With one month removed from the Big Ten Championship, a swim meet at Ohio State is a good gut check for what's to come.
The Michigan men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams pulled through, leading to an all-around victory for the Wolverines.
“It’s always great to beat Ohio State,” said Michigan coach Mike Bottom. “Both teams are happy to be able to do that. It was not easy, on the women’s side in particular. It was a battle all the way through because we didn’t win every event, but they got the job done.”
The sixth-ranked women’s team defeated No. 25 Ohio State, 162-138, in a series of hard-fought races.
Freshman Siobhán Haughey kept her hot streak going, winning the 200-yard individual medley and both the 100- and 200-yard freestyle races.
Another freshman, Rose Bi, who just transferred this semester, made her debut for the maize and blue by winning the 1,000-yard freestyle and placing second in the 200-yard and 500-yard freestyle.
The team’s depth is what ultimately contributed to the victory, with sophomores Clara Smiddy and Emily Kopas dominating in backstroke and breaststroke, respectively.
In diving, fifth-year senior Nicole Honey, senior Sarah Kamstra and juniors Allie Murphy and Keegan McCaffrey all scored top-five finishes, and while the Wolverines didn’t win a diving event, Bottom was still impressed.
“On one board, they went 2-3-4,” Bottom said, “and the other board they went 2-3-5, which almost negates a win in the dual-meet scoring system, so that also helps us. It was absolutely a team effort.”
The sixth-ranked men’s team had an easier time defeating No. 15 Ohio State, 187-111. The men also swam against Buffalo and West Virginia, winning 229-76 and 220-77, respectively.
Michigan dominated the freestyle, with senior captain Anders Lie Nielsen and sophomore Paul Powers each winning two events.
Sophomore PJ Ransford set a new pool record (9:08.47) in his victory in the 1,000-yard freestyle.
The men took the top two spots in seven races and won both the 400-yard medley and 200-yard freestyle relays.
But as with the women's squad, it was really a team effort for Michigan.
“We had some really great swims,” Bottom said. “We had some guys stepping up for the first time, and I think the team just moved forward.”
A victory against Ohio State is sweet for Michigan, but as the team closes in on the Big Ten Championship, bigger things are on its mind.
“We were definitely stronger (last year),” Bottom said. “We were (ranked) top three on the women’s side, and I think we can be better. I think our women believe we can contend (in the Big Ten Championship). It’ll be a battle, and we’ll be in it.”