The Michigan men hosted a quirky sort of “First Chance” meet at the Canham Natatorium this weekend, just two weeks before the upcoming Big Ten Championships, and among other big swims included a new Michigan school record. This meet was almost exclusively Michigan swimmers, though a few from nearby programs like Purdue and Eastern Michigan came for the chance.
In the 200 medley relay, the team of Miguel Ortiz, Bruno Ortiz, Sean Fletcher, and Zach Turk combined for a 1:24.69, which is a new school and natatorium record. The Wolverines were gunning for this record; this meet was largely designed for guys trying to get NCAA cuts before Big Tens, but this group was swimming specifically for the record. “”We were able to finally break that school record and pool record in the 200-yard medley relay, which is why we had them swimming in the first place,” head coach Mike Bottom said.
The splits were: Miguel Ortiz (21.68); Bruno Ortiz (23.59), Fletcher (20.36), Turk (19.06)
That swim would’ve placed Michigan 3rd at last year’s NCAA Championship meet. This is the only relay in the current schedule that Michigan has never won an NCAA title in, though knocking off the defending champs and American Record holders from Arizona will be a tall-task this year.
Several other swimmers were clearly rested for this meet. Anders Lie Nielsen swam a 1:33.66. That’s a lifetime best for the 21-year old freshman and the fastest time in the Big Ten this season. In the 500, Dan Miller was a 4:20.90 to easily make the NCAA “B” standard.
Michigan’s season is a bit head-scratching. On paper, they’re in contention for the NCAA title; but with how many times they’ve been really fast in season, who knows where they’ll be at come either Big Tens or NCAA’s.