The Texas men’s swimming team has one world record holder and two American record holders. The Longhorns have won the NCAA Championship the past two years and are currently ranked first in the nation. These numbers would likely have most teams shivering in their suits, but Michigan coach Jon Urbanchek said his team is ready to meet the challenge head-on.

“We’re excited to face the No. 1 team,” Urbanchek said. “They’re favored on paper, but we’re swimming on the water, so anything can happen.”

In addition to its superstars, Texas has several other assets.

“Texas’ strength lies in relays and short distances,” Urbanchek said. “They’re definitely ahead of Michigan in the relays. They are extremely strong in diving. They basically have no weaknesses.”

Michigan is arguably stronger than the Longhorns in distance events, but this will probably not be enough to give Michigan the edge.

“Unfortunately, the outcome of dual meets usually favors the stronger sprinting team,” Urbanchek explained.

In spite of this fact, the Wolverines are eyeing a number of races in which the two teams are separated by mere fractions of a second.

“We are looking forward to great one-on-one racing,” Urbanchek said.

One event that should be closely contested is the 200-yard freestyle, in which Texas’ NCAA runner-up, Chris Kemp, will match up against Michigan’s Dan Ketchum, who came in seventh at the NCAAs last year. Another exciting race will be between two freshmen, Michigan’s Chris DeJong and Texas’ Aaron Peirsol, the current world record holder in the 200-yard backstroke. DeJong’s personal best this year is faster than Peirsol’s by .23 seconds.

Although this meet will certainly be one of the most difficult duals of the season, the Wolverines are not altering their training methods.

“Dual meets at the top 10 level are just preparation for championship meets, so neither team is giving up training time,” Urbanchek said.

Since the season is well underway, practices are taxing on the athletes, and often include several miles per day in the pool.

“This meet will be a chance to see how both teams fare under midseason, hardworking conditions,” Urbanchek said. “We will see how fast they can swim when they’re tired, and how much they’re willing to hurt themselves.”

Though the Wolverines are clearly the underdog, Urbanchek said he is prepared to go up against the best the Longhorns have to offer.

“We’re putting our best up against their best,” Urbanchek said. “We’ll just have to see who can put their fingertips on the touch pad first.”

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