Hannah Smith made her final meet of the season at Canham Natatorium a fast one.
After a difficult week of training, the junior demonstrated end-of-season speed Saturday, earning two individual victories and a pair of NCAA consideration times to help boost No. 12 Michigan over Northwestern, 152-134. The win gave the Wolverines a perfect home record this season.
The junior got things started with a powerful freestyle in the final leg of the 200-yard medley relay.
After the Wolverines stayed neck-and-neck with the Wildcats through the first three legs, the Dexter native pulled ahead. Thanks in large part to a tight flip-turn, Smith took the lead and touched the wall first by just one-half second.
Smith went on to grab victories in the 100- and 200-yard backstrokes, posting times near her career best in both events.
“I wasn’t expecting to go those times, but that just gets me excited about Big Tens,” Smith said.
Michigan (3-0 Big Ten, 5-1 overall) entered Saturday’s competition fresh off a 160-74 trouncing of Michigan State on Friday.
But the Wolverines didn’t let fatigue get in the way. Opting to compete its top swimmers in exhibition format for the last four events, Michigan still controlled the Wildcats (1-3, 5-4) in nearly every event.
Junior Emily Brunneman continued her dominance of distance events this year, winning the 1,000-yard freestyle. She jumped to an early lead, finishing 11 seconds ahead of the field.
Sophomore Margaret Kelly joined the victory campaign with wins in the 100- and 200-yard freestyle.
“There are a lot of reasons why we could have come in here and not swam as well because of a really hard week in training, and a meet yesterday,” Smith said. “But I think we stepped up.”
The Wolverines also showcased their skill on the diving board.
In Friday’s three-meter springboard, the Wolverines had three new divers qualify for the NCAA Zone Diving Championships.
Senior Elyse Lee, who already qualified in November, notched victories in the one-meter and three-meter events Saturday, following the noteworthy diving team performance against Michigan State.
“Elyse scored really well – she is just so steady,” Michigan diving coach Chris Berg