No. 3 Michigan Swimming Tops No. 5 Indiana in Big Ten Showdown; Wolverines Sweep

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Behind some clutch wins down the stretch from members of its senior class, the No. 3-ranked University of Michigan men’s swimming and diving team upended No. 5 Indiana, 160-140, in a matchup of top-five teams on Saturday (Jan. 11) at Canham Natatorium. The Wolverines avenged a loss earlier in the year to the Hoosiers (165-135 in Bloomington), while handing Indiana its first dual-meet loss in Big Ten competition since January 2016.

The Wolverines led most of the afternoon, but saw themselves behind after Indiana scored 31 points in the 100-yard freestyle and 200-yard backstroke out of the first break. Trailing 98-90, Michigan won the next four events and clinched the meet by the time the 400-yard freestyle relay began.

It started in the 200-yard breaststroke with senior Tommy Cope, who partnered with classmate Charlie Swanson on 1-2 finish (1:56.34, 1:58.97) that trimmed Indiana’s lead to just one point. Michigan went back in front for good in the 500-yard freestyle, as junior Ricardo Vargas (4:21.85), sophomore Patrick Callan (4:22.84) and senior Felix Auböck (4:24.21) combined for 16 points with a 1-2-3 finish. Vargas began pulling away around the 250-yard mark and won comfortably, while Auböck stormed back on the last lap to take third, energizing the Michigan bench.

Senior Miles Smachlo fed off that energy, holding off Indiana’s Brendan Burns by .16 seconds to win the 100-yard butterfly (46.84) and extend the lead to 131-114. The Wolverines put it away in the 200-yard IM behind Cope, who rallied on the back half to overtake Mohamed Samy for the win (1:45.61). Swanson was third (1:47.76) and freshman Danny Berlitz was fourth (1:49.57) to add crucial depth points. With diving results factored in, the Wolverines surpassed the 150-point threshold and secured the victory.

“More than anything, this meet was about the team coming together,” said head coach Mike Bottom. “My message before to the team was that it was going to take everyone in order to beat a great team like Indiana, and we were able to do that. The atmosphere in here was incredible and definitely gave our team some energy.”

The Wolverines won the 200-yard medley relay to open the meet, as the foursome of sophomore Eric Storms, Cope, Smachlo and junior Luiz Gustavo Borges touched first at 1:25.44. Storms led off in 21.90, staying close to Indiana backstroker Gabriel Fantoni, allowing Cope to put Michigan in the lead for good on the breaststroke leg. Smachlo padded the lead with a 20.70 split on butterfly.

Vargas took the 1,000-yard freestyle, touching nearly five seconds ahead of the field (9:01.82). Cope was the victor in the 100-yard breaststroke (53.28), combining with sophomore Will Chan (53.62) on a 1-2 finish. Borges won the 50-yard freestyle, becoming the only swimmer in the field to break the 20-second barrier (19.75).

Michigan swimming got big contributions from its divers. Though Indiana won both springboard events, U-M went 2-3-4 in each, limiting any potential gains. Junior Ross Todd was second in both (332.55 on 1M, 379.65 on 3M), while senior Jake Herremans (3rd on 1M, 4th on 3M) and junior Chris Canning (3rd on 3M, 4th on 1M) filled in behind him.

MORE BIG TEN COVERAGE

MICHIGAN WOMEN WIN

The No. 5-ranked University of Michigan swimming and diving team won 12 of 16 events to defeat No. 15 Indiana women, 186-114, on Saturday (Jan. 11) at Canham Natatorium. Newcomer Olivia Carter, the sophomore transfer from the University of Georgia, won all three of her individual events in her home debut.

The Wolverines set the tone early, winning the 200-yard medley relay by almost four seconds. Sophomore Maggie MacNeil gave the Wolverines a massive lead after the opening leg, splitting 23.82, while senior Miranda Tucker, Carter and junior Daria Pyshnenko followed suit behind her, touching at 1:38.52.

Carter, who made her Michigan debut last week at the Orange Bowl Swim Classic in the Florida Keys, looked right at home on Saturday. Her addition bolsters an already potent butterfly group, as she headlined 1-2-3 finishes in both events. Carter first won the 200-yard butterfly (1:58.80), sweeping the event along with sophomore Victoria Kwan (1:59.71) and senior Vanessa Krause (2:01.21), then later won the 100-yard butterfly (54.20), finishing ahead of Krause (55.11) and freshman Megan Glass (55.40). Carter capped her afternoon with a win in the 200-yard IM (2:01.48).

Freshman Kaitlynn Sims cruised to victories in both distance events, winning the 500-yard freestyle (4:46.07) and 1,000-yard freestyle (9:45.52). Junior Sierra Schmidt finished behind her both times (4:48.29/9:52.25), allowing the distance duo to finish six seconds clear of the field in the 500-yard freestyle and a whopping 12 seconds clear in the 1,000-yard freestyle.

MacNeil continued her winning ways on Saturday, too, posting dominant wins in the 100-yard backstroke (51.89; won by nearly four seconds) and in the 100-yard freestyle (48.42; won by nearly two seconds). Pyshnenko was the other swimmer to post a win, taking the 50-yard freestyle with an impressive in-season time (22.62).

Michigan swimming got a big boost in the diving well. Freshman Lucy Hogan was at the forefront of a 1-2-3-4 finish on three-meter, scoring 311.93 for the win ahead of junior Camryn McPherson (293.63), junior Nikki Canale (280.58) and freshman Lauren Cheetham (277.95). Canale later won on one-meter (279.97).

With the win well in hand, Michigan cruised to a win in the 400-yard freestyle relay, as the quartet of MacNeil, Pyshnenko, Tucker and freshman Sophia Kudryashova touched in 3:20.27, nearly four seconds ahead of Indiana.

HOOSIER WINNERS

MEN

Bruno Blaskovic – 100 freestyle (43.73); 400 freestyle relay (2:56.00)

Brendan Burns – 200 butterfly (1:44.12); 400 freestyle relay (2:56.00)

Gabriel Fantoni – 200 backstroke (1:45.40);

Jack Franzman – 400 freestyle relay (2:56.00)

Mory Gould – 1-meter diving (339.75); 3-meter diving (422.17)

Mohamed Samy – 200 freestyle (1:35.57); 400 freestyle relay (2:56.00)

WOMEN

Cora Dupre – 200 freestyle (1:48.40);

Bailey Kovac – 200 backstroke (1:59.15)

Noelle Peplowski – 100 breaststroke (1:00.32); 200 breaststroke (2:13.32)

— The above press release was posted by Swimming World in conjunction with Michigan Swimming and Indiana Swimming. For press releases and advertising inquiries please contact Advertising@SwimmingWorld.com.

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