6B - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - January 13, 2003
pamde as No. 1
By Megan Kolodgy
Daily Sports Writer
Friday Michigan's unsuspecting men's swimming
team jumped into what proved to be dangerous waters
at Stanford's outdoor Avery Aquatic Center. The top
team in the nation knew that No. 3 Stanford, a team
that had seven weeks off to prepare for its encounter
with the Wolverines, would be tough to beat. They did
not, however, expect what coach Jon Urbanchek
referred to as "an ambush."
"At Stanford, the competition is never friendly,"
Urbanchek said. "It's like going into a war zone."
On top of the intimidation that comes along with
entering such hostile territory, Michigan also had to
cope with something that swimming in its own Can-
ham Natatorium could prepare them for - rain. The
weather took several swimmers by surprise, adding a
little more chaos to an already intense competition.
"We weren't prepared for swimming outside,"
Urbanchek said. "Some of the guys didn't even know
that the meet was going to be outside, and the ones
who did expected sunshine and blue skies. The travel
also took its toll on the swimmers."
By the time the brutal Cardinal was finished with
the Wolverines, it had a lead of more than 50 points,
and a firm grasp on the top ranking.
"Stanford swam like the number 1 team,"
Urbanchek said. "They were ready for us."
After picking up the pieces on Friday night, the
Wolverines awoke to yet another day of challenges.
This time, they faced No. 4 California - and another
day of rainy weather. But the Wolverines learned from
the trials they experienced a day earlier.
"I was really proud of how they were able to turn
things around after Stanford," Urbanchek said. "I told
them that it's nothing to fall down, but it would be a
problem if we couldn't get back up. They did a great
job bouncing back."
In spite of the fact that Michigan placed first in
seven of the 13 events in its second dual meet of the
weekend, the formerly top-ranked Wolverines fell to
By Megan Kolodgy
Daily Sports Writer
In the few months that freshman
Pete Vanderkaay has been a part of the
men's swimming and diving team, he
has racked up accolades that would
impress even the most accomplished of
athletes. He has NCAA consideration
times in the 200, 500 and 1650-yard
freestyle events. This past weeKend, he
placed first in four events.
Under such circumstances, many
athletes, especially younger ones,
would crumble under the pressure to
perform. But Vanderkaay is thriving in
the competitive environment that a top-
notch swimming program like Michi-
"I've been swimming for so long
that adapting to the pressure has just
become natural for me," Vanderkaay
said. "I think the pressure is fun - and
And pressure does not simply exist
before a big meet or championship
race; at Michigan, swimmers race
through every set, at every practice too.
"I think the racing at practice
works out well because it helps us to
push each other to succeed," Van-
Many would not enjoy training
under such intense conditions, but
once again, this swimmer contradicts
"I guess what keeps me going is the
thrill of racing," Vanderkaay said.
"We're really spending a lot of time in
the pool, and if you don't enjoy some
aspect of the sport, you've got a long
road ahead of you."
Apart from spending several hours a
day with his teammates training, travel-
ing and competing, Vanderkaay also
rooms with teammate, Tyler DeBerry.
"I think rooming with guys on the
team is probably better for us," Van-
derkaay said. "Sometimes you might
want to get away, but I haven't had
Both Vanderkaay and DeBerry were
recruited by coach Jon Urbanchek, but
Vanderkaay had several reasons for
wanting to attend Michigan.
"I was looking at U of M before I
knew I was being recruited, because it's
such a great school," he said. "Plus my
brother goes here, so that was a plus."
Vanderkaay's brother, Christian, is a
junior who had to be redshirted this
season after surgery, but the freshman
enjoys having an older sibling around.
"I'm glad that he's here," Pete said.
"He's helped me adapt to life here, and
he has a car, which is nice."
Vanderkaay is already one of the
fastest Wolverines in the pool, but he
has not let his success get to his head.
"I just want to help the team as
much as I can," he said.
After disappointing losses to Stan-
ford and California, the Wolverines
are ready to take on some competi-
tion at home.
"It's never fun to lose, but I think
that it will help us to get fired up for
upcoming meets," Vanderkaay said.
Michigan will need his assistance
and upbeat attitude when it takes on
Indiana and Ohio State, as well as the
rest of the Big Ten in February.
"We haven't won the Big Ten Cham-
pionships in two years because Min-
nesota has been really strong,"
Vanderkaay explained. "So that is defi-
nitely a team goal this season."
Urbanchek had only positive things
to say about the exceptional contribu-
tions that Vanderkaay has made.
"Vanderkaay really is nothing but
awesome," Urbanchek said. "He has
the best attitude - and performances
Michigan senior and co-captain Jeffrey Hopwood posted the second fastest time in the 200-yard breaststroke
behind Stanford's Michael Bruce during Michigan's loss to the Cardinal.
the Golden Bears by 15 points. With just the 200-yard
breaststroke and the 400-yard freestyle relay standing
between the Wolverines and what would have been a
significant dual meet victory, Michigan could man-
age just second-place finishes in both, which left
them slightly behind the Golden Bears.
"The meet really came down to the wire,"
Though the scores might lead one to believe that
the Stanford and California meets were unsuccessful,
the results say otherwise. While in California, the
Wolverines managed to rack up 10 NCAA considera-
tion times and several personal bests - all of which
were goals Urbanchek hoped to obtain.
Michigan's freshmen played a vital role in the scor-
ing, capturing five of the first-place finishes. Tyler
DeBerry initiated the string of victories, with his time
of 9:16.39 in the 1,000-yard freestyle.
"DeBerry came through for us," Urbanchek said.
"That was a big swim."
Pete Vanderkaay, the only double-event winner,
won both the 200- and 500-yard freestyle. An injured
Chris DeJong managed to come out on top in the
200-yard backstroke, while Davis Tarwater was victo-
rious in the 200-yard butterfly. Vanderkaay also
clocked in first in two events against Stanford.,
Junior Dan Ketchum also walked away with an
individual win in the 200-yard individual medley,
earning an NCAA consideration time.
In the end, however, California's sprinting power and
relay victory allowed it to come out on top.
This weekend's defeats, according to Urbanchek,
will probably put the Wolverines in the sixth or sev-
enth spot in national rankings. Despite the drop, he is
looking forward to five weeks of meets against teams
such as Purdue and Northwestern in Ann Arbor.
"We are just getting ready for meets galore now,"
Urbanchek said. "It's great that our traveling is
over, and that we can enjoy a home-field advantage
for now on."
Despite injuries Blue still rocks Buckeyes
By Albert Kim
Daily Sports Writer
What does a gymnastics team do if it's missing
one of its superstars, four other scholarship ath-
letes, and has to lean on freshmen to perform
well in its season opener against Big Ten rival
The sixth-ranked Wolverines used a total team
effort to demolish the Buckeyes 196.100-
192.175 in front of 1,531 fans at Cliff Keen
Arena Saturday night.
Missing Elise Ray, the NCAA 2001 all-around
co-champion and a slew of other °gymnasts,
Michigan looked no further than its freshmen,
mainly Becca Clauson and Jenny Deiley, to step
up and perform to their abilities in a pressure
"It's great to see the freshmen up there
already," junior Calli Ryals said. "They really
proved themselves today."
"Right now, we're competing without five of.
our 12 scholarship athletes," Michigan coach
Bev Plocki said. "That by itself demonstrates
what kind of a job the rest of the team did here
The Wolverines kicked the season off on the
vault and got off to a quick start, posting a
48.850 overall. Ohio State ran into trouble on the
uneven bars, having to count a fall. This left
Michigan out in front with a quick 48.850-
Trying to inspire his team, Ohio State coach
Larry Cox started pounding on the mats rhythmi-
cally. Unfortunately for him, the Michigan faith-
ful heard it too, and started chanting "Let's Go
Blue." It would prove to be that kind of night for
On the next rotation, Michigan widened its
lead to almost two points, as it switched to bars
and survived a fall by sophomore Kara Rosella
to post a 48.900 as a team. Despite the fall,
Rosella wasn't rattled, showing immense
resilience and mental toughness by sticking her
last two routines on the beam and floor.
Especially impressive was that she had never
done her floor routine in competition before.
Rosella's performance earned herhigh praise
from Plocki, who has seen her share of great ath-
letes as a coach.
"Kara has impressed me, and I can't remember
a time when I've been as impressed with an ath-
lete, and what the athlete has accomplished and
learned in such a short period of time," Plocki
said. "She amazes me every day, and tonight she
amazed me again."
Rosella's performance may have been the grit-
tiest, but Deiley's performance was the most
spectacular. In her first meet as a Wolverine, she
walked away as the all-around champion, out-
dueling Ryals. Deiley was more surprised than
anything, and was happier about what the team
was able to do.
"I thought our team did awesome today, every-
one did a really good job, and we're definitely
improving every day," Deiley said.
Michigan continued to improve its scoring,
perhaps an indication of its confidence growing
throughout the match. The Wolverines posted a
solid 49.000 on the beam, while the Buckeyes
posted a respectable 48.700 on the floor.
Michigan then capped the night with an
inspired performance on the floor, highlighted
by two 9.925 performances by captain Janessa
Grieco and Ryals. Ohio State had major trouble
on the beam, and Michigan's win was secured.
Ryals turned in a second-place performance in
the all-around, while sophomore Chelsea Kroll
Ryals once again showed that even on a less
than spectacular night, she's still one of the best
gymnasts out there.
"I was just ecstatic about how we did," Ryals
said. "I think one of the biggest things for us
today was to show our confidence, and we totally
did that. We rocked out today."
For Michigan, getting healthy will be the main
concern as the brunt of the season awaits. Ray
will be out until mid-February, and several gym-
nasts are battling nagging injuries. With a meet
against No. 11 Minnesota upcoming, Michigan
will need to perfect its skills.
"There's just little quirks here and there,"
Ryals said. "A lot of our new skills, we're still
working, so the landings are still a little iffy."
But for the present, Michigan is happy with its
39th-straight conference win. With performances
like Saturday night, the Wolverines will not have
to worry about how soon Ray will return. When
she returns, though, Plocki feels good about the
"I think if you took that same percentage off
of most teams, they'd feel the hurt," Plocki said.
"If you go through our scores and take out what-
ever the lowest counting score was, and you put
in a 9.9, a 9.95 or a 10, and you add up the dif-
ference, that's how much better we'll be."
Freshmen Becca Clauson (above) and Jenny Deiley both filled in for the absence of
All-American Elise Ray, who was out with a shoulder injury.
No Ray, no problems as freshman steps in
By Michael Nisson
Daily Sports Writer
According to the Oxford English
Dictionary, a phenom is, "an unusu-
ally gifted person."
While this definition may apply
to most of the performers on the
Michigan women's gymnastics
team, it is particularly applicable to
freshman Jenny Deiley.
Deiley, who hails from Dayton,
Minn., blew the crowd away at Sat-
urday's opening meet against Ohio
State by dominating nearly every
event en route to winning the all-
She grabbed the high score in
three of the four events, including
the vault, bars and balance beam,
and was narrowly edged out in the
floor routine by fellow Michigan
freshman Becca Clauson.
"We knew that (Deiley) was
going to be capable (of scoring as
high as she did), but, like I said, it's
awesome to see her (do that well)
because she's really kind of a laid
back personality," Michigan coach
Bev Plocki said.
Deiley herself gave a modest
answer to explain her success.
"I just went out there, and I did
my best, but I really didn't expect
to have done this well," Deiley said.
Few people had any idea that she
would perform as well as she did.
With the meet being her first regular
season event, it would not have been
surprising if she had even taken a fall
But that was far from what hap-
pened. After she nailed a 9.875 on
vault to open the event, everything
took off from there.
"I think vault was a very good
thing for me to start on," Deiley
"After vault I felt very relaxed and I
was ready to do what I could do."
Deiley was a three-time Junior
Olympic National Team member
before coming to Michigan. In 1999
she was the Junior Olympic floor
exercise and all-around national
Deiley attributed much of her
astounding calmness that was on
display Saturday to the rigors of
being a Junior Olympic gymnast,
noting that, "I was prepared to han-
dle (the pressure)."
What makes her performance
even more impressive was that she
filled a big hole for the Wolverines.
Elise Ray, the defending national
champion on beam, was sidelined
because of a shoulder injury.
"Jenny (was) amazing today,"
junior Calli Ryals said. "It's great
to see the freshmen (on the podium)
today. They really proved them-
Perhaps there are other reasons
for Deiley's success, such as her
interest in yoga.
Yoga "relaxes me a lot, it keeps
me going," Deiley said. "I did it all
through high school and (in) the
When not doing yoga or showing
her precocity on the gymnastics
floor, Deiley also keeps up on her
studies. She wants to either go into
business or get a teaching certifi-
cate and teach high school math.
Although the season is still young,
Deiley's future looks very bright.
"I think that she can prove that
she's one of the best all-around
gymnasts in the NCAA," Plocki
Sophomore Chelsea Kroll was third all around in Michigan's 196.100-192.175 win
over Ohio State.
Michigan places third in the Windy City
By Nazeema Alli
Daily Sports Writer
The No. 6 Michigan men's gymnastics
team traveled to Chicago to meet five other
Big Ten teams ranked in the top 15 for its
season-opener at the Windy City Invitation-
The Wolverines (0-1), finished behind
No. 2 Ohio State and No '7 Iowa to take
"I wanted to ensure that they had suffi-
cient time to rest their injuries," Golder
said. "I'd rather have them ready to compete
toward the end and middle of the season."
Conan Parzuchowski's 9.400 was a bright
spot in the middle of the bleakness of a rela-
tively weaker Michigan performance, earn-
ing him first place in the event. The
Wolverines hope to see similar success more
freauentav s thes eason moves forward.
"I am confident that we can be more con-
sistent by the end of the week," Golder said.
"If (we) compete against Oklahoma with a
(confident mentality), we have a good
chance of knocking them off."
Another aspect of Golder's improvement
plan includes increasing the level of diffi-
culty the team executes in all events.
"We have real good potential," Golder
sad "(The Windv CitvI nvitatinnal) did not
. ; .