Over a span of four days, the No. 7 Michigan men’s swimming and diving team put teamwork first and took second in the Big Ten Championships with 1,617.5 points at the Minnesota’s Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center. 47 personal records were set. Of the 26 student-athletes representing the Wolverines, 25 scored points for the team. 11 swimmers received All-Big Ten honors.

“We had a really great meet,” said Michigan coach Mike Bottom, “They fought for each other, and they have a lot of fun. They supported each other.”  

Added sophomore Felix Auböck: “What we can be proud of is the team performance that we had. We kept it close until the end.”

The Wolverines earned four Big Ten titles — three individual and one relay. Auböck won both the 500-yard freestyle and the 1,650-yard freestyle; Auböck won the 1,650-yard freestyle at last year’s Big Ten Championships, too. Sophomore Charlie Swanson won the 400-yard individual medley. The 200-yard freestyle relay team of freshman Luiz Gustavo Borges, graduate student James Peek, senior Paul Powers and senior Evan White also won.

Powers took third in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 42.34 — the second-fastest time in Michigan’s history.

Peek, who finished eighth in the 100-yard freestyle, was a Big Ten Sportsmanship Award Honoree.

Sophomores Jeremy Babinet, Tommy Cope, Jacob Montague and Charlie Swanson all qualified for the finals in the 200-yard breaststroke. Montague finished in fourth, Swanson in fifth, Cope in sixth and Babinet in seventh. Cope swam faster in the event’s preliminary, with a time of 1:52.91, the second-fastest time in the Wolverines’ history.

Freshman Ross Todd was the first Michigan diver to qualify for the final in platform in four years. His qualification in the platform finals made the meet that much closer, overall. Todd qualified for the finals with a score of 76.50 points – taking the last qualifying spot. Todd finished in fifth with a score of 452.75 points, a full 88 points higher than his personal best prior to coming into the meet.

“The performance was greater than expected,” said Bottom.

Freshman Chris Canning and sophomore Jake Herremans also performed well. Together, the three divers, Canning, Herremans and Todd, scored 98 points.

Freshman Ricardo Vargas also performed well at the meet, earning two silver medals and a bronze. In addition to being the highest-scoring freshman at the meet, he was also named Big Ten Freshman of the Year.

“That was pretty exciting for us,” Bottom said.

Saying that it was for ‘us’ — as opposed to ‘him’ — the Sportsmanship Award that Peek won and the overall success from the different facets of the team encapsulate the spirit of comradery Michigan emulated throughout the four-day meet.

The Wolverines surely wanted to finish first in the Big Ten, their teamwork seemed second-to-none. That’s nothing to scoff at.

“I don’t think there was even one race where I saw someone giving up,” Auböck said. “Everyone was swimming for another person on the team and for each other.”

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