The Wolverine

August 2015 Issue

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Page 33 of 177

BY JOHN BORTON M ichigan men's swimming and diving fans might have been holding their breath at the start of the 2014-15 season. It was not in anticipation of a fifth straight Big Ten Championship and a No. 3 finish at the NCAA Championships. No, there loomed more than a little trepidation over a Mike Bottom squad that lost a host of experienced talent from the previous season. "A lot of people outside of our team, and maybe even within our team at points, didn't know what our potential was and what we could accomplish," acknowledged senior Justin Glanda. "That pursuit of fulfilling our potential as a team was something we talked about a lot." Then, it became something they went out and achieved. Another Big Ten title, finishing behind Texas and California at the NCAA meet, and The Wolverine's designation as Michigan's Male Team of the Year followed. According to Bottom, Michigan swimming is now built for reloading, and that's precisely what the Wolverines did. "Since I've been at Michigan, I've seen this happen numerous times," Bottom said. "When people see stars leave the team, if the team culture is right, the people who are coming up feel empowered to step into the positions that are open. "If our team culture is right, every time we lose somebody, somebody else is ready to go in for that spot. Our captains — Richard Funk and Justin Glanda — were very, very powerful in their leadership, yet no one expected that out of those two." Meanwhile, even Bottom didn't anticipate a top-three finish nationally. He instead mentally prepared the Wolverines for a hoped-for top-five position, knowing USC and Florida brought loaded squads to the pool. In the end, the Wolverines surprised MALE TEAM OF THE YEAR SWIMMING & DIVING THE RIGHT CULTURE The Michigan Men's Swimming And Diving Team Reloads For Another Top Five Finish

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