All eyes were on sophomore Ricardo Vargas during the last few seconds of the 1,650-yard freestyle race as he sprinted his 66th lap and Vargas rose to the challenge. Resting on the wall, he waited 11 seconds before second place came trailing in. Vargas swam a personal best of 14:35.04, placing his time as the fastest time in the NCAA this season and the seventh-fastest time in school history.
The Michigan men’s swim and dive team tallied 1,027.5 points in the 3-day UGA Fall Invitational in Athens, Ga., placing the Wolverines in second place out of five.
The invitational proved to be a great start to the season with strong finishes by several of the swimmers.
Sophomore Luiz Gustavo Borges finished fourth in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 45.53. Borges’ time was the fourth-fastest time in school history in the 100-yard freestyle trailing his father, Gustavo Borges’ third-place record by less than a second.
Michigan swimmers continued to impress, as junior Miles Smachlo swam the third-fastest time in the country this season in the 200-yard butterfly during the preliminaries. His time of 1:41.84 tied the school’s third place record set by Olympic gold medalist Davis Tarwater back in 2006.
The diving team also performed notably at the meet. Sophomore diver Ross Rodd contributed to the Wolverines’ team points by winning platform.
“In the last 3 days, the divers were all very powerful,” said Michigan diving coach Mike Hilde. “We have a group of divers instead of an individual. For me, it’s good to see everyone rise up and step up to the challenge.”
Though Michigan finished strong this weekend, there are still improvements to be made during the next couple weeks.
“We have to continue to get in better shape, get stronger,” said Michigan head coach Mike Bottom. “We need to focus on details. We will be going over videos before Big Ten Championships.”
With the next meet over a month away, the Wolverines have time to rest and prepare for the second part of the season.