Friday night spectators at Canham Natatorium got a special treat during the final event of the Michigan women’s swimming and diving meet against Toledo – four members of the diving team were announced as the first relay team in the 200-yard freestyle relay. Tealin Kelemen, a junior diver who had just won both diving events, and her relay teammates shouted and waved their arms when they were announced, getting an ample response from the crowd.

“When Tealin stepped up there and I saw what she looked like on the block I started to have second thoughts about it,” Michigan coach Jim Richardson said. “You don’t want to disrespect the competition, but there also needs to be the opportunity to have a little fun.”

The revival of an old tradition, the diver’s relay, definitely lent an air of playfulness to the Wolverines first meet of the second half of the season. It was also Michigan’s last home meet this year, as well as senior day.

“It was more of a fun meet for us,” senior sprinter Erin Abbey said. “I guess it’s sad because it’s my last competition here but it’s not like I’m not going to be swimming in this pool again.”

The Wolverines dominated the meet, conceding just five of 16 events to Toledo. In several of those events, Michigan swimmers actually placed first but were disqualified.

“I thought we were okay in spots and in other spots probably not quite as good as I thought we might be. I would probably attribute that to our workouts, which are still progressing,” Richardson said. “Coming back from Hawaii was a five-hour body clock adjustment, and then we are picking up our training on top of that. We had a couple swims I thought were extraordinary.”

Specifically, he mentioned senior Lindsay Johnson’s 5:02.6 time in the 500-yard freestyle, which was her personal best this season. Elsa Watson, a freshman, won her event, the 200-yard breastroke, and Richardson was also impressed with Erica Watts’ close victory in the 200-yard butterfly. The junior beat out Taryn Smith of Toledo by 14 hundredths of a second.

“The last 100 just really wasn’t easy and (Smith) came and went by her at one point. But she fought back to win the race,” Richardson said.

Senior Jenay Karlson also turned in a season-best time in the 200-yard freestyle.

“Coming off of our training trip most of us are tired and beat down but we had some really good swims,” Karlson said. “I’m really happy with my swim because I went my best time of the season. Overall, I think everyone swam well considering how tired we are.”

On the diving side, Kelemen won both events with scores of 256.87 in the 1-meter diving event and 248.17 in the 3-meter. Her teammates, Goolik and VanderKuyl, were right behind at second and third, respectively, in both events.

Michigan seems to have completed its transition from its training trip to Hawaii back to Ann Arbor and dual meet competition. The Wolverines move into more intense training in the next few weeks and will prepare for upcoming meets against Illinois, Northwestern and Notre Dame.

“No matter what you do in practice, there’s no substitute for getting on the block and the sound of the horn,” Richardson said. “I think our seniors are just really enjoying it and having a good time. This is a team that has really good chemistry.”

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