They beat their opponents, but lost to the clock.
After winning Friday’s meet at Michigan State, 132-111, the members of the No. 9 Michigan men’s swimming and diving team were happy, but they didn’t celebrate.
They placed first, second and third in the 1,650-yard freestyle, the 400-yard individual medley and the 500-yard freestyle, but the Wolverines weren’t very pleased with their times.
Coach Bob Bowman knows his swimmers could have done better.
“I expected them to swim a little faster than they did,” Bowman said. “Right now, they’ve been working extremely hard, which is what I like to do, and we’re going to have to live with what the times are.”
Michigan — along with swimming programs across the country — has entered its toughest training session of the year. The tired and fatigued Michigan team didn’t expect to post its best times, but Bowman still hoped for a better showing.
“Our overall times are masked just because of the state of training we’re in,” Bowman said.
Michigan (2-0 Big Ten, 3-0 overall) swam a “semi-off” lineup for the meet, in which most of the swimmers competed in their best events.
While a majority of the swimmers didn’t post their best times, there were still some who performed well, despite being tired from the week’s rigorous training schedule. Freshman Dane Grenda won his first collegiate event in the 100-yard backstroke, touching in at 51.88. Junior Davis Tarwater won the 50-yard freestyle in 21.21 and took the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 49.37.
“These times weren’t particularly fast, but I’m setting myself up for a good season right now,” said Tarwater. “I’m right where I want to be in order to improve.”
Michigan lost the first event of the night. Its ‘A’ relay team placed second in the 200-yard medley relay, with a time of 1:36.06. But in the next event, the Wolverines quickly made up for the loss, with senior Peter Vanderkaay placing first in a sweep of the 1,650-yard freestyle with a time of 15:55.51. Senior Zayd Ma finished a close second in 15:56.50, and junior Jorge Carral completed the sweep, touching the wall in 16:18.59.
Michigan continued to increase its lead with another sweep in the 400-yard individual medley. Senior Chuck Sayao placed first in the event in 3:59.03, while freshman Alex Vanderkaay took second in 4:03.05, and senior co-captain Nicholas Douville captured third in 4:06.41.
Alex Vanderkaay also led the Wolverines to their third sweep of the night in the 500-yard freestyle, with a time of 4:35.67.
Michigan State (1-1, 1-4) gained back some ground, taking the top two places in both diving events. Junior Jake Boehm was the highest-placing Michigan diver in the one-meter springboard, taking third with a score of 270.30 points. In the three-meter diving event, sophomore Jon Donadee also placed third with 253.20 points.
Along with slower times, Michigan also had to combat injuries on Friday. Senior co-captain Mike Galindo competed on the ‘B’ medley relay at the beginning of the meet, but scratched out of the 50-yard freestyle because of pain from a recurring back injury. Junior Chris DeJong and fifth-year senior Christian Vanderkaay took a precautionary meet off to nurse minor injuries in preparation for the Texas Invitational on Dec. 4.