The USA Swimming Short Course National Championships are just 10 days away, and the Michigan men’s swim team will bring 24 swimmers to the meet. Before this weekend, 21 had already earned invites.

The 12 members who hadn’t already earned an invite competed for the final three spots at the TYR Invitational hosted by Northwestern this weekend.

“We wanted to give everyone a chance,” Michigan coach Mike Bottom said. “This was an opportunity for the guys who haven’t been selected yet to swim fast and earn that spot.”

After standout performances Sunday from freshmen Miguel Ortiz and junior James Ridgeway, Bottom said he and assistant coach Dr. Josh White will select the final swimmer this week after reviewing this weekend’s results.

Ortiz placed first yesterday in the 100-yard freestyle and the 50-yard backstroke. Ridgeway finished second in the 50-yard freestyle and fourth in the 200-yard individual medley.

“The standout was Miguel Ortiz,” Bottom said. “He swam real well, and obviously he earned a spot right off the top. James had a couple good swims, and there’s no doubt his times will get faster.”

Other strong performances included freshman Andrew Novakoff’s third-place finish in the 200-yard freestyle and junior Tony Wahl’s fifth-place finish in the 400-yard individual medley.

Despite the heightened competition among swimmers over spots on the national team, the Wolverines supported each other.

“The mood on deck was pretty jovial, actually,” Ridgeway said. “We were all joking around and just making the best of what you might call a tight situation. It’s a Michigan tradition to support each other and cheering for each other.”

The seventh-ranked Wolverines finished fifth out of six teams at the meet. Michigan State and Northwestern — the only other Big Ten schools participating — came in first and second, respectively.

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