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March 29, 2013 - Image 12

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The Michigan Daily, 2013-03-29

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4B - April 1, 2013

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

The Michigan men's swimming team earned its first national championship since 1995. Junior Connor Jaeger won national titles in two different events; the 1,650-yard freestyle and the 500-yard freestyle, becoming the fifth Wolverine ever to win the event.
CHAMPS:'M'wins12th national title

Wolverines led
from start to finish,
beating runner-up
Cal by 73.5 points
Daily Sports Writer
With the NCAA title finally in
hand, it was time for Michigan
head coach Mike Bottom to have
some fun of his own. Adorned in a
plaid maize-and-blue shirt, a blue
tie emblazoned with Wolverines
and dark brown pants, Bottom
leaped off the starting blocks and
into the diving pool, joining the
celebration of the newly crowned
Michigan men's swimming team.
"It's definitely time to cel-
ebrate," Bottom said. "This team
has worked hard all year at every
meet and has swam fast since they
got off on the block. They swam
fast all throughout the season,
and they got here and kept swim-
ming fast."

The meet spanned from Thurs-
day to Saturday at IU Natatorium
in Indianapolis - the exact loca-
tion the Wolverines won their last
title in 1995.
"We have a lot of great alumni
that have sent me pictures of them
swimming around in that pool,"
Bottom said, with a chuckle, in
his press conference. "And we put
some of those pictures up and had
some of them come in and talk to
us about that feeling."
With preparation, poise and
perhaps a little luck, the Wolver-
ines were ready to make their run
at a title.
The quartet of sophomore
Bruno Ortiz, graduate student
Zachary Turke, and seniors Sean
Fletcher and Miguel Ortiz got
Michigan its first points of the
meet, placing third in the 200-
yard freestyle relay. The Wolver-
ines would finish the night with
another third-place finish in the
400-yard medley relay event, as
the quartet of Miguel Ortiz, soph-
omore Richard Funk, Fletcher,
and Bruno Ortiz clocked in at

3:04.73, setting a school record.
Michigan's only win of the day
came by way of junior Connor
Jaeger in the 500-yard freestyle,
who became the fifth Wolverine
ever to win the event. Jaeger had
won the event outright for Michi-
ganthroughout the season, usual-
ly leading the race right from the
start. His record looked to be in
danger though, as Texas' Michael
McBroom wouldn't allow Jaeger
any separation. At the 150-yard
mark, Jaeger finally made his
move, holding off McBroom for
the event win, helping Michigan
take the day one lead with 153
The second day followed a
similar script, with the Wolver-
ines' relay teams making head-
lines. In the first event final of
the night, the quartet of Miguel
Ortiz, Bruno Ortiz, Fletcher and
Turke took first-place in the 200-
yard medley relay with a time of
1:22.27, setting new NCAA, U.S.
Open, NCAA Championship and
school records. The win also
marked the first time a Michigan

relay team has ever won a nation-
al title in the NCAA Champion-
ship's 76-year history.
"We started out with one
recruiting class that we were
scrambling with because we came
in late," Bottom said at his press
conference. "And these are the
guys, you know, we had four of
them on that relay that broke the
national record and it's awesome
to see."
The Wolverines also received
significant contributions from
Fletcher and Funk, both placing
third in the 100-yard butterfly and
100-yard breaststroke, respec-
tively. With a second-place finish
in the 800-yard freestyle relay,
the team of junior Michael Wyn-
alda, Jaeger, freshman Anders
Nielsen and redshirt junior Has-
saan Khalik helped Michigan end
the night in first place with 336
"We didn't have a real confi-
dence that we would win this,"
Bottom said to ESPN on March
30. "By the second day, I looked
at our team and I said, 'Alright,

we've gotten in the top three, now
what do you want to do?' They
looked at me like I was crazy.
They looked at me and said, 'We
came here to win."'
And with Jaeger's first-place
finish in the 1,650-yard freestyle,
Michigan inched ever closer to.
a national championship. With
the event win, Jaeger became the
first swimmer for Michigan to
win two individual events since
Tyler Clary - a gold medalist in
this summer's Olympics - accom-
plished the feat in 2009.
And surely enough, the Wol-
verines rounded out the event
with a second-place finish in
yet another relay. With a time
of 2:50.18, Miguel Ortiz, Turke,
Fletcher and Bruno Ortiz ensured
Michigan 34 points and a Nation-
al Championship.
"We never took our eyes off
the big show, but we went into
every meet and we wanted to win,
and we swam fast all year: swam
fast in dual meets, swam fast in
conference and we kept getting
better," Jaeger said. "We kept

believing, we kept following the
program we have set, and this is a
team fueled by passion.... Passion
for Michigan."
The title marks the 12th in the
history of Michigan swimming
and diving, but perhaps more
importantly, its recent triumph
breaks a tie between the Wolver-
ines and Buckeyes for the most
all-time championships. And to
top it all off, coach Bottom was
named Coach of the Year at the
culmination of the meet.
At the end, with his players still
celebrating in the pool, Bottom
sat alone on the side of the pool,
finally taking it all in.
The Wolverines finished the
season with an 8-0 overall and
6-0 Big Ten record, but Bottom
said the team needed to push
on for Big Ten Championships.
When Michigan won its third
straight Big Ten Championship,G
Bottom said the team needed to
keep swimming fast for NCAAs.
But now, with a NCAA title under
his belt, Bottom is finally ready to

Hutchins becomes third
coach to reach 1,300 wins

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Daily Sports Writer
One thousand, three hundred
wins is a milestone that might
have been the best kept secret in
Ann Arbor until Friday evening.
Michigan softball coach Carol
Hutchins became the third NCAA
softball coach in history to reach
that benchmark when the Wolver-
ines beat Penn State, 7-4.
"Hutch is a very humble per-
son," said junior outfielder Nicole
Sappingfield. "So a lot of us didn't
even know about it until after the
Sophomore pitchers Sara Dri-
esenga and
Haylie Wag- MICHGIAN 7
ner both PENN STATE 4
spent time
in the circle, MICHGIAN 18
and the No. PENN STATE 4
14 Wolver-
ines (6-0 MICHGIAN 9
28-7 overall)
used two home runs from senior
second baseman Ashley Lane and
Driesenga to start their weekend
at State College with a win.
Michigan played two more
games against the Nittany Lions
(0-3, 7-19) in a doubleheader on
Saturday. Michigan started the
day by sending a total of 12 bat-
ters to the plate in the first inning
of the first game, resulting in six
quick runs. After that, the Wolver-
ines scored at least one run in each
inning to finish the game in five
innings with an 18-4 win.
"Everyone has really embraced
the idea of attacking the ball now
and coming out hard and not




Michigan coach Carol Hutchins has more wins than any other Michigan coach.
hesitating and waiting for the last back and had cut the lead down to
inning to score all our runs," Sap- 7-6 in the sixth, but freshman out-
pingfield said. "We need to score fielder Sierra Lawrence and Sweet
every inning in order to win every provided two insurance runs off of
game." a sacrifice fly and a double.
In the second game, sophomore Wagner pitched the entire game
catcher Lauren Sweet stepped up and picked up her eighth win with
for Michigan with a career-best six strikeouts and no walks. Wag-
performance that included four ner's eighth win was Hutchins
hits for three doubles, three runs 1,302nd win and made Hutchins
and five RBI. Highlighting the the winningest coach in Michigan
game was a three-run homer in athletics history in her 30 years at
the third inning. the program's helm.
"I was just trying to see the ball "Every team and every player
instead of going up there and try- has played a part in it, and it's an
ing to do too much," Sweet said. honor to be a part of getting those
"Confidence is the biggest thing I wins for her," Sappingfield said.
need up there, and I felt like I had The Wolverines return to Ann
that today." Arbor to play a non-conference
Sweet's offensive firepower game against Western Michigan
helped put Michigan up 5-0 after on Tuesday to try and keep their
three innings. Penn State fought 10-game winning streak going.



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