The Michigan Daily - Thursday, September 9, 2004 - 17A
Continued from page 15A
these four guys go. But when I got there I was really excited and
all that went away."
The coaches had made the decision to base the last two spots
on the preliminaries, but it was hard to break the news.
"It was a very tough decision with Dan, one way or the other,"
Bowman said. "It went very well, and Dan came back and really
supported the team so I think that really speaks to his character."
With time to reflect, Ketchum has put that part of his Olympic
experience in proper perspective.
"A lot oftimes you bring four guys (for two spots) because you
just don't know who is going to be on at that meet," Ketchum
said. "It turned out that all four of us were on; we all had our
but was unable to stay with him for the last 100 meters. The result
of the team effort and excellent strategy could be considered the
biggest upset in the pool at these games.
"It was pretty exciting, and there were a lot of emotions going
around so it was easy to try and go out fast and just hold on; but we
swam smart," Vanderkaay said. "We held ourselves back a little
so that we could finish hard, and I think the Australians didn't do
that so well. I know that was a factor for them. In that last leg, Ian
caught Klete within the first 25 meters, but he never really gained
on him. I think he paid the price for going out too hard."
Winning the gold medal was the high point for Vanderkaay
and Ketchum, but they walked away with several new experi-
ences that they can bring back to Michigan.
"The Olympics were really special for me - being one of my
first international competitions and my first Olympics Games,"
Vanderkaay said. "I never thought I would even make the Olym-
best relay times. When all four of us are on,
(Vanderkaay and Lochte) are the better guys. neo
And it turned out great for us. They went out I never thought I
there and did their job and won a gold medal. wol1 e1a
I got one too, so it was pretty sweet." would even make
Even after qualifying for the final, the the Olympics
Americans were heavy underdogs in the
race. Ian Thorpe, the best 200-meter free- let alone win a
style swimmer ever, anchored the Australian
team, and it was as if the Australians had gold medal."
already been handed the gold before they
even got into the pool.-
"We swam almost a textbook relay. It was - Peter vanderkaay
exactly the way the coaches wanted us to Michigan swimmer
swim it," Vanderkaay said. "We owe a lot of
the credit to the coaches because they came
up with a great strategy - leading off with Michael and getting "I didn't feel the
ahead of the Australians and maintaining that lead so that Klete said. I thought itu
could have a chance against Ian (Thorpe) at the end." while at the samet
The strategy worked as Phelps gave the American team a detectors and all tI
body-length lead after the first leg. a hassle."
Lochte extended the lead in the second leg, as did Vanderkaay Although they h
in the third. Together they built the lead to one-and-a-half body- als they earned to
lengths for Keller. to set out on differ
"What we wanted (Vanderkaay) to do was swim a race that swimming for Mic
was evenly split with the second hundred meters the same as the career as a Wolve
first," Bowman said. "And he really did an excellent job. Every- finish and plans or
body did their job and swam the race the correct way, and that's to the Big Ten and
what they had to do to win. They pretty much had to swim a per- plans to pursue a ca
fect relay to win and that's what they did." As for Vander
The American coaches had anticipated the race perfectly, pre- son and hopes to
dicting correctly that it would come down to Keller holding off "I've heard people
Thorpe in the final leg. Thorpe was able to catch Keller quickly, when they come b
pics let alone win a gold medal - so I was
thrilled after my race. Also, I had never been
to Europe before, so it was exciting to see
everything there and travel around a bit. It
was totally awesome."
"The overall experience was amazing,"
Ketchum said. "It was more than I expected
it to be. I couldn't put it into words."
One ofthe most anticipated issues heading
into the Games was security. With the threat
of a terrorist attack, Athens had enlisted
more security measures than any Olympics
before it. Ketchum heard rumors of streets
lined with police and a separate athlete's vil-
lage for the Americans, but none turned out
to be true.
presence of the security that much," Ketchum
was going to be much worse. I felt very safe,
time there was plenty of police, checks, metal
he works, but not so much security that it was
have come back to Ann Arbor with gold med-
ogether, Vanderkaay and Ketchum are ready
rent paths. Vanderkaay has two more years of
higan, while Ketchum has already finished his
rine. Ketchum has one semester of classes to
n assisting with the team, possibly on through
d NCAA championships. After graduating, he
areer in engineering.
kaay, he is focused on the upcoming sea-
put his Olympic experience to good use.
say that they've had post-Olympic letdown
back and it's not the same," Vanderkaay said.
Current Michigan student Peter Vanderkaay (left) celebrates with likely future Michigan student Michael
Phelps (center) after the U.S. 800-meter freestyle team edged out the vaunted Australian squad.
"But it's definitely not that for me. We have such an exciting time
ahead of us here at Michigan, and I'm just as fired up to be here
as I was on day one. I think that will show throughout the season
with what we accomplish."
Vanderkaay isn't ruling out another trip to the Olympics, either,
and that's where Phelps comes in. Phelps will step in as a volun-
teer assistant to fill the void left by Keller.
"Klete and I had a great relationship because we were friends
in and out of the pool," Vanderkaay said. "We had a good, healthy
competitive relationship and I think it was positive for both of
us. We pushed each other at practice everyday. Now that Klete
is going to be out on the West Coast, and Michael is coming in,
I hope we can have the same relationship and push each other to
be the best."
With Vanderkaay in the pool, and Ketchum and Phelps helping
on the deck, Bowman has a strong nucleus of people he is familiar
with that will make the coaching transition a little easier.
"They are going to be leaders on our team," Bowman said.
"Having been around them and just getting to watch them train, it
really gives me a leg up when we get started to know where they
are and know the kind of things they are capable of doing."
Michigan should continue its strong tradition of excellence in
the pool with Vanderkaay leading the way. For him, Michigan
was the platform that started his rise in the swimming world.
"I've definitely taken off since I've gotten (to Michigan);'
Vanderkaay said. "I think a lot of that credit goes to my coaches
and teammates, because without those guys there is no way I'd be
where I am now. I'd like to give a lot of credit to coach Urbanchek
and other guys I've looked up to that made the (Olympic) team
too, like Tom Malchow, Chris Thompson, Klete Keller and Dan
Ketchum. To be a part of that is something that I'm really proud
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