For the two Wolverines competing at the NCAA Women’s Swimming and Diving Championship, there would be no next year. They were on center stage, with Michigan’s pride resting on their shoulders.
They had to make it count.
This past week, seniors Caitlin Dauw and Amanda Lohman represented the Wolverines at the James E. Aquatic Center in Auburn, Ala. Dauw competed in the 100-yard butterfly and 200-yard butterfly, and Lohman competed in the one-meter dive, three-meter spring board, and platform dive.
“(Scoring) was a goal of mine,” Lohman said. “Especially (since) I qualified the last two years and I didn’t get to score points, so this year I was glad that I was able to do that.”
Lohhman started with a strong performance on Thursday, placing 10th in the one-meter-dive event with a score of 317.90. She continued her momentum into Friday’s event, placing 11th in the three-meter springboard with a score of 324.80.
“I wasn’t expecting to be that close to getting top eight,” Lohman said. “When you look at how close the scores were, I was kind of bummed that if I would have done one thing better I could have made it into the finals.”
Lohman earned NCAA All-American honorable mentions in both, events having placed in the top 16. She became the first Wolverine diver to win two honorable mentions since Elyse Lee in 2008, and the first Michigan athlete to do so in the same tournament since Carrie Zarse in 1994.
The atmosphere of the tournament was something that Dauw was familiar with, having competed at NCAAs last season. Coming into the tournament, Dauw was ranked 16th nationally in the 100-yard butterfly and seemed well within her comfort zone.
“It was a little bit more relaxed than normal,” Duaw said. “I think I had a little bit more experience in what to expect.”
As a three-time All-American honorable mention recipient who competed in the 100-yard butterfly last year, Dauw was looking to repeat. She did, recording a career-best time of 52.34 and finishing 10th in preliminaries, and scoring a 16th-place finish in the finals with a time of 52.96, bringing her career tally to four.
“I’ve worked a lot on it and really tried to perfect my race and get my stroke counts down,” Dauw said. “It really is great to go out there and try to score some points for Michigan.”
Saturday’s events, though, did not fare well for either Wolverine. Dauw placed 32nd in the 200-yard butterfly preliminaries with a time of 1:58.51. Lohman did not fare much better in the platform dive, placing 26th overall with a score of 211.35.
“Every meet is a learning experience,” Lohman said. “It just tells you a lot about yourself.”
The tournament signaled the end of the road for the two seniors, who have been stalwarts for the program — not only this season, but also those past.
“I’m really happy and incredibly thankful to have had this opportunity to represent the University of Michigan,” Lohman said. “I’m so lucky to have been able to go through this.”