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October 22, 2003 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2003-10-22

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4

Wednesday
October 22, 2003
www.michigandaily.com
sports@michigandaily.com

PORTS

8

4

Tankers sink Toledo as
six pool records are set

Michigan wins national
championship ... in unis

By Anne Ulbie
Daily Sports Writer
TOLEDO, Ohio - When a team breaks one record,
it's commendable. When it breaks six, it's incredible.
The Michigan women's swimming and diving
team went to Toledo last night MICHIGANki t o e r
knowing it had to make up for Tuo 13
its disappointing weekend ®
against nationally-ranked Florida. With that in mind,
the Wolverines overpowered the Rockets 179-113
and broke six poolrecords.
The Wolverines got started early, knocking off
Toledo's record in the 200-yard relay. Consisting of
Kaitlyn Brady, Kelli Stein, Anne Weilbacher and
Abby Seskevics, the relay finished with a time of
1:48.54, breaking the record by one-hundredth of a
second.
"I told the girls that there were quite a few records
that were definitely in their grasps," Michigan head
coach Jim Richardson said. "It pushes them harder,
and it always makes for more exciting races."
In the second event of the night, freshman Susan
Gilliam broke the 1,650-yard freestyle record.
Brady and Stein also broke records in the 100

backstroke and 100 breaststroke, respectively.
Annie Stein broke the record in the 400 individual
medley and senior captain Anne Weilbacher broke
the 100 butterfly record.
"I was really happy with the way we swam
tonight," Weilbacher said. "It's nice to compete in
Toledo because it is so close to Ann Arbor."
The Wolverines had a large turnout of spectators
- mostly enthusiastic parents - to cheer them on to
victory. Tom Weilbacher drove up from Columbus to
watch his daughter swim.
"There is a large nucleus of families that try to
come out and support the girls at all their meets," he
said. "We delegate who gets to lead the cheers. It's
always a great time."
Richardson believes that the parents are an integral
part of the team.
"There is an incredible amount of support from the
parents," Richardson said. "It's part of the tradition of
great Michigan swimming."
Even after the solid performance last night,
Richardson knows that his team is a long way from
being prepared for the NCAA Championships, and
there is a lot of work to be done.
"After this past weekend, we had a lot of improv-

TONY DING/Daily
Kelli Stein was a member of the record-setting 200-
yard relay team, finishing with a time of 1:45.29.
ing to do," Richardson said. "We swam a lot faster
here at Toledo than we did in Florida."
Michigan's next meet is Nov. 7 against Florida
State and Michigan State at Canham Natatorium.
"We'll have two weeks of important training
before our next meet," Richardson said. "They are
going to be uninterrupted with meets so we are going
to be working really hard. I think we are on a nice
track for being a top team this year."

Crafty' Chavez takes control of offense

By Melanie Kebler
Daily Sports Writer
For the Michigan women's soccer
team, good things come in small
packages. Take a look at its impor-
tant offensive contributors, and
you'll find most are around 5-foot-5
or smaller. Senior forward
Stephanie Chavez, at 5-foot-2, often
seems dwarfed by opposing teams'
defenders as she goes up in the air
for a header or makes a run on goal.
But that hasn't stopped her from
amassing 52 career points and scor-
ing three goals this season, includ-
ing her 20th career goal last
weekend - a game-winner against
Iowa.

"As a soccer player she's very
good with the ball at her feet,'.'
Michigan coach Debbie Rademach-
er said. "She's crafty."
Sometimes it does appear that
Chavez is working a little magic on
the field. It can be seen in the way
she will challenge anyone to get her
head on a ball and keep the offen-
sive momentum, or the speedy
moves she makes on her way down
the field that are too fast for defend-
ers to keep track of. The senior from
Shorewood, Wis., has a fierce aura
about her that inspires young girls
on the sidelines to shout, "Go No.
5! She's my favorite."
"She's got quick feet and she's
strong," Rademacher said of

Chavez. "She'll go up for the head-
ball regardless of her size."
Chavez's never-give-up attitude
on offense has earned her a lot of
playing time with Michigan during
her career. Chavez started in 14
games her freshman year, scoring
eight goals and recorded six assists.
The next two years were more of the
same, with Chavez showing a knack
for tallying game-winning goals -
she has not gone a season without
scoring at least one. Earlier this sea-
son, she was named the Rocco
Rococo Wisconsin Invitational
Offensive MVP. And after forward
Kate Morgan's season-ending injury
two weeks ago - she had been the
team's leading scorer - Chavez
might end up being the Wolverines'
most valuable player on offense as
well.
"Any time she's around the 18-
yard box with her back to the goal,
she has a knack for making a move
and getting the shot off,"

Rademacher said, adding that in
tight spaces near the goal, Chavez's
size works to her advantage.
"She's got good balance because
of her size," Rademacher said. "And
when she is going in on goal if she
gets knocked, we can sometimes
draw a foul."
As an experienced offensive play-
er, Chavez is an important asset to a
young Michigan team that is still
working out the kinks up front.
Whether it be setting the tone in
practice - Rademacher says that
she scores the most goals in their
scrimmages - or leading by exam-
ple on the field, Chavez is an expe-
rienced goal scorer and a hard-
working athlete, despite her size
disadvantage. And as the Wolverines
enter the last half of the season with
their sights set on the NCAA Tour-
nament, the spark Chavez provides
up front may prove to be much big-
ger than her 5-foot-2 frame would
seem to imply.

CHRIS BURKE
Goin' to work
it's official - sort of. The Uni-
versity of Michigan football uni-
form, thanks to an ESPN.com
poll, has been dubbed the greatest
uniform in all of sports.
But according to the ESPN web-
site, the crowning of the Wolverines
only came after some deliberation.
At first glance, the Michigan
threads were blown out by its oppo-
nent's - the Denver Broncos' uni-
form - in the championship game.
Someone at ESPN, though, threw
the challenge flag, and upon further
review, it was discovered that one
person had placed over 70,000 votes
for the Broncos.
ESPN decided to throw out these
votes, giving Michigan football a
controversial "national title."
For those of you that have better
ways to spend your time that com-
paring uniforms on a sports website,
here's a brief rundown of Michigan's
road to the title.
In round one, the winged helmet
matched up with Louisiana State's
football apparel. Let's be honest. No
team sporting purple is going to win
a "Best Uniform" contest, and as
such, Louisiana State put up about as
much of a fight as Notre Dame did in
the Big House five weeks ago.
Speaking of the Irish, they were
the second round uniform oppo-
nents for Michigan. At this point in
the bracket, the Irish were the only
team with two different outfits still
left in the draw. Their traditional
blue and gold battled the Maize and
Blue, while the Irish's bright green
"Tackle me, I'm Irish" uniforms
matched up with the Boston Red
Sox's throwbacks.
And out of 160,278 votes cast, the
Fritz Crisler-inspired Michigan
attire grabbed 50.1 percent of the
votes. Sorry, Rudy. Good effort
painting those helmets, though.
The rivalries kept coming in the
Sweet 16 for the boys from Ann
Arbor, as they were matched up
with Penn State's traditional white
and blue uniforms.
Kudos to the Nittany Lions for
not wanting to break with that tradi-
tion, but TV's were able to handle
color years and years ago, so it
might be time to take advantage of
that.
The JoePa-faithful put up a fight
for the Wolverines, but as per the
norm nowadays in Happy Valley, the
Nittany Lions came up on the short
end of the stick.
Michigan garnered nearly 60 per-
cent of the vote, and the team that

made the Big Ten into that awkward
11-team phase was left by the side
of the road.
At this point, the bracket brings
back some awful memories for the
Wolverines. Michigan's win over
Penn State took it out of the College
Football Region and matched it up
with the baby blue of North Caroli-
na basketball.
You remember North Carolina -
1993 national title game, Chris
Webber, TIMEOUT!
But wait! Thanks to NCAA sanc-
tions, that game never happened!
With a fresh burst of confidence,
Michigan bullied past North Caroli-
na's just-feminine-enough-to-be-
masculine entry into the field.
So it was on to the Final Four for
Michigan, and a showdown with the
San Diego Chargers' powder blue,
white and yellow alternate uni-
forms, which are covered in lighten-
ing bolts.
The other side of the bracket con-
tinued to keep open the possibility
of a Michigan vs. Detroit Red Wings
final, as the Wings' red-and-white
effort (for the last time, the logo in
the middle is a wheel with a wing
coming out of it - it's the Motor
City) were battling the Broncos.
The Chargers, champions of the
Wild Card Region with a surprising
victory over those Notre-Dame-
football-meets-the-Hulkish-bright-
green-uniforms-of-the-Irish in the
Sweet 16, then knocked off the
Chicago Cubs in the Elite Eight.
The Cubs, no doubt because of
their playoff run as opposed to the
fashionableness of their blue jerseys
with the letter 'C' hugging a baby
bear, had come out of the MLB
region.
San Diego's electric (get it ...
lightning bolts, electricity ... forget
it) powder blue uniforms proved no
match, as Michigan advanced easily
into the finals.
And then came the controversy.
The Broncos' unis - dark blue with
some XFL-ish orange stripes down
the side and what appears to be a
decapitated, on-fire horse head on
the helmet - made a stunning last-
minute rally, receiving, according to
ESPN, 42,500 of the last 50,000
votes cast to pull off a John Elway-
esque comeback.
As you already know, though, the
Wolverines were declared the victor
(or is it The Victors?), forever sham-
ing Denver.
Or at least, shaming them as
much as those Creamsicle inside a
huge blueberry uniforms do.
So, when those uniforms come
storming onto the field on Saturday
- enjoy it Ann Arbor, the Wolver-
ines are (kind of) national champi-
ons.
Chris Burke can be reached at
chrisbur@umich.edu.

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