Swim team breaks world records at second annual Water Carnival

By Carolyn Kodis, For the Daily
Published September 29, 2013

The Michigan men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams knew how to put on a show at the second annual Water Carnival on Saturday. The marching band, dance team and cheerleaders were also in attendance, bringing Big House-like energy to a full crowd at Canham Natatorium.

Hosting Iowa and Oakland, Michigan held the non-scoring meet to raise money for Mott’s Children’s Hospital. The event featured a dive show, a water polo scrimmage and fun races — there was a 100-yard kickboard event and a 400-yard toss-up relay, in which swimmers didn’t know what stroke they were swimming until they were on the starting blocks.

Redshirt junior and captain David Moore said that compared to last year’s Water Carnival, there was more energy in the building. He credits the shorter races and a faster tempo.

“You’ve got to change it up to keep the crowd excited,” Moore said. “Especially having the band here, it really gets everyone going.”

After winning the first meet of the season against Iowa on Friday, senior Erin Cameron said Saturday was a nice change of pace.

“We were really excited for this meet,” Cameron said. “In this meet, there’s no pressure. It’s just all about fun, and it’s about showcasing our talents in a different way.”

The diving team added to the entertainment with an exhibition that included props, costumes and former diving coach Dick Kimball riding a bicycle off of the 10-meter platform. The Oakland and Iowa dive teams also participated.

The Michigan water polo team faced off in an intra-squad scrimmage during the meet. At one point, the team even donned T-shirts to add a challenge to the competition.

The meet ended with the Wolverines setting two unofficial Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA) world records in the mixed 200-yard medley relay and the mixed 200-yard freestyle relay. Indiana had set the previous record for the mixed medley relay just two days before.

Michigan coach Mike Bottom said no preparation went into breaking the world records.

“Friday, we made the decision ,and it actually came from (Iowa head coach Marc Long), who suggested that we go for it,” Bottom said. “Fortunately, at Michigan we could get it done.”

The Wolverines will take part in an intra-squad scrimmage and alumni meet next week.