BY MICHAEL LAURILA
Daily Sports Writer
Published October 31, 2010
In narrowly defeating Indiana 188-182 and falling to Texas 150.50-211.50 this past weekend at a unique two-day dual meet in Bloomington, the Michigan women's swimming and diving team had two relays qualify for NCAA consideration times.
“I thought we had some times when we were very good, and I thought we also some times when we were obviously fatigued and just struggled a little bit,” Michigan coach Jim Richardson said after the meet. “Overall, I thought we raced well based on what people had to give at the end of the week.”
Continuing a successful season, senior Natasha Moodie won the 50 yard-freestyle and placed second in the 100 yard-freestyle. Moodie was also a part of the second-place 200 yard-freestyle relay and the first-place 400-yard freestyle relay.
“In my 100, I was able to keep it a little more under control than I usually do so that went well," Moodie said. "I went my best in-season time since I’ve been in college. The relays all swam well, so it was a good weekend overall.”
Moodie helped the 400-yard freestyle relay achieve an NCAA consideration time, meaning the individual or relay will most likely qualify for the championships but are not guaranteed entrance.
The 800-yard freestyle relay also qualified as a consideration time.
“I really thought that all of our relays swam really well,” Richardson said. “One of our markers is, 'Do you swim faster on a relay than you did in your individual event,' which we certainly did. I think that speaks about how our team responds when they get to the relays.”
Sophomores Mattie Kukors and Adrienne Bicek also had a successful meet, winning the 200-yard backstroke and butterfly. Bicek qualified for an NCAA consideration time in the butterfly.
In the one-meter diving event and on the platform dive, junior Amanda Lohman placed third.
At this point in the season, the Wolverines are making strides individually and as a team.
“In our practices every week, we are trying to identify the things we need to improve on,” Richardson said. “Some of the factors this week were just simply fatigue, whether from our dry land training or our swim training, and those things aren’t going to go away before we get some rest. Aside from that, I’m pleased with the kinds of adjustments we’re trying to make on some technical issues. I think we’re doing a good job with that right now.”
Although dual meets do not directly affect the outcome of the season, they provide an opportunity to qualify for NCAAs and help teams evaluate their performance and progress. Next week, Michigan faces last year’s NCAA champion and runner-up in another dual meet against Florida and Stanford.
“Our focus on the season is Big Tens and NCAAs,” Moodie said. “Everything we do is toward those two competitions. (Dual meets) are a good indicator if you’re learning something new in practice, but in terms of winning or losing, it’s not worth backing off now.”