18A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, November 4, 1999
Youth bears weight
for 'M' swimmers
Big Ten, e
Daily Sports Writer
Michigan has always been known as a
place where young athletes can star early.
This year, even with a senior Olympian
and a pair of junior All-Americans, the
Michigan women's swimming team is
relying on its freshmen in a big way. With
17 freshmen on the team, it is no surprise
that Michigan coach Jim Richardson is
blunt when saying "We're young."
Youth has its advantages for the
Wolverines, who have already seen three
freshmen win individual events in
Michigan's two recent dual meets against
Florida and Michigan State. The best part
of all: two of those wins came in the dis-
tance events, which Richardson has target-
ed as an area of improvement. Jenay
Karlson won the 500-yard freestyle against
Michigan State. And in the 1,000-yard
free, Julie Kern led a Michigan freshman
sweep, with Karlson second and Lindsay
Distance isn't the only discipline in
which the Class of2003 has made its pres-
ence felt. Traci Valasco won the 200-yard
breaststroke against both Michigan State
and Florida and has shown sprint ability in
the 100-yard breaststroke, as well.
Richardson is also looking to freshmen
Brooke Smith and Lisheth Gohel to devel-
op in the 200-yard butterfly, an event the
Wolverines must shore up, in order so
compete with the national powers.
At this point in the season, the freshmen
may be more about potential than results.
With a more strenuous practice schedule
than most of them are used to, the young
Wolverines are pulling tired bodies
through the water in every race.
Add in the typical stresses ofany college
freshman, and it is difficult to expect peak
performances from them just yet.
"I'm tired and sore," said freshman
sprinter Laura Kaznecki after the Florida
meet. "This is totally different training than
I'm used to."
The Wolverines go through nine intense
workouts a week, includisg three pmetices
from 6-8 AM. Weight training is also a
large part of the program, as are voluntary
cross-training workouts on the stationary
bike and the track.
The physical punishment is brutal, but
the results seem to be worth the effort. As
the seniors can attest, hard work does pay
off down the road, meaning that Michigan
has a lot to look forward to fromthis class.
"We're a strong group, as far as depth
and a couple of stars." freshman backstro-
ker Lindsay Maas said. "We'll be good for
a long time."
Along with surpassing expectations in
the pool, the freshmen are impressing with
their sense of team unity on dr land.
"A lot of people are surprised at how
well we get along," said Karlson. "This
freshman class is amazing."
Unlike the Fab Five before them, the
'Sensational Seventeen' don't want to be
separated from the rest of the team. While
the future looks promising, these freshmen
understand the benefits of learning from
All-Americans like Shannon Shakespeare,
Jennifer Crisman. anid Miy Sugar.
"We've bonded together, we're a real
strong team;' Maas said.
Former NCAA basketball coach Al
McGuire is famous for saying that the best
thing about freshment is that they eventual-
ly become sophomores. The best thing
about these freshmen, however, may not be
their future, but the things they can do in
the present. With a strong group of fresh-
men supplying depth,. Michigan's chances
for the Big Ten and cvcn a national cham-
pionship are beginniog to look good Inthe
meantime, rival teams can look forward to
astounding performances with a healthy
dose of modesty.
"If I'm good enough to swim for
Michigan, I'm doing pretty well" Karlson
Shannon Poole, Jen Stahl and the Wolverines will face swarming competition this weekend in the always-tough Big Ten soccer
tournament. The Wolverines are looking for their second title in three years.
It's Big' time for women's soccer
JOHN GUESS AGENCY
INSURANCE FOR EDUCATIONAL EMPLOYEES
have saved on
insurance costs ,} ; '
By David Mosse
Daily Sports Writer
The second season has arrived for the
Michigan soccer team. After concluding
an impressive regular season with a 13-5-
- record, the Wolverines travel to
Bloomington for the Big Ten tournament
with high hopes.
Michigan steamrolled through the
rugged Big Ten season with relative ease.
But a shocking late-season loss to
Wisconsin cost the Wolverines a share of
the conference crown.
Michigan is determined to make
amends for that colossal disappointment,
by capturing its second tournament
"We have to put the end of the season
behind us,' Abby Crumpton said. "This
is our chance to prove that was a fluke."
The Wolverines have been at this point
with high expectations before, and failed
to deliver. Last year Michigan was
bounced out of the tournament in the sec-
ond round by Penn State.
But there is a growing feeling around
the team that this could be the year.
Michigan possesses a high-octane
offense featuring Crumpton, the Big Ten
freshman of the year. Crumpton led the
Wolverines with nine goals during the
season. Partnerng with her up front is the
Wolverines' all-time leasing scorer,
Berendowsky strugeled for much of
the regular season with an ankle inurv,
but following some strong performances
down the stretch, she looks to have recap-
tured her best form.
With midfielders Mari Hoff and Kaci
Beitel also contributing scoring punch,
Michigan has strength in numbers and
will be a handful for any defense.
On the other end the Wolverines are
safe between the posts with senior
Carissa Stewart, now Michigan's all-time
leader in victories. Stewart even went 200
consecutive minutes without surrender-
ing a goal in conference play.
If the Wolverines' talented forwards
are stifled, Stewart can be counted on to
hold down the fort. The Wolverines, the
No. 2 seed, face an emotional opener
against Michigan State. Michigan ham-
mered the Spartans 3-0 in a late season
tussle at home.
On paper, the Spartans figure to be no
match for the high powered Wolverines,
but rivalry games bring out the best in
"This is the best team they've had
since I've been here,' Emily Schmitt
said. "They are a tough team to beat."
If the Wolverines survive the state bat-
tle they will tackle the winner of Illinois
vs. Iowa. Both are strong foes but teams
Michigan would be favored to beat.
Waiting in the wings if the Wolverines
do reach the final, should be their arch
nemesis and top seed Penn State.
Weeks ago in Happy Valley, Michigan
and Penn State staged a titanic battle
which ended in a scoreless draw. Penn
State benefited from Michigan's late sea-
son stumble to capture their second con-
secutive regular season crown.
"They are the team to beat," Kacy
Beitel said. "We know we will probably
have to go through Penn State to win the
If the Lions and Wolverines can avoid
the upset bug, they would meet in a high-
ly anticipated contest, and a benchmark
game for the Michigan program. Now in'
their sixth season, the Wolverines are
about due to add a Big ten title to their
Continued from Page 13
in the tournament if sophomore Emily
Brown gets going.
One of the Big Ten: most prolific
scorers, Brown had 17 goils miii the sin-
son, including a diving tolley agittst the
"They dropped off toswards the end o.
the season," Belkin said. "lBut they have
great team speed and dangerous gotI
No.5 OHIo STArr (54-1,9-7-4): Thye
Buckeyes have an experienced 1eider in
senior Katy Traeger; who was named
BigTen Player of the Week after talyig
a has trick against West Virginiti.
Freshman Lyndsey Eckle's 20 points arc
the most on the team.
"They're having a good year with a l
of new players, they play organized and
disciplined," Belkin said.
No. 4 MNNESorU (6-4, 11-7): Tise
past iwo years, the (Gophers hive beesi
knocked out of she conference toumsa-
mess in she first round.
This season, they have a lot of experi-
ence on offense, with senior Nicole Le
leading the team in scoring and junirt
Laurie Seidl leading the team in assists
"They've been towards the top of t.
Big Ten for the last few years," Belkin
said. "Their three forward attack is dan-
No. 3 IowA (7-3, 13-6): The
Hawkeyes are playing in their first Big
Ten tournament ever.
Freshman Sarah Lynch leads the team
in scoring and she's netted seven game
winning goals. Sophomore goalie Missy
Wickart was honored as Big Ten Player
of the Week earlier this year. V
"They rely on their great freshmen,"
Belkin said. "They play a very aggres-
sive, physical style.!
No. I PENN STATE (9-0-1, 16-2-1):
The Nittany Lions have been atop the
Big Ten all year, and are currently
An early season win over perennial
power North Carolina was one of the
biggest wins in program history. This
team has hopes of a national title. *
"They have great size and great gosh-
keeping!' Belkin said. "They use their
team speed as a big weapon."
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