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January 07, 2002 - Image 14

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2002-01-07

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6B - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - January 7, 2002


Tankers 'zone out for trip
to the Grand Canyon state

By Courtney Lewis
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan men's swimming team
rang in the new year by eclipsing its dual
meet loss total for all of 2001. Michigan
lost to Arizona State 132-111 in Tempe,
Ariz. this past Saturday after coming up
short against Arizona the previous day.
The Wildcats won 124-119 in Tucson.
The Wolverines, who had been unde-
feated in dual meets this season going
into the weekend, fell to 4-2 (1-0 Big
Ten). Prior to this weekend, Michigan's
last defeat was Jan. 6, 2001 against Cali-
"We were pretty disappointed because
we could have won," said freshman
Andrew Hurd.
But Michigan's coach had a different
outlook. Jon Urbanchek said he was "not
disappointed at all" and described the
weekend as "very exciting" and "produc-
Urbanchek pointed out the quality of
Michigan's opponents and the close mar-
gin of defeat on both days as reasons for
his optimism. Neither the fifth-ranked
Sun Devils nor eighth-ranked Wildcats
have lost a dual meet this season. Michi-
gan is the No. 12 team in the country.

Michigan and Arizona State both swam
to their strengths on Saturday. The Sun
Devils controlled the sprints, sweeping
the 50-yard freestyle, 400 medley relay
and 200 backstroke.
"They slammed us," Urbanchek said.
The Wolverines countered by taking the
top three spots in the 1000 freestyle, 200
butterfly and 200 breaststroke.
Sophomore Dan Ketchum won the 200
freestyle with an NCAA consideration
time of 137.61. Tim Siciliano and Jeff
Hopwood also had victories in the 500
freestyle and 200 breaststroke, respective-
"We stayed within striking distance,"
Urbanchek said. "It basically came down
to the relay at the end in both meets."
Michigan's 400 relay teams couldn't
come through in either meet. Ketchum,
Jordan Watland, Matt Raines and Mike
Porth finished third behind the Arizona
State's A and B teams.
Against Arizona, Hurd teamed up with
Ketchum, Watland and Porth to grab a
second-place finish, but Michigan needed
to win the event to win the meet.
The Wolverines are usually stronger in
individual events than in relays, and they
knew the importance of the final event in
both meets.

Eric Wilson and the Michigan men's swim team spent the first few days of the new year in
Arizona, but could not manage a win in meets against Arizona or Arizona St.

"There was a fair bit of pressure, but I
tried to just forget about that and try my
best." Hurd said.
Before facing Arizona and Arizona
State, Michigan spent 11 days training in
Flagstaff, Ariz. In addition to swimming
for two hours twice a day, the Wolverines
did dry land training for one hour before
their night workouts.
Flagstaff's altitude of 7,000 feet made
the practices even more difficult, but
Urbanchek expects long-term rewards.

Training in high altitude increases red
blood cell counts, which allows for
greater oxygen intake.
Hurd said he felt the benefits immedi-
ately when Michigan descended to Tucson
and Tempe for the dual meets. He ended
the trip feeling relaxed and confident,
despite Michigan's two losses.
"It was one of the best training camps
I've had," Hurd said. "We try not to let
(the losses) get us down because they're
two top teams."

Women off and
running after
Jack Harvey.
By David Oxfeld
Daily Sports Writer
Before an intimate crowd of family and friends,
the Michigan women's track team shot out of the
gate at the Indoor Track Building on Saturday host-
ing the annual Jack Harvey Invitational - named
after the former Michigan men's track coach who
retired in 1999 after 32 years of coaching, 26 as the
head man.
"It's a great thrill to have this meet in my name,"
Harvey said. "It's so unexpected. I miss the friends,
such as the other coaches and the officials, and I
miss the kids.
"If you are the coach at Michigan it is your life,
it is hard to step away and take a time out. But I
don't miss the travel and I surely don't miss the
recruiting. It was all too time consuming."
Harvey was successful during his tenure as
coach, amassing 10 Big Ten titles and leading the
team to a third-place finish in the 1994 NCAA
Indoor Championships.
The invitational marked the start of the 2002
track season for Michigan. With many of the team's
key components from last year returning, this sea-
son starts with high expectations for the Michigan
This meet is an unusual one because it is the first
meet of the season, while most of the women have
taken some time off from training to celebrate the
holidays and enjoy the break.
"Competition is not really the driving factor in
this meet," said Michigan assistant coach Karen
Harvey. "Each girl is back on campus and we all
are trying to get ready for next week's meet with a
real Big Ten opponent (Indiana) on the road, "
Some of the team members enjoyed the chance to
find their groove. Sophomore star thrower Melissa
Bickett understood that her recent time off had hurt
her performance.
"This meet is really about working yourself into
shape after taking some time off," Bickett said.
"The emphasis is really not on team in most track
meets, until the Big Ten meet or our head-to-head
match with Indiana."
Even without the added emphasis on victory, the
Wolverines were quite successful overall, winning
12 of 15 events. Particularly noteworthy during the
field events was junior April Phillips, who won two
events and also broke her personal record by close
to two feet in the weight throw with a throw of 52
feet, 3 inches. Junior TaNisha Williams won two
events as well, finishing first in the 60 meter hur-
dles and the long jump.
Coach James Henry was happy with the team's
"We have not all been up to date in our training,
but we came out and competed," Henry said. "With
this experience under our belt, we will be a step
ahead for next week in Indiana."
With the competition over, Henry wrapped up the
day by asking the freshmen members of the team to
step forward and lead the team in a chorus of "The
Victors." It was suggested that after the song'was
concluded, the freshmen were officially members
of the team. Instead, when the song ended, the
returning upper-classmen doused the newcomers
with cups of water and silly string. '


Gymnasts' Hawaiian vacation is great
for the tans but bad for their record

By Matt Kramer
Daily Sports Writer
In between a Christmas break filled with luaus, snorkeling
and surfing lessons, the Michigan women's gymnastics team
stumbled to a third place-finish out of four teams at the
Maui Invitational on Jan. 4.
The third-ranked Wolverines' overall score of 193.625
was over a full point behind the meet's winner, No. 17 Ari-
zona, which scored 194.650. No. 13 Oklahoma finished sec-
ond with 194.425.
"We have a lot to learn from this," said junior co-captain
Janessa Grieco. "The meet didn't go as expected, but it's
behind us now."
After a slow start on the vault (in which Michigan could
muster just a 48.325) the Wolverines (1-2) posted their best
rotation score (49.275) on the uneven bars thanks to a first-
place showing by sophomore Elise Ray (9.975) and a score
of 9.875 by fellow sophomore Amy Kuczera. Senior Shan-
non MacKenzie and freshman Kallie Steffes each recorded a
But the balance beam was once again Michigan's Achilles
heel as five members took falls on the event and Grieco's
9..750 was the best of all Wolverines. Michigan received a
score of just 47.050.

"This trip showed that we need a little more balance beam
practice," Grieco said. "Nerves were a factor too, but it's all
stuff that we can improve on with practice when we get
In it's final event, Michigan posted a solid 48.975 on the
floor, but it still wasn't enough to overcome Arizona and
Oklahoma, which posted scores of 49.025 and 49.000,
Ray's all-around score of 38.600 tied her for fourth with
fellow Wolverines Steffes and Calli Ryals. It was the first
time in the last 11 meets that Ray has not scored over a
39.000 in the all-around competition.
Arizona's Randi Liljenquist won the meet with a 39.425,
three-hundreths of a point better than Oklahoma's Mariana
While the third-place showing was unexpected, it may
prove to be good motivation for the Wolverines as they head
into their next meet at home against Northern Illinois on
"Sometimes you need things like this to open up your eyes
so you can see just how much you want it and what you need
to do to get there," Greico said.
Although the tournament results didn't go as well as
Michigan expected, none of the gymnasts complained about
their Christmas break in Maui. The Wolverines were able to
spend nine days on the island thanks to winning the Leaders
and Best Award, which was given to the team with the high-
est grade point average. After practice every day the team
was able to receive surfing lessons, go snorkeling and par-
ticipate in luaus.
"I didn't see it," Greico said, "but I heard Calli Ryals and
Cammie Singer were the best surfers of the bunch."


88::.n. x .. ...... ..... ...,,..N.z . .. x . ' .....,.... ; g3G....
The gymnastics team earned extra days in Hawaii for its
outstanding grades, but earned low marks in competition.


The University of Michigan
Department of Recreational Sports





I J(

Tuesday 1/8 ONLY
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$410 per team
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entries for the Swimming and Diving Meet
will be taken at the IMSB Main office until 4:30pm Tuesday 1129.

-J. - (T it dmorI ®-

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