Monday, July 11, 2011
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
'M' matches fierce competition in Montreal
Five swimmers rack
up seven medals in
By STEVEN BRAID
Daily Sports Writer
For the Michigan swimming'
team, it wasn't supposed to go this
well at the Canada Cup in Mon-
The Wolverines were supposed
to be nervous and somewhat
Sure, a few of them were sup-
posed to swim well, but the major-
ity of them were supposed to be
content with just competing with
some of the world's best swim-
This was just supposed to be
an opportunity for them to gain
invaluable experience at the inter-
national level. But for the 21 Wol-
verines that made the trip, they
did more than just soak in the
They showed that they
"It was a great meet for us,"
Michigan coach Mike Bottom
said. "We had a lot of guys swim-
ming real fast. It was pretty excit- a battle for third place between
ing." freshman Kyle Whitaker and
Michigan left the Canada Cup junior Dan Madwed.
with a combined seven medals, Whitaker held on to his late
won by five swimmers. lead to finish seconds before Mad-
Freshman Connor Jaeger fin- wed, taking the medal. Sopho-
ished strong in the 800-meter more Miguel Ortiz rounded out
freestyle, taking third place Michigan's .medalists by taking
behind fellow Wolverine fresh- third-place in the 50-meter free-
man Sean Ryan. The two team- style swim.
But while five Michigan swim-
mers medaled in Montrdal, that
might not have been the most
impressive part of Michigan's dis-
name and I can play at the Canada Cup.
The Wolverines as a whole
tell you that they didn't seem unnerved or appre-
Y hensive. They did not shrink in the
surprised me." spotlight.
In fact, the international com-
petition appeared to have the
opposite affect on them.
Unfazed by the extraordinary
mates finished behind Michigan talent that opposed them, their
alum Matthew Patton. swims were confident and poised.
Ryan and sophomore Ryan Fee- With the stands full and the tele-
ley also finished second and third, vision cameras everywhere, they
respectively, in the 1,500-meter seemed excited to be competing
freestyle behind Olympian Ryan on the big stage.
Cochrane. According to their head coach,
Ryan added another medal the swimmers believed that they
when he finished third in the 800- belonged and they swam with a
meter freestyle. purpose throughout the whole
In the 200-meter medley, it was meet.
Junior Dan Medwed set a personal best time at the Canada Cup in Montreal.
"You can call out any name and
I can tell you that they surprised
me," Bottom said. "That's the
way it was. Every time I turned
around, a guy was doing a best
time, one person after another.
"Part of our goal, as a coach-
ing staff, is to give these guys a
great opportunity to be competi-
tive internationally and not just
nationally. It was a lot of fun."
Almost everyone who made
the trip left Montreal with a new
personal best time. Among those
who set best times were Whita-
ker, Madwed, freshman Ryutaro
Kamiya, sophomore Evan Gregg,
freshman Michael Wynalda,
freshman John Wojciechowski,
and sophomore Roman Willets.
While Bottom recognizes that
there is still a lot of room for
improvement among his swim-
mers, he also understands the
magnitude of what his roster
accomplished in Canada. 4
"They had plenty of competi-
tion outside of our own (swim-
mers)," Bottom said. "We just
swam better than the competition
and that's why we put so many
guys in the finals."
Whitten takes the reins after excelling as assistant
Son of former PGA
Tour veteran ready
for new challenge
By SAMANTHA PEARSON
For the Daily
It's been just two weeks since
Chris Whitten was promoted to
head coach of the Michigan men's
golf team, but he already has his
blueprint in motion for the future
of the Wolverines.
Already busy searching for the
best and brightest golf recruits in
the nation, the enthusiastic and
optimistic Whitten plans to estab-
lish a squad that will continue the
long line of success with Michi-
gan men's golf for many years to
The Wolverines have finished
in the top-10 at the NCAA Tour-
a nament twice in the past three
years, both times under the direc-
tion of former head coach Andrew
Sapp and Whitten as an assistant.
Whitten has aspirations to sur-
pass this previous success and
build a program that will one day
bring home a national champion-
And Whitten is no stranger to
the high caliber level of elite golf.
His father, Buddy Whitten,
played on the PGA Tour through-
out most of his son's childhood,
with the younger Whitten often
being a caddy for his father.
Chris Whitten, a Rockford,
Mich. native, brought his golf
skills to Notre Dame, where he
played all four years. He earned
the Fighting Irish's Varsity
Monogram Award and the Knute
Rockne Scholar Athlete Award in
It was there in South Bend,
Ind. that he discovered his love
for teaching, and turned down
the opportunity of a professional
career for himself.
After joining Michigan's staff
in May 2006, Whitten's young
sons Whitten learned under Sapp
was the importance of consisten-
ists for t
ed a pt
he past two seasons - 2010 "My goals are more process ori-
1 - he was one of five final- ented (now)," Whitten said. "I'm a
the Jan Strickland Award, strong believer that if you do the
the top assistant coach in right things on a daily basis, the
results will show up at the tour-
While there will be more pres-
look forward sure on him to produce results
this upcoming year, he will rely on
watching him his instincts and follow through
on the regularity that his players
p the winning seek.
Whitten hopes to model a lot of
edition alive." his coaching style off of Sapp, in
that "(Sapp) was really consistent
in his decisions, interactions with
the players, practices, etcetera.
kA. The guys always knew what to
as spent the last few years expect."
g the ropes of coaching With two incoming freshmen
app, who recently accept- joining the team in the fall, Whit-
osition as head coach at ten will be responsible for eight
arolina. male golfers.
of the most valuable les- One of the most promising
looks to be senior captain Matt
Residing from Battle Creek,
Mich, Thompson will continue
the legacy of previous male golf-
ers from that area.
"Matt has been here for a lot of
Michigan's golf success," Whit-
ten said, "And I look forward to
watching him keep the winning
In addition to Whitten's tal-
ented crew of eight already onS
the squad, he is looking to add
an assistant coach to the team as
well. According to Whitten, inter-
views are still taking place to fill
the assistant coaching vacancy at
Once Whitten gets his 20110
roter finalized, don't expect any
drop-off in production under the
untested head coach.
Whitten's no greenhorn - he's
seen the best of collegiate and
professional golf - and now he's
ready to lead the Wolverines.