The No. 7 Michigan women’s swimming and diving team battled No. 21 Ohio State, as the Wolverines honored seven of their seniors in Canham Natatorium on Senior Night for their last meet at home.
Michigan, which has won its last 16 dual meets against Big Ten teams, won 14 of 16 events for a 212-88 victory against the Buckeyes, improving its Big Ten record to 3-0.
Many individuals earned multiple individual victories, helping Michigan go 1-2-3 in four events.
Freshman Kristen Hayden, having taken second in the one-meter and three-meter springboards in the last meet against Indiana, showed improvement in both events. She scored 300.9 on the one-meter and 323.30 on the three-meter springboard, taking first in both events.
“I came back and my coach and I worked on a lot of basics and just getting my entries right, just getting my hurdles and my take offs and doing more reps,” Hayden said. “At Indiana, I didn’t do them the way I could, so here, I was relaxed and ready to go.”
While a number of Wolverines improved their performance from Indiana, many others continued their dominant showing from the previous meet. Sophomores Siobhán Haughey, Yirong Bi and juniors Emily Kopas and Clara Smiddy swept their individual events.
Haughey — who won three individual events in the previous dual meet to earn her second Big Ten Swimmer of the Week honor — repeating her impressive feat, placing first in the 10-yard freestyle (48.39), 200-yard freestyle (1:46:76) and 200-yard IM (1:59:32).
Clara Smiddy won her two events — 100-yard (54.47) and 200-yard backstroke (1:56:08) — in a similar fashion to her performance at Indiana.
Smiddy and Hayden weren’t the only ones who improved, as Bi broke a pool record in the 1,000-yard freestyle with a time of 9:35:49, shattering an eight year record held by Minnesota’s Ashley Steenvoorden. In addition, she secured a victory in the 500-yard freestyle (4:44:92) and contributed in the final event, helping her team win the 400-yard freestyle relay.
Michigan not only overwhelmed Ohio State in terms of performances but also with its atmosphere for Senior Night.
Kopas believes Senior Night against a rival team helped keep the spirits high, as each individual strived to send the seniors off on a high note.
“I think we all went out there and did that for the seniors and we always strive to beat (Ohio State),” Kopas said, “I definitely think we have an advantage just because we’ve practiced (in Canham Natatorium) every day and it’s kind of just the atmosphere that gets us going.”
Kopas also had an outstanding night, winning the 100-yard breaststroke (1:02:43) and later the 200-yard breaststroke (2:12:36), where Bi finished just behind her.
Senior Maddy Frost, a Saline, Mich. native, had been coming to the Canham Natatorium since 2005 and swam in it for 12 years, spanning her time in club and college. For her, not being able to swim in Canham again seemed strange, but she’s excited to see where the team is headed in the future.
“I swam a season best tonight, which was awesome and I think that was definitely because of the energy of the team and the coaches,” Frost said. “Just having it be the last time I can compete in this pool, so it was just awesome to do that and kick their butts.”