Sierra Schmidt Posts Top Mile in NCAA this Year as UMich Downs MSU and Rutgers

Michigan vs Michigan State vs Rutgers (Women’s Double Dual)

  • Saturday, January 23rd, 2021
  • Canham Natatorium, Ann Arbor, MI
  • SCY (Short Course Yards)
  • Results

Team Scores

  1. Michigan – 146
  2. Michigan State – 107

 

  1. Michigan – 153
  2. Rutgers – 48

 

  1. Michigan State – 185
  2. Rutgers – 48

 

Michigan hosted Michigan State and Rutgers for a women’s tri-meet on Saturday at Canham Natatorium. The meet had a lot of significance, given that it was potentially the final dual between Michigan and Michigan State, and Rutgers only had 5 athletes competing.

Michigan State made the decision to cut it’s swimming & diving programs after this season, meaning this meet was likely the final regular season matchup between Michigan and Michigan State. In a show of solidarity, the Michigan coaching staff wore “Save MSU Swim & Dive” masks on deck. Head Michigan coach Mike Bottom said of the masks, “we talked before the meet about how we could honor them…the idea of not competing against Michigan State in the future is so sad.”

Rutgers, on the other hand, only has 5 athletes currently on campus training. In a recent SwimSwam Podcast episode, head coach Jonathon Maccoll discussed the fluidity of the Rutgers roster right now, due to the pandemic. The staff at Rutgers felt it was best to have its swimmers stay home if they had a more solid training environment there, instead of having all the swimmers come back to train on campus, given the ever-changing protocols and restrictions surrounding the pandemic. Right now, the Scarlett Knights have 5 athletes competing, but coach Maccoll said there could be anywhere from 5-12 athletes competing this season. The rest will be redshirting.

The Wolverines matched the men’s team in pulling out victories. Maggie MacNeil and Sophie Housey each won a pair of events, while Sierra Schmidt posted the fastest mile in the nation this year.

Schmidt swam only the 1650 today, clocking a 15:53.52. The swim comes in just under 5 seconds off her personal best of 15:48.53, which was done at the 2020 Big Tens. The race marked the fastest in the NCAA this season, edging ahead of Alabama’s Kensey McMahon, who held the top slot with a 15:54.06 from mid-season. Schmidt also swam a brilliant race from a splits-perspective. She took the swim out in 4:47.15 on the first 500, then followed it up with a 4:48.31 on the 2nd, for a 9:35.49 at the 1000. She then slipped back just slightly, clocking a 4:51.97 on the 3rd 500, and brought it home in 1:26.20 on the final 150 (4:47.3 500 pace).

Maggie MacNeil swam a slate of freestyle events today, first taking the 50 free with a 22.30. The swim marked the fastest time in the field by 1.6 seconds, and made MacNeil the #14 performer nationally, until she later led off the 200 free relay in 22.20, making her #9 in the NCAA this year. MacNeil also swam a 50.12 to win the 100 free, taking it out in a conservative 24.40. MacNeil started her day by leading off the 400 medley relay with a 52.75.

Sophie Housey, a Wolverine freshman, posted a 1:58.94 to win the 200 fly decisively. Housey narrowly missed her personal best of 1:58.73 in the event. She went on to swim a 4:55.59 in the 500, marking a personal best by nearly 10 seconds. Housey negative split the race with a 2:28.35/2:27.24, thanks to a very quick 27.70 on the final 50.

Michigan’s Victoria Kwan led the 400 IM with a 4:12.73, using a 2:00.95 front half to establish a lead. The swim wasn’t far off Kwan’s personal best of 4:09.58, which she swam at the 2020 Big Tens.

Michigan State picked up a huge win the 100 breast, where Erin Szara posted a 1:01.67. She was the only swimmer in the field under 1:05, controlling the race from start to finish.

 

PRESS RELEASE – MICHIGAN:

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The No. 5-ranked University of Michigan women’s swimming and diving program won 14 of 15 events to post dual wins over Michigan State (146-107) and Rutgers (153-38) on Saturday (Jan. 23) at Canham Natatorium.

“This was a fun meet,” said head coach Mike Bottom. “It was fun seeing the entire team cheer and push Sierra forward during the mile. It was fun seeing Victoria swim a 400 IM that’ll likely get her invited to NCAAs. And it was fun seeing swimmers find success in events that may not be their strength. There were a lot of great swims today, and the best part is, we’re continuing to improve.”

The Wolverines kicked off the meet with a commanding win in the 400-yard medley relay (3:40.67). Junior Maggie MacNeil, less than 24 hours removed from learning she had been named to the Canadian Olympic Team, led off in 52.75, while junior Olivia Carter added a solid 52.96 split on the butterfly leg. MacNeil was one of two double victors on Saturday, showing easy speed to win the 50-yard freestyle (22.30) and 100-yard freestyle (50.12).

The other was freshman Sophie Housey, who built on the strong start to her rookie season. She took the 200-yard butterfly out fast and held onto that speed to win by nearly six seconds (1:58.94). Later in the 500-yard freestyle, just .05 seconds separated her from teammate Sophia Kudryashova with 100 yards to go, but Housey turned on the jets and pulled away to take the win (4:55.59).

Senior Sierra Schmidt swam the 1,650-yard freestyle during the second break, posting the No. 1 time in the country so far this season (15:53.52). She also established a new Canham Natatorium record in the 1,000-yard freestyle during the race (9:35.49), breaking the old record of 9:36.87, which had been held by Minnesota’s Ashley Steenvorden since 2009.

Other winners included sophomore Megan Glass in the 200-yard freestyle (1:51.73), freshman Noelle Kaufmann in the 100-yard backstroke (56.74), Carter in the 200-yard backstroke (1:59.49), sophomore Mariella Venter in the 200-yard breaststroke (2:19.28), senior Daria Pyshnenko in the 100-yard butterfly (55.19) and junior Victoria Kwan in the 400-yard IM (4:12.73).

Michigan showed its depth on the diving boards on Saturday. Junior Allie Klein (352.70), senior Nikki Canale (311.55) and freshman Lauren Cheetham (291.65) went 1-2-3 on three-meter, while Canale (321.80), Klein (307.95) and senior Christy Cutshaw (289.80) went 1-3-4 on one-meter.

Michigan ended the meet with a win in the 200-yard freestyle relay (1:32.19). MacNeil split 22.20 on the leadoff leg.

The next and final dual meet of the season is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 6, when Michigan welcomes rival Ohio State to Canham Natatorium. The start time will be announced at a later date.

 

PRESS RELEASE – MICHIGAN STATE:

East Lansing, Mich. — Michigan State’s dual meet against Michigan concluded on Saturday, as the Rutgers women also competed.  The Spartan women earned a 185.0-48.0 win over Rutgers, but fell to the host Wolverines, 146.0-107.

The men’s portion of the swimming events were held on Friday evening, and Michigan took a 137-77 lead.  With only diving contested on Saturday (and no male MSU divers competing), the final score finished at 159.0-77.0 in favor of the Wolverines.

Saturday Results     Friday Results 

“As I said last night after our men competed, I’m just really proud of our athletes,” said head coach Matt Gianiodis.  “There’s been a lot of starts and stops and practice interruptions, and through all of that I think our athletes have done a great job of staying focused on their process.  We now have a couple of weeks to get better before we race at Penn State, and hopefully the road is a little smoother and we can focus on progress.”

Two seniors led the way – diver Amanda Ling made the “A” cut on the 1m board, scoring a 308.0 and taking second place.  Meanwhile, Erin Szara posted a commanding victory in the 100 breast, clocked in a time of 1:01.67; she was nearly four seconds faster than the second-place finisher which was also a provisional cut for the NCAA Championship meet.  She also placed second in the 200 breast (2:20.63).

Some talented freshman were making their collegiate debuts.  Allison Haak finished second in the 100 back (59.13), and classmate Julia Coffman was third in 59.81.  Coffman was second later in the meet in the 200 back, clocked in a time of 2:11.39.    Sheridan Phalen led the MSU pack in the 50 free with a second-place finish (23.99), and then took fourth in the 100 free (54.57).

Behind Erin Szara in the 100 breast, three MSU freshmen went 3-4-5, (Olivia Starzomski (1:07.98), Lindsey Witte (1:08.76) and Riley Szara (1:09.07) .   Starzomski was also fourth in the 200 breast and Riley Szara fifth.    Witte took third in the 400 IM (4:36.31) behind sophomore Sydney Kelly (4:30.72)

Abbey Neveling was third in the 50 free (24.04) and 200 breast (2:20.96)

Olivia Chick was second in the 100 free (53:01) and then took third in the 200 free (1:56.39) in addition to her second-place finish in the 400 medley relay.  Sophia Balow was in fourth in that event with a time of 1:58.91, and was also third in the 500 free (5:15.14).

In the 200 fly, MSU took spots 2-4.  Rachel Aycock was MSU’s top finisher (1:06.15), followed by Marie Dickson, and Ava Boutrous.  Aycock also took second in the 500 free (5:12.14)

In the relay events, MSU took second in the 400 medley relay, touching the pad in 3:51.04.  (Coffman, Erin Szara, Boutrous, and Chick.)  In the 200 free relay, the Spartan “A” (Phelan, Chick, Neveling, and Haak) and “B” (Taylor Arnold, Aycock, Taylor Contino, and Erin Szara) entries took second and third.  The A relay touched the pad in 1:36.04, and the B in 1:39.07.

Both the men’s and women’s teams will be in action the weekend of Feb. 5-6, when MSU travels to State College for a meet with Penn State.

 

PRESS RELEASE – RUTGERS:

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The Rutgers women’s swimming & diving squad was back in the pool on Saturday taking on No. 5 Michigan and Michigan State at Canham Natatorium.

Highlighting the day’s action was a new PR from junior Jenna Douglass on the 1m and junior Kasja Dymek’s runner-up performance in the 100 fly and third place result in the 100 free.

SWIMMING
  • Dymek competed in a trio of events. The junior who narrowly missed last year’s Big Ten “C” finals in the 100 fly was the runner-up in the event on Saturday in 58.89. She also took third in the 100 free with a personal best 53.76 and claimed fourth in the 50 free in 24.75.
  • Classmate Yael Weber captured fourth in the 500 free (5:34.93) and fifth in the 200 free (5:34.93).
  • Fellow junior Katie Dougherty saw in three events. She registered fourth in the 400 IM (4:39.82), fifth in the 200 fly (2:08.52) and sixth in the 200 breast (2:34.13).

 

DIVING
  • Douglass, who last weekend was a mere .05 points off her personal best on the 1m, managed to reset her career mark on Saturday. She scored a 274.80 besting her previous PR of 273.45 from the Frank Elm Invite in 2018.
  • On the 3m, the Scarlet Knights were led by a fourth place performance from Megan Demeo with a score of 254.35.
QUOTES

“Jenna demonstrated her consistency on one meter improving her qualifying score by almost 2 points which is so important with our new covid qualifying system.  Both Jenna and Megan competed well and and showed technical improvement which is great to see with Big Tens only a month away.  They are so happy to be competing again!” – head diving coach Frederick Woodruff

UP NEXT
  • The Rutgers women’s swimming and diving team returns to the water on Saturday, February 6 at 11 a.m. against Indiana and host Purdue.
    • The Rutgers women’s swimming and diving team returns to the water on Saturday, February 6 at 11 a.m. against Indiana and host Purdue.
  • Follow Rutgers women’s swimming & diving on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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Mgoblue
7 months ago

Great swim alone and she was in the right lane.