A crazy back-and-forth two-day triangular at Penn State ultimately saw all three teams split wins with one another.
After Virginia led by large margins out of day 1, Michigan and Penn State put together furious comebacks to even things up. Penn State rattled off three straight wins early on to beat Virginia, though Michigan still topped their Big Ten rivals Penn State. But Virginia beat Michigan, leaving all three teams with one win and one loss.
On the men’s side, Michigan was once again overpowering, beating out Penn State and Virginia for the win, although all three teams took individual events.
There was drama from the get-go in the women’s meet. Penn State’s Alyson Ackman brought the home team back from second place to beat Virginia 1:41.48 to 1:41.78. Ackman split 22.75 on that leg, and also quick was Carolyn Fittin, 23.82 on butterfly. In fact, Michigan actually led at the 100-mark with Penn State third, but that fierce back half was enough to bring the Nittany Lions back.
Impressive for Michigan: Ali DeLoof outsplit Virginia’s backstroke star Courtney Bartholomew by a wide margin, going 25.19 to Bartholomew’s 25.42.
That started a run of three-straight for Penn State. Megan Siverling went 9:48.52, just beating out Michigan freshman Hannah Moore by a few tenths to win the 1000. Then, just one event removed from the medley relay, Fittin was back to win the 50 free at 23.21, just two one-hundredths ahead of Michigan’s DeLoof. Ackman was third in 23.34.
But then Virginia answered back with three straight of their own. Bartholomew crushed the 100 back in 53.30 (though Michigan went 2-3). Then Laura Simon took the 200 breast (2:15.38) and Ellen Williamson won the 100 fly (54.19) over Fittin.
Penn State ended that run, as Ackman crushed a 1:47.93 to win the 200 free over Virginia sophomore Leah Smith.
Then it was Michigan’s turn to jump to the top. Marni Oldershaw took the 400 IM in 4:21.65, and the first-year Moore was second in a 1-2 sweep for the Wolverines. And in the final individual event, Carey Chen won 3-meter diving, completing a sweep of the boards for Michigan.
The final relay saw even more fireworks. Penn State rolled to a win in 3:20.44, getting a huge 49.72 leadoff from Ackman and a 49.73 anchor leg from Fittin. Michigan took second in 3:20.86, with DeLoof providing the meet’s fastest split at 49.09.
That second-place Michigan squad was originally DQ’d after the timing system showed a false start on Claudia Goswell. But meet officials turned to video replay and ultimately reinstated the Michigan relay after deciding the team had not false started.
That DQ would have given the meet to Penn State, but Michigan rolled those points into a narrow 178-175 win over their conference rivals. Meanwhile Penn State beat Virginia 183-170 and Virginia beat Michigan 184.5-168.5.
The men’s meet was much less complex – Michigan made things simple by beating all comers.
That started with a pair of wins out of the gate. The 200 medley relay of Aaron Whitaker, Bruno Ortiz, Dylan Bosch and Paul Powers went 1:28.03 for the win, about a second off their nation-leading time from earlier this year. Bosch was 21.70 on fly and Powers 19.63 on freestyle for the Wolverines.
Then Michigan went 1-2 in the 1000 free, led by Anders Nielsen. The Danish swimmer was 9:11.31 with PJ Ransford second.
Penn State was led by Shane Ryan, who won twice as he continues to heat up this season. Ryan won the 50 free in 20.33, edging out Michigan’s Ortiz and Vinny Tafuto. Ryan would come back to win the 100 fly later on, going 49.21. Tafuto was close behind in 49.30.
The hosts also got a 100 back win from Nate Savoy in 47.87, well faster than the rest of the field. And Matt Stasiunas also added to the win total for PSU, going 1:39.63 to just eke out a win over Virginia’s Austin Quinn in the 200 free.
Once again, the only swimming race Virginia could take was a breaststroke one. Yannick Kaeser was 2:00.83 to win the 200 breast over Matt McNamara after winning the 100 breast Friday night. The Cavaliers also got a diving win from JB Kolod, who completed his diving sweep with a win on 3-meter. Virginia is swimming without 5 men who were suspended earlier this semester, plus one more, freshman Brendan Casey, who was suspended for this meet, the team announced on Friday.
Michigan took the final two events to put their win on ice. Ian Rainey paced the 400 IM, going 3:58.74, and his teammates also took third and fourth. And then the Wolverines went 2:57.05 to run away with the 400 free relay to close things down. That featured a 43.68 anchor leg from Ortiz, plus a 44.1 split from Nielsen early on.
That left the Wolverines on top by scores of 212.5-140.5 over Penn State and 247-102 over Virginia. Penn State also topped Virginia 212-136.