Land der Berge, Land am Strome — the national anthem of Austria— played in Canham Natatorium to open up the swim and dive meet on Friday night against Michigan State (8-7-1, 1-4-1) on the Michigan men and women swim teams’ senior night. Senior Felix Auböck from Austria, the NCAA champion in the 1,650-yard freestyle, had never heard his anthem in his four years swimming at Michigan.
Auböck, inspired by his national anthem, led the third-ranked Michigan men’s swim (6-1, 4-1) team to a 195-76 win over the Spartans with a victory in the 200-yard freestyle. Meanwhile, the No. 1 Michigan women’s swim team (6-0, 4-0) defeated Michigan State 181-83, led by senior Miranda Tucker with three event wins. Both the men’s and women’s teams got off to fast starts, taking 31-5 and 31-4 leads, respectively. From there, the Wolverines dominated, with the men winning all 16 events, and the women taking 15 events out of 16.
The last dual meet of the season was fine-tuning for Michigan, with many swimmers competing in races which they do not usually compete. Tucker, usually dominant in the breaststroke, won the women’s 100-yard freestyle, women’s 200-yard freestyle and women’s 100-yard IM.
The Wolverines men’s and women’s teams won in both the 400-yard medley relay and 200-yard freestyle relay, with sophomore Maggie MacNeil almost breaking the pool record for the 100 yard-backstroke on the leadoff leg with a time of 51.87.
On the men’s side for dive, junior Ross Todd finished first in both the one-meter and the three-meter, with senior Jake Herremans finishing second in the one-meter and junior Chris Canning finishing second in the three-meter.
The Wolverines now look ahead to the Big Ten Championships at the end of the month in Iowa City.
“We’re going to be in a battle,” Michigan coach Mike Bottom said. “Indiana on the women’s side are the champions, Ohio State lost fewer people than anybody last year … on the women’s side we have a shot.”
He noted how great swimmers such as Auböck and Tucker have been but emphasized how important it will be for the rest of the team to perform as they did against the Spartans.
“It’s going to be our number 14 through 24 that are going to win the meet if we are going to win the meet,” Bottom said. “Our top end is going to what they’re going to do and score points.”
Sixteen seniors were honored on senior night, and though their careers at Canham Natatorium are over, they still have work to do and a title to earn in the Big Ten Championships.