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March 16, 2000 - Image 14

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The Michigan Daily, 2000-03-16

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I

14A The Michigan Daily - Thursday, March 16, 2000

'M' seven take on NCAA

Blue whets appetite

By Sam Duwe
Daily Sports Writer
Forget the Final Four. Think Final Two-
Hundred and Seventy.
That's the number of swimmers that will
splash about the IUPUI Natatorium this week-
end for the 2000 NCAA Women's Swimming
Championships.
Out of this mass of swim caps and Speedos,
Michigan, the 15th largest team, will contribute
only seven athletes to the field.
"We will have to be perfect," Michigan coach
Jim Richardson said. "Everyone has to swim
well and rack up points for the team."
Last season, Michigan placed seventh over-
all.
"It would be a great accomplishment to place
in the top ten again this year," Richardson said.
"We've had three weeks of good practice, and I
think everyone is rested up, so we'll go and
see."
Key performances will include the 400-meter
relay, in which members Shannon Shakespeare,
Jen Crisman, Missy Sugar and Jenay Karlson

took first at the Big Ten Tournament last
month.
The one to watch is Shakespeare, who shat-
tered records left and right at Big Tens. This
will be the last collegiate tournament for the
four-time competitor, who is expected to drown
the opposition before. moving on to Canadian
Olympic Trials in June.
Also competing for Michigan are Lindsay
Carlberg, Emily Cocks and Laura Kaznecki.
The meet marks the third NCAA appearance
for Crisman and Sugar, second for Carlson and
Cocks and the first for Kaznecki and Karlson.
Due to the Olympic year, instead of tradi-
tional yards, the tournament will be measured
in meters. This will prepare elite swimmers for
Olympic Trials this summer.
"We have been pushing it harder this past
couple weeks," Richardson said. "We need to
be stronger than normal, for that extra length at
the end of the race."
The tournament starts today and runs through
Saturday in Indiana olis. Preliminaries and
finais are held each day, with Michigan swim-
ming in events all three days.

By Rohit Bhave
Daily Sports Writer

]

All year, the Michigan men's gymnas-
tics coach Kurt Golder has made recap-
turing the NCAA Championships his
goal. This weekend's Big Ten
Championships never cracked Golder's
priority list. But the top-ranked
Wolverines may win them anyway.
Golder's training techniques this sea-
son have been geared towards peaking at
the end of the season. He has opted to
train on meet days to give his team up to
ten additional workouts this years -
holding out his top guys to give others
more meet experience. Golder has read-
ied everyone to perform prominent roles
at the Big Ten and NCAA
Championships.
Although ranked No. I in the nation,
the Wolverines are stumbling into the Big
Tens. Winning meets lately without per-
forming at its best, Michigan has dis-
played startling inconsistency along with
explosive potential. Like defending
champions in many sports, the tumblers
appeared to have been biding their time
until post-season play. After a restless
regular season, their time to shine has
finally arrived.
With the status of co-captain Justin
Toman (knee) in doubt for the meet,

Michigan will turn to white-hot Scott
Vetere to provide a spark on Friday. The
sophomore has bettered 9.8 an astound-
ing eight times in the last two meets.
Most importantly, his best perfor-
mances have keyed recent Michigan
comeback victories against Oklahoma
and Michigan State. In the face of the
Wolverines' inconsistencies the last few
weeks, Vetere's rock-solid routines have
inspired confidence in his teammates,
despite bleak circumstances against
Oklahoma and Michigan State.
With the best talent in the Big Ten,
Michigan, said Golder, can win if it has
the right mental frame. While Toman,
Daniel Diaz-Luong and seniors Ethan
Johnson and Lalo Haro normally fuel
Michigan's emotional fire, Golder wants
to see the type of team-wide enthusiasm
that propelled his team to the Big Ten and
National Championships last year.
"Because results mirror morale, spirit
will swing the meet for us," Golder said.
"We need to just come out with tremen-
dous enthusiasm and maintain it."
If the NCAA Championships are the
main course of the championship season,
the Big Tens comprise the appetizer. With
four of the top five teams in the nation
competing this weekend, a strong perfor-
mance will further the savvy Wolverines'
immense competitive edge in Iowa City.0

The women's swimming team heads down to Indianapolis
this weekend to compete in the NCAA Championships.

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