10 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, January 28, 2004
Coach doesn't want Hollywood ending
By Gabe Edelson
Daily Sports Writer
In his 22 years as the leader of the Michigan men's
swimming and diving program, coach Jon Urbanchek 1
has developed a fondness for traveling with his teams.
But there is one part of road trips he does not enjoy.
"Definitely not watching the movies on the bus,"1
Urbanchek said. "Most of them have way too much
blood and sex in them. I always want-
ed to watch something pleasant, some
movies with some meaning, instead X
of watching all this meaningless stuff,
but that's today's generation."1
When senior captain Dan Ketchum
thinks about being on road trips with
Urbanchek, one thing above all comes to mind.
"There's always some sort of problem with the rental
vans," Ketchum said. "He always blames it on (assistant
coach Eric Namesnik) and National (car rental compa-
ny). I always get in his van because he gets so pissed
off. On our last trip, we come to the gate and all the
other vans go through, and they decide to stop him and
ask for his ID or something. He went nuts. He wanted
to see the guy's supervisor and threatened to drive
through the gate. We were all just dying in the back."
Despite some frustrating experiences, Urbanchek
has come to cherish those moments with his swim-
mers when the pool is not so important.
Aside from the Big Ten Championships in late
Hoops runs iri
By Megan Kolodgy
Daily Sports Writer
February, Saturday will be Urbanchek's last oppor-
tunity to travel with all his swimmers as the No. 9
Wolverines travel to Evanston to take on No. 15
Northwestern. He will retire at the conclusion of
"I'm going to miss those road trips," Urbanchek
said. "The fun, the laughs, the jokes, the music and all
that typical college-age stuff.
"I never had a son, but I have 24 sons every year.
That's what kept me young, being exposed to the way
(the swimmers) act and talk."
Due to the Las Vegas wedding of former Michigan
swimmer and Olympian Andy Potts, Urbanchek will
be unable to accompany the team as it leaves Ann
Arbor, but he will meet his squad in time for the meet
and the trip home.
The events themselves should be hotly contested,
pitting two deep, strong teams against each other.
Northwestern's 6-foot-7 freshman Matt Grevers, last
season's World High School Swimmer of the Year, has
looked like a star in the making while gaining national
recognition in his first year of collegiate competition.
Senior Tony Swanson was named Big Ten Swimmer
of the Week on Monday.
"Northwestern is a dangerous team," Namesnik
said. "They've come a long way in the last three or
four years. They have a good front wave of guys
and they cover a lot of events. We need to win the
events and get some good support from our lower
guys. Hopefully they can step up and do well to
secure the win."
If Michigan manages to beat Northwestern this
week and Michigan State on Feb. 6, Urbanchek would
leave with an astounding 100-4 career conference dual
meet record in conference play.
"We want to win this meet for Jon," sophomore
Davis Tarwater said. "We want him to go out a winner."
Urbanchek knows that this meet will be a challenge
for his team.
"They definitely can spoil my retirement," he said,
jokingly. "It's going to be pretty mean during that
Maybe the movie on the bus ride home will be a lit-
tle "nicer." At least one person would like it that way.
INJURY UPDATE: Junior Brendan Neligan was some-
what relieved to find out on Monday that the injury
he sustained to his right knee on Jan. 18 was a
"severely stretched MCL," rather than a major tear.
His status will be evaluated week by week. Neligan
still hopes to swim at the Big Ten Championships at
the end of February.
RING HEIST: Senior diver Jason Coben returned
home from the World Cup Diving Trials in North
Carolina to find his National Championship ring
from last year's individual NCAA Platform Diving
co-title missing. Coben filed a report with a police
detective, who is currently searching pawn shops for
any sign of the diamond-studded ring. "I want it
back really bad," Coben said. "It meant a lot to me. I
never take it out of its case. I'm too afraid."
TONY UN/Di y
After 22 years at the helm of the men's swimming program, coach Jon Urbanchek
has only one more road trip left with the team after this weekend.
Swimmer overcomes small size
By Anne Uible
Daily Sports Writer
"The coach to
in over her head
Sophomore guard Rachael Carney carries a legacy that
most athletes cannot claim; she comes from a short, but
packed line of female basketball players.
In 1975 - during an era when women's sports were begin-
ning to gain a significant foothold in the athletic world -
Carney's aunt, Mary Carney, set the single-game scoring
record at Wayne State University, chipping in 38 points
against Delta Community College. This record remained in
place until a mere two weeks ago, when a current senior had a
48-point evening against Grand Valley State.
But Mary's athletic prowess took her even farther than col-
"My Aunt Mary played professionally, I think in the first
pro-league," Carney said. "And then she played over in
Another leaf off the basketball family tree is another of
Carney's aunts, Irma O'Brien. Although she did not go on to
play in college, she was a standout for four years at Bishop
Foley High School in Madison Heights.
"She was really good, but she chose not to play past that
point," Carney said.
Carney's mother, Liz Carney, was also a natural on the
court. At Michigan State, she managed to make the team as a
One might argue, in fact, that Carney would not be around
if not for a serendipitous mixture of basketball and fate.
Mary Carney coached Rachael's mother while she was in
high school, and Carney's parents met through this connec-
tion. The rest is history.
Although women's sports were not overly popular while
Carney's predecessors competed, both sets of grandparents
were quite encouraging of their daughters' athletic endeav-
ors. For the most part, this carried on into Carney's playing
days. Her maternal grandfather wanted her to play a more
prim-and-proper sport like tennis, but the damage was
done. Carney had been under the influence of her basket-
Michigan sophomore Rachael Carney comes from a long line
of women's basketball players.
ball-loving family since day one. Despite this letdown, that
particular set of grandparents became some of Carney's
most avid admirers.
"(My grandfather) passed away in August," Carney said.
"But he and my grandma were my biggest supporters. They
came to every game."
Carney is also quick to add her father as a chief athletic
influence in her life. Basketball was not his forte in high
school - he was 4-foot-I1 as a junior - but he played hock-
ey and coached various teams at Carney's school when she
"When I was in kindergarten, I used to go to the gym and
go to his practices," Carney said. "I couldn't even hit the rim,
but then by first or second grade, I could make a shot."
In a family like this, one might guess that extreme pressure
would accompany being at the end of this line. Carney
believes that this is true to a certain degree, but feels that the
vast knowledge surrounding her is more of an advantage than
"When I was younger there was a little bit more pressure,
because they wanted us to succeed," Carney said. "Here at
Michigan I have my team, and then my family is my other
"After a game, I'll call my mom, and she'll be at my sister's
tournament, and then I have to call my dad. Then I call all my
aunts, and everyone gives me their tips about the game and
what our team needs to do."
"If you were to tell Sara to walk Diane. "But she
on water, she'd definitely give it a staying on the t
good try," women's swim coach Jim ing at it."
Richardson said. "That's how she is. Eight years la
I've never met a more determined U.S. state title a
person." after that mome
Standing at 5-foot-4, senior cap- back.
tain Sara Johnson is about a half a In high scho
body shorter than most of her com- four-time Michi
petitors. Due to her height, she has in the 100-yard1
been forced to work harder than sen as Michigan
most other swimmers. 1999 and 2000.
"A lot of people told Sara that she "I watched (J
wouldn't be able to swim at the long time befo
Division I level because she was too come to Michi
short to be successful," Richardson said. "She came
said. "But I think she has proven and I followe
them all wrong." through YMCj
Johnson insists that her height struck me as a
doesn't bother her. Instead, she takes and driven per
pride in overcoming a difficult people you put
obstacle in the sport of swimming. them a workout
"My height disadvantage has way."
become part of the fun in winning," Johnson sugg
Johnson said. "It has made me work mined personalit
harder and enjoy beating people between her par
more." "I get a lotc
Johnson began swimming at the because he was
tender age of four when her older Johnson said. "B
brother and sister joined a swim trol and desire t
team near their home in West end, I get that fr
Bloomfield. Johnson's fath
The coach, who was nervous that Michigan and pl
the child would drown, made John- the legendary co
son sit on the pool deck most of the ler from 1970-19
practices to do dryland training. "I did have so
When she did get into the water, decision," Larr
Johnson was forced to wear a life- end, it was her
jacket. third choice to g
Continued from Page 9
want other people to look at me and say, 'If she can do
it, so can I.' "
Besides, it has its benefits.
"It feels really good when they come up to you and
they think you're a superstar," Brundidge said. "I'm not
the best in the country, but they think so."
Richardson said that although there are efforts to
increase the sport's diversity, it has been a slow
process. He said the number of elite minority swim-
mers is pretty much "static-and by that I mean rela-
tively low. (Swimming) isn't, generally speaking, a
sport that has appealed to the African-American com-
munity at large."
But somewhere in Metro Detroit, there is a group of
Brundidge's youth records.
The next African American swimmer at Michigan
may not be so unique, and it could be because Brun-
didge has seized the chance to be a leader and an inspir-
That's even more remarkable.
ld me that Sara was
d, both literally and
d Johnson's mother,
was pretty intent on
eam and kept work-
ater Johnson won a
it the age of 12 and
nt she never looked
ol, Johnson was a
gan state champion
backstroke and cho-
Swimmer of Year in
ohnson) swim for a
are she decided to
to our swim camps,
d her swimming
A Nationals. She
son. One of those
in the pool, show
and get out of their
ests that her deter-
ty is equally divided
of it from my dad
a college athlete,"
3ut as far as the con-
o fight to the bitter
om my mom."
her, Larry, attended
layed football under
ach Bo Schembech-
Dme influence in her
y said. "But in the
first, second and
Like her high school career,
Johnson's time as a Wolverine is
also decorated with impressive
At the 2003 Big Ten Champi-
onships, Johnson won the 200-yard
individual medley with an NCAA
automatic qualifying time, Boiler-
maker Aquatic Center record and
personal-best time of 2:00.55.
"I was ecstatic after the race,"
Johnson said. "If someone would
have told me that I would swim that
race in that time, I would never have
Richardson attributes much of
Johnson's success to her analytical
outlook on swimming technique,
skills she may get from a double
majoring in engineering.
She tries to be very efficient with
every stroke and breaks down each
segment of every race and finds
ways to maximize her potential.
"It's tough managing a double
major and swimming," Johnson
said. "But it keeps me organized. I
couldn't drop swimming because it's
a huge part of who I am.
This past weekend marked John-
son's last meet at Canham Natatori-
um and a closing to four impressive
years at Michigan.
"Being on the team has been the
best experience of my life," Johnson
said. "I would be lost without it. I
can't believe it's ending."
On Saturday, Johnson and the rest
of the Michigan swimming and div-
ing team will compete at Notre
Dame for their final dual meet of
Continued from Page 9
"He's in the right spots at the right time all the time,"
said Andrew Ebbett, who has been Kaleniecki's linemate
in the past. "When he lets it go, he has one of the hard-
est shots on the team. He just plays simple. He just does
his job ... and when he gets a chance, he buries it."
Off the ice, Kaleniecki is very similar. He's all business,
all the time, which is a stark contrast to his roommates, fel-
low sophomores Ebbett, Al Montoya and Noah Ruden.
"He's a pretty quiet guy," Ebbett said. "Montoya,
Ruden and I live upstairs and he lives downstairs, so we
joke about how he keeps to himself all the time.
"We try to get him out once in a while, but he just
goes out when he wants to."
While Kaleniecki leads the team in scoring, his goals
have come in bunches. Aside from his trio this week-
end, he also had four goals Oct. 17 against Northern
Even though he would like to become a more consis-
tent scorer, his effort couldn't be more steady.
Ebbett also wouldn't mind if Kaleniecki scored more
consistently, because when things aren't clicking, he's
not as quiet as usual.
"When he's not scoring, he gets a little cranky,"
Courtney Lewis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.