Michigan Men, Women Sweep All 24 Events at Orange Bowl Classic

Braden Keith
by Braden Keith 2

January 03rd, 2013 News

As part of the requirements for Winter training trips, NCAA swim teams must compete in at least one competition in the midst of grueling two-a-days (or sometimes three-a-days) in sunny locales, and the Michigan men, for the 4th-straight season, have done so in title-winning fashion. They won the 2013 Orange Bowl Classic on Thursday in Key Largo, an area their coach is quite familiar with as a former employee of the famed Race Club program. This year, the Michigan women, newly under the direction of Bottom, won the meet as well, including a sweep of the 12 events and 10 new Meet Records.

The meet is a part of the month of “Orange Bowl” festivities in southern Florida that coincide with the big football game that this year was won by Florida State over Northern Illinois. The swimming portion of the competition is held in a 25-meter course at the Jacobs Aquatic Center.

Both squads were clearly in the throws of heavy training, but still saw some decent times when that was considered in the sprint-based event schedule. The Michigan men’s sprint group, that they are looking to bank on this year, went 1-2-2 in the 50 free, with senior transfer Zach Turk leading the way in 22.69, which is the equivalent of about a 20.5 in yards, and the Ortiz brothers Miguel and Bruno tying for 2nd in 22.88.

Canadian sophomore Richard Funk, who coming from north of the border has some experience in this course, swam a 1:01.34 in the 100 meter breaststroke (converts to a 55-mid in yards) which is just about half-a-second from his personal best in Short Course Meters. That’s a solid mid-season swim for him, which is vital to the Wolverine medley relays that will lean heavily on him to produce at NCAA’s for a possible top-3 finish.

The other time of note on the day for the men was John Wojciechowksi in the 100 fly, where he swam a 53.56 (48-mid in yards). He had a great end to his sophomore season in the 200 fly (he won the B-Final at NCAA’s), but his speed in the 100 wasn’t quite enough to put him in the top 16. All-in-all, this swim notwithstanding, his 2012-2013 season seems to be taking him more toward that 200, as his sprint times haven’t been as good but his distance times have been fantastic. We’ll see how that pans out at year’s end, though, as his best time in the 100 last year was mid-season: not a desirable result either.

Mike Bottom’s impact is already being felt strongly on this women’s program. He had a pair of swimmers pick up a pair of wins, with senior Deirdre Jones taking the 50 free (26.50) and 100 free (57.64). On the other end of his age range, Canadian freshman Marni Oldershaw, who was a big signing for former coach Jim Richardson in his last recruiting class, won the 50 breaststroke (32.79) and the 200 IM (2:16.73). That sprint breaststroke time blew-away her personal best as the Wolverines are looking to rebuild from the ground up.

Final Team Scores (Men):
1. Michigan 306
2. West Virginia 72.5
3. George Mason 68
4. Saint Leo 64.5
5. Washington College 7

Final Team Scores (Women)
1. Michigan 291.5
2. Florida International 81
3. West Virginia 76.5
4. George Mason 38
5. Vermont 17
6. Central Connecticut St. 14

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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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