The Wolverine

May 2014 Issue

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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  NCAAS: MEN'S SWIMMING The Michigan men's swimming and diving team added to the historic leg- acy of the program last year, winning its 12th team national championship. The Wolverines wanted to write another chapter this season, hoping to bring home the first back-to-back titles since 1957-59. Unfortunately, Michigan fell behind early and, by the morning sessions of the second day of the NCAA Champi- onships (March 27-29), it was clear the team wouldn't be able to catch front- runners Cal and Texas. The Golden Bears won the title, scoring 468.5 points. The Wolverines finished fourth with 310 points. "We took a moment to pause and say, 'Here we are,'" Michigan head coach Mike Bottom said. "At that point, all we were trying to do was pull together as a team to decide where we want to go. We did that the final day and the guys responded. You could see every one of them swam best times or near-best times." Although Michigan did not reach the repeat title, it does nothing to dampen the legacy of a senior class that won four consecutive Big Ten team crowns and finished in the top five at the NCAA Championships in each of the last three years, including 2013's national cham- pionship. "This senior class came in as a strong class and changed the culture of our program," Bottom said. "The first ques- tion I was asked by some of these par- ents on recruiting trips was, 'When is Michigan going to win a title?' That was the expectation of this class coming in. We would strive for the highest level of excellence and that's NCAA titles." Even without the win, the Wolverines had plenty to celebrate. Two swimmers took home individual NCAA cham- pionships. Senior Connor Jaeger be- came the first Michigan swimmer to win back-to-back national titles in the 1,650-yard freestyle since Tom Dolan ac- complished the feat in 1995-96. Jaeger finished the race in 14:29.27 — nearly 10 seconds faster than California's Jer- emy Bradshaw, who took second in the event (14:39.00). Jaeger, who won the 1,650-yard free- style (14:27.18) and the 500-yard free- style (4:10.84) national titles last season, joins an elite group of Michigan swim- mers who have claimed at least three individual championships. Jaeger is the 20th swimmer in program history to ac- complish the feat, along with Gustavo Borges (eight individual titles), Tom Dolan (six), Peter Vanderkaay (four), Ed Kirar (four), Tom Haynie (four), David Gillanders (four), Brent Lang (four), and three-time winners Charles Barker, Rich- ard Weinberg, John Schmieler, Taylor Drysdale, Tyler Clary, Richard Nelson, Mike Barrowman, Jack Kasley, Carl Ro- bie, Burwell Jones, Tim Siciliano and Frank Fehsenfeld. "It's special," Jaeger said. "I don't think I'm fully appreciating it yet. Sitting there in that pool after the race and knowing that I won in my last race for Michigan with my team on the edge of the pool Eying A Repeat, Wolverines Finish Fourth

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