2B - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - November 21, 2005
Synchronized skaters take ice at Yost
Athlete of the Week
Name: Ta'Shia Walker
Team: Women's basketball
By Amber Colvin
Daily Sports Writer
Typically at Yost Ice Arena, the sound of skates on the ice means the Michigan
hockey team is hard at work. But yesterday, sequined skirts and twirling jumps
were common fare at Yost as the synchronized skating team took over for their
annual fall ice show.
The show was their first performance of the season, giving the skaters a chance to
run through routines in front of an audience before competitions start up in December.
"It's always so helpful just to skate in front of a crowd and in our dresses,"
said Marie Picini, who skates for both the collegiate team and higher-level senior
team. "Any time you skate in front of a crowd, it's so much different than prac-
tice. It just gets us mentally prepared."
Coach Brooke Sloan used the show to test the skaters in a real performance
and work out the kinks before their first competition the weekend of Dec. 3.
"It was good because they got the jitters out," Sloan said. "We've got two
weeks until the competition and it was good to see how they react. It went OK,
and you know it will get better. This was a good run before the competition. Now
we have a gameplan for the next two weeks."
Sloan's main goal after the show is to clean up the routines. Liz Cutshall, who
also cross-skates between the senior and collegiate teams and serves as president
of the Michigan Figure Skating Club, agreed that tightening up the performances
was the key to a good performance in competition.
"We just want to make everything cleaner," Cutshall said. "Once we get ner-
vous, everyone rushes a little bit and goes faster, so we just want to get calm and
bend our knees more and get into it more."
Along with the full-team performances, skaters got to get creative with indi-
vidual and group acts for the show, including crowd favorites such as "Barbie
Girl" and "Hey Mickey." The routines, choreographed and practiced outside of
the regular team practice, showed a side of the team that doesn't always get to
come out in the regimented long and short programs prepared for competitions.
"We have to do the synchronized numbers, but then we get to go out there and
be goofballs and just have fun and remember why we like skating," Picini said.
"Sometimes, it just gets so intense with how much we put into it, but when you
do stuff like this, it's such a break and less pressure."
Sloan said it was important to give the skaters a chance to break free from the
"They got to kind of cut loose and have fun, and that's not usually what they
get to do," Sloan said. "For them, this is a great opportunity just to kick back and
have a good time."
This is Sloan's first year heading up the program, taking over for former coach
Anne Marie Copp. But this team is no stranger to Sloan, who worked with many
of the skaters as children through various club teams.
Under Copp's seven-year watch, the collegiate team scored a national cham-
pionship and synchronized skating was bumped from club status to club varsity,
the first women's sport to make the switch.
Cutshall said Sloan's coaching style is completely opposite from how Copp
led the team.
"She's just really peppy and loud," Cutshall said. "She's on the ice all the time
chasing us and making us go faster, where our other coach was just relaxed and
always complimenting us. She's just very energetic. It's been nice for this team
and what we needed."
Why: The six-foot forward went 8-for-10 from inside the arc
and notched 20 points and eight rebounds in Michigan's win
over Miami (Ohio) yesterday. She gave up just two turnovers
and was the team leader in points and offensive rebounds
11/21 M Cross Country
at NCAA Championship
11/21 W Cross Country
at NCAA Championship
11/22 M Basketball at Boston University
11/25 Volleyball vs. Ohio State
11/25 Ice Hockey vs. Minnesota
Terre Haute, Ind.
Terre Haute, Ind.
Wrestling at Penn State
M Basketball vs. Butler
Volleyball vs. Penn State
W Basketball vs. Toledo
Ice Hockey vs. Wisconsin
By Anne Ulble
Daily Sports Writer
Senior co-captain Davis Tarwater
didn't swim in his best events in Friday
night's meet against Michigan State. In
fact, he didn't even swim his best stroke
- butterfly. Instead, Tarwater watched
from the pool deck as teammate and
co-captain Chris DeJong handily won
the 100-yard fly in 49.80.
Michigan coach Bob Bowman intro-
duced his version of the game musical
chairs, and the No. 4 Wolverines used
their depth and ability to overpower the
"We wanted to have a racing opportu-
nity and give the guys the chance to swim
some events they don't normally do,"
Bowman said. "I think everyone stepped
up and really made the most out of each
race they swam."
Even though Tarwater didn't swim the
fly, he showed his versatility by winning
both his individual events - the 200- and
"It was strange watching the (fly) and
not swimming it," Tarwater said. "I really
would have liked to have been in it. But
it's good to get the opportunity to swim
The victory improved Michigan's
record to 3-0 overall and 1-0 in the Big
Ten. The win also bettered the Wolver-
ines' all-time record against Michigan
State to 75-5.
Bowman pointed to sophomore Johnny
Austermann - who secured two sec-
ond-place finishes in the 200- and 500-
yard freestyles - as the swimmer who
impressed him the most. "Johnny had
U WOMEN'S SWIMMING AND DIVING
Brady and Smith
qualify for NCAAs
By Nate Sandals
Daily Sports Writer
In many sports, it's important to save
your best effort until the most important
contest. But for junior Kaitlyn Brady and
her teammates on the Michigan women's
swimming and diving team, it was cru-
cial to be at the top of their game last
weekend, almost four months before the
NCAA Championship meet.
Brady's two individual first-place fin-
ishes helped pace the Wolverines to an
871-point, third-place finish in the seven-
team field. Host Texas A&M led the invi-
tational from the outset on Friday and
pulled away to win with a total of 1,123
points, 230.5 points ahead of second-
place Southern Methodist University.
Brady started her weekend quickly
by winning the 50-yard freestyle on
Friday night. Her winning time of
22.66 seconds automatically quali-
fies her for the NCAA Championships
in March. Adding to Brady's perfor-
mance for No. 14 Michigan was Lind-
sey Smith's fourth-place finish in the
same event. The junior captain's time
of 22.87 seconds was also under the
automatic qualifying standard for the
NCAA Championship meet.
Brady and Smith teamed up later on
Friday to lead the Wolverines' 400-yard
medley-relay team to a first-place finish.
Freshman Payton Johnson and sopho-
more Valeria Silva rounded out the quar-
tet, helping to complete the event in a time
Michigan (2-1 Big Ten, 2-3 overall)
continued to post fast times on Saturday.
Smith finished in first place in the 200-
yard freestyle in another NCAA auto-
matic qualifying time of 1:46.40.
The Kaitlyn Brady Show returned on
Sunday. The Wilmington, Del., native
claimed her third first-place finish of the
invitational in the 200-yard backstroke.
With a winning time of 1:56.35, Brady
again qualified for the NCAA Champi-
"I'm really happy to get my (qualify-
ing times) so early in the season," Brady
said. "The team as a whole did really
well. It's exciting that we will be able to
start to prepare for the national champi- f
onship meet this early in the season."
Coach Jim Richardson was pleased by
Brady's showing. But the 200-yard free-
style relay team impressed him too. The
squad, consisting of Brady, Smith, fresh-
man Hannah Smith and senior Abby
Seskevics, missed its cut in the event
finals on Friday night, but it came back
with a time of 1:31.04 in a time trial on
Saturday night to guarantee itself a spot
in the National Championship meet.
The members of the relay team will
immediately begin to train under Rich-
ardson's "Plan A" program. The training
regimen is designed to help the swimmers
peak at the NCAA Championships.
The rest of the team will continue with
the regular training program, known as
"Plan B." "Plan B" is designed to help
the swimmers achieve their best times at
the Big Ten Championships in February.
Overall, Richardson said the team's
terrific three days made the meet one of
the best in-season meets for Michigan in
"We had a lot of swimmers who
showed great improvement," Richardson
said. "Some of our times were close to
qualifying for the National Champion-
ship meet in March. I'm feeling good
about where this team is right now."
Sophomore Johnny Austermann placed second in both the 200- and 500-yard freestyles against Michigan State on Friday.
a good day," Bowman said. "He's been
improving every meet, and I have high
hopes for him"
Austermann led the 200-yard free for
the first 100 yards, but Tarwater inched
up on him in the final four laps and out-
touched Austermann by just over second.
"I was just waiting for Davis to creep
on me like that," Austermann said. "He's
a great guy to swim against because he
can push you a lot in a race."
Austermann finished second but
came away with a personal-best time of
"I was kind of surprised and a little dis-
appointed at the same time," Austermann
said. "I've never been at a 1:40 in the first
couple of months of a season, so I was sur-
prised and happy. But I was also a little
disappointed because I didn't get the 1:39.
I haven't been there yet, so I wanted to get
Bowman was pleased with Auster-
mann's race and said he believes that the
sophomore has the potential to improve
his time especially with some elite-level
meets on the horizon.
In two weeks, the Wolverines head
south to compete in the much-antici-
pated Texas Invitational. The meet will
showcase several top-10 teams includ-
ing No. 5 Arizona, No. 6 Texas and No.
8 Southern Cal.
Due to the intensity of the competition,
some teams will be shaved and tapered in
preparation for their races. But Bowman
plans on continuing along with the pace of
his training schedule this week and allow-
ing the team to rest a couple days next
week before the meet.
"You don't want to go in and be so
totally broken down that you can't com-
pete," Bowman said. "But we also don't
want to be in total peak performance
Bowman is looking forward to the
meet as a midseason report on how well
his team is faring.
"I think we are in a good spot right now
in the season," Bowman said. "But I think
they can be better in two weeks."
By Danielle Ravich
Daily Sports Writer
Despite Michigan's 3-1 loss to North-
western on Saturday, history was made last
night when Stesha Selsky notched a career
high of 39 digs. It gave her the second-most
single-match digs in program history, just
four short of Jayne Hickman's 43 digs in
a match against Wisconsin in 1985. Sel-
sky now totals 954 digs in her career, and
she could become the fastest Wolverine to
"I had a lot of fun being there with my
teammates tonight, and we all tried to do
our best," Selsky said.
This weekend's game got off to an excit-
ing start with an edge-of-your-seat 10 ties
and 10 lead changes, finally leading to a 23-
23 deadlock before Northwestern caught
fire with a 7-1 run to finish off the first
Game two was also a tight match, and
the Wolverines successfully overcame a 20-
11 deficit to take a late 28-27 lead. But the
Wildcats managed to tie the score and then
go on to win 30-28.
The Wolverines fought back and domi-
nated the Wildcats in game three, taking a
Grapplers compete for
spots to start season
By David Murray
For the Daily
Most Michigan athletes are accustomed to the
concept of Maize and Blue. But for the Michi-
gan wrestling team, Maize versus Blue is the
only way to determine which wrestlers get to
represent Michigan as a starter.
On Friday, the wrestling team did just that,
competing in their annual Maize and Blue Intra-
squad meet. The meet gave the top-two wres-
tlers from each weight class the chance to battle
each other for a starting position - one sporting
maize and the other suited in blue. The prelimi-
nary matches for each weight class were wres-
tled during practice earlier in the week.
The team competition ended in a lopsided
victory for the Maize team, 21-10, but more
importantly, the starting rotation was all but
The two newest Wolverines to crack the start-
ing lineup are both redshirt freshmen - Steve
Luke at 157 pounds and Tyrel Todd at 184
Luke had to overcome a difficult match to
earn his starting position, narrowly defeating
Jeff Marsh of the Maize team, 3-2.
"I didn't wrestle as well as I usually do," Luke
said. "It was the first match situation in a while
in front of a crowd. But overall, I will get better
as the season goes on."
Luke and Marsh were locked up at 2-2 after
two periods, with Luke scoring a two-point
takedown early in the first and Marsh scoring
an escape in each of the first two periods. Luke
started the third period from the bottom posi-
the bottom position, giving him a 3-1 advantage
heading into the third period. After Maktabi
scored one point for escaping, Todd took him
down with 13 seconds left, adding two more
points to his score. Todd also received one point
for 2:15 riding time, giving him the 6-2 victory.
"I'm really looking forward to (being a start-
er)," Todd said. "I looked forward to it all of last
year. I'm really happy to be there. Anything can
happen. I'm a freshman, so all of the pressure is
on the older guys."
Although wrestle-offs for six other weight
classes took place on Friday, Luke and Todd will
be the only new names inserted into the starting
rotation this season.
"Both Steve and Ty are really going to add a
lot to our team this year," coach Joe McFarland
said. "They're young, but they're tough, and I
really like the way they compete. They are both
really committed to it. They have the desire and
commitment to be national champions. We're
really excited to have them both in our program,
and I think they're really going to solidify a
tough lineup for us."
The Maize and Blue will return four All-
Americans to the starting lineup. Redshirt soph-
omores Josh Churella and Eric Tannenbaum won
their wrestle-offs at 141 and 149 pounds, while
fifth-year senior co-captains Ryan Churella and
Greg Wagner will return at 165 pounds and
Three other starters were also determined
at the intrasquad. Junior Jim Shutich had to
defeat true freshman Michael Watts twice on
Friday to garner the 125-pound starting posi-
tion, while redshirt juniors Mark Moos and
Sophomore Stesha Selsky came up with 39 digs on Saturday in a losing effort against Northwestern.