Correction: This article in Monday’s edition of the Daily (The Other Rivalries) said the Michigan softball team leads the all-time series with Iowa. Iowa actually leads the all-time series 51-41-1.
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Water Polo vs. Indiana
While this rivalry seems one-sided, those directly involved know that’s not the truth. Although the rivalry is relatively young – the first game between the two was played in 2001 – almost every contest between the two CWPA rivals has been decided in the fourth period or overtime. Although Michigan has dominated Indiana, winning all 15 games coming into the 2004-05 season, Indiana made it interesting last season. The Hoosiers won both regular season games by one goal – the second in sudden-death overtime. But Michigan rallied to win the games that mattered most – the ones that decided the CWPA Western Division championship and the Eastern Championships, which sent Michigan to the NCAA championship.
Softball vs. Iowa
Over the last 11 seasons of Big Ten softball, the trophy with the inscription reading Big Ten regular-season champion has had just two homes – Iowa City and Ann Arbor. During the same span, the Wolverines have been to eight Women’s College World Series, winning last year’s, and the Hawkeyes have been to four. The two teams first played each other in 1981, and the competition between the two has always been intense. Though Iowa leads the all-time series 51-41-1, lately Michigan has dominated. The Wolverines have compiled a 5-1 record against the Hawkeyes in the past two seasons. But just last season, the Hawkeyes came into Ann Arbor and defeated the Wolverines in the Big Ten opener.
Track & Field vs. Arkansas
Since 1984, Arkansas cross country and track and field teams have won 41 national championships. Michigan’s rivalry with the Razorbacks is limited to the middle distance events. The Wolverines have won eight middle-distance events at the NCAA Indoor Championships in the past 11 years.
Michigan coach Ron Warhurst says the rivalry started when Michigan’s Kevin Sullivan chased down Graham Hood in the final stretch of the Distance Medley Relay (DMR) at the 1995 NCAA Championships.
In 2004, the Michigan relay team beat the second-place Razorbacks by five seconds and set a new collegiate record in the DMR.
Last season, a controversial finish in the DMR at the NCAA Championships added fuel to the rivalry. The NCAA disqualified the apparent winner, Arkansas’s Said Ahmed, for interfering with a charging Nate Brannen on the home stretch and gave Michigan its second consecutive title.
The Wolverines affirmed their dominance in the middle-distance when Arkansas finished behind them in each of the distance relays last year at the Penn Relays.
Wrestling vs. Iowa
Every season, Michigan’s biggest meet is against the Iowa Hawkeyes. Iowa was the best team in the nation throughout the ’80s and ’90s under the leadership of legendary coach Dan Gable, whose team won 15 national championships in 21 seasons. When Michigan travels to Iowa City, it faces an intimidating atmosphere at Carver-Hawkeye Arena that gives Iowa a decided advantage. Despite the hostility, Michigan holds the lead in the all-time series 24-23-1. Of teams that Iowa has faced more than 20 times, Michigan is one of three schools to have a winning record against the Hawkeyes. The other two – Oklahoma St. and Oklahoma – rank first and fourth, respectively, in all-time team national championships.
Women’s Cross Country – “It kind of goes back and forth. The team that we’ve been aware of the last two years has been Illinois. They’re a program on the rise.
“For years, it was us and Wisconsin. Then, there was a year Michigan State was good. We got the best of them for two years in a row and then the last two years it has been Illinois.” A– Michigan coach Mike McGuire
Women’s Soccer – Michigan’s history of ruining undefeated seasons has created two emerging rivalries. Two seasons ago, Michigan beat Notre Dame, 3-2, in its final regular season game to spoil its unblemished record. The Irish have the advantage in both matches since then.
This season, Penn State entered the Big Ten Tournament 19-0-0 and met Michigan in the first round. Senior Theresa Heaton scored two goals in the second half and converted a penalty kick to propel the Wolverines to a shootout victory over Penn State, though the game appears as a tie in the overall record.
Rowing – Aside from Michigan State and Ohio State, Michigan’s biggest rival in rowing is Virginia. The Wolverines always seem to run into the Cavaliers in regional meets. On the recruiting end, Michigan has lost some recruiting battles to Virginia over the years, according to media relations intern Matt Trevor.
Women’s Gymnastics – The women’s gymnastics team likes to beat Ohio State and Michigan State, but for the 14-ti