The Wolverine

April 2013

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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big ten Championships: men's swimming U-M Captures Big Ten Title, Now Looks For A National Championship The Michigan men's swimming and diving program has won its share of hardware. The Wolverines boast 18 national championships, the most in Division I history, and 37 Big Ten titles, Sophomore Bruno Ortiz became the first including wins at the league meet in U-M swimmer since Tyler Clary in 2010 2011 and 2012. The 2013 team knew to win six Big Ten titles in the same meet (50-yard and 100-yard freestyle, and four it had to defend its Big Ten crown. That title defense was executed in relays). photo courtesy michigan athletic media relations dominating fashion, and it assured the Wolverines a "three-peat" in the Big Ten, the first time they've won three in a row since 1993‑95. Coincidentally, 1995 was also the last year the program tasted national championship glory. The parallels are striking, and it's easy to believe this team is capable of similar heights after watching what was done at the Big Ten meet. Michigan left the rest of the conference in its wake, with its 899 team points easily besting second-place Indiana (664 points). The final tally from the Big Ten Championships reads like something out of the history books — eight school records were achieved, four Big Ten records were smashed and a whopping 53 career-best times were established. Senior Miguel Ortiz swam on four relay championships, and he was reminded that winning the Big Ten can be a huge stepping-stone toward greater things. "The first time I've ever been on a team to win all five relays," he said. "It's an honor to win four of them myself. "The experience we had at Big Tens was a stepping-stone to NCAAs. We definitely have a chance. We will win if we swim the same as we did at Big Ten's, and we can definitely grab the national championship." Unlike other big-time programs around the country — Stanford, Cal, Texas and USC — Michigan operates from the standpoint of claiming conference supremacy first, then focusing on NCAAs. Championships are the main goal, even though it may burn out some top swimmers, who must then rest and recharge. Roman Willets is one of seven seniors on this year's roster that has enjoyed a third consecutive conference championship, but the next item on their check-

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