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February 10, 2000 - Image 12

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2000-02-10

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The Michigan Daily - Thursday, February 10, 2000



By Benjamin Singer - Daily Sports Writer

en thinking about the ath-
letes that spend their days at
Canham Natatorium, the
first thoughts are usually of the dis-
tance swimmers.
But don't forget, it's the men's swim-
ming and diving team.
Senior tri-captain Josh Trexler is mak-
ing it hard to forget that fact.
The tough training that inspired this
year's team slogan, 'Bring the Pain' -
which is printed on the back of the
Wolverines' warm-up shirts - applies to
more than just the swimmers. Over at the
diving well, Michigan diving coach Dick
Kimball works his divers and works
them hard.
"Before I came here I had this doubt
in my head," Trexler said. "Do I really
want to go dive for Kimball?"
Diving for Kimball requires incredible
energy. It can be intimidating.
"He really cracks the whip," Trexler
said. "He works your butt off."
Trexler hates to fail. By not diving for
Kimball, Trexler would not fail, but he
would have robbed himself of great
opportunities to succeed.
His relationship with Kimball helped
Trexler develop into one of the top divers
in the Big Ten.
"He'll challenge me in practices,
putting in a notion of doubt" Trexler
said. "He'll say, 'Let's see if you can do
it again."'
And then Trexler has to prove that he
can make the same dive again. And

again. And again.
"He'll push me to the edge, but he
won't push me over the edge," Trexler
said. "He'll push me to where I want to
get better."
In a sport which highlights the indi-
vidual, Trexler's contributions have ben-
efited the team, both in and out of the
pool. In Michigan's most exciting dual
meet of the year, Trexler scored key
points against then-No. 2 Stanford. His
NCAA Zone Diving qualifying marks in
both the one- and three-meter dives gave
the Wolverines momentum.
Trexler's performance against the
Cardinal earned him one of his four Big
Ten Diver of the Week awards this sea-
son. The other three honors came after
Trexler placed first in two events in a sin-
gle weekend. Trexler has accomplished
the feat five times to lead the Wolverines,
along with swimmer All-Americans
Chris Thompson and Scott Werner.
In all, Trexler has turned in 12 first
place finishes this season, including his
double victory at the Eastern Michigan
Invitational. Trexler has been the top
scorer in every competition this year
amongst Michigan divers.
The Diver of the Week awards are
nice, but Trexler isn't fooled by their
"It makes me feel good because there
are other good divers, so if someone is
choosing my performance over someone
else, that shows that my hard work is
paying off," Trexler said. "At the same

time, that doesn't mean that I'm any bet- "If everybody else can experience those
ter than they are, or that my performance kinds of friendships - that's part of my
is any more important than theirs." responsibility. That's part of my goals."
His focus, like the rest of the team's, The friends that Trexler has made
remains on Feb. 24-26 here in Ann include the other senior tri-captains -
Arbor. . Mike McWha and Scott Meyer.
"The biggest thing for me this year is Together, McWha, Meyer and Trexler
for the team to win the Big Ten make a perfect trio of leaders. Each one
Championship," Trexler said. "I would has his own special role as a captain to
trade all four Diver of the Week things keep the team'
for that" together and
It's no surprise that Trexler's desires focused.
are team-oriented. Thanks to him, the Meyer is her-r
Wolverines are more of a team than aided as the vocal "
before his arrival. He hasontributed to one, McWha is a
closing a natural separatiobetween the quiet leader by _
divers and swimmers. example, while
. During practices and meets, the divers Trexler is the organizer.
perform in the diving well and the swim- "Josh is the guy that
mers are in the pool. Also, over winter structures things," McWha
break they have different training facili- said.
tis -v,,And it makes sense that
"In the past, before he got here the Trexler is in charge of structures
divers felt alienated from the swimmers,..; since he is also in the school of,
Kimball said. engiieieemg.Trexler takes on a lot
Despite these separations, Trexler was of responsibility between, school
the first diver to be elected captain since and his tri-captain status, and he
1985. Trexler's role on the team as a tri- ,doesn't shy away from it. On behalf
captainhas helped to bring the divers' of all the captains, Trexler sent out
and swimirs'og.he $letters and e-mails to the team mem-
"(think this, year,, moistdhoi ' any bers throughout last summer.
previous year, the divers'are reallya part - lt was mainly just writing letters
of the swim team and there has been to keep everybody. informed of
tremendous bonding and friendship ,what was going on here in Ann
away from the pool,' Michigan swim- Arbor, trying to get some enthusi
mingc_,oach Jon Urbanchek said. -"The, asm and get them excited to come
divers aren ito llyinthegown. back in the fall and excited for the ;
"It used to be, one goes on'Toneside scason ahead," Trexler said.
an the other goes on the other side.. "That wasthe-main thing for the
No'hey',emeshed together real well. freshmen - to let them know
and they hang but together': that we were thinking about
Trexler disagrees that there -was ever themnand we wanted to get them
much of a separation between divers and excited, and thatthe ' ptains are
swimmers. On the contrary, in his four excited about working with the:
years at Michigan;Trexler hasn't felt as younger guys.
though the divets have been tucked away The freshmen this year
in a corner. sparked a little bit of nostalgia in y
"When I was a freshman I roomed Trexler and the rest of the
with a swimmer (Jay Zawacki)," Trexler seniors. They were a reminieiof
said. "There were four other swimmers how they entered a new world at r
in my hall. When we came in, we didn't Michiga just three years ago,
have five swimmers and one diver. It was and how they were on the,
six guys." verge of finishing theirx
i, that hallway of swimmers, Trexler careers as Wolverines.
made great friends,- who he still lives "Seeing them for the
with. Whether divers and swimnrs ever -first time and inter-v
used to be separate entities, or not, , acting, with them, it ,
Trexler is making sure they don't isolate kind of takes you back
themselves in the future. and makes you think
"I guess because of my experiences about everything
with my classmates, I want to extend that we've been throughZ
out to evervone else that's on the team together," Trexler said.
and let them be a part of it," Trexler said. "It got us excited about this year

ahead of us." "Last year was the first time that my
Trexler had reason to training stayed consistent and it showed
be excited about the year up in the meets and I continued to dive
ahead of him. He had well," Trexler said. "My freshman and
come a long way from sophomore years kind of tailed off, and I
his freshman year. don't know ifthat is a question of stami-
Now he was an expe- na or bumr-out or what,"
rienced senior, about Each positive outing forTrexler had a
to put together what snowball effect on hi confidence ,He
he had learned in the said his'attitude helped him stay consis-
last three years. tent.
"By". <being :-ere If yo're trainingwelo doing well,
' and w -trking h ard, its ,gitng' O .!keep .yatu pbeat and ift
h'san exanple of igoing tk koepao tingo'td.miidsef,"
what you ando'w.asTre'ler said. "Before,=lufd tart
m>improve,", Kimball .nsg ,bad practices ereadtee n
Ssaid"'e was not couldget real d fio7r ryselJ
blue chip athlete (his" .,'That psitive attitude-hatca'ied over
freshman year)" : into the year. 2O. A comibination of
It was not until his' attitude' and dedication to, practice has
junior year that turned Trexler into a standout diver who
Trexler became a will challenge diving powerhouses such
serious force during as Ohio State, Indiana and Minnesota in
diving competi- the Big Ten Championship.
tions. Alongside After that, the NCAA Zone Diving
then-senior Brett meet and the NCAA Championship
Wilmot, Michigan await Trexler. But then what happens to
diving had a pow- the diver?
erful duo. "After this year diving is over,"
"With him and I Trexler said. "1 try not to think about it
diving, it was like a because I've been diving for so long.
1-2 punch pretty I'm not really sure how I'm going to
much, because we act when I'm done diving. Usually if I
knew going into don't dive for a week I'm itching to get
every meet that we back in the pool, and now it' ~s,,
were going to have be done." . °,I
two divers that were Trexler will find other avei4es to
f.3 going to do well," exercise his competitive spirit and will
Trexler said. "So last continue to practice at least throighi the
year it was nice, because next fall term until his graduation in
if one of us didn't have a December.
good day, the other one An underlying theme to being a diver
could pick up the slack." is repetition and routine. Divers use
At the Big Ten 'muscle memory' to make their dives
Championships, Trexler second nature. The body has been
continued the success that trained to where it's not a question 'of
he experienced during the physical ability, but mental'preparation
dual meets. He was runner- because of the repetition.'
up in the one-meter spring- Get up in the morning and go dive
g } board and seventh on the and dive, and dive some more. Go to
three-meter dive. classes. Come back in the afternoon
"He really came up big last and dive and dive and dive some more.
year in the Big Tens," Kimball That routine will be seriously'disrupt-
said. "It opened up some doors ed next year when 6 a.m. rolls around
for him." and Trexler won't have to get out of
It opened up the door to the bed.
NCAA Championship where he But for right now, he still wants to
finished 21st on the tower. In addi- 'Bring the Pain' - which for him is
tion ,Trexler's 14th-place finish in the actually a pleasure.
three-meter springboard earned him "'Bring the Pain' is about the teaqy
honorable mention all-America. saying, 'we can handle it and we're ready
All the training and practice suddenly to go,"' Trexler said..
translated into success. But Trexler is not ready to go.Not yet.


K- .

senior Josh Trexler is the winner of four Big Ten Diver of the Week awards.



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