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January 23, 2006 - Image 14

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The Michigan Daily, 2006-01-23

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6B - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - January 23, 2006

Brady continues streak while
team preps for championships


By Amber Colvin
Daily Sports Writer

"It's alway
girls as yout
"But I thinks

On Saturday, the women's swimming and diving team won its last Though sm
dual meet of the season, but Michigan coach Jim Richardson didn't races they ent
care. Another "W" on the record is nice, but right now all this team is participated.
concerned about is practice. races ended m
As the 15th-ranked Wolverines hit the home stretch of their long "We had s
season, all eyes are on the Big Ten Championships. after this wee
gf"I don't think winning or losing (dual meets) does anything for you, in our sport
other than at that moment, you're happy that you've won instead of Big Tens ...
lost," Richardson said. "What's going to prepare you to do well at standing, and
the end of the season is really what happens Monday through Friday - because v
- your training." don't worryt
With many swimmers running on empty after a long week of intense really caresa
training, the Wolverines benefited from a size difference in their 163.5- While Ric
Y f 126.5 victory over a much smaller Northwestern team. admitted tha
Junior Kaitlyn Brady - fresh off being named National Collegiate The Wolverii
Swimmer of the Week on Thursday - continued her streak of individ- in their very
ual wins with three first-place finishes. The versatile swimmer domi- of winner No
e nated the competition in the 50-yard freestyle, 200-yard backstroke "It was aI
and 100-yard butterfly to bring her to 17 straight victories. weekend," B
"At this time in the season, it's the hardest month of training," Brady With three
said. "It's hard to come into a meet at the end of the week after you've demanding p
been working so hard each day. You just have to give it all you've got left. then begin th
I think we're doing pretty well for as hard as we've been working." focuses more
Sisters Lindsey and Hannah Smith posted back-to-back wins, with the Wolverin
Lindsey claiming the top spot in the 200-yard freestyle, and Hannah well rested a
doing the same in the 100-yard backstroke. Their only competition Four of th
was from fellow teammates; Northwestern did not enter any swim- kevics - wil
EMMA NOLAN-ABRAHANIAN/Daily mers in the races. Michigan was the only competitor in nine different pare them for
Junior Kaitlyn Brady won three events in the Wolverines' win over Northwestern on Saturday events, including both rounds of diving. training toug
Churella and Wagner alike in many ways

s nice to swim against someone that doesn't have as many
because you have more girls in each event," Brady said.
some of the girls swam really well."
hall in number, the Northwestern swimmers did shine in the
tered. The Wildcats placed first in every race in which they
But the Wolverines were close in each one. A few of the
with a Michigan swimmer getting touched out at the wall.
ome people who were obviously just running on fumes
ek," Richardson said. "People put way too much emphasis
on winning and losing dual meets. The last time we won
the team trained wonderfully. Their preparation was out-
dthat's why their win-loss record wasn't during the season
we didn't take it easy to try to win meets. We honestly
too much about winning and losing dual meets. No one
about that at the end of the year."
hardson brushed off the importance of the win, Brady
t it does help to end the dual meet season with a victory.
nes had to settle for the runner-up position last weekend
own Michigan Invitational, coming up nine points short
o. 20 Notre Dame.
pretty good confidence booster after coming off of last
rady said.
weeks between now and the Big Ten Championships, the
ractices will continue for at least a week. The team will
e "taper" section of their training - which is slower and
on strength training. So when the day finally arrives for
nes to travel to enemy territory in Columbus, they'll be
nd ready to go.
e swimmers - Brady, both Smiths and senior Abby Ses-
ll have modified taper workouts that last longer and pre-
r the NCAA Championships. But as for now, it's all about

By David VandeVusse
Daily Sports Writer
On paper, Michigan wrestlers Ryan
Churella and Greg Wagner are nearly iden-
tical. Both are fifth-year seniors, team cap-
tains and two-time NCAA All-Americans.
But it is their latest similarity that has
Michigan coach Joe McFarland thrilled
about the 2005-06 campaign. Churella
and Wagner both hold undefeated records
of 16-0 for the fifth-ranked Wolverines.
Churella has reeled off 29 consecu-
tive dual-match victories dating back to
last season and is the top-rated wrestler
nationally in the 165-pound weight class,
according to InterMat. Wagner outscored
his opponents 36-0 two weeks ago at the
N WCA National Duels in Iowa and is
rated third in the country amongst heavy-
weights. Despite their unprecedented
success, the co-captains have remained

focused on the ultimate goal.
"It would be nice to go undefeated,"
Churella said. "But if I have to suffer a
loss for a national title, it's more than
worth it."
Both Churella and Wagner finished
fourth in their respective weight classes at
last year's NCAA championships. Com-
ing back for their final season, they feel a
revamped urgency to win.
"This is my last year," Churella said. "I
don't really plan on losing. I have kind of
put pressure on myself from the beginning
of the year."
Churella and Wagner have regularly
scored points with high-paced and inten-
sity-filled starts to each match.
Wagner joked about his teammate's ten-
dency to come out so hard that he overextends
and sometimes gives up the first takedown.
"But he eventually gets them tired and
pins them," Wagner said.

Jokes aside, Wagner has great respect
for his teammate's abilities.
"He works as hard as probably any-
body in the country," Wagner said. "He's
always putting in extra time. He wants to
dominate people."
And dominate he has. Fortunately, his
winning ways have rubbed off on Wagner.
"(Wagner) is very consistent in all of
his matches," Churella said. "He goes in
with a game plan and follows through."
Following through is what the two
captains have done all season. They are
committed to achieving their season and
career goals.
Their consistency has given their team-
mates a great lift. With Churella wrestling
midway through most competitions and
Wagner going last, Michigan can count on
key victories down the stretch.
"We have stability throughout the lineup,"
Churella said. "The team can depend on a

win and build on it. It helps the entire team."
Wagner, who was named a captain this
year for the first time, has grown into his
role as a leader. He thrives on his new
responsibility, leading by example on the
mat and getting more involved with his
teammates than he has in past years.
"It's made me think more about how I
can help make the team better," Wagner
said. "I need to go out and help set the
tone for the team."
Wagner and Churella's pursuit of per-
fection has done just that. But they're far
from done.
"The end of the year is going to justify
where we're at now," Wagner said.
For Wagner and Churella, the current
high rankings are encouraging. But the
Michigan captains know that the only
standings that really matter are those that
come out in March, following the NCAA







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