2014 Quad Meet day 2 recap here.
Now that the 2014 Quad Meet hosted by the University of Michigan has concluded, it’s time to take stock of all of the talent that was present in Ann Arbor, MI over the weekend. Stand-outs from all teams (Texas, Indiana, Michigan, Louisville) contributed to strong showings across the board, while post-graduates also added to the overall excitement of the meet. With the final team standings tallied, let’s hear from various participants with their different perspectives on this Quad Meet event:
As an overall assessment of the University of Michigan squad, Head Coach Mike Bottom said that “we need to be better at the details. We need to get our hand on the wall better, we need to execute the details better, such as finishes and break-outs”. Yes, we did do a lot of things right, but we need to do better.” When asked about how the post-grads’ participation in the meet impacted the overall team’s morale, Coach Bottom responded by asking, “What did Connor Jaeger do immediately after breaking the pool record [in the 1000 Free]? – He pointed to the team.” Coach Bottom continued, “That is what it’s all about; it’s all about Michigan.”
University of Michigan Junior, Ali DeLoof, also reflected this team-centric attitude, expressing how excited she was to watch Emily Brunneman (Michigan post-grad) compete in a racing environment at the same meet. DeLoof indicated that “having post-grads competing just boosted morale of the entire team.” DeLoof also expressed that “she was happiest to see [Michigan Freshman] Clara Smiddy perform so well.” Smiddy was a member of the Michigan 3rd place 400 Medley Relay/3rd place 200 Medley Relay/2nd place 400 Medley Relay, in addition to finishing 2nd in the 100 Backstroke and 2nd in the 200 Backstroke. On a personal level, DeLoof was most happy with her 50 and 100 Free performances. She described how she has been specifically on her shoulder-driven freestyle stroke, which seemed to yield desired results, as she came away with wins in both the Women’s 50 and 100 freestyles in 22.80 and 50.02, respectively.
On the Michigan men’s side, Paul Powers jumped at the chance to add to its team’s overall point totals throughout the weekend. On Day 1 of the Quad Meet competition, Powers won the Men’s 50 Free in a time of 19.79, which, according to the Freshman, represents the first time he has ever gone under 20-point in-season. Powers further contributed to the team with strong outings in the 400 Medley Relay (split 44.03 in 100 Free leg), 200 Free Relay (split 19.77), and 400 Free Relay (split 43.46). Powers described how he has been working on his basics as of late, including starts and finishes. Additionally, “the team atmosphere at Michigan in unbeatable. That is one of the primary reasons I chose Michigan, was due to its team culture.” As an incoming Freshman, Powers acknowledged that “my class is ready to step up and contribute in light of the strong Seniors who have just graduated.” Based on this weekend’s performance, Powers is certainly not shying away from opportunities to contribute to the Wolverines in an individual or relay capacity.
Within the University of Louisville team, positive vibes were evident, despite team losses in the overall team standings. Todd Owen, Freshman Breaststroker for the Cardinals, offered up a very mature insight into the Cardinals’ mindset entering the meet. He described how “Going into a meet with teams of that caliber makes it easy to be intimidated. But, knowing we put in the work each day is reassuring. The opportunity presenting itself is the first step; taking advantage of it is our job. We need to understand where we are at this point in the season, learn from our races, and make changes for the future; that is how we will get better.” The Lady Cardinals produced some notable swims, with Junior Tanja Kylliainen earning a win in the 200 Fly, 3rd in the 200 IM, and 4th in the 200 Back. Junior Kelsi Worrell swam to 2nd place in both the 50 and 100 freestyles, while winning 1st place in the 100 Fly. With about 60% of its squad comprised of Freshman and Sophomores, the University of Louisville Cardinals certainly have a bright future ahead.
Final Team Points for Men: Michigan 183, Texas 170; Michigan 237, Louisville 116; Michigan 242.50, Indiana 110.50
Final Team Points for Women: Michigan 179, Indiana 174; Michigan 232.50, Louisville 120.50; Texas 199, Michigan 154