They’ve unpacked their suitcases, attended their winter semester classes and are ready to enjoy 10 weeks of unadulterated home-pool advantage. Only one thing could make the men’s swimming team feel more at ease – a visit from mom and dad.
This weekend is parents’ weekend for the Wolverines, and with that comes an opportunity to trounce Big Ten opponent Purdue and have a nice dinner with the folks at the Michigan Golf Course.
Most of the swimmers haven’t seen their families since the team’s training trip to Hawaii, which started prior to Christmas. Though they missed the chance to spend the holiday with their loved ones, the unity that was built up throughout the trip created a general feeling of closeness among the Wolvernies.
“If I can’t be with my parents at Christmas, there’s no one else I’d rather spend the holiday with than my teammates,” said freshman Davis Tarwater.
Despite the fact that he has grown closer with his team, Tarwater is eagerly anticipating his parents’ arrival.
“I’m just really excited to see them,” he said.
Some swimmers, like Tucson, Ariz. native and freshman Tyler DeBerry, will not see their parents this weekend because the journey is simply too long.
“My parents can’t come this weekend,” DeBerry said. “But they did come to one of the meets in California, and they’re going to Big Tens.”
Junior Tim Wera is also enthusiastic about the prospect of enjoying another parents’ weekend with the team.
“It’s always nice when the parents come up,” Wera said. “We have a pretty good following, but it’s great to see so many of them in one weekend.”
Coach Jon Urbanchek is looking forward to the event that has been a tradition for several years.
“This weekend will give the guys a chance to show off for their parents – or their orphanage, I guess, if they don’t have any parents,” Urbanchek said.
And the currently-No. 1 Wolverines will certainly look good against No. 16 Purdue. Though Michigan will fall in the rankings as a result of last weekend’s losses on the West Coast, their times should put them ahead of the Boilermakers in most events. Purdue has just one swimmer with a NCAA consideration time, whereas Michigan has eight.
Urbanchek is eager to begin what should be an easier leg of the season.
“We’ve already swam against the top schools,” Urbanchek said. “Now we’re up agianst Big Ten teams, which is a little less pressure for us.”