Michigan, it turns out, still had more to give. After getting faster race after race after race in this 200 medley relay, the Wolverines have broken through and broken the NCAA Record with a 1:22.27. The team of Miguel Ortiz, Bruno Ortiz, Sean Fletcher, and Zach Turk combined for the record-breaking swim.
The old record seemed nearly untouchable at 1:22.36. It came from the 2009 era where the Auburn men were so good, and had the added advantage of the polyurethane suits.
The comparative splits:
|Auburn ’09||White – 20.97||Silva – 23.36||Targett – 19.66||Louw – 18.37||1:22.36|
|Michigan ’13||M. Ortiz – 20.83||B. Ortiz – 23.07||Fletcher – 19.92||Turk – 18.45||1:22.27|
It was the brothers Ortiz who got the job done for the Wolverines on the front-half. With all of the talk about Kevin Cordes’ breaststroke speed at Arizona, Bruno, a sophomore, actually outsplit him by .01 seconds in this race. Turk, just as he did for Kenyon last year, threw down an amazing 18.45 anchor: almost as fast as Vlad Morozov’s 18.23 anchor.
The Wolverines slayed or stayed with giants on all four legs of this swim, and the ultimate result was a new fastest-time-in-history.
Mike Bottom seems to have hit a magic formula that allows him to have his swimmers go unreal times meet-after-meet at years end, and this win was huge for the Wolverines’ National Championship hopes. For all the historical success of the Wolverines, since this race was added to the schedule in 1989, this is the Wolverines’ first NCAA title in the 200 medley relay.
Now, they’ll hope to follow this gutsy performance with another in the 800 free relay where they’re top seeds.
The Ortiz brothers are citizens of Spain, Japan, and Brazil, so no American Record for the Wolverines. That will instead go to Cal in 1:23.17, breaking the old record set by Arizona last season in 1:23.53. The splits for Cal:
- Tony Cox 21.24
- Trevor Hoyt 23.58
- Tom Shields 19.71
- Seth Stubblefield 18.64
Interesting to note that the first 50 yards of Shields’ 100 fly on Thursday in the 400 medley was split in 19.68: faster than he was here when it was just a 50, period. Hopefully that was planned, because if he’s fatigued already, the double will be tough to pull off.