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January 23, 2004 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-01-23

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SPORTS

The Michigan Daily - Friday, January 23, 2004 - 5

Intense training works 'wonders'

By Anne Uible and lower-body strengthening and includes more
Daily Sports Writer aerobic exercise than the team is accustomed to.
The Wolverines swim twice a day and spend
When the Michigan women's swimming and time in the weight room before afternoon prac-
diving team competes against Northwestern tices.
tonight, the pivotal issue will be which team has It has left many of the swimmers sore, but the
recovered the best after one of the new regimen has increased every-
season's most intense training one's power and speed.
weeks. OIH "Some of the girls have swum
"It's all about who can adapt to faster than they ever have,"
their training," coach Jim Richard- Michigan vs. Richardson said. "This new pro-
son said. "Everyone's hurting, but NorthwseteC gram has done wonders for our
when it's race time, we need to Tine- 5 p.mn. team."
step it up." Canhan Nataradum Richardson's main goal isn't
With just four weeks until the winning the last two meets before
Big Ten Championships, both the Big Ten Championships, but

made their time cuts."
Going into the meet against Northwestern the
Wolverines are 6-1 overall and 3-0 in the Big
Ten. Although Richardson said he is not overly
worried about the competition tonight, he knows
that his team can't take the conference meet
lightly.
"There's not a single Big Ten team that you
can say, 'Oh well, they don't have good swim-
mers,' " Richardson said. "Every squad has
between four and six girls that can win a meet
for their team."
The Wildcats, who beat Michigan State last
weekend 136-105, will look to put a blemish on
the Wolverines' perfect conference record with
senior leadership from breaststroker Katie Sim-
mons and distance freestyler Erica Rose.
"I feel confident that we are sharpening up as
a team and close to being prepared for Big Ten
championships," Northwestern coach Jimmy
Tierney said. "But I know from the past, Michi-
gan has always had a good team, and there's
always tough competition when we come into
Ann Arbor."

teams have been through an unbelievable
amount of dry-land and swim practices.
"I've never worked this hard before," senior
captain Sara Johnson said. "But it definitely
pays off in the water. All of us can see differ-
ences in our swimming."
This season Richardson has implemented a
new training program that is dedicated to upper-

being sure his swimmers are working as hard as
they can to achieve faster times.
"My primary focus is on being prepared and
swimming well," Richardson said. "We have two
girls that have already qualified for NCAA
championships (Anne Weilbacher and Susan
Gilliam), but we're hoping that by the Big Ten
championships we'll have some others who have

TUNYUIING/Da y
Junior Courtney Larson and the rest of the Michigan swimming and diving team take on Northwestern
tonight. The swimmers have implemented a new training program this season.

Water polo kicks off season with 'M' invite

6MD

NOTES

By Harold Fogel
For the Daily

Last year, the Michigan women's
water polo team missed the Eastern
Championship Final Four by an
inch.
After a last-minute shot hit the
post, the Wolverines fell to the
Brown Bearcats 5-4 in the semifi-
nals and failed to make
a repeat appearance in
the Final Four. While TUIs
Michigan went on to
finish third, coach Matt Michigan
Anderson said the team Tine: 1
was "happy, but defi- Sat
nitely not satisfied." 9:15 a.
Now that the 2004 Canhamn
season is here, Michi-
gan - ranked 10th in
the preseason poll - looks to make
good on all its goals. Michigan
gladly welcomes back 16 letterwin-
ners from the 2003 squad that won a
second consecutive Southern Divi-
sion title. Heading the team will be
three first-time captains: Goalkeep-
er Betsey Armstrong, driver Rachel
Burkons and center Stephanie Rupp.
Armstrong is coming off a phenom-
enal year. The lights-out goalkeeper
earned her second American Water
Polo Coaches Association All-
America Honorable Mention dis-
tinction in two years.
With Armstrong in net, the

YE
In
M-
-urd
Na

Wolverines developed into one of
the fiercest defensive teams in the
league last year. The team set a pair
of school records, allowing just 5.09
goals per game and posting an aver-
age of 11.41 blocks per game. In
2003, senior captains Stephanie
Morris, Emily Pelino and Delia
Sonda played major roles in Michi-
gan's success, and their absence cre-
ates a large void for the
Wolverines.
EEKEND "They'll definitely be
missed, and we'll have
vitational to learn how to play
30 am. without them," Ander-
Lay, son said. "But I have
Sunday confidence other players
tatorium will step up, and we'll
be fine."
Two players the team
will count on this season are fresh-
men Shana Welch from Larksville,
Pa., and Wesley Ellison, a native of
Portola Valley, Calif. Both newcom-
ers should see significant playing
time. Anderson also has high hopes
for sophomore Megan Hausmann,
who missed a large part of last year
due to injuries.
"When Megan is healthy, she can
be the type of player that dominates
on both ends- offensively and
defensively," Anderson said.
This year, the Eastern Conference
has expanded from two to four divi-
sions. This means the Wolverines

will move from the Southern Divi-
sion to the Western Division. Most
of Michigan's rivals have made the
move, including foes Indiana, Penn
State-Behrend and Mercyhurst.
The 2004 season kicks off this
weekend with the third annual
Michigan Invitational at Canham
Natatorium. With six games on the
schedule for this weekend, the Invi-
tational should be special for senior
Rachel Burkons. Coming into the
competition, Burkons, who was with

Michigan as a freshman in its inau-
gural year, has played in 96 games
and is set to become the first Michi-
gan player to appear in 100 games.
Julie Nisbet is just behind Burkons
with 93 games under her belt for the
Wolverines.
"Four of the top 17 teams in the
nation are here this weekend,"
Anderson said. "It could be a great
weekend for us or it could be a
weekend of heartbreakers. But it
should definitely be fun."

Harriers excited to
start season at home
As the Red Simmons Invitational is
typically the first big meet of the year
for the Michigan men's track and field
team, it is only fitting that the event
serves as the stage for the return of
the team's leading runners. Held at the
Indoor Track Building, the meet will
give hometown fans the first look of
their indoor season at junior Nate
Brannen, last year's 800-meter indoor
national champion, and sophomore
Nick Willis.
Although their top runners are
returning, other members of the team
are still doing their best to improve.
"Honestly, I'm excited to see
(Brannen and Willis) run," fresh-
man Chris Stowe said, "But every-
one is still focused on their events.
Their presence will make our team
better because they are two talented
runners."
The meet gives the Wolverines
another shot at intrastate rivals Michi-
gan State, Eastern Michigan and
Grand Valley State. Hillsdale and
Pittsburgh will also be running. There
will be no team score, but Michigan is
still hoping to improve on its perform-
ances from the last meets.
"I feel that we have a team that is
growing in talent and despite the fact
that we are young, we should be com-
petitive," Stowe said.

Track fans can look for some excit-
ing races, as last year's meet included
several NCAA provisional perform-
ances, including Willis in the 3,000-
meter run.
-James V Dowd
'The Fish' receives
donation for lights
The Michigan Athletic Department
announced that a former Michigan
baseball player anonymously donated
$375,000 to construct lights at Ray
Fisher Stadium. The renovations are
scheduled for completion in March.
The Wolverines will host three
night games, the first coming against
rival Michigan State on April 30.
Michigan also plays Western Michi-
gan on May 19, and Penn State on
May 21 under the lights.
"The addition of lights to Fisher
Stadium continues to show the sup-
port that the Michigan baseball pro-
gram has received from the
University and the alumni since I
have been here," said Rich Maloney,
who is in his second year as head
coach. "Our goal is to get Michigan
baseball back in the national spot-
light and the addition of the lights
along with other projects this offsea-
son, including the leveling of the
infield and new dugouts, helps put
us on track."
- Eric Ambinder

Junior Betsy Armstrong is the backbone of a solid Michigan defense.

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