SOUTH BEND – It may be one of the most grueling events in swimming, but Emily Brunemann has made the 66-length mile look easy.

At the Notre Dame Invitational last weekend, the junior took a sizable lead in the 1,650-yard freestyle after 20 lengths and never looked back.

She continued to distance herself from the competition and easily cruised to victory, fueling No. 13 Michigan’s second-place finish in the four-team field.

Brunemann has yet to lose in the event through four meets this season.

“Emily is just about as tough as they come,” Michigan coach Jim Richardson said. “When she races, she doesn’t back down to anything.”

Brunemann’s time of 16:21 set a pool record by six seconds at the Rolfs Aquatic Center and earned her an NCAA automatic qualifying time. Despite a recent bout with stomach flu, Brunemann continued her aggressive racing in the 500-yard freestyle, earning another first-place finish and pool record (4:47).

“It was really good to see what I could do this weekend and to know that I could step up after being sick,” Brunemann said.

Brunemann’s record-setting weekend wasn’t enough to catapult Michigan to the top of the scores, though.

No. 22 Indiana walked away with the team trophy, 53 points ahead of the Wolverines with 1,055. Michigan finished well ahead of host Notre Dame and conference foe Illinois.

The two-day invitational was broken up into three sessions. The Wolverines got off to a sluggish start Friday and headed to the locker room looking for answers.

“(Friday) was really hard mentally because we hadn’t (raced) in so long,” senior Justine Mueller said. “But we got it out of the way and Saturday was much better.”

Michigan went to work on day two focused on sharpening its technique and giving attention to each individual race.

The approach worked. Michigan outscored defending Big Ten Champion Indiana in each of Saturday’s sessions. Saturday’s highlights included sophomore Margaret Kelly’s victory in the 100-yard freestyle and Mueller’s close second-place finish in the 400-yard individual medley.

Richardson recognized the need to improve the team’s preparation before Saturday’s races.

“We needed to tighten up our pre-meet preparation on the deck and then in the water,” Richardson said. “In both sessions, they did a really nice job of making those adjustments.”

The Wolverines added to their totals by seizing control of the springboard. Seniors Katie Skendrovic and Elyse Lee took first and second place in Friday’s three-meter competition.

Michigan further established its diving dominance Saturday, nabbing four of the top-five spots in the one-meter springboard.

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