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January 22, 2002 - Image 14

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The Michigan Daily, 2002-01-22

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6B - The Michigan Daily - SportsTuesday - January 22, 2002

Tough schedule pays dividends for Blue

By Melanie Kebler
Daily Sports Writer
Competing against the top teams'in the country for
the first half of the season wasn't easy for the Michi-
gan men's swimming and diving team, but it looks as
though the hard work is starting to pay off. After an
impressive showing in a loss to No. 1 Stanford at
their last meet, the 12th-ranked Wolverines soundly
defeated No. 20 Penn State and Purdue in a triple
meet at State College this weekend to improve to 3-0
in the Big Ten and 6-3 overall.
Michigan headed to Pennsylvania looking to notch
its first win since defeating Georgia in November.
The Boilermakers and Nittany Lions were hoping for
a letdown from Michigan after its fast meet the previ-
ous weekend, but the Wolverines swam away from
Penn State (152-91) and Purdue (162-81).
"It didn't happen, although often times it does,"
Michigan coach Jon Urbanchek said of the letdown.
"Everybody swam up to their potential this weekend."
Freshman Brenden Neligan, sophomore Dan

"Winning those first three events kind of put the
meet out of reach for Penn State, and it was pretty
much downhill from there," Urbanchek said. "The
divers also did real well."
Sophomore Jason Coben continued his recent suc-
cess off the board. He was Michigan's only double
event winner, taking the 1-meter and 3-meter diving
contests.
In the 200-yard individual medley, Siciliano, a
three-time NCAA champion in the 400 individual
medley, established a new McCoy Natatorium pool
record with a time of 1:49.53. His teammate Ketchum
also broke the pool record in the 200-yard freestyle,
and both swimmers posted NCAA consideration
times.
However, speedy times and pool records alone did-
n't win the match for the Wolverines. The team also
showed its depth this weekend. Not only did Michi-
gan win eight of the 13 events, but it also placed at
least one person in the top three of each race and
often more than one. Michigan placed 1-2 in three
races and also placed well in the distance contests, its

more Christian Vanderkaay gained valuable points for
his team by swimming well in the 200-yard butterfly
and the 200-yard breaststroke.
"Christian had a very good meet," Urbanchek said.
"In competition he posted some personal best times
and I was very pleased to see that he placed second in
the 200 butterfly and came through and got third in
the 200 breaststroke."
The competition was a double dual meet, with
Michigan, Penn State and Purdue all competing in the
same races. Each team entered four swimmers and
each race consisted of two heats, a different format
than Michigan's recent dual meets.
"Someone in the second heat can end up winning
(the race)," Urbanchek said. "You're almost swim-
ming against the clock, because you don't know what
the next guy's going to do in the next heat."
After this weekend, the Wolverines have the opportu-
nity to continue to dominate in the pool. The two fresh-
man distance swimmers, Neligan and Andrew Hurd, are
swimming especially well. And Siciliano and Ketchum
have already established themselves as consistent con-

DANNY MOLOSHOK/Daily Ketchum and senior Tim Siciliano led the team early strongest events. The Wolverines swept the top three tributors to the team. With this week off to prepare,
After nearly pulling off an upset over No. 1 Stanford last week, Michigan improved its in the meet, winning three of the first five events to spots in the 1,000-yard freestyle and finished 2-3-4 in Michigan looks forward to taking on Ohio State on Feb.
record to 6-3 after beating Purdue and Penn State 162.81 and 153-91, respectively. put the match away. the 500-yard freestyle. In the shorter events, sopho- 2 and plans on finishing at the top of the Big Ten, just
Tankers go the distance against three Big Ten foes this weekend

By Kyle O'Neill
Daily Sports Writer

EAST LANSING - Forget about Terry
Bradshaw, Mike Piazza, Dan Fouts or even Car-
rot Top.
If the phone companies want spokespeople
who fit the product they are Vying to sell, they
need to look no further than the long distance
squad on Michigan's women's swimming and
diving team.
In this weekend's two meets, the duo of soph-
omore Emily-Clare Fenn and freshman Amy
McCullough continued their recent dominance
of the 500- and 1,000-yard freestyle events, with
a sweep on each day to give Michigan a win in
seven of its last eight long distance events.
The two played a large part in Michigan's two
victories, its first two of the season, against Ohio

State (148-94) and Michigan State (138-105) in
a triangular meet Saturday. The wins evened
Michigan's Big Ten record at 2-2 after a loss to
No. 18 Penn State 129-114 Friday night.
"The distance swimmers put in a long week
this week," Michigan coach Jim Richardson said.
"We crushed them in practice all this week. They
were tired, but they swam with a lot of heart."
The same could be said for the rest of the
swimmers on Friday, as the Wolverines went
down to the final event with Penn State.
After beginning the dual meet with an unex-
pected sweep of the first three swimming events
- the 400-yard medley relay, 1,000 free and
200 free - the Wolverines looked as if they
were going to be content with .a good start as
they let the Nittany Lions rally back to take a
22-point lead with four events remaining.
But after Lindsay Carlberg, Tealin Kelemen

and McCullough won the 200-yard backstroke,
3-meter diving and 500 free, respectively,
Michigan found itself down just one point.
That's when things got interesting, as both the
200-yard breaststroke and 400 free relay were
decided by less than a second.
The 200-yard breaststroke featured two of the
Big Ten's best in Penn State's Kristen Woodring,
who set two records at the Big Ten Champi-
onships last year as a freshman, and Michigan's
Kelli Stein, who had only lost once in the event
all season. After Woodring jumped out to what
appeared to be an insurmountable lead -
pulling ahead by two seconds with 50 yards left
- Stein closed strong and finished only one-
half of a second behind Woodring.
"lhonestly didn't think Kelli could be that
close to Woodring," Richardson said. "If that
race was just ten feet longer ... She just needs to

get a little more confidence in the first 100
yards to realize she can compete with the best of
them."
With Michigan down 10 points prior to the
final event, it needed a 1-2 finish in the 400-
yard freestyle relay to win the meet. Unfortu-
nately for the Wolverines, Penn State's A relay
team pulled away early from Michigan's B team,
guarariteeing a Nittany Lion victory.
But although the meet was lost, the final
event still kept watchers on the edge of their
seats. Sophomore Sara Johnson, down .33 sec-
onds in the final lap, got neck-and-neck with her
competitor and took the event down to the final
stroke. Penn State's Lindsay Fraschilla eventual-
ly edged Johnson by just .11 seconds.
With all the excitement on the first day of
competition, the Wolverines were hoping not to
have a letdown that fatigue might cause.

They came out and opened with two Michigan
State pool records to erase any of those worries.
Annie Weilbacher, Laura Kaznecki, Stein and
Carlberg combined to break the record in the
400-yard medley relay (3:48.66), and McCul-
lough set another mark in the 1,000 free.
"We went 3:45 in it yesterday and the record's
3:51, so it doesn't take a PhD from Michigan to
figure out you can take a run at it," Richardson
said. "I just told my kids, 'you want your name
on a board? Just take a chance today."'
After those two events, Michigan earned five
more firsts on its way to beating the Buckeyes
and Spartans.
"Overall I give us a B-minus for our perform-
ance (Saturday), but there have been times this
time of year where on a second day meet we're a
C or a D' Richardson said. "I think we're defi-
nitely ahead of where we've been in the past."

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