre Dame's point of view.
First of all, they are an independent
team. There is a certain aura, a certain
tinge of arrogance that an independent
exudes. Notre Dame seems to shout
out, "We'll do it our way" to the rest of
the football world.
And throughout their history, the
Irish have done it their way. Notre
Dame, without a conference, has been
one of the powerhouses in college
football. When one thinks of football
Saturdays, people think of places like
Ann Arbor, Tuscaloosa, Columbus,,
Gainesville and South Bend.
Even though they do not have a con-
ference, they have managed to devel-
oped intense rivalries - Michigan,
Boston College, Navy, Southern Cal
and so on. By virtue of being an inde-
pendent, the Irish play outstanding and
Although Lou Holtz moaned and
complained day in and day out about
the difficulty of his team's schedule, it
did make for a interesting viewing.
And whom better to sell the excite-
ment to than television?
Which is the second reason why
Notre Dame does not need the Big
Ten. It already has a lucrative deal
with a major network. Every single
Notre Dame game is televised, ad nau-
seam, on NBC. During the fall you
can't turn on NBC without seeing
Dick Enberg lavishing praise upon the
Irish for dismantle the oh-so-danger-
ous Navy football team.
With these two reasons - the tradi-
tion and the TV -joining the Big Ten
doesn't seem like such a good idea.
But for the Big Ten, on the other
As much as I hate Notre Dame and
their obnoxious following, it is in the
Big Ten's best interest to allow Notre
Dame into the conference.
Imagine Michigan, Ohio State, Penn
State and Notre Dame in one confer-0
ence. The Big Ten would return to
being the most powerful football con-
ference in the country, just like it used
to be until the last 15 years or so when
the SEC took over on center stage.
With a 12th team, the Big Ten can
consequently be divided
)rth into two six-team divisions
Sing and a one-game champi-
Dame onship showdown. This
structure might help allevi-
e B ate the problem of a 1998
d Wisconsin or a 1995
PS Northwestern edging its
ing way into the Rose Bowl
est without having to play a
in Col- conference power like
o0tbal? Ohio State.
To get to the Rose Bowl,
you would have to win
your way there, not let someone else
win for you.
There are certain big drawbacks to
such a format, however..The biggest
recognizable loss in this structure is
the Ohio State-Michigan game to con-
clude the regular season.
Is it worth admitting Notre Dame
into Big Ten and sacrificing perhaps
the biggest rivalry in college football?
That's the thrust of the situation, from
It's a tough question to answer. First
of all, the Irish will probably remain
independent, for their own good.
But on the other hand, the Big Ten
as a whole would be better of with the
increased exposure. If lowly the
Minnesota football team plays Notre
Dame on NBC and reaps extra profit,
then its entire athletic department will
reap the benefits from the game.
If the Irish do join the conference, it
will certainly change the face of col-
But I don't know if the Irish will fit
in the conference. Michigan occupies
the same niche as Notre Dame does -
strong academically, strong athletically,
boisterous alumni following, arrogant
about their superiority, et cetera.
Both are steeped in history and tra-
dition. In the end, it might just be tra-
dition that keeps the Irish from adding
one more to the conference.
- Sharat Raju can be reached via 4
email at email@example.com.
Kristin Duff and the rest of the Wolverines will play host to several Michigan col-
leges as they host the Michigan Classic this Saturday.
Continued from Page 8A
American Danny Payton of Notre
Padan, fresh off victories in both the
long jump and triple jump, will only
compete in the long jump and expects to
face his strongest competition all year.
He will be facing Notre Dame's
Marshaun West, whose best jump this
year is a full foot better than Padan's.
Padan, though, is not fazed. "Taking
first place doesn't mean I have been
jumping well," said Padan. "I'm only
now starting to perform in the long
jump. I think I can add some distance
Freshman thrower Patrick Johannson
and junior distance runner Jay Cantin
also are coming off strong performances
and have high expectations for the meet.
Okenwa is one of the many
Wolverines who hope to use the meet
this Saturday as a springboard toward
the rest of the season.
"This is one of our last chances to
make qualifying standards for the Big
Ten and NCAA Championships," said
Okenwa. "We need to focus and have
our heads on straight."
Western fires hockey
coach of 17 seasons
Which will it say on your front door?
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Wekome back to school and have o great semester.
From Staff Reports
The Western Michigan athletic
department announced yesterday that
hockey coach Bill Wilkinson will be
relieved of his responsibilities with the
team, effective immediately.
Wilkinson, in his 17th season with
the Broncos, was reassigned to an inter-
nal position within the department
while former assistant coach Jim
Culhane was named interim head
coach. Culhane is a lead candidate fos
the job, according to officials.
"The University felt it was time for a
change in leadership of the hockey pro-
gram,' Western Athletic Director Kathy
Beauregard said in a written statement.
Beauregard said the school remains
committed to fulfilling Wilkinson's
contract, which runs through June of
On Sept. 21, 1998, Wilkinson was
suspended from his position, pending
an internal investigation of the pre
gram, after two of his players were
arrested for possessing alcohol as
minors and not cooperating with police.
The incident stemmed from a team
party held at a house owned by
The investigation found Wilkinson
guilty of two minor NCAA. violations.
Although he was reinstated for the 98-
99 season, players served a team-wide
one-game suspension for the inciden
- going on to compile a current
CCHA record of 2-13-6.
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