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4B - December 7, 2009

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com 91

4B - December 7, 2009 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom *

'M' takes short course title

Blue's 16th-place finish at
Cliff Keen Invitational will
be key to team's development

0

Biondo withdraws
from tournament
with knee injury
By AMY PARLAPIANO
For the Daily
If the Michigan wrestlingteam's
season so far could be summa-
rized in a two-word phrase, it's a
"learning experience." The latest
lesson for the young team came
this weekend at the Cliff Keen
Las Vegas Invitational, where the
Wolverines placed 16th overall.
Michigan is still a team in tran-
sition, with more than half of its
squad made up of freshmen and
sophomores. These large tourna-
ments - this one 42 teams - are
excellent ways for the younger
wrestlers to gain confidence. In
the past, the Wolverines would
aim to win this tournament. But
coach Joe McFarland knows that
this year, the major goal is to
use this kind of tournament as a
building block. It was also a great
way for his young team to get
some experience against tough,
ranked teams like Ohio State and
Cornell.
"We're going through some
SIMS
From page 1B
to develop him so that he can play
at the next level," Beilein said
after a game against Northern
Michigan on Nov.14. "And his
next level is not as a post man.
We want him to have a skill level
where he can do things on the
outside, and he can use some ath-
leticism."
Beilein said that after the
team's season-opening win in
which junior Manny Harris
posted a triple-double, Sims had a
double-double and freshman Matt
Vogrich went 5-of-5 from 3-point
land.
Those were better days, to be
sure.
Now, Sims is disappearing at
times during games, Harris's
hamstring is bothering him more
than ever, and the thought of
any Wolverine going 5-of-5 from
beyond the arc is about as far-
fetched as Terrelle Pryor finding a
cure for cancer.
It would be nice if Sims had
the luxury of playing outside and
fine-tuning his guard skills to pre-
pare for the NBA, but he doesn't.
Michigan's recent struggles have
upped the stakes in every game
they play before the Big Ten sea-
son starts, which means it needs
Sims to perform now more than
ever.
And Saturday's game proved
that in order for Sims to play well,
and Michigan to win, he needs to
return to his roots.
"I was definitely more focused
on staying on the block and show-
ing my moves," Sims said after
Saturday's win. "And I was effi-
cient today."
In the first half, like the halves
in all of Michigan's losses, the

growing pains," McFarland said.
"We still need to work on our
intensity level. Intensity comes
with confidence, and it's a hard
thing because you need that
intensity to get those wins, and
you need those wins to get your
confidence."
One of the ways the younger
Wolverines learned about wres-
tling was by watching team cap-
tain Anthony Biondo, who has
talked in the past about leading
by example. The redshirt junior
hasn't lost a match for the team
since Nov. 7.
Earlier in the young season,
Biondo struggled with stay-
ing aggressive all match, even
though he was winning them.
That was not the case this week-
end. The captain advanced to
the semifinals after defeating
Cornell's Cam Simaz thanks to
a last-second offensive strike in
the final period.
"I thought he had a great
tournament," McFarland said.
"When Anthony wrestles hard
and he puts complete matches
together, he can beat anyone in
the country."
Biondo ultimately took 6th
place at 197 pounds with a 3-0
record. After hurting his knee

in an earlier match, McFarland
made the decision that it would
be wisest to withdraw him from
the tournament to avoid further
risk.
This weekend's meet was a test
to see if the Wolverines could
capitalize on the momentum they
generated in last week's come-
from-behind victory against
Penn State. The team went out to
Las Vegas and showed they were
capable of being successful, as
all 10 wrestlers won at least one
match throughout the two-day
tournament.
McFarland and his team
watched the championship
matches and saw what it takes
to win big tournaments. They
learned from some of the best
teams that it takes aggressive-
ness, consistency and a refusal to
give up.
"In a tough tournament like
that, you have to be in the battle
and fight every second out there,"
McFarland said. "I'm hoping we
got a lot out of this tournament
and our guys are really trying
to figure out and understand
what to do to win a tournament
like this, and the effort that they
need to have when they step on
the mat."

By RYAN PODGES
Doily Sports Writer
Despite trailing No. 3 California
by six points entering the third and
final day of this weekend's AT&T
USA Swimming Short Course
National Championships, the No.
7 Michigan men's swimming and
diving team easily overcame the
deficit to win the meet for the sec-
ond consecutive year.
Michigan beat a field of NCAA
teams that included California,
No.12 Southern California and
No. 18 Indiana, as well as dozens
of private clubs, at the three-day
meet in Federal Way, Wash.
Four individual top-five fin-
ishes on the last day of the meet
fueled the Wolverines' come-
from-behind victory, as Michigan
finished the competition 46 points
ahead of California. Junior Tyler
Clary finished third in both the
200-yard backstroke and butterfly
events, sophomore Dan Madwed
touched fifth in the 200-yard but-
terfly and freshman Ryan Feeley
placed fifth in the 1,650-yard free-
style.
"What we wanted coming in to
the meet was to not be rested and
swim the events that we will be
swimming at the end of the year
and learn how to swim them,"
Michigan coach Mike Bottom said
through the Athletic Department.
"Not trusting that we are rested
but trusting in our goals. We want-
ed to focus on things that they
needed to learn and do right when
it is the end of a race."
Clary, who is recovering from
the HCN1 u, did not start the
meet quite the way he had wanted.
After he was seeded first in both
the 500-yard freestyle and the
200-yard individual medley, he
was visibly upset after finishing
the events in eighth and eleventh,
respectively.
He and Bottom considered
withdrawing from some of his
other events, but eventually Clary
said he decided to "set the example
that it does not matter how you are
feeling, you have to get the work
done."
His subsequent swims were
much better. In addition to his
third-place performances on the
final day of the meet, he touched
third in the 400-yard individual

Junior Tyler Clary turned heads with a strong perfomance in Washington.

medley and won the meet's high-
point award.
"I came back with the attitude
that this is going to be the kind of
a meet where I can work on the
details," he said through the Ath-
letic Department. "I kind of had
to force myself to focus on hitting
my walls, going underwater, hit-
ting my breakouts. As the meet
progressed, my mindset changed
a little bit, allowing me to turn in
some swims that were respectable,
especially for not being rested or
completely healthy."
Bottom also praised senior
co-captain Andre Schultz for his
"stud" performances and team
leadership throughout the week-
end.
The So Paulo, Brazil native
was the national runner-up in
the 200- and 400-yard individual
medleys and swam on three relays.
Because he is not a United States
citizen, Schultz was not allowed to
score points for Michigan, since it
was a national championship swim
meet. Senior Alon Mandel and
freshmen Iassaan Abdel Khalik
and Miguel Ortiz were not permit-
ted to win points for the Wolver-
ines, either, for the same reason.
Michigan alum Peter
Vanderkaay (2003-06), who still
trains in Ann Arbor withclub Wol-
verine, joined his former team-
mates at the meet. He won the
200-, 500- and 1,650-yard free-

style events.
After the Short Course National
Championships ended on Satur-
day, Michigan won three events
Sunday in the morning session
of the Long Course Invitational,
held at the same facility. Each
event was swam in a 50-meter pool
instead of a 25-meter pool.
Senior co-captain Chris Brady
.won the 100-meter butterfly and
Clary added one more victory to
his r6sum6 in the 100-meter back-
stroke.
The Wolverines also swept the
top three spots in the 400-meter
freestyle, with senior Charlie
Houchin touching first, Madwed
second and Feeley third.
Junior Neal Kennedy, who
is becoming the team's premier
breaststroker, placed fifth in the
100-meter breaststroke at the
Long Course Invitational and
also finished 20th in the 100-yard
breaststroke at the Short Course
National Championships. Bot-
tom, who has been impressed with
Kennedy's performances in the
last few meets, called his swim-
ming this weekend a "pleasant
surprise."
The two meets last weekend
marked the final times Michigan
will compete this month. The
Wolverines will train in the Flor-
ida Keys over the holiday break
and will race again on Jan. 2 in the
Orange Bowl Classic.

0
0
0

THE MICHIGAN DAILY TOP 10 POLL
Each week, Daily Sports staffers will fill out ballots, with first place votes
receiving 10 points, second-place votes receiving nine, and so on.

Senior DeShawn Sims will be key tothe Wolverines' success this season.

Wolverines couldn't buya bucket.
So they dumped the ball in to
Sims and let him go to work down
low, and he put on a clinic against
the Golden Lion big men who
couldn't keep up with his speed.
With the threat of Sims in the
post, the defenders were forced to
stay behind on him and not follow
Michigan's shooters all the way
out to the 3-point line. This led to
more open looks, which the Wol-
verines took advantage of - the
second half of the game was the
first time in three games the team
cracked 30 percent from beyond
the arc.
The defenders staying home on
Sims also opened up opportuni-
ties for Harris, who scored 16 of
his 18 points in the second half.
But most importantly, this win
more than any other proved that
while Harris is the biggest name
on the team and certainly a great

player, Michigan goes as Sims
goes. It may sound like blasphemy
to the Manny Fresh worshipers,
but the numbers back it up.
In Michigan's two worst losses,
against Marquette and Boston
College, Manny Harris had 22
points and 19 points, respectively.
Sims? Eight and four.
In the only game that could
even remotely be considered a
signature win for the Wolverines,
Sims notched a double-double,
with 16 points and 11 rebounds.
The point is, while Manny
Harris is the best player on the
team, DeShawn Sims is the most
valuable.
And as Saturday's game proved,
the only way for Michigan to get
the numbers it needs from its
most valuable player on a regular
basis is to feed him in the post.
Only then will Michigan con-
sistently win.

0

A.

1. ALABAMA: The Tide's Heisman
hopeful, RB Mark Ingram, is
from Flint. Hmm, wonder how he
slipped away from the Wolverines.

2. TEXAS: The Big 12
Championship was excruciating.
Good luck at the Downtown
Athletic Club after that one, Colt.

.N

3. CINCINNATI: Brian Kelly might
be the best offensive mind in the
game right now. Too bad he takes
a nap whenever Cincy's on 'D.'
4. TCU: The Horned Frogs are one
of the nation's best-coached teams.
How do you think they'd match
up with a stalwart like Alabama?
5. BOISE STATE: The only thing
more exciting than the Bronco
offense is the bright blue turf on
which they play home games.

6. FLORIDA: Did anyone else see
Tebowbawling after the game?
Was that because of the loss or
the beating he took from'Bama?
7. OREGON: What a roller coaster of
a season - from the Blount Blow to
a Rose Bowl berth after besting the
Beavers. Beat the Buckeyes, Ducks.
8. GEORGIA TECH: The Yellow
Jackets have a BCS bowl berth
in year two under Paul Johnson.
Take notes, Rich Rodriguez.
9. IOWA: The Hawkeyes slipped
into the BCS this year. Unbelievable,
after aone-point win over Northern
Iowa to start the season.
10. VIRGINIA TECH: Hokie,
Hokie, Hi, Hi, Tech, Tech, VPI!
A down year in Blacksburg is
not making the BCS. Oh, well.

UNIVERSITY
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The Time of Your Life.

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
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