8E - The Michigan Daily - New Student Edition - Fall 2003
'M' tankers make a splash at Big Tens
By Waldemar Centeno
Daily Sports Writer
Fully clothed, Michigan's men's swimming and
diving head coach Jon Urbanchek dove into Cah-
nam Natatorium's pool preceded by the entire
Michigan men's swimming and diving team.
Overheating, the Big Ten Coach of the Year had
all the reason to celebrate. His Wolverines had
just won the Big Ten Championship.
"How am I going to describe this man in a cou-
ple of sentences?" senior co-captain Jeff Hopwood
said of Urbanchek. "He's unbelievable. He's such
an amazing man because he cares probably more
about us out of the pool than in the pool. You know,
that's really hard to come by in a coach. He is like a
father to all of us."
As they announced the winner of the Big Ten
Championship, the Wolverines awaited in ecstasy for
the results of a dramatically close tournament. Pres-
sured by the resilient Golden Gophers (689), the
Wolverines used their final few events to capture
their first Big Ten title (727) since 2000.
"Every little thing counted," Urbanchek said. "For
us to win this meet we could not give up any points"
After winning the 500-yard freestyle and being a
favorite throughout the Big Ten Championship, Big
Ten Freshmen of the Year Peter Vanderkaay fell short
to Minnesota's Justin Mortimer in the 1,650 free.
"It's definitely disappointing, but it was a good
time," Vanderkaay said. "I gave it a good, effort but I
just got to refocus and comeback to get ready for the
NCAA, which we like to call the 'Big Dance."'"
Although Vanderkaay lost, he was able to capture
a NCAA automatic qualifying time, and with the
help of four other Wolverines, allowed Michigan to
maintain its narrow lead over Minnesota.
Following Vanderkaay's loss, senior Garrett
Mangieri furiously entered the pool for the 100-yard
free. Mangieri's intensity turned into results, as he
came in second and helped Michigan gain momen-
Water Polo loses
ticket to Final Four
tum going into the final events.
Feeling the thrust for victory, Jeff Hopwood then
attained a first-place finish in the 200-yard breast-
stroke with an NCAA automatic time of 1:56.31.
"It was more of a momentum thing," Hopwood
said. "I really wanted to go out there because we
did not perform like I thought we would in the
1,650. We didn't take advantage of the five spots
we had in the finals. Garrett really started the
momentum for us by grabbing second in the 100-
yard free. Then I came out and I knew I really
wanted to win. This was my event and I haven't
won in a couple of years."
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 existence.
When all was said and done, Michigan had seven
all-conference first team finishers and an individual
all-conference second team finalist. Michigan's
first-place swimmers were Chuck Sayao, who com-
peted in the 400-yard individual medley, and the
800-yard free relay team, which consisted of fresh-
men Davis Tarwater, Mangieri, Vanderkaay, and
junior Dan Ketchum.
Minnesota also had an immense amount of individ-
uals capturing first and second team all-conference.
"They really put up a good effort," Van-
derkaay responded with thoughts regarding Min-
nesota. "They made the championship really
exciting. That was definitely more fun then a
total blow out."
After Michigan and Minnesota, Indiana came in
third with a score of 455 and Northwestern in fourth
with a total of 378 points. Michigan State resided
quietly at the bottom of the list with a score of 146.5.
Although the entire team will not swim in the
Chuck Sayao competes in the 200-yard individual
medley during the Big Ten Men's Championships.
NCAA Championship in Austin, Tex. on Mar. 27-29,
the Wolverines will have an abundance of individu-
als ready to swim for the title of best in the nation.
But, right now Michigan will celebrate its well-
earned Big Ten Championship.
"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."
By Ellen McGarnity
The Michigan women's water polo
team may have lost its ticket to the Final
Four, but no one can say its season was
lost. In just its third year competing
with varsity status, this group of
Wolverines has blown away most of the
East Coast teams.
Unfortunately, they could not blow
away No. 17 Brown in the Eastern
Championships. They came up short
in a heartbreaking 5-4 loss. Michigan
traveled to Boston April 25-27,
entering the event as the top seed.
Last year, the team was in the same
position and won, giving them an
automatic berth to the Final Four.
But this year, after the loss to Brown
on the first day of competition, the
Wolverines had to eventualy settle
for third overall.
"In a situation where you don't get as
far as you want to get, the important
thing is that you don't stumble too
badly," Michigan coach Matt Anderson
said. "By winning third place, we were
able to prove that we are still a very,
On Saturday, the tournament started
off well when Michigan defeated Buck-
nell 14-2. Michigan expected the game
against Brown to have a similar ending,
but Brown proved it was ready to take
on the force Michigan has come to be
known as in the East.
"Brown had been there before when
they went to the Final Four two years
ago," Anderson said. "Six of their
seven starters were on that team the
year they upset Michigan on the way to
the Final Four. We also had not played
them this year."
Michigan kept up with Brown for the
first three quarters of the game, and the
game went into the final quarter tied 4-
4. Brown scored early in the fourth
quarter and Michigan did not get anoth-
er chance to score until the final sec-
onds of the game when they earned a
penalty shot. Their chances to launch
the game into overtime were crushed,
though, when Brown's goalie blocked
"We did not play poorly" sophomore
goalie Betsey Armstrong said. "Brown
stepped up to play us - we had a really
good game of water polo. We played
well, but they played better."
Possibly the hardest part of the week-
end for the team was finding the moti-
vation to turn around and play No. 14
Princeton for the third place title.
"We were trying to win the first place
game, so when we got to the third place
game, it was a shock to us," sophomore
driver Sheetal Narsai said. "It's hard to
go into a game just to win for nothing,
but then we realized that it was for
something. One of our team captains
made a speech and said, 'Hey, we can't
just roll over and die - we can still
make a statement.'"
And Michigan did make a statement,
sending the Tigers straight to fourth
place with their 9-5 win.
"The Princeton game showed our
season was not a fluke," Anderson said.
"We were upset by Brown so I told the
team, 'Let's not let other teams in the
East think that our whole year was a
fluke.' And by how resounding of a vic-
tory we had against Princeton, I think
the other teams realized that we just got
Another hard reality Michigan faced
in the Championships was that Indiana
took first place overall. Indiana, Michi-
gan's biggest rival, is advancing to the
"Kudos for Indiana, but it's disap-
pointing knowing that we did defeat
them easily three times this season,"
Anderson said. "It's too bad we did-
n't have the opportunity to stop them
from (getting to the Final Four)."
Although the water polo season is
officially over now, Anderson is
looking back on his first season with
"I'm disappointed in not reaching our
final goal, but that is what is going to
make us better next year."
Rowers glide to top at the Big Ten Championships
By R&Jsh Bandla
For the DAy
It couldn't get much worse for a Michigan sports team than spending the week-
end in Columbus watching Michigan State win a Big Ten Championship. Unfortu-
nately, the women's rowing team couldn't do anything about the unfriendly fans in
crimson and silver. Luckily, Michigan was able to prevent a Spartan win as the team
took the Big Ten Title from Michigan State in the final race of this weekends' meet.
"We knew going in that it was going to be very close," coach Mark Rothstein
said after this weekend's Big Ten meet.
Going into the final race, No. 7 Michigan needed a win from the first varsity
eight and a 3rd place showing or worse from Michigan State to win the meet.
Michigan did its part as the first varsity eight won its sixth straight race with a
time of 6:27.8 - the fastest time of the meet. Michigan State also chipped in
by finishing the race in third, allowing the Wolverines to win the meet on a
tiebreaker. The victory gave Michigan its third conference title in four years.
Adding to the win's sweetness was the fact that rivals Michigan State and Ohio
State finished 2nd and 3rd, respectively. Also, last season the Buckeyes prevented
Michigan from taking a third-straight conference title.
Michigan had reason to feel like a favorite going into the meet. The first varsi-
ty eight had won five consecutive races, including victories over No. 11 Ohio
State in the Big Ten Invitational and
No. 10 Virginia in the ACC/Big Ten
Michigan also had two No. 1 seeds
going into the Big Ten meet (first varsity
four and first varsity eight) and the high-
est overall ranking of any Big Ten
school at No. 7.
In addition to the first varsity eight's
Grand Final victory, the first varsity
four narrowly stayed ahead of Iowa to
win their Grand Final, beating out the
Hawkeyes by 1.8 seconds.
Rothstein hopes to use the momen-
tum from this weekend to end the sea-
son on a high note.
"We have a lot of speed that we can
gain;'Rothstein said. "We need to enjoy
this weekend, come back on Monday and
Sheetal Narsal drives to the hole against Indiana. Narsal was the second leading
scorer of the 2003 season, behind Casey Kerney.
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