YPSILANTI — Inside the humid Jones Natatorium on Eastern Michigan’s campus Saturday the air smelled of chlorine. Swimmers were cheering for their teammates in bathing suits as the snow fell outside the building. The crowd cheered intermittently.
The No. 18 Michigan women’s swimming and diving team won the two-day Eastern Michigan Invitational with five career best times and three meet records. After day one, the Wolverines were in first place ahead of Eastern Michigan University by just four points, but several successful races Saturday propelled the Wolverines to a 185-point win.
“We take this one day at a time,” Michigan assistant coach Stefanie Kerska said. “All we think about is being better than we were yesterday, and I think we can safely say that today.”
Saturday brought five more career bests when senior Hannah Smith and junior Margaret Kelly both broke meet records — Smith in the 200-individual medley and Kelly in the 500-yard freestyle. Kelly, Smith, sophomore Natasha Moodie and senior Payton Johnson set meet and pool records garnering consideration for the NCAA championships in the 200-yard freestyle relay.
Friday night, Smith and Kelly both posted career bests, propelling the team to first place early in the meet. Smith raced the 100-yard freestyle in 50 seconds flat and Kelly finished the 200-yard breaststroke in 2:19.16.
The Wolverines also dominated in diving, winning the one- and three-meter springboard events. Freshman Amanda Lohman had a career best 291.90 in the three-meter event.
“I think we were off to a slow start but we continued to focus as the sessions went on,” Kerska said. “(Saturday) was by far our best session. I think the girls worked hard and earned the performances that they had tonight.”