Despite dropping its second straight meet this past weekend, the Michigan women’s swimming and diving team ended its two-day event in Chapel Hill, N.C. with one goal in mind – progress.
“At this point in the season we are more concerned with training, preparation and performance,” Michigan coach Jim Richardson said. “Winning an event is nice, but our priority is to get some kids to the NCAA Championships.”
Although North Carolina defeated Michigan 238-132, the Wolverines managed to turn out some impressive individual performances.
On day one, Michigan came away with two first-place finishes. Senior Erin Abbey led all competitors in the 100-yard backstroke with 57.27 seconds, and junior Tealin Kelemen topped the 3-meter diving with a score of 303.40.
“Annie Weilbacher and Kelli Stein both had good meets,” Richardson said.
Weilbacher and Stein, along with Abbey and sophomore Amy McCullough, helped Michigan secure second place in the 200-yard medley relay on Friday, and first place in the 400-yard medley relay on Saturday.
Later that day, Weilbacher took first place in the 100-yard butterfly with a final time of 55.58 seconds, which was good enough to earn NCAA consideration. Stein won the 200-yard breaststroke with 2:17.12, giving Stein her second NCAA consideration time of the meet. The first came on Friday when she finished second in the 100-yard breaststroke in 1:03.86. Kelemen won the 3-meter diving once again, with a score of 273.05.
“Carolina always swims fast. We enjoy swimming there,” Richardson said. “We have a tough schedule for a reason. We are trying to get our swimmers to compete with the best swimmers in the country. North Carolina will definitely have individuals who will qualify for the NCAA finals.”
No. 15 North Carolina (1-1) took first place in 13 events, causing Michigan to fall to 0-2. Harvard and Minnesota also competed at the meet.
But overall, Richardson was happy with his team’s effort and progress.
“In general, we had a good performance,” Richardson said. “Some people could have been faster, but that is what I expect at this point in the season.”