Maggie MacNeil, Patrick Callan Lead Michigan to Lead Over Louisville in SMU Classic

Maggie MacNeil -- Photo Courtesy: NCAA Media

Maggie MacNeil, Patrick Callan Lead Michigan to Lead Over Louisville in SMU Classic

The SMU Classic typically provides an opportunity for fast times early in the college season but only for women, with the attending teams only allowed to bring a small squad. But this year, the meet is including both women and men, and after the first of two days, the University of Michigan holds a narrow lead over the Louisville in both the women’s and men’s competitions. Highlighting the meet has been a pair of Wolverine Olympians, 100 butterfly gold medalist Maggie MacNeil and U.S. men’s 800 freestyle relay participant Patrick Callan.

MacNeil skipped the 100 fly, where she is the fastest woman ever in short course yards and the only woman to ever break 49, but she set a meet record in winning the 50 free with her 21.78, and she returned for another meet record in the 100 back, touching the wall in 51.09. No other swimmer has been that quick in the backstroke so far this season, but University of Virginia swimmers Kate Douglass and Gretchen Walsh were a bit quicker at the UVA intrasquad last week. Douglass was the only swimmer to beat MacNeil at NCAAs last year, winning a tight battle in the 50 free before MacNeil dominated the 100 fly and 100 free.

Callan, meanwhile, held off a furious late charge from Louisville’s Murilo Sartori to win the 200 free. Callan swam a 1:34.47, just 0.12 ahead of Sartori (1:34.59). Sartori closed in 23.75, compared to 24.30 for Callan, to make it interesting down the stretch.

But that was not the fastest 200 freestyle of the day. Later on, 400 freestyle Olympic finalist Jake Mitchell made his only appearance of day one leading off Michigan’s 800 free relay, and he clocked 1:34.16. He and teammates Gal Cohen GroumiWyatt Davis and Callan combined to record a 6:19.01 for the win in that relay.

Missouri’s Danny Kovac put up a pair of nice swims as he won the 50 free in 19.83 and then the 100 fly in 45.77. Kovac’s were the only races to be won by non-Michigan swimmers on the day as the Wolverines and the Cardinals were the dominant squads.

For Michigan’s women, the group of Casey ChungLetitia Sim, MacNeil and Lindsay Flynn won the 400 medley relay in 3:30.48, with MacNeil splitting 50.88 on the fly leg. Kathryn Ackerman dominated the 400 IM with her 4:07.38, and Sim put up a quick 59.09 to win the 100 breast. Louisville saw Arina Openysheva drop a quick 1:45.75 to win the 200 free and Gabi Albiero swim a 52.00 to capture first place in the 100 fly.

The Louisville group of Polina Nevmoveno, Openysheva, Paige Hetrick and Tristen Ulett won the 800 free relay in 7:08.53, with Openysheva splitting 1:45.12 and Ulett coming from behind to overtake Michigan anchor Kaitlyn Sims and win by seven tenths.

Michigan opened the men’s competition with a victory in a tight 400 medley relay, as the team of Davis, Will Chan, Cohen Grumiand Cam Peel swimming a 3:07.26 to beat Louisville (3:07.74) by a half-second. Louisville’s Nicolas Albiero split a swift 45.06 on the fly leg. Louisville’s Daniel Sos won the 400 IM in 3:44.92, and teammate Mitchell Whyte grabbed first place in the 100 back in 46.48. For Michigan, the only individual winner aside from Callan was Will Chan in the 100 breaststroke (52.14).

Miami’s Mia Vallee won one-meter diving for women (313.10), while the men’s three-meter event went to SMU’s Parker Hardigree (360.25)

In the women’s team competition, Michigan finished day one with a paper-thin two-point lead over Louisville, 174 to 172, while Missouri was third with 137. For the men, Michigan’s lead is just seven points ahead of Louisville, 168 to 161, and Missouri is not far back at 153.

Live results