Perfection. It’s what every organization, every team and every athlete strives for. Friday night, the Michigan men’s swimming and diving team achieved exactly that.
The Wolverines (2-0 Big Ten, 2-0 overall) hosted Minnesota (0-1, 0-1) at Canham Natatorium on Friday in their second dual meet of the season. When the night was over, Michigan stepped out of the pool a perfect 14-0, finishing every race in first place en route to a 170-124 victory.
“Our job at each one of these meets is to get better, and that’s what they did,” said Michigan coach Mike Bottom. “Looking at each of our guys that swam it was fun to see the changes they made from last week and do what they want to do, which is to get better.”
Apart from the team’s stalwart, junior Connor Jaeger — who had another successful meet with first-place finishes in the 500- and 1,000-yard freestyle — the Wolverines also received significant contributions from new additions to the team: fifth-year senior Zachary Turk and freshman Dylan Bosch.
The meet started off in atypical fashion as the Wolverines changed their 200-yard medley relay lineups used in their victory over Wisconsin last week. Though the Michigan “A” and “B” teams placed first and second in the event against the Badgers, the Wolverines elected to bring in seniors Miguel Ortiz and Sean Fletcher to swim the first and third legs of the “A” team.
“It’s the second meet and what we’re trying to do is put different people in different places and see how they perform,” Bottom said. “At the end of the year we have to pick a team to take to the Big Ten Championships and we want to know how guys are performing.”
Michigan faired just fine, though, as Turk anchored the “A” team to a first-place finish with a time of 1:27:40.
Bosch, fresh off a Big Ten Freshmen of the Week award, swam the third leg of the 200-yard medley relay “B” team and helped them to a second-place finish with a time just two seconds behind the winners.
“I told the guys, ‘You know, our relays at the beginning and at the end showed that we’re getting better,’ ” Bottom said. “All the relays are faster than last year — I mean 1:27 is pretty good for a medley relay.”
Turk added 13 more points to Michigan’s final tally with first- and second-place finishes in his signature events, the 50- and 100-yard freestyle.
Bosch also grabbed a first-place finish in the 200-yard butterfly — replicating his success from last week — to go along with a second-place finish in the 200-yard IM.
In order to stay perfect and continue their dominance though, the Wolverines will have to go back and fix the few mistakes they made.
“I’m pretty happy with how it went,” Bosch said. “What I’m taking away is we can always get better, so (we’ll be) back to the pool on Monday, working on a few things to get better.”
Michigan will host Minnesota again, along with Oakland University, at Canham Natatorium on Saturday as the schools compete in the Michigan Water Carnival.