10 - Tuesday, October 6, 2009
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
10 - Tuesday, October 6, 2009 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom
After fast start in tournament,
'M' stumbles in the final round
Junior Tyler Clary was the NCA A Swimmer ot the Year last year and spent the summer competing overseas.
Big Ten title, NA
prominence still not
enough for Bottom
ue falls to fifth Michigan struggled to birdie
towards the end of the competi-
lace after six tion. The Wolverines had sixholes
oles of double of double bogeys or worse.
"Today, we just didn't play
geys or worse well," Michigan coach Andrew
Sapp said. "We had one of the
worse scores of the whole day
By ZAK PYZIK compared to the other teams, We
For the Daily were missing greens, hitting it in
trees and the weather was perfect.
peat of Sunday's perfor- We can't blame it on anything but
would have been ideal for ourselves."
. 19 Michigan men's golf Sophomore Matt Thompsonled
nstead,the Wolverines saw Michigan, finishing 20th over-
lves slip from first place in all in the tournament. He shot
'ne to a fifth-place finish at four over par and accumulated 75
ndon Memorial Classic in points in round three.
e, Ill. Thompson entered the event
igan exchanged the lead ranked No. 8, and certainly lived
linois through round one up to expectations in round one
o of the two-day compe- by finishing only one over par. He
But in yesterday's final ended his streak of seven consec-
the Wolverines tallied utive rounds of par or better after
nts; good for an unfortu- notching 75 points in the second
th-place finish in round and third rounds.
"I had two double bogeys,"
Thompson said. "If you take them
away, we're sitting much better.".
The trio of Thompson, junior
Lion Kim and freshman Jack
Schultz finished one- two- three
again, and golfed 12 of 18 rounds
at par or better.
"We needed to play like we
played Sunday, but we weren't
able to do that," Kim said. "We
made a lot of mistakes. I made
a couple double bogeys today.
We had to stay away from big
numbers, and we just didn't do
The Wolverines will have to
regroup as they prepare to bat-
tle at the Brickyard Collegiate
tournament in Macon, Ga., this
"As a team, we are on the right
track- it's a matter of all five guys
playing well at the same time,"
Kim said. "Our team'this year has
the most potential out of every
other team and it's just a matter
of us clicking."
By RYAN A. PODGES
Daily Sports Writer
For most coaches, winning a Big
Ten title and finishing the season
as the No. 7 team in the nation in
your first season would alleviate
the feeling of pressure that comes
with taking over an elite program.
Mike Bottom is not one of them.
The Michigan men's swimming
and diving coach, felt that a strong
sense of urgencystarted, notended,
after his first season finished in
March. At that point, his team had
already crushed second place Ohio
State at the conference champion-
ship meet by more than 300 points
and had just finished seventh at the
"I could tell he thought we were
going to place higher than we did
last year at that meet," said junior
Tyler Clary, who won two individu-
al national titles and was last year's
national Swimmer of the Year.
After the NCAA Championships,
Bottom was convinced the team
was moving in the right direction,
but quickly stressed, "Unless we
move a little bit faster, we're not
going to be in the game."
But don't confuse Bottom's rush
to move the team forward for impa-
tience or disappointment. Instead,
he is driven by his belief that Mich-
igan is on the cusp of winning a
record 12th national team title.
Admittedly, Bottom's coaching
approach during his first year was
at times more about simply watch-
ingand learning from his new team
than trying to implement a lot of
changes. But as his second season
begins, it is clear this will bea year
for action. As the swimmers start
getting in shape for their upcoming
season, it seems nothing is a better
indication of this than the intensity
"Training has been really hard,"
senior co-captain Shaun Weinberg
said. "There are just no words for
it. Right now, it's all work, no play.
Everything Mike does is fast-paced,
and ever since last year, he started
picking up the pace in all aspects
of practice and setting the vibe for
what's to come."
In addition to being in better
physical condition, the Wolverines
will start their season with some-
thing else that many of them did
not have a year ago - international
swimming experience. This sum-
mer, eight Michigan swimmers
swam atseveral international swim
In July, seniors Alon Mandel and
Weinberg and freshman Andrew
Novakoff competed at the Maccabi-
ah Games, an international Jewish
Olympic-style competition and the
world's third-largest sporting event,
in Israel. Senior co-captain Chris
Brady won three medals, including
one gold, at the World University
Games in Belgrade, Serbia.
At the FINA World Champion-
ships in Rome, Clary finished sec-
ond in the 400-meter individual
medley and placed fifth in the 200-
Both Bottom and assistant coach
Dr. Josh White said the empha-
sis Michigan puts on competing
internationally and building up to
the Olympic Games sets it apart
from most other college programs.
Swimming abroad also has benefits
that the coaches hope will make
the team mentally tougher heading
into this season.
"I think anytime the guys get to
travel outside of the country and
see the world competition, it gives
them more confidence that they
can come back into the NCAA and
battle with the best of the best,"
Bottom said. -
He pointed to sophomore Dan
Madwed, who took home a gold
medal for his preliminary race in
the 4x200-meter freestyle relay
at the World Championships, as
an example of a swimmer who
revealed his true potential when
he was tested in a new environ-
ment overseas. But beyond the ben-
efits these experiences bring to the
athletes' performances in the pool,
Bottom said it presents a differ-
ent "flavor of life" that helps them
mature into better team leaders.
"Our guys understand what a
tremendous honor it is to represent
the United States," he said. "Shaun
Weinberg is someone who got a
chance to experience that. He was
competing with guys from every-
where, and now he comes back and
is captain of our team. Last year,
he didn't make the NCAA Champi-
onships. He scored at the Big Ten
meet, but he was not the kind of
leader that he is after going abroad
and representing the U.S."
The leadership of the team's
experienced upperclassmen is
likely something the Wolverines
will rely on throughout the upcom-
ing season. The Wolverines have 16
freshmen this year, representing
nearly 50 percent of the team. It is
the largest freshman class in the
The way the team helps the
freshman class adjust to the col-
lege ranks will be a huge factor in
the season's success. Despite the
multitude of accomplishments
these freshmen have achieved
before coming to Ann Arbor and
the potential they have undoubt-
edly shown so far in practice, some
of their older teammates can see
the team has already experienced
"Freshmen are really wild cards
- someone who we don't expect
anything of could potentially be
the next NCAA champion," Clary
said. "They don't quite understand
what it's all about yet. It's going to
take one of our first really serious
dual meets in order to slap them
back and say, 'Whoa, this is seri-
For now, that slap back will have
to be provided by their teammates
during workouts. Bottom's prac-
tices are carefully calculated to
make sure the team stays ahead of
last year's training schedule. Every
swim is even categorized in a col-
or-coded system to give the swim-
mers a better understanding of the
coach's goal for each workout. It's
certainly not easy, but everyone
knows, it's all part of taking the
next steps to a national champion-
"Right now it's all about hard
work, and it's difficult because it
doesn't always pay off right away,"
Brady said. "But now we know
Mike and how much he wants to
win. He definitely has a plan to win,
so that definitely makes it easier for
us to stay focused."
Freshman Derek Dennis slides into home during Michigan's 26-1 exhibition win over the Ontario Blue Jays.
Blue Jays in fall ball finale
By BRITTANY SHANNON
For the Daily
In their Michigan baseball
debut, freshmen Derek Dennis
and Patrick Biondi gave the fans
at Ray Fisher Stadium a taste of
what they can look forward to in
the 2010 season. The freshman
duo combined for timely hits and
three RBI in the Wolverines' 26-1,
14-inning exhibition win over the
Ontario Blue Jays yesterday.
In their first official contest as
Wolverines, Dennis and Biondi
impressed Michigan coach Rich
Maloney and may have made a
case for why they should be start-
"You'll see a lot of them," Malo-
ney said. "You will see Derek
Dennis be the shortstop, and
Biondi will probably be the left
The second inning marked the
Blue Jays' only score - on a hit "From a hitting standpoint,
from junior catcher Justin Marra. we'll have to continue to get bet-
By the end of the seventh inning, ter," Maloney said.
the Wolverines held a 20-point "I mean, we've scored a lot of
advantage over the Blue Jays, runs and all, but-we can do a bit
thanks to home runs from Coley better."
The Wolverines' hitting will
need to continue to improve
going into a season in which they
Five Wolverines will face six NCAA Tournament
qualifiers (including North Caro-
hit home runs in lina, who competed in the College
.h .1World Series in each of the past
h -,14-inning four seasons). The Wolverines
exhibition win, can't expect a fall exhibition win
to guarantee smooth sailing in
"I'm pleased with their perfor-
mance," Maloney said. "As long as
Crank (who led the Wolverines they stay hungry,.I think they've
with seven RBI), Mike Kittle, got a real chance."
Ryan LaMarre, John Lorenz and The next matchup for the Wol-
Tyler Mills. verines will be Feb. 19, when they
That apparently wasn't enough face Maine in the 2010 season
for Maloney. opener in Lubbock, Texas.
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