The No. 22 Michigan women’s swimming and diving team took to the pool Saturday afternoon in dominant fashion, defeating both Northwestern and Notre Dame by wide margins.
The Wolverines defeated the Wildcats, 169-126, and beat the Fighting Irish, 180-115, in the meet at Canham Natatorium.
Michigan set the tone early on with a first-place finish in the 200-yard medley relay. Building on their success, Wolverine swimmers went on to occupy the top three spots in the 1,000-yard freestyle. With the lead in hand, Michigan continued to dictate the pace by placing first in six of the next eight events.
Michigan coach Jim Richardson attributed the impressive performance to the team’s preparation leading up to the meet.
“The thing I always look at is, ‘How well does the meet reflect our training?’ I thought our training went really well this week,” Richardson said. “I always fall back on how were we Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. I thought we were really good this week in preparation.”
Hard work in training and preparation is a consistent theme for Richardson. For senior Alexa Mehesan, the team’s intensity on Saturday is evidence that this hard work is paying off.
“We’ve been training harder this month,” Mehesan said. “So to come off of last weekend, go hard again this week, was good for us.”
Saturday, it resulted in big wins over Northwestern and Notre Dame. However, while pleased with the wins, Mehesan and Richardson both cautioned against reading too far into single meet results.
“We don’t really pay too much attention to what’s between now and (the Big Ten Championships),” Mehesan said. “We just kind of follow our program and whatever happens in between happens. So just training really hard all the way through.”
Richardson added: “This is a progressive thing toward the Big Ten Championships and the NCAAs. You don’t want to look too good too soon, because the object is to peak at the Big Tens and the NCAAs. If you peak now – I’ve seen this happen a lot through the years – you aren’t going to be very good at Big Ten’s.”
The Big Ten Championships are just over four weeks away. Richardson’s attitude moving forward is what one would expect.
“We’ve got four weeks – four and a half weeks to go, so we’ve got some training to do yet,” he said.
For Mehesan, she’s confident that the team is moving in the right direction. “We definitely have positive attitudes and are excited to get to Big Tens.”