No. 11 Michigan swept its meet against Michigan State and Princeton at the Canham Natatorium on Saturday.
The Wolverines dominated, with first- and second-place finishes in the first 11 events. Michigan swimmers tallied 173 points, 71 points ahead of its nearest competition. Michigan State totaled 102 and Princeton finished with 100.
“I thought that we competed fairly well yesterday,” junior captain Grant Burtch said. “Our goal has been to gain experience and get a little faster each time we swim, no matter who we are competing against. I thought we did a good job of that against MSU and Princeton.”
In the 100-yard backstroke, sophomore Matt Patton (24.51), freshman Andre Schultz (25.19) and junior Dane Grenda (25.36) finished first, second and third, respectively. Patton also won the 1,000-yard freestyle in 9:13.73 and the 200-yard backstroke in 1:48.92.
The Wolverines (1-0 Big Ten, 3-2 overall) lost three key seniors to graduation – captains Peter Vanderkaay, Chris DeJong and Davis Tarwater – but the sophomore class is making the losses easier.
In addition to Patton’s contributions, sophomores Bobby Savulich, Evan Ryser and Curtis Dauw played critical roles in Michigan’s dominating win on Saturday. Savulich captured the 200-yard freestyle (1:38.72) and took second in the 100-yard freestyle (45.76 seconds), just behind Ryser, who finished first (45.76). Dauw finished second in both the 100-yard butterfly (50.06 seconds) and 200-yard butterfly (1:50.30).
“I have been very impressed with our sophomore class so far this season,” Butch said. “They have stepped up their level of performance and have really tried to compensate for the loss of last years senior class.”
Michigan’s freshman class is no slouch ,either. Scott Spann took the 100-yard backstroke in 55.65, and Chris Brady claimed the 100-yard butterfly in 49.93.
Junior captain Alex Vanderkaay, a member of the 2007 U.S. National Team, had a big day, with wins in the 400-yard individual medley (3:54.85), the 200-yard butterfly (1:49.81) and a second-place finish in the 100-yard breaststroke (57.61).
The Wolverines travel to West Lafayette on Nov. 30 to swim at the U.S. Open, but then have a break in their schedule until Jan. 2 when they face the Mexican National Team in La Loma, Mexico.
Michigan does not return to Canham Natatorium until Jan. 12, when it will meet Purdue.