The Michigan women’s swimming and diving team knows today’s meet
is going to be a challenge – even if it is against Toledo.

Michigan comes off a tiring weekend in which the Wolverines lost
to national powerhouse Florida and return to the Midwest to face a
much lesser opponent in the Rockets. But the level of competition
does not concern the Wolverines. Michigan wants to use this meet to
improve.

“This past weekend was tough,” Michigan captain Anne Weilbacher
said. “There’s tons of things we need to work on, but we’re just
not sure what just yet. This weekend is going to be a test.”

Said Michigan coach Jim Richardson: “We have some objectives
that we want to try to accomplish in the meet from the standpoint
of improving on some things that we did Friday and Saturday.”

And this meet couldn’t have come at a better time. It is a
convenient chance to garner a victory while working on the skills
needed to be successful in the long run.

“I go into this meet thinking more on the lines of, ‘Are we
performing the way we’ve trained; are we doing the things we need
to do at the end of the season; and are we making any mistakes?’ “
Richardson said. “I think if you do that, you get your minds on the
things that are going to make the difference at the end of the
season when you are trying to swim very, very fast.”

But scoring is still important to the Wolverines, especially
since scheduling provides the team with only a few head-to-head
meets.

However, it still comes second to achieving the goal of
improving fundamentals.

“All of our meets are important, we don’t have many of them,”
Richardson said. “Of course, we pay attention to the score, we
don’t train to come in last.

“But the technicalities are what is important in this meet. If
you know what is going to get you there: good starts, good stroke
technique and really good turns, but you spend all your time
focusing on how many points you got, your emphasis on points is way
out of proportion to their value to making a person a better
swimmer and a team a better team.”

Michigan will look to take advantage of its experience when it
faces the Rockets. Toledo lost five MAC finalists from last year
and lacks much depth.

But according to Richardson, the Rockets have a few “foreign
swimmers that can swim at a very high level.”

Obviously, this test cannot be overlooked.

“I never take any opponent for granted,” Richardson said.

 

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