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March 27, 2000 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2000-03-27

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Sports desk: 647-3336



. ccelentee
Siciliano repeats as NCAA
champ, breaks U.S. record
By Benjamin Singer
and Jeb Singer
Daily Sports Writers
* MINNEAPOLIS - Michigan's 14th-place finish
behind first place Texas at the NCAA men's swimming
Championships is better than it appears. Especially
when so many individual honors were earned, includ-

ing sophomore Tim Sicil-
iano's championship swim
in the 400-meter individ-
ual medley.
"I think this weekend
was very successful,"
ichigan coach ion
MJrbanchek said. "We just
needed more bodies at
this level. We squeezed
what we could out of this
The six Michigan
swimmers who qualified
for the NCAAs combined
for five All-American
performances. Not sur-
prisingly, the team was
ed by stellar performers
iciliano and junior Chris
In repeating as the 400
IM national champion on
Friday night, Siciliano
lowered the U.S. Open
and American records.
In the preliminaries,
after the record had just
been broken, Siciliano set
new standard which
lasted all off one heat.
Freshman Erik Vendt of
Southern California toppe
tremendous swim of his own

With honors
Michigan men's mwinmng
All-Amercans (lsr-nth)
and Honorable Mentions
Tim Siciliano
Champion 400 IM
4th 150CM freestyle
l th 40GM freestyle
Chris Thompson
2nd 1500M freestyle
3rd 400M freestyle
Jeff Hopwood
4th 20CM Breaststroke
10th 10CM Breaststuoke
Scott Werner
I2th 10CM Breaststroke
I1th 20CM Breaststroke
Tony Kurth
16th 20CM IM
14th 800M relay
d Siciliano's time with a

Michigan goaltender Josh Blackburn takes the puck from his goal as Maine celebrates again in the third period. Despite Blackburn's 40-save performance, the Wolverines were eliminated.

Not to be outdone, Siciliano shined brightest when it
counted - in the evening's championship heat -
swimming a 4:06.02. This was over three seconds
faster than Vendt swam in the prelims.
"I think Siciliano's swim was obviously the highlight
of this meet," Urbanchek said.
In addition, Siciliano's time of 14:48.59 in the 1500-
eter freestyle was good for fourth place and another
All-American honor.
Thompson was also looking to exorcise his demons
-- or rather a demon in Arizona senior Ryk Neethling.
Neethling won the mile-long freestyle at the NCAAs
the past three years. He also has beaten Thompson in
all of their competitions. After this past Thursday, the
streak was still intact as Neethling won his third-
straight 400 freestyle championship. Thompson had to
'ettle for third as Vendt finished second.
"Maybe it's fate that I get third every year," Thomp-
son said. "I can't control what Ryk does."
See NCAA, Page 7B
'M' Ninldle of to-.
luggish start
By Dena Beth Kdscher
Daily Sports Writer





Be proud Sean,
this group has
a strong legacy
LBANY, N.Y. - Sean Peach couldn't help it.
Tired, beaten and emotionally drained - the
only senior starter fought back the tears in his
last post game press conference as a Wolverine, but the
battle-tested captain could not keep his emotions from
letting from coming out.
Peach understandably struggled to sum up his illustri-
ous Michigan career - at times staring vacantly at the
ceiling, eyes swollen from newly
fallen tears, no doubt consumed
by thoughts of what could have
been and what has been on his
The Wolverines fell 5-2 to a
strong Maine team that simply
proved too much in the latter
stages of yesterday's NCAA East QIRIS
Regional final. The Black Bears, GRANDSTAFF
last season's national champions,
move on to the Frozen Four to try The Grand
become the first team in nearly 30 Scheme

of luck
Seasons over -
plenty for sequel
By Geoff Gagnon
Daily Sports Writer
ALBANY, N.Y. - Josh Blackburn spoke softly
through the goatee that he grew for this season's playoff
run about the feeling of coming up short. His words were
quiet, like the mood in the Michigan lockeroom, and
though the sophomore had just recorded a career-high 40
saves, his frustration was evident - there would be no
saving this season.
But when asked about what he can take from reflecting
on the season, the sophomore netminder with the crim-
son whiskers made no secret of the fact that he and his
teammates hope to bring an older Michigan squad back
to Albany in a year.
While Maine's 5-2 win yesterday secured the Black
Bears a trip to Providence, next year's Frozen Four will
be hosted on the same rink where Blackburn and his
teammates say they left this year's title hopes - and
maybe their hearts as well.
"We're still a young, young team," Blackburn said.
"We're going to work hard and come back next year with
a little more experience."
And for Blackburn, comeback is the operative word -
as in what he did this season after returning in January
from foot surgery after a banner freshman season - and
as in where he'd like to bring Michigan a year from now.
Helping Michigan do just that will be a talented cast of
players who'll return as sophomores much the way
Blackburn did this season after turning heads a year ago.
Back will be playmakers and showstoppers like Andy
Hilbert and Mike Cammalleri who finished with 17 and
13 goals respectively.
Joined by the likes of Hilbert's late season linemate
Jed Ortmeyer who notched 24 points, will be the likes of
John Shouneyia, Mark Mink and J.J. Swistak, who all
made late-season contributions as the Wolverines' play-
off run gathered steam.
Bolstered by the defensive addition of newcomer Mike
Roemensky who managed to tally his first goal of the
year this weekend, Michigan's young guns will be back
- not as a successful freshman class - but as a solid
corps of playoff veterans anxious to steer Michigan back
to the New York capital.
And their showing this weekend only seemed to solidi-
fy that claim.
Roemensky's first-period strike on Saturday put
Michigan on the board and seemed to foreshadow a

There may not be an 'I' in 'team,' but even more important-
ly, there is definitely not an 'E' in 'win.'
In fact, the Michigan baseball team proved this weekend that
you can't spell 'lose' without the letter 'E' -- handing over a
*ur-game series to Minnesota with its fourth consecutive loss
on yesterday's three-hit, complete game 7-0 shutout - compli-
ments of the Gophers' left-hander Kelly Werner.
The weekend numbers: Four games, 18 errors, 15 hits, eight
runs and four losses for Michigan.
On the other side - four games, four errors, 35 hits, 34
runs, two shutouts and four wins for Minnesota.
"If we're going to win, we've got to make less errors than
hits," Michigan coach Geoff Zahn said. "We're giving them
four or five outs an inning and that's hard to do."
Of Minnesota's 34 runs for the series, 17 were unearned.
In yesterday's shutout, the Gophers scored seven runs on six
its and four errors. According to Zahn, when you hold a team
o six hits, you should still be in the game.
"I feel like we're beating ourselves," junior catcher David
Parrish said. "It's almost pathetic, actually. It's just ridiculous.
You can't expect to win when you make five or six errors a
Parrish went 5-for-15 on the series, raising his batting aver-
age to .290, creeping up on freshman third base-
man Brock Koman's team-leading .342.
"I'm doing everything the same,"
oman said. "I hit it pretty hard, I just
'ed to find the holes, I guess."
Koman and fellow freshmen infield-
ers Jordan Cantalamessa and Jordan
French committed a total of nine errors,
consequentially showing more signs of
youth than the Wolverines thought they had.
Although it seems that way on naper, the'

years to repeat as champions -
trying to establish their own legacy, something the
Wolverines know all about.
Michigan's trip to the NCAA tournament this season
was it's tenth straight, a string which included two
national championships - bringing its total to nine, the
most in NCAA history. Peach was a part of the Wolver-
ines most recent title run in 1998, an improbable stretch
of games that culminated with a championship in
While there'll be no championship this season, Peach
and the Wolverines need not bow their heads after the
accomplishments of the past seven months. The
Wolverines unexpectedly lost three defensemen in the
offseason; they lost their starting goalie for the first
half of the year. Critics began writing off the young
But Michigan bounced back with the return of Black-
burn and the resurgence of a winning attitude. The
Wolverines edged Michigan State out for the regular
season conference crown and entered the postseason
poised for yet another magical run.
Problems began arising again for the Wolverines
though - struggling to get by Western Michigan in the
first round of the conference tournament, and then
falling to upstart Nebraska-Omaha in the CCHA semi-
finals. The result of their late season troubles was a No.

Brendan Walsh celebrates Michigan's season finale after
scoring an empty netter to put the game out of reach.

The Wolverines came to Albany an underdog, a posi-
tion that became accentuated when, just minutes into
Saturday night's game against Colgate, Michigan
defenseman Dave Huntzicker, a pillar on the blue line
all season, was sent crashing into the boards. Huntzick-
er sustained a sprained knee that would end his season,
and would hinder the already thin Michigan defense.
At that point the Wolverines could have folded. They
could have laid down in front of a predominantly Red
Raiders' crowd, whose chants of "We own Pepsi" were
sickeningly similar to those of the Spartan faithful in
Crisler Arena.
But they didn't. The Wolverines showed a level of
heart and character usually absent from such a young
team. Michigan withstood the Red Raiders' attack and
captured a 4-3 overtime victory to set up the game
against Maine.
The overtime victory over Colgate took its toll as the
Wolverines were visibly tired against Maine, despite

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