It wasn’t a normal weekend for the Michigan women’s swimming and diving team.

Not because it dominated the field at the Eastern Michigan Invitational, winning 18 of 20 events. Usual faces weren’t in their usual places.

The 13th-ranked Wolverines switched up their lineup and raced to first place, earning 1,147.5 points.

Michigan lacked crowd support, unlike Kalamazoo College or Wayne State, whose fans flocked to Michael H. Jones Natatorium. Regardless, it was by far the most prominent in the 10-team field, with schools ranging from Divisions I to III.

“This meet was really a challenge for us to come in here with teams that were not necessarily as fast as we are, but teams that were shaved, tapered and ready to race,” Michigan assistant coach Stefanie Kerska said.

Kerska was filling in for head coach Jim Richardson, who was in Atlanta recruiting at the Short Course Nationals.

The decreased competition gave the Wolverines the opportunity to switch up the normal lineup.

“We let them swim events that they normally don’t have a chance to swim or events that might help them focus on a particular part of the races they normally do swim in,” Kerska said.

Senior Justine Mueller, who normally swims the individual medley, swam and won the mile (17:03.84), an event she hasn’t swam in eight years. Mueller added a second win in the 100-yard backstroke (57.89).

“This will give me practice for the freestyle and backstroke in the IM,” Mueller said. “It helps me mentally because I don’t like to swim the same thing every meet. I like to switch it up.”

The meet was spread out over three sessions, which tested the Wolverines’ endurance since they recently started a new phase in their dry-land training program.

“The girls needed to make sure that their preparation was good, and that they were just plain tough in getting through three sessions,” Kerska said.

Michigan will step up its training over Winter Break when it heads down to Puerto Rico.

“The training trip is a good time because day in and day out you’re just going head-to-head with your teammates,” junior Hannah Smith said. “Everyone is trying to improve different parts of their races, and not having all of these meets will help us do that.”

Over the break, the team will swim the same number of hours in practice but will increase its yardage, which can be up to 10 miles a day for distance swimmers.

Even with the extra training, the Wolverines shouldn’t always expect to blow out its competition like this past weekend when they didn’t face a ranked opponent.

When it returns from break, Michigan will begin Big Ten competition and preparation for the NCAA Championships. For now, though, the Wolverines aren’t getting ahead of themselves.

“It’s time to really focus on training and the next surge up before we start thinking about the Big Ten Championships,” Kerska said.

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