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December 07, 2005 - Image 12

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The Michigan Daily, 2005-12-07

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12 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, December 7, 2005

Bmdy's struggles behind her

By Nate Sandals
Daily Sports Writer
The late comedian George Gobel
once asked, "Did you ever feel like the
world was a tuxedo and you were a pair
of brown shoes?"
That's a good description of how
Kaitlyn Brady felt after her fresh-
man season on the Michigan women's
swimming and diving team.
The Wilmington, Del., native came
to Ann Arbor with high expectations,
looking to be a key contributor for the
Wolverines at the Big Ten Champion-
ships. But a lackluster 2003-04 season
culminated with Brady scoring only
one individual point at the confer-
ence championship meet. Even though
Michigan won the conference title, she
couldn't help but feel disappointed.
Now a junior, Brady can look back
on her first year at Michigan and smile,
considering how much she's grown.
"It was hard to not be doing as well
as I hoped," Brady said. "I think it
taught me a lot about how to deal with
not doing as well as you expect."
But according to coach Jim Rich-
ardson, it wasn't until December 2004
that Brady really came into her own as

a college swimmer. It took her those 16
months to adjust to the physical rigors
of collegiate training.
"It was hard for her at first," Richard-
son said. "But every year she matures
Brady showed how much she
advanced when she returned to the Big
Ten Championships at the end of her
sophomore season. She won the 50-
yard freestyle and also competed on
two winning relay teams.
As Brady's performances began to
improve, so did her attitude. She used
to get down after a bad race, but now
Brady keeps a smile on her face and
moves on.
Already, the junior has positioned
herself in the upper echelon of all-
time Big Ten swimmers. Brady has
the third-fastest 50-yard freestyle
time in conference history, and the
fourth-fastest conference times in
the 100-yard butterfly and 200-yard
It's rare for a college swimmer to
have so much talent in such a wide
range of strokes. It's also hard to find a
swimmer who can have such a positive
effect on her teammates.
This season, Brady has taken it upon

herself to be a spirited and uplifting
force on the team. She is notorious
for always keeping her teammates
"I try to make the swim meets as
fun as possible," Brady said. "It's a lot
easier to swim well when everybody is
cheering for you the whole time."
Brady has definitely swam well thus
far. She has already qualified for the
NCAA Championships in the 50-yard
freestyle and the 200-yard backstroke.
But Brady isn't just making noise in
the pool. She is also the leader of the
sprinters' training group, the smallest
but rowdiest group on the team, notice-
ably louder than the middle distance
and distance groups.
"Sprinters, generally speaking, from
a personality standpoint, they tend to
be like thoroughbreds," Richardson
said. "They've got a lot of spirit and
you don't have any trouble knowing
when they're around."
Richardson expects that attitude to
help Brady and the team as it moves
into the second half of their season.
Two years after arriving at Michi-
gan, Brady doesn't mind her brown
shoes. They're more comfortable than
a tuxedo anyway.


Junior Kaitlyn Brady has already registered NCAA qualifying times in the 50-yard and 200-yard backstroke.

Continued from page 10
from cutting and boxing out effectively.
Helvey provided the offensive spark,
scoring 17 of the team's 32 points - just
one fewer than the Lady Hawks' second-
half total.
She sealed the victory by going 11-
for-12 from the free throw line in the
second frame.
Last night's win evened the Wolver-
ines' record heading into Friday night's
tilt with Washington, but the team was
in a similar position last year following
a home victory against Washington as
well. Michigan went on to lose 19 of its
last 20 games.
This year's team hopes to maintain
its momentum beyond the first eight
When asked about winning con-
secutive games for the first time in
over a year, Burnett said, "Let's keep it
continued from page 10
"When (Benson) came in and stepped
up, that's what we need her to do to take
those shots," Helvey said. "We were
wishing (Clement) would come through
and hit those shots. But (Cooper) was
excellent, and I think that if we wouldn't
have hit those, the score would be some-
thing different right now."
Continued from page 10
Saturday, scoring 13 points and grab-
bing 10 rebounds.
Sims should exploit the size advantage,
much like he has done so far this season.
Sims netted a team-high 20 points against
a Central Michigan team that had no
player taller than 6-foot-8 play more than
three minutes. In the victory over Butler
- a team with no players taller than 6-
foot-7 - Sims scored 21 points. More
importantly, his 18-point first half caused
the Bulldogs to double-team him in the
second frame, creating open looks for the
Wolverines' perimeter players.
Luckily for Sims's senior teammates,
he knows how important a dominant post
performance could be to them tonight.
"If we lose against Delaware State,
those two games against Miami and
Notre Dame mean nothing," Sims said.



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