Two members of the Michigan women’s diving team bounced up and down on a trampoline minutes before they were set to compete. They looked as if they were preparing themselves to bounce off the board just right.

And the practice paid off as Michigan dominated the diving events in its season-opening meet against Minnesota.

Although the diving team beat its competition, the swimming team couldn’t muster enough points to fend off Minnesota’s deep squad, falling 169-130.

“I thought they fought hard, but we didn’t look very crisp,” Michigan coach Jim Richardson said. “I wouldn’t expect us to. We are in a real (tough part of our training) right now, and for the freshmen who have never done this, it’s new experience.”

The team’s training program has the underclassmen reeling, but the results of prolonged work are clear. The veteran swimmers are faster in the pool.

“Our upperclassmen performed better than they ever have in a meet this early,” Richardson said.

Richardson talked about the team’s hardworking training program during the week. He said the key is the work the team puts in on their intense days on Mondays and Wednesdays. Ever since the team moved to this type of training seven years ago, Richardson has credited it for the team’s late-season success.

“I’m the kind of coach (that believes) it’s really important for us to have real integrity in our training,” Richardson said. “And sometimes at the end of the week you don’t have a whole lot to race with.”

Even in a loss, the swimmers showed promise and finished out the meet in dramatic fashion by winning the 200-yard freestyle relay.

Kelly and senior Hannah Smith each won two events Friday. Kelly won the 100-yard butterfly and the 400-yard individual medley, while Smith won both the 100-yard and 200-yard backstroke. Senior Payton Johnson took second in both the 100-yard and 200-yard butterfly.

This time last year in a meet against Florida, Johnson swam significantly slower times in the 100-meter and 200-meter butterfly. Johnson improved on that 100-meter time by more than eight seconds and beat that 200-meter time by more than 20 seconds.

Richardson praised his swimmers’ performance but said the divers were a little bit ahead of the swimming team. The Wolverines rolled over Minnesota, sweeping the three top spots in both the one-meter and three-meter events.

Freshman Amanda Lohman took first place in the one-meter competition (283.88) and third place in the three-meter competition (281.70). Michigan women’s diving coach Chris Bergère said he sees a lot of potential in Lohman.

“She’s the real deal,” Bergère said. “She’s fast. She’s flexible. She’s athletic. She’s going to be a real good performer for us.”

Junior Stephanie O’Callaghan and sophomore Jillian Drow filled out the top three spots in both diving events.

Bergère thought the divers showed that the skills they were developing in practice were coming out in the competition.

Those skills are good enough for him to rank the diving team behind just Ohio State and Indiana in the Big Ten. He said the Big Ten has the “toughest women’s diving in the United States”, adding that the divers must take care of their own business before worrying about the rest of the conference.

Smith, Kelly, Johnson, O’Callaghan, Drow, and Lohman hope to lead this team to success at the Big Ten Championships later in the year. Richardson sees a squad full of character and hard-working Wolverines.

“They’re great in the classroom,” Richardson said. “They’re great in terms of the kind of people they are, their responsibility level, their commitment, they are just a great group of young women. If they do it right, I’ll take whatever we get at the end.”

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