Defending champions of their respective conferences, the Virginia women and Michigan men hold onto leads after one day of the triangular meet at Penn State.
Michigan ruled the beginning and end of the session to take the team lead. That effort was bookended by relay wins and individual victories from freshman Evan White.
White took home the 200 IM to start the meet, then won the 200 fly to close things out. His 1:49.08 was a full second faster than the field in the IM, and led a 1-2 finish for the Wolverines. White was also 1:49.19 to take the 200 fly, nearly by a full second there as well.
The Michigan 200 free relay won to open the meet. Though they didn’t come close to their nation-leading time, a 1:20.18 was enough to beat the host Nittany Lions by almost a half-second. That relay was anchored by Bruno Ortiz, who split 19.80, one of just three men under 20 on the relay. (The others were Penn State’s Nate Savoy and Anders Nielsen on the Michigan B team).
Michigan also won the 400 medley relay to close the session, going 3:13.38 to move to 4th in the nation so far this year. Richard Funk was excellent on the breaststroke leg, splitting 52.94 for the Blue.
The butterflyer on that relay, Dylan Bosch, also won the 500 free in the session. His 4:23.90 was a great time and led a 1-2 finish for Michigan right on the heels of White’s 200 IM win.
Virginia managed to stop that Michigan streak, though, in the 100 breast. Yannick Kaeser closed out a gutsy race to beat Michigan’s Ortiz 54.66 to 54.73. Ortiz was closing hard, but the wall came just soon enough for Kaeser to pick up the win.
Virginia also took the 1-meter diving event with JB Kolod, who scored 336.90 points.
For Penn State, the story was the return of Shane Ryan. Ryan competed for the first time last Friday after sitting out of the team’s first two meets this season. He seems to be getting back into the swing of things quickly, as he won the 100 free with ease. His 43.83 was seven tenths better than Michigan’s Nielsen, the runner-up.
Also winning for the hosts was backstroker Nate Savoy, who took the 200 back one event before Ryan’s win. Savoy was 1:46.08 to beat Michigan freshman Tristan Sanders.
Currently, Michigan leads Penn State 105-62 and Virginia 118-47. Penn State sits atop Virginia 99-66.
It was all Virginia individually in the early goings. Courtney Bartholomew bookended a 4-event run with dominating wins to help Virginia grab the early leads.
Bartholomew won the 200 IM to open things up, going 2:00.72 and leading a 1-2 finish for the Cavaliers. She came back just a few events later to win the 200 back in 1:54.88, a blowout win over talented Michigan freshman Clara Smiddy (1:57.49).
In between, Virginia got event wins from Leah Smith (500 free, 4:45.65) and Laura Simon (100 breast, 1:02.52). That breaststroke event was a great race, with Simon holding off the charging Michigan freshman Emily Kopas, who finished in 1:02.83.
Michigan finally broke through for a win after those two runner-up finishes. In the 100 free, Ali DeLoof put the Wolverines on the board with a 50.02 win over Penn State’s stud Alyson Ackman (50.11).
The host Nittany Lions went 1-2 in the next race, though, the final individual event of the night. Katie Rowe was 2:00.27 to lead the 200 fly with teammate Katelyn Sowinski just behind.
Penn State also won the 200 free relay, getting a big 22.56 split from anchor Carolyn Fittin to go 1:32.02. Ackman was also 22 on that relay.
Michigan took home the 400 medley to close things out. A pair of freshmen made up the front half (Smiddy and Kopas) and a pair of juniors the back half (Marni Oldershaw and DeLoof). The team went 3:41.43, getting a 49.34 from DeLoof on the anchor leg.
In addition, diver Carey Chen won on 3-meter for the Wolverines, scoring 321.65.
Virginia leads Penn State 94-73 and Michigan 99-68. The Wolverines lead Penn State 94-73.