To be a part of the Michigan women”s swimming and diving team, one must understand that practice never ends.
Even going into this weekend”s scrimmages against Harvard and Brown, the Wolverines will only be concerned with how they race and not the points that they can earn.
While it is tough to grasp that winning is not important at this point, Michigan coach Jim Richardson knows that in the long run, how his team conditions now will make all the difference later.
“In all honesty, win-loss records don”t mean anything in swimming,” Richardson said. “We were 4-5 last season and we still were Big Ten champions.
“We care about the national championships at the end of the year. So you don”t want to be swimming your best times in October and November, because if you are then you are in trouble.”
For their dual meets this season, the Wolverines” times will be slower than what one might expect. But in reality, their Friday and Saturday meets will be days five and six in their weekly training, meaning that they won”t have the two days rest that most teams have.
“If you spend your whole time worrying about dual meets and trying to swim extremely fast in them, and you do that instead of spending your time focusing on the integrity of your training, you”re going to be in trouble at the end of the season,” Richardson said.
Although he and his team will not be concerned with the outcomes of the upcoming scrimmages, they will get some challenges, which are always welcomed.
Michigan”s first meet on the weekend will pit senior against senior as well as sophomore against sophomore. Senior co-captain Lindsay Carlberg will face the Crimson”s All-Ivy League swimmer Janna McDougall in the 100-yard backstroke in what could be one of the closest matches of the weekend.
Michigan Sophomore Sara Johnson will have to deal with one of Harvard”s best returning swimmers from last year in the individual medley events, Katie Wilbur. Wilbur returns for Harvard as one of its best chances on the team to earn a NCAA qualifying time in the 400-yard IM.
“We treat swim meets like high quality workouts,” Richardson said. “And we want to try to be as competitive as we can be.”