The Wolverine

August 2018

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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32 THE WOLVERINE AUGUST 2018 other pursuits as well. They made regular visits to C.S. Mott Children's Hospital to visit ailing young fans, got involved with the battle against juvenile diabetes, navigated their classes swimmingly and delivered just what a head coach envisions. "This has been a great team that re- ally painted the picture of who they are and who we are as a team, as champions," Bottom said. The Wolverines hadn't won the Big Ten for three consecutive seasons since 1996-98. They reeled off their third straight conference title this year, and in a fashion that left absolutely no doubt. The 1,465 points they put on the board outpaced second- place Indiana by 312.5, the greatest victory margin at the Big Ten Cham- pionships since 2011. They buried third-place Ohio State, who finished 370.5 points back. The Wolverines set four school re- cords, paced by sophomore Vanessa Krause's dominating performance in the 200-yard butterfly. Her time of 1:53.44 not only broke the Michigan record, but also established a new mark for the Big Ten and the confer- ence meet. Krause's response to the superior effort won't soon be forgotten by her head coach. "What I remember is her reaction when she finished," Bottom said. "She dropped substantially between the prelims and the finals. She's one that's really hard on herself. She's gone through the whole year with an injury that we really didn't know what it was until after the season. "When she finished and she broke that record, to see the surprise and the shock on her face, and to see her look at the team and give credit to them … that's going to be a picture I carry to, if not my grave, at least until I'm rolling around in a wheelchair and needing some inspiration." Meanwhile, sophomore Miranda Tucker, senior Clara Smiddy and freshman Christy Cutshaw all fueled the conference rout with Michigan records of their own. Tucker finished second in the 200-yard breaststroke in 2:06.59, Smiddy placed second in the 200-yard backstroke in 1:50.63, and Cutshaw was 11th in platform diving (297.50 points). Cutshaw's effort added to a very strong showing by U- M's divers, who assisted mightily in a lopsided Big Ten championship. "Mike Hilde, the diving coach, has put together an incredible group of divers, who room with the swimmers and live with our athletes, socialize with the team," Bottom said. "It's all one. The points we scored on the boards and the tower this year were substantial. "They put us into the place where we just had to do what we did in the The Wolverines racked up 11 All-America citations along the way to their podium finish at the NCAA Championships, including runner-up efforts by sophomore Siobhán Haughey (above) in the 200-yard freestyle, sophomore Miranda Tucker in the 100-yard breaststroke and the 800-yard freestyle relay squad. PHOTO COURTESY MICHIGAN PHOTOGRAPHY Head coach Mike Bottom on U-M's NCAA finish "To get fourth was pretty special. The team had that in mind the whole time, to get hardware."

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