Heading into this weekend’s matchup with Ohio State, the Michigan women’s swimming and diving team hadn’t lost a dual meet to the Buckeyes in 25 years.
Since 1985, the Wolverines have won 16 consecutive dual meets against Ohio State and they were looking to extend that streak against their rivals this weekend.
But despite a strong performance from fifth-year senior Emily Brunemann, Michigan was on the wrong end of a dominanting performance, falling 162-132 in Columbus.
Brunemann led a fatigued Wolverine squad into McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion with three event victories. The fifth-year senior captured event victories in the 1000-yard freestyle and the 500-yard freestyle. The distance specialist also displayed her versatility, touching the wall first in the 400-yard individual medley, an event she’s been itching to compete in.
“My freestyle is kind of tired right now which is evident in my 1000 and 500,” Brunemann said. “And normally when my freestyle is tired, my 400 (individual medley) is pretty good.”
After a strong performance last weekend against Northwestern, senior Margaret Kelly stepped up once again. Kelly won the 100-yard backstroke but came in a close second in the 200-yard backstroke, losing by nearly five tenths of a second.
“I don’t care if you play Ohio State in tiddlywinks or football or swimming,” Richardson, who had never lost to Ohio State in his 25 years as head of the program, said. “Anytime you compete with Ohio State, you’re part of the greatest rivalry in the sport. If you pay the price on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday sometimes you don’t have a whole lot to give on Saturday. I don’t have any complaints about the effort we gave.”
But the Wolverines didn’t leave Columbus empty-handed. They made progress in fulfilling the lack of depth at breaststroke.
Freshman Julia Andracki started the 200-yard breaststroke strong, leading with 50 yards to go in the race. At that point, freshman Mattie Kukors was in fourth place. But then, she stole the spotlight. Kukors finished the final 50 yards in 35.39 seconds, coming in eight hundredths of a second ahead of second place. Andracki wasn’t far behind, grabbing fourth place.
Michigan also received a strong performance from sophomore Alexa Mehesan. She captured an event victory in the 100-yard butterfly and finished second in the 100-yard backstroke.
Despite some individual success, Brunemann lamented the streak’s end.
“I was pretty disappointing because we haven’t lost that meet since 1985,” Brunemann said. “I know it was a dual meet but our main focus is Big Tens and I know we’re going to be really prepared to kick butt there.”