The Michigan men’s swimming and diving team will head to East Lansing this weekend for a dual meet against the Spartans.
The Wolverines have a perfect record thus far, having won their first two meets against Eastern Michigan and No. 6 Florida. Confident about the upcoming meet, the Wolverines are not at all worried about the Spartans being the ones to end Michigan’s undefeated streak.
“Competition won’t be strong,” Michigan coach Jon Urbanchek said. “It will be a fun meet.”
In an effort to make the races against Michigan State more interesting, Michigan is changing things up a bit. Swimmers will swim “off events,” meaning that they will participate in events that they do not normally compete in. This provides variety for each race and allows the athletes to explore a facet of a stroke or distance that they otherwise would not get to experience in competition.
Michigan State provides an arena to experiment with event placement and relay order.
“We didn’t wanna beat up on them, so we changed the lineup so the score is gonna be close and make it exciting,” Urbanchek said. “With the lineup we have right now, it will keep the score competitive.”
The Wolverines are so sure of victory against the Spartans that their lineup does not include some of their distance freestyle swimmers, which is Michigan’s strength this year. Instead, these swimmers will have a practice on Saturday and then travel to East Lansing afterwards, where they will remain on the poolside to offer moral support.
Although Michigan approaches every meet on its schedule seriously, the Spartans do not pose any realistic threat.
The Wolverines will welcome this break in competition and use it as a time to gather their thoughts and strategies before facing Texas, the defending NCAA champion, in Austin on Nov. 22. And with such a short period between these meets, it is good that the Wolverines do not have to recover physically and mentally from going against a strong team prior to Texas.
“The meet against Michigan State is the calm before the storm,” Urbanchek said.