The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - March 3, 2003 - 7B
NMHORTRACK4& f ELO
By land and by sea
Continued from Page 1B
and the noise."
What about the Indiana runners?
"I didn't even see them" Parker
said of the three Hoosiers. One fin-
ished 11th, one finished 12th and
one didn't finish.
Michigan also had three individ-
ual Big Ten champions in Rachel
Sturtz, Katie Erdman and April
Phillips..Sturtz won the 800-meter
run, setting a school and meet record
in the process, while Erdman won
the 600-meter run, setting a meet
record in a preliminary round._
Phillips won her second consecutive
shot put title with an NCAA auto-
matic distance of54'2".
Along with Walter, Stephanie
Linz (high jump) and Vera Simms
(400 meters) aided the team with
The Wolverines are now just a Big
Ten Outdoor Championship short of
the prestigious "Triple Crown" that
consists of Big Ten titles in cross
country, indoor track and field and
outdoor track and field. Michigan is
the reigning champion in each but
did not win all three in the same
school year, as required to win the
Triple Crown. Michigan hasn't won
the crown since the 1993-94 season.
Place School Points
1st Michigan 129.50
2nd Indiana 115
3rd Penn State 87
4th Ohio State 69
5th Wisconsin 68
6th Illinois. 65
7th Minnesota 61.50
8th Purdue 50I
9th Iowa .29.50
loth Michigan State 27.50
By Megan Kolodgy
Daily Sports Writer
When Michigan swimming co-
captain Jeff Hopwood emerged
from the pool after the champi-
onship final heat of the 200-yard
breaststroke, a huge smile was
etched on his face.
Two hours later, that smile was
"I can't describe the feeling I
have rightnow," Hopwood said.
"It's everything we've been working
for the whole year. It's just the best
feeling you could possibly have."
While it is true that every victory,
every point scored was essential to
the Wolverines' victory at the Big
Ten Swimming and Diving Champi-
onships, there was one win that was
just a little bit sweeter than the rest.
Hopwood is a three-time NCAA
All-American in the 200-yard
breaststroke. He was the Big Ten
champion in the event as a fresh-
man and runner-up last season.
This season, he has been fighting
an uphill battle with a nagging
injury that redshirted him his junior
year. His best time so far this year
was a little more than five seconds
off his personal best time from the
NCAA Championship last year,
Continued from Page 18
breaststroke with an NCAA auto-
matic time of 1:56.31.
Hopwood then set the stage for
the co-diver of the Championship,
Jason Coben. Predicted to win
most of the diving events during
the tournament, Coben had yet to
win any of the preliminary rounds
until platform diving.
His concluding platform dive
gave Michigan its final points
needed for victory and a claim
amongst the great swimming and
diving teams in the university's
When all was said and done,
Michigan had seven all-confer-
ence first-team finishers and an
individual all-conference second-
team finalist. Michigan's first-
place swimmers were Chuck
Sayao, who competed in the 400-
yard individual medley and the
800-yard free relay team, which
consisted of freshmen Davis Tar-
water, Mangieri, Vanderkaay and
junior Dan Ketchum.
"(Minnesota) really put up a
good effort," Vanderkaay said.
"They made the championship
really exciting. That was definite-
ly more fun then a total blowout."
After Michigan and Minnesota,
Indiana came in third with a score
of 455 and Northwestern in fourth
with a total of 378 points. Michi-
gan State resided quietly at the
bottom of the list with a score of
"We should have home-court
advantage more often," Urbanchek
said. "I think that this was really a
total team effort. If we were going
to win the Big Ten it was not going
to be the top two guys, it was
going to be everybody."
Michigan senior Jeff Hopwood set a personal record in the 200-yard breaststroke at the Big Ten Championships last weekend.
which in the world of swimming, is
So, despite his excellent perform-
ance in the preliminary round of
competition, and his position as
third seed going into finals, Hop-
wood was not necessarily expected
to beat the two Golden Gophers
seeded ahead of him. Or get an
NCAA automatic qualifying time.
Or set a Canham Natatorium
But he did.
Hopwood climbed out of the pool
after his last race in Ann Arbor,
having achieved what no one really
believed would happen, but all
would agree it's an appropriate end
to an inarguably phenomenal run in
the Matt Mann pool. He cut about
five seconds off of his season best
time for a personal record of
At practices this year, Hopwood
and co-captain Heath Novak led the
team in a brief cheer that summed
up the team's main objective for the
season. The swimmers huddled up,
put their hands in the middle of the
circle and shouted "Redemption" in
Although this was a reference to
Michigan's goal of bringing the Big
Ten Championship trophy to Ann
Arbor, after a two-year stay in Min-
nesota, it became a fitting allusion
to Hopwood's comeback.
"This was my last race ever at
this pool, and that made the victory
all the sweeter," Hopwood said. "It
caps an incredible comeback for me
personally, and a great year for the
Michigan coach Jon Urbanchek
was pleased with the accomplish-
ment of this intrepid athlete.
"I think the biggest pleasant sur-
prise, other than obviously winning,
was Jeff Hopwood," he said. "He's
co-captain, and this was his last
swim meet at Michigan. He is a
fifth-year senior, and he went out
and swam his best time."
Next on the agenda for Hopwood
is the NCAA Championships from
March 27-29 in Austin, Texas,
where he will pit his time against
the best in the nation.
And no one will be surprised if
he comes out smiling again.
low Women finish in fourth place at Big Tens
By Anne Ulble
Daily Sports Writer
With the odds set against her,
junior Kelli Stein broke the Wis-
consin monopoly over individual
races and earned her first Big Ten
swimming title, winning the 200-
Seeded second after the prelimi-
nary race early Saturday morning,
Stein came back that same evening
to pull ahead of her close competi-
tors and provided a huge upset over
rival Wisconsin swimmers. She
improved her personal best time by
Stein's race time also qualified
her for the NCAA Championships
later this month.
With this swim, Stein led the
Michigan women's swimming and
diving team to a fourth-place team
finish at the Big Ten Champi-
onships at Purdue last weekend.
The Wolverines finished the four-
day conference meet with 460
points, behind top Big Ten leaders:
Indiana (595), Wisconsin (561) and
Penn State (509).
The Wolverines had other great
swims by Emily-Clare Fenn, Sara
Johnson, Anne Weilbacher and the
incredible 400-yard freestyle relay
of Erin Abbey, Weilbacher, Amy
McCullough and Abby Seskevics.
Fenn placed second in the 1,650-
yard free. Her time was more than
seven seconds faster than the neces-
sary qualifying time for the NCAA
Johnson received a Big Ten title
in the 200-yard individual medley,
and also finished third in the 200-
yard backstroke, just .03 seconds
behind the second-place winner.
Junior co-captain Weilbacher
broke the eight-year-old school
record in the 200-yard butterfly,
placing second overall in the event
and qualifying for the NCAA
Championships. She and the first
place winner from Penn State
became the first two swimmers ever
to complete the event in under 54
seconds at the championships.
The fast 400-yard free relay post-
ed a respectable second-place fin-
ish and qualified for the NCAA
Championships. The relay also
helped finalize Michigan's overall
fourth-place team standing in the
Michigan's divers will compete in
the NCAA Zone Meet March 14-15
at Miami University of Ohio. The
swimmers will be preparing for the
NCAA Championships March 20-
22 at Auburn University. Michigan
is currently ranked 19th.
Indiana's John Jefferson celebrates after beating Michigan's Nick Willis in the mile.
Willis later finished first in the 3,000 meters despite being tired from this race.
Men s track doubled
up n six-place
Brannen ets another qualifying time for
NCAA Championships in 800-meter win
Michigan sophomore Alexis Goolik finished 12th In platform diving at the Big Ten
Championships. As a team, the Wolverines finished in fourth.
By Ellen McGarrity
Daily Sports Writer
Although the Michigan men's
track team finished in just sixth
place at the Big Ten Championships
yesterday, sophomore Nate Brannen
felt the team's performance was
still a victory.
"We were very satisfied (with
sixth)," Brannen said. "We had a lot
of pressure on us since it was the
championships. Fifth-place was
probably the best we could have
Held in Champaign, the champi-
onships dealt Wisconsin the winning
hand after the team earned 133
points. Michigan was hoping to beat
rival Indiana, but its 61.5 points
weren't enough to trump the
Stars of the season Nate Brannen
and Nick Willis were the aces in
Michigan coach Ron Warhurst's
deck, as both took first in their
Willis started off the first day of
competition running a not-so-shabby
mile in 4:05.48 to earn second for
the Wolverines. But it was his 3,000-
meter run that was the most exciting
race. The sophomore finished in
8:02.00, a provisional qualifying
time for the NCAA Championships,
but right behind him with 8:02.51
was Wisconsin runner Matt
"I had just run the mile so I was a
run didn't yield a win.
Brannen really took off on the
second day of competition with his
win in the 800-meter run. His time
of 1:48.85 was a NCAA automatic
qualifying time for the sophomore,
but this distance runner has topped it
in the past.
"I've run it in 1:46.00 before,"
Brannen said. "(Although) I was a
little bit worried going into this race.
(Michigan's) Rondell Ruff was in
the lead for the first half of the race,
then I took it from there. No one
really challenged me after that."
Brannen has now qualified for the
NCAA Championships in three
events. March 14-15, he will be
heading to Fayetteville, Ark. to com-
pete in the mile, 800-meter runs, and
distance medley relay with Michigan
teammates Willis, freshman Andrew
Ellerton and sophomore Seth Waits.
Willis will join Brannen in Fayet-
teville, competing in the 3,000-
meter and distance medley relay.
Both said they will be taking it
easy over the next two weeks, trying
not to push themselves too hard
before the championships. However,
their version of taking it easy may
be a little bit different than the regu-
lar Michigan student; Brannen
reported that, on average, he runs 70
miles a week.
Other highlights from the week-
end include Ellerton's fourth-place
finish in the 600-meter run, sopho-
more DarNell Talbert's seventh in
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