A tight-knit group of seniors was honored at its last meet at Canham Natatorium, as the No. 4 Michigan men’s swimming and diving team celebrated a 186-102 victory and the continuance of a 35-year win streak over the Spartans in dual meets.
The crowd was electrified as seniors Dan Madwed, Dane Vanderkaay, Jan Konarzewski, Casey Sreenan and Chris Morrison took the floor, accompanied by friends and family, before the meet on Saturday.
“These guys have led this team,” said Michigan coach Mike Bottom. “The personalities and the impact they’ve made on this team is just incredible. We’ve bonded and talked about what we wanted to create — and they created it. They want to be Michigan men, and they believe they can be.”
At conclusion of the ceremonies, the poised and confident Wolverines dominated the Spartans with a 16-event sweep, contributing to an all-time 83-5 record against the in-state rival.
Konarzewski recorded the first senior victory in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 49.69. Shortly after, the Miami native Sreenan followed suit, taking second in the 100-yard breaststroke with a 58.17 finish. Morrison contributed to the victory by placing third in the three-meter and one-meter diving events.
Maintaining his prestige as the current record holder in the 200-yard butterfly, senior, All-American and Big Ten champion Dan Madwed closed out the event with a 1:50.44 time.
“Michigan State is always our last meet, and they’re a good tune up to practice the little things before we head off to Big Tens, and I think we’re definitely ready for it,” Madwed said.
Closing out the senior domination, the co-captain Vanderkaay clinched the victory in the 500-yard freestyle.
“That was my first dual-meet win, so it was pretty exciting — saving the best for last, I guess,” Vanderkaay said. “I’m going to miss this place a lot, and I was glad I was able to get a win on the last meet.”
Appreciating their last moments in Canham, the seniors had nothing but positive things to say about each other and their overall Michigan experience.
“This team has become my family,” Madwed said.
Added Sreenan: “There’s no place I’d rather be.”
Emotions from saying goodbye to this group of senior leaders aside, Bottom is confident going into Big Tens.
“It’s going to be tough, we’re going to have to battle with teams like Ohio, but these guys are ready,” he said.
The Wolverines will venture to Columbus for the Ohio State Invitational, hoping to ride out this momentum on their way to the Big Ten Championship in Iowa City on Feb. 22.