The Michigan Daily - Sports Monday - March 4, 1991- Page 7
Five in a row,
In Th e
by Andy De Korte
Daily Sports Writer
INDIANAPOLIS - By dominating the Big Ten
Championships for a sixth straight year, the Michigan
men's swimming team proved it is still the class of the
Big Ten. To those who follow swimming that is no
"Until somebody can come along and beat them,"
Iowa coach Glenn Patton said, "they are clearly the elite
team of the conference."
A look at the All-Big Ten list quickly reveals that
while Michigan world championship medal winners
riddle the list, the divers are nowhere to be seen. This
quandary results because only an event winner and three
at-large athletes, usually swjmmers, can garner the
honor, and as par for the season, the divers performed
In many of the dual meets this season, including
high-ranked Cal-Berkeley and lesser-ranked Michigan
State, only the influence of the Michigan divers allowed
the squad to come home victorious. When Michigan
could not dom-inate the Buckeye divers, the Wolverines
During the Big Ten Championships, Steve Hamer-
ski, Eric Lesser, Jeffrey Jozwiak, and Brad Lambert,
averaged 43 points for the one, three, and ten-meter
boards. This was almost 12 points higher than the aver-
age gain for Michigan's swimming events, and rep-
resented approximately 18 percent of the team's points.
"Michigan is one of the two strongest diving squads
at this year's championship," Iowa diving coach Bob
Hamerski, who finished 4th, 5th, and 2nd, in the 1,
3, and 10-meter dives respectively, made the NCAA cut
in all three. He was joined by Eric Lesser, who qualified
in the three-meter, in confirming Rydze's conjecture.
The 43 point average really shows its significance
when compared to Ohio State's divers, who only
mustered 36. While Michigan had four divers, compared
to the Buckeyes' three, any imbalance between the
squads is equalized by OSU's dependence on Big Ten
Diver of the Year, David Pichler, who finished with 57
out of a possible 60 points. Besides, the fact that
Michigan had more divers in Indianapolis only speaks
to the fact that Michigan has better divers.
"You've got four guys in the top ten, that's just
tremendous," Michigan diving coach Dick Kimball said.
The presence of a strong diving squad is a hallmark
of a strong team. Of the bottom six teams, only two
teams put divers in the final heat of any of the three
diving events. Wisconsin's Terry Butler won the one-
meter dive and came in third in the three-meter dive. It
is no coincidence that Wisconsin claimed seventh, ahead
of two teams, Illinois and Northwestern, who only had
one diver earn receive points, between them.
The upper echelons would have been impacted by
diving had the title race been closer. Iowa, a principle
contender, could only manage 34 points on the diving
boards. As long as Iowa continues to lose 100 points to
Michigan in diving alone it will be almost impossible
for the Hawkeyes to mount a serious challenge.
Michigan would have been able to win the Big Ten
title with a smaller contribution from its divers.
However, this does not diminish the divers'
accomplishments. It's obvious that with the strength of
the diving corps, Michigan could have won with a
smaller contribution from the swimmers.
Missy McCracken swims during the time trials at the Big Ten Championships in Minneapolis last weekend.
W om-en continue Bi Ten
ny Yoav irom
Daily Sports Writer
For the fifth year in a row, the
Michigan women's swimming and
diving team captured the Big Ten
Championships. Following a tough
season of long road trips and rigor-
ous preparation, the Wolverines
are extremely satisfied with their
Michigan entered last week-
end's meet in Minneapolis very
confident about their chances for a
The Wolverines achieved what
one might call diversified success,
placing well in all events.
Some Michigan swimmers also
put in particularly outstanding per-
formances. Lisa Anderson, Tara
Higgins, Kathy Diebler, Mindy
Gehrs and Val Hyduk all set new
meet, conference or pool records.
The Wolverines' main worries
entering the Championships had to
do with specific events, not the
meet as a whole.
.Our concern was if we would
have the type of tempo to succeed
at the 50 and 100-yard relays,"
said Richardson. "We knew about
the 200, that we would do well."
Throughout the season, Michi-
gan has had greater success in the
longer events, and the Big Tens
was no exception. The Wolverines
swam exceptionally well, placing
first in both the 200-yard back-
stroke and the 200-yard breast-
"The meet reflected the way
we felt about our chances,"
Richardson said. "We were posi-
tive about the 200 and less about
Michigan dominated the meet,
winning by more than 250 points.
The Wolverines attribute their
good fortunes to a season of tough
training and good work ethics.
"The team worked hard all sea-
son," said Richardson. "The extra
preparation helped us."
During the three day competi-
tion, Michigan showed no signs of
letting up and improved as the
"The team asserted themselves
very well on the first and second
days and just kept on pouring it on.
Each day, we seemed to be getting
stronger," Richardson said.
Individually, this was also a
successful meet for the Wolver-
ines. Anderson and Gehrs finished
third and fifth in the overall com-
petition, respectively. Michigan
placed six swimmers in the top
twelve. Michelle Swix, Jennifer
Love, Karen Barnes and Minoo
Gupta also swam well.
The diving team contributed
many stellar performances of their
own. They excelled in the 10-me-
ter diving event, in particular, fin-
ishing with eight of the top 12
divers. Margie Stoll, Whitney
Scherer, Julie Greyer and Lisa
Cribari were also outstanding.
This past weekend, at the
Michigan Open, the Wolverines
once again displayed their winning
ways. Ann Louise Francis swam
her lifetime best in the 500-yard
freestyle and Missy McCracken
and Kathy Diebler qualified for the
senior national championships.
The Open was the final home!
meet for Michigan. On March 8
and 9, the Wolverines will partici-
pate in the EMU invitational in
Ypsilanti, and then look forward to
the NCAA Championships March
21-23 in Indianapolis.
Team (Nat. Rank)
5. Ohio State(14)
6. Michigan State(18)
Continued from page 1
competition, trailing Minnesota,
"I think Minnesota is swimming
extremely well. They deserve to be
where they are," Michigan coach
Jon Urbanchek said at the time.
"This is a very good day for them.
It's a very good day for them point-
wise, and not so good for us."
Friday's session was abuzz with
talk of Glenn Patton's Iowa
Hawkeyes. Iowa entered the meet
entertaining thoughts of dethroning
the Wolverines, but a disqual-
ification in the 400 medley relay
put a dent in the plans.
"Obviously we're disappointed
with our team placement," Patton
said after the disqualification. "We
were hopefully trying to come in
here to compete for the title.
We're totally out of the title hunt."
After Friday's proceedings,
everyone else was out of the title
hunt as well.
Michigan claimed its first relay
title of the meet, as it won the 200
medley relay. Eric Bailey, Wun-
derlich, Gunn, and VanTassell
cruised to a relatively easy win, as
they won in 1:29.58, comfortably
under the NCAA-qualifying time.
Junior Eric Namesnik took the
400 I.M. in 3:49.02, yet another
clocking under the NCAA cut.
Brice Kopas followed suit, finish-
ing over a second under the stand-
ard as well. Kopas hit the wall in
3:54.04 for a fourth-place finish.
Gunn proceeded to upset
defending champ Sean Quack-
enbush of Minnesota in the 100
butterfly. Winning in :48.40, Gunn
added yet another NCAA-qual-
ifying time to the Michigan
Eric Wunderlich was next with
a victory in the 100 breastroke.
Wunderlich, who "pretty much
wanted to go under :54.5," did
exactly that, erasing former
Wolverine Jan-Erick Olsen's Big
Ten meet record in the process
with a time of :54.44.
The last Wolverine victory of
their explosive second day came
from sophomore Steve Bigelow.
Due to an ankle injury, he had not
been able to train a maximum
amount, yet he still managed to
swim past top-seeded Mike
Johnson of Iowa to win in :49.92,
another NCAA-qualifying mark.
"Rick (Wilkening), my back-
stroke coach, the grad assistant,
wanted me to take it out a lot
faster tonight because he knew
that the guy from Iowa (Johnson)
was more of a 50 man than a 100
man," he said. "So I wanted to
stay as close as I could to him and
then bring it home as hard as I
By the day's conclusion,
Michigan had pulled well in front
of its nearest competitor, Minn-
esota, by just under 100 points.
During the meet's final day, the
Wolverines padded their advant-
age even more. Bigelow claimed
another backstroke event, this time
at his favorite distance, 200 yards.
His time of 1:46.33 lopped .8 of a
second off the Big Ten Champ-
ionship record and .06 off his own
all-time Big Ten record.
Gunn duplicated Bigelow's dual
championships with a victory in
the 200 butterfly, while teammates
Bailey and Jim Hume placed fifth
and eighth respectively.
Mike Barrowman pumps his fist after winning the 200 yard breaststroke
at the Big Ten Championships which the Wolverines won last weekend.
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