It was a meet that didn’t count toward their conference
record, or toward its next competition. But, for Michigan, it
mattered.

Mira Levitan
The Michigan swimming and diving team knocked off No. 20 Notre Dame on Saturday. (DORY GANNES/Daily)

The Michigan women’s swimming and diving team concluded
its regular season with a victory over No. 20 Notre Dame on
Saturday night in South Bend, Ind. with a score of 166-134,
improving its record to 8-1.

“This is always the most exciting meet to compete
in,” coach Jim Richardson said. “You know that both
teams want to win badly and will do (their) hardest to earn the
title. We had some tough races this weekend to prove that, and so
it was probably our best meet of the season.”

Notre Dame senior Danielle Hulick led the Irish with two event
wins in the 100-meter backstroke and 50-meter freestyle. Michigan
freshman Katie Carroll finished the meet with one win in the
200-meter individual medley, but was touched out by less than one
second in both the 100-meter freestyle and 400-meter free
relay.

“Notre Dame came at us with some intense swimmers,”
Richardson said. “But we were lucky enough to be able to come
out on top in most of the races.”

The Wolverines raced the Irish two weeks ago in an unscored meet
with Illinois, which gave both teams a preview of each
other’s abilities.

Yet after the results of Friday’s meet, Richardson thought
that the scouting wasn’t as helpful as he would have earlier
believed.

“Both teams have been through enough training these past
two weeks to make some unbelievable changes,” Richardson
said. “So, what we saw at the last meet was much different
from Friday night.”

Freshman Susan Gilliam, who swam back-to-back swims in the
800-meter and 200-meter freestyle, provided two of the
night’s most exciting events.

While placing first in the 800, Gilliam was disqualified in the
200 for a mixup in the lane assignments with fellow freshman
swimmer Lindsey Smith. Gilliam later came back in the meet to win
in the 400-meter free.

“It really wasn’t too bad swimming the two events
right after each other,” Gilliam said. “It was just
frustrating that I didn’t have time to get organized for the
200 free.”

Emily-Clare Fenn swam a lifetime-best in the 200 individual
medley, and Amy McCullough won the 200 free despite still battling
an ankle injury she sustained in the fall.

“McCullough is continually working to get back to where
she was in the beginning of the year,” Richardson said.
“She lost a month of training with her injury, so it has been
extremely difficult trying to rebuild her strength.”

Senior diver Tealin Keleman concluded the team’s
impressive showing, earning Michigan’s highest score on the
one-meter board (264.00) and the three-meter board (280.73).
However, Kelemen’s scores, which were both NCAA zone
qualifying marks, did not count toward the team’s total
points.

Although the Wolverines have two weeks without competition
before the Big Ten Championships in Minneapolis, Richardson is
surprisingly relaxed.

“I feel very comfortable where we are right now,”
Richardson said. “While we are physically more prepared than
any past Michigan team, I’m confident that the team is just
about set for the meet.

“This weekend showed that we are on target for a great Big
Ten Championship meet.”

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