The Wolverine

August 2021

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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ON TOP OF THE WORLD Rising senior Maggie MacNeil, in her first Olympic appearance, became the first women's swimmer from U-M to win an individual Olympic gold medal in more than 50 years, when she placed first in the 100-meter butterfly July 26 in Tokyo. MacNeil's 55.59 seconds is the second-fastest time in Olympic history and was boosted by an incredible final 50 meters that helped her move from seventh in the eight-person finals at the halfway point to leading the group. The last Wolverine female to win an individual Olympic gold in the pool was Ginny Duenkel in 1964, though she did not enroll until after the Olympics and then competed for the U-M Women's Athletic Association team since there was not a women's varsity squad at the time. The 21-year-old MacNeil, the 2019 world champion in the event, also claimed a silver medal as part of Canada's 4x100-meter freestyle relay team. Her two medals in one Olympics also match the program record set by Duenkel, who took gold in the 400 freestyle and bronze in the 100 backstroke. MacNeil, the College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America's Female Swimmer of the Year this past college season after winning NCAA titles in the 100 freestyle and 100 butterfly, set a new Americas record with her time in the individual race at the Olympics and is the program's first Olympic medalist since 2000 (along with alumna Catie DeLoof, who was part of the United States' bronze medal-winning 4x100 relay). Her win marked Canada's first gold medal of the Tokyo Games, and she's also set to compete in the 4x100-meter medley relay. PHOTOS COURTESY SWIMMING CANADA/IAN MACNICOL THE BIG PICTURE

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