Considering the training regimen that the Michigan women”s swimming and diving team endures, early success can”t be measured by wins or losses it has to be measured by toughness.

Even though their record fell to 0-3 after losses to North Carolina and Minnesota this weekend, the Wolverines proved to many, including themselves, that they are ready for any difficulties the season may present them.

Friday”s competition was the harshest for the Wolverines as they had just come off a very tough week of practice only to lose two of their best in meet warm-ups.

Sophomores Annie Weilbacher (butterfly) and Kelli Stein (breaststroke) both strained leg muscles before competition began and missed Friday”s contest. The injuries not only left the Wolverines short in the individual events, but also in the medley relays where Weilbacher and Stein were difficult to replace.

“The injuries hurt us a lot in the meet,” Michigan coach Jim Richardson said. “But Saturday we swam a lot better. It was a brand new day.”

On Saturday, Weilbacher returned and won the 100-yard butterfly.

After capturing her first collegiate win in the 1000-yard freestyle, Freshman Amy McCullough came from behind in the final 50 yards to win the 500 free by .46 seconds. Senior Lindsay Carlberg also continued her dominance in the 200 backstroke to complement her victory Friday in the 100 backstroke.

Diver Tealin Kelemen was one of three Wolverines who took a first on Friday with her win in the three-meter board. Saturday was tougher, as the competition became stiffer in the one-meter board, where she finished third. In addition, she and the rest of the divers were without a coach for the second straight day diving coach Dick Kimball was in Ann Arbor with the men”s divers in their meets.

“It”s easier to get fired up for the first day,” Kelemen said. “There was some better competition from Minnesota and North Carolina, which brings out your best.

“I”ve gotten used to (not having Kimball at every meet), but having a coach there gives you an advantage.”

The Wolverines even got help from a swimmer who is not usually in the No. 1 position.

After finishing eighth in the 100-yard breaststroke on Friday, junior Lisbeth Goebel earned points against a tough field with a fourth-place finish in the 200 breaststroke.

“Goebel had a very good day (Saturday). She did a really nice job filling in for Stein and I liked what I saw,” Richardson said.

What became apparent to Richardson were the consistent times from his swimmers, and improved times on the second day. Even with the defeats, Michigan knows that it is positioning itself to be ready to swim its best come the championship meets in February and March.

“I think we”re on pace for a better season than last year,” sophomore Emily-Clare Fenn said. “We may sacrifice some dual meets, but that”s the price we want to pay.”

Michigan will have a week off before it resumes competition on Nov. 16, but even without opponents, the Wolverines will be able to continue to train and swim as normal.

“I don”t use how an opposing team looks and compare it to us,” Richardson said. “The clock tells you everything you need to know.”

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