Michigan Water Carnival to Improve Swimming Entertainment Value

Braden Keith
by Braden Keith 11

September 20th, 2012 College, News

Mike Bottom, now with full control of the Michigan Swimming & Diving programs, is already making a strong impact with today’s announcement of the “Michigan Water Carnival”.

The event, which will be held on October 6th at 11 AM, will encompass the Oakland and Minnesota tri-meet, and will try to bring a new level of entertainment and fanfare to a college swim-meet setting.

“The Michigan Water Carnival will be unlike any other swim meet that has been put on before,” Bottom said, adding that he would like to see it become a yearly event. “We want swimming and diving to be a spectator-friendly sport, not just something that’s watched every four years. This event will allow us to show off our speed, power, and athleticism in a totally different and unique way.”

There will be some unique swims on the 13-event schedule, including a 4×75 yard medley relay and a 50-yard underwater dolphin kick. The latter of those races should excite both swim fans and non-swim fans alike; remember this video of former Texas All-American Hill Taylor? It remains one of the most viral videos of swimming ever seen.


The Michigan coaching staff will put on a show between events as well, with training tips and instruction in between races. The Michigan Dance Team, (in-)famed Michigan a capella group The Friars, and even the Michigan band.

Bottom’s attitude toward developing the sport of swimming to reach an expanded audience is reminiscent of what Pat Henry has done for college track. One of the stipulations of him taking over the head coaching job at Texas A&M once upon a time was the ability to build a state-of-the-art indoor track that was designed specifically for spectators; including a set of separated sprint lanes that ran right in front of the fan seating to increase their impact and buzz.

Bottom is taking a similar approach to swimming, and trying to push it beyond the audience of age group swimmers and age group coaches (but still creating a product that will appeal to even the most hardcore of fans). Michigan has been pushing-the-envelope ever-so-slightly with events like this and the Pro Duel Meet last year.

Possible future expansions of this event could include incorporation of Michigan’s synchronized swimming and water polo teams.

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10 years ago

Live streaming YES PLEASE
we will watch from down under.

10 years ago

Sounds cool! Why is a 4×75 medley relay more exciting than a 4×50?

Reply to  kcswimjk
10 years ago

4×75 is different… that’s all. I’m crazy excited for that relay. Any way to get an event list posted?

Loretta Race
10 years ago

Do you know how we can get tickets??

Loretta Race
Reply to  Braden Keith
10 years ago

Awesome! Definitely gonna be there! 🙂

10 years ago

Will this be televised/streamed online?

Reply to  reddragon
10 years ago

If floswimming was still around yes

10 years ago

Awesome. Way to think outside the box–we need more of that in our sport.

Mark Rauterkus
10 years ago


Alumni race.

10&under race

Water polo, for sure

Clown diving, of course

Open water swim, via teleconference or at early in the morning

A sprint triathlon

Zip line into pool, for after the meet for the fans

100 yard reverse medley relay. Gotta swim feet first.

Kick board race

Swimmer shot put. Each team has to toss one of its swimmers over the backstroke flags, high jump style.

Coach bridge. Team makes a bridge and coaches race down the pool from end to end and can not get wet, while coach has his or her pockets full of team members cell phones.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner 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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