The scoreboard read Ohio State 164.5, Michigan 132.5, suggesting a 32-point loss. But as is often the case, it didn’t tell the whole story.
Coming off a three-meet win streak, the No. 22 Michigan women’s swimming and diving team looked poised for a big win in Columbus. And with a 20-2 overall record against the 18th-ranked Buckeyes, the odds looked good. But the Wolverines’ chances took an early jolt as Ohio State got off to a fast start, placing first in four of the first five events. Michigan’s first win came from junior Adrienne Bicek in the 1,000-yard freestyle.
“We thought we’d might be able to keep it a little bit closer this year, maybe even have a shot,” said Michigan coach Jim Richardson. “But from the very opening relay, they were really on their ‘A’ game.”
Michigan tried matching the Buckeye swimmers stroke for stroke, but the tide would not turn in favor of the Wolverines. Senior Alexa Mehesan, who entered the meet with an unblemished 6-0 record in the 50-yard freestyle, lost to Ohio State’s Megan Detro by a mere five-hundredths of a second. The improbable events continued as senior Caitlin Dauw — who came in with a 7-0 record — tied the Buckeyes’ Shannon Draves for first in the 200-yard butterfly.
“We weren’t bad,” Richardson said. “We didn’t swim poorly. I just think Ohio State swam exceptionally well.”
Michigan ended the meet on a high note, winning five out of the last six races. Junior Ashley Cohagen started the proceedings with a first-place finish in the 200-yard backstroke. Bicek and Dauw followed up the win with first-place finishes in the 500-yard freestyle and 100-yard butterfly, respectively.
First-place finishes were rounded off by junior Val Barthelemy, who placed first in the 200-yard individual medley, and the medley team which won the 200-yard freestyle relay. But in keeping with the day’s theme, Ohio State’s lead proved to be too much to overcome.
The Wolverines will look to improve upon their performance and start a brand new streak with a win against yet another Big Ten rival, Michigan State on January 27.
“We’ve got some work to do … and then (we) start resting,” Richardson said. “Then (we’ll) see if we can go exceptionally fast.”