Before the final relay of its meet against Indiana in Bloomington on Friday, the Michigan men’s swimming and diving team (2-1-1 overall) thought that it trailed by only one point. In this case, winning the final relay would have been enough to win the entire meet.
Instead, the team noticed that winning the final relay would only result in a tie. So, the Wolverines elected to attempt a one-two — essentially the equivalent of going for a two-point conversion after a touchdown in football.
In doing so, the team split its final relay into two parts. The Wolverines won the first race of the one-two to secure the tie, but lost by a fraction of a second in what was the last race of the meet. Although the maneuver didn’t result in a win, it allowed the team to complete a comeback tie against a tough Indiana team.
“It showed a lot of character for the guys to elect to go for the one-two, rather than just go for the tie,” Michigan coach Mike Bottom said this weekend. “All three of them were coming in at the same time, and then you could see the times. We got our hand on the wall first in one of our relays, but we didn’t quite make it in the other.”
After squaring away with Indiana (2-1-1), the Wolverines went on to their second opponent of the day, defending national champion Texas (1-0-1). The meet was close, and came down to the last couple of races, but Michigan fell short by a score of 140-160.
The loss broke an undefeated streak of 18 games for the Wolverines, but it was a good effort against such a strong opponent, Bottom said.
“We expected to have a great meet, and it actually turned out to be one of the most exciting meets that I have been a part of in a long time,” Bottom said.
On an individual level, Michigan had several standouts. Junior Dan Madwed earned two NCAA consideration times in the 100- and 200-yard butterfly, and senior James Ridgeway helped secure a first-place finish in the 200-yard medley relay.
Overall, Bottom was pleased with his team’s performance, even though the results were not ideal for the Wolverines.
“Our times were a lot better than against Notre Dame, and we hope to just keep getting faster,” Bottom said.
Next week, Michigan will compete in the U.S. Grand Prix in Minneapolis, where it will get to showcase its talent against not only the best collegiate atheletes, but the best swimmers in the world.