Ann Arbor, Mich. November 6. THE fourth-ranked Michigan men enjoyed a decisive 179-121 win over the Georgia Bulldogs on Saturday. Michigan senior tri-captains Chris DeJong (Holland, Mich./Holland), Davis Tarwater (Knoxville, Tenn./Webb School) and Peter Vanderkaay (Rochester, Mich./Adams) led the Wolverines to their second victory of the season, with Tarwater and Vanderkaay winning three individuals events each and contributing to a winning relay, and DeJong sweeping the backstroke events and helping two relay teams to victory.
“We're not happy with the loss for the men, but we are happy with the effort,” Georgia coach Jack Bauerle said. “We swam against a very tough Michigan team, and we'll be better because of that."
Added Wolverine men's coach Bob Bowman, "I think it went really well and the guys stepped up to do what we hoped they would do. Georgia's a very good team and I think we showed we were much improved. I was very happy with our performance."
The 200-yard medley relay team of DeJong, sophomore Grant Burtch (Holland, Mich./Holland), Tarwater and freshman Bryan Vessels (Dexter, Mich., Dexter) started the meet off strong for the Wolverines (2-0). The quartet touched in at 1:30.87, more than 1.5 seconds ahead of their next closest competitor.
In the first 1,650-yard freestyle of the year, Vanderkaay and freshman Matt Patton (Matthews, N.C./Butler) both posted NCAA worthy times, clocking times of 15:05.17 and 15:25.44, respectively. Vanderkaay's time earned first place and an NCAA 'A' standard time, while Patton placed third behind Georgia's 2005 SEC champion Sebastien Rouault, with an NCAA consideration time. The pair repeated their respective finishes in the 500-yard freestyle, once again being split by Rouault. Vanderkaay's 4:23.91 in the event was good enough for another NCAA standard, this time 'B.'
Michigan continued its success, winning its third and fourth straight events in the 200-yard freestyle and 100-yard backstroke. Freshman Bobby Savulich (Edison, N.J./Saint Joseph) followed up his 200 free first-place performance against Eastern Michigan (Oct. 28) with another, touching the wall in 1:39.44. In the 100-yard backstroke, Michigan posted its first 1-2 finish on the day as DeJong finished in 49.18, beating U-M sophomore Dane Grenda (Hockessin, Del./Salesianum) (50.81) by more than one second. The duo posted their second 1-2 finish of the day in the 200-yard backstroke, as DeJong swam to a NCAA 'B' standard in 1:45.21. The Bulldogs (2-2) got a pair of wins from Genya Gouzeev, who took the 1-meter diving with 302.85 points and the 3-meter diving with 322.28 points.
Georgia's Cameron Hollinger won the 50 freestyle with a time of 21.12. Michael Cellini claimed the 100 breaststroke, finishing in 57.86. Jeff Parsley was the winner in the 200 breaststroke, clocking in at 2:06.72. Sebastien Rouault swam the 1,650 freestyle for the first time this year, placing second and posting an NCAA provisional qualifying time of 15:08.04.
Tarwater led a 1-2-3 finish for the Wolverines in the 200-yard butterfly. The senior posted an NCAA 'B' standard time of 1:47.10, with sophomore Alex Vanderkaay (Rochester, Mich./Adams HS) and Patton rounding out the top three. Tarwater missed his second NCAA time of the meet in the 100-yard freestyle, touching the wall in 44.66, just .01 behind the 'B' standard time of 44.65. Tarwater continued his dominance with his third individual victory of the day in the 100-yard butterfly (49.15), more than one second in front of the next swimmer.
Peter Vanderkaay finished first in back-to-back events in the 400-yard individual medley and as the last leg in the 200-yard freestyle relay. Though Peter Vanderkaay led through the first split, brother Alex caught up before Peter cruised back to finish first in 3:56.62. Alex Vanderkaay and Grenda rounded out Michigan's second top-three finish of the day.
Joining Vanderkaay in the first-place 200 free relay team were Vessels, DeJong and Savulich. The group finished two seconds ahead of Georgia's 'A' team in 1:22.20.
Bowman added, "(Vanderkaay's split) was exceptional. To come out of the 400-yard IM and show that kind of speed really shows what kind of kid Peter is. He is about as tough as they come."
NOTE:During the breaks, U-M volunteer assistant coach Michael Phelps swam two exhibition heats against Club Wolverine teammate Klete Keller. Phelps broke his own pool record by exactly a second in the 200-yard freestyle, finishing in 1:33.41. Phelps missed his second pool record of the day after posting 43.08 in the 100-yard freestyle. The time was just .01 behind his pool record of 43.07 he set last season.