The Michigan women’s swimming and diving team, fresh off finishing third at the Big Ten Championships in Columbus on Feb. 18, now looks for success in the NCAA Championships, hosted by Georgia. The 22nd-ranked Wolverines will send one diver and nine swimmers to compete and look to improve upon last season’s 14th-place finish. The Wolverines will compete in all but one of the meet’s 18 events (800-yard freestyle relay).
Two seniors, Abby Seskevics and Carolina Sierra, hope to lead the swimming contingent by example in their final collegiate meet. With that in mind, the duo is mentally preparing to swim the best times of their careers. Each will compete in four events.
Seskevics, who won two All-American honors at NCAA Championships last season, will swim the 200-yard freestyle relay, the 200-yard medley relay, the 400-yard freestyle and the 50-yard freestyle.
Sierra will compete in the 200-yard medley relay, the 200-yard backstroke, the 100-yard butterfly and the 100-yard backstroke. In this season’s Big Ten Championships, Sierra finished sixth in the 100-yard backstroke, 12th in the 200-yard backstroke, 14th in the 100-yard butterfly and was a member of the second-place 200-yard medley relay team.
As the Wolverines prepare for the competition, they hope the thousands of training laps, early mornings and late nights will translate into success.
The swimmer participating in the most events is 2006 Big Ten Conference Swimmer of the Year junior Kaitlyn Brady. She will compete in seven events, hoping to continue a 20-race winning streak in the 50-yard freestyle.
Junior captain Lindsey Smith, who won three Big Ten Championships, enters the meet as one of the most decorated swimmers at Michigan. Smith, with four career All-American honors – the most for any current Wolverine – will look to add to that total in her six events.
The powerhouse combination of Smith and Brady, who together share eight Big Ten Championships, looks to carry the team’s momentum heading into this weekend.
Sophomore Elyse Lee is the only Michigan diver competing this week.
“I don’t really have any expectations for this meet since this is my first year (qualifying),” Lee said in an e-mail.
Since Lee is the Wolverine’s first diver to qualify in two years, she has already proven herself at Michigan. Anything she achieves at nationals will be icing on the cake.
“I just want to go in feeling positive and to have a good time,” Lee said in the e-mail.