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Michigan wins NCAA title

March 31, 2013
Connor Jaeger

Connor Jaeger

Michigan‘s Connor Jaeger won the 1,650-yard freestyle Saturday night to wrap up the Wolverines‘ first NCAA men’s swimming and diving team title since 1995.

Michigan finished with 480 points for the victory they celebrated by jumping into the pool and singing the school fight song. Two-time defending champion California was second at 406.5, and Arizona was third with 313.5.

The Wolverines entered the meet hoping to finish in the top three.

“We didn’t have a real confidence that we would win this,” coach Mike Bottom said. “By the second day I looked at our team and I said, ‘All right 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.'”

Jaeger finished in 14 minutes, 27.18 seconds at IU Natatorium, while the Wolverines’ Sean Ryan finished fourth, Ryan Feeley sixth and Anders Nielsen ninth.

Jaeger also won the 500-yard freestyle Thursday.

“I was not thinking about a time, just racing and enjoying the race, too,” Jaeger said. “The coaches have been great about not putting any pressure on us. The team understood that we’re having a really special year and we’re just letting our passion drive us.”

The Wolverines finished second in the final event, the 400 freestyle relay. Southern California won the relay in 2:48.33.

Southern California’s Vlad Morozov won the 100 freestyle in 40.76 to break the NCAA record

California’s Tom Shields won the 200-yard butterfly in 1:41.74 to break the American short-course record, but the Bears fell well short of Michigan.

“I think, honestly, we got more focused in on winning instead of swimming fast,” Cal coach David Durden said. “Those are two different things. You can still win and not swim at your absolute best.”

Bottom is in his fifth year as coach at Michigan. He said he’s spent the last four years getting the Wolverines to the point of being able to win a national title.

“You do it one day at a time and one student-athlete at a time,” Bottom said. “We started out with one recruiting class that we were scrambling on and these are the guys.”

Arizona took the top two spots in the 200 breaststroke to jump from fifth to third. Kevin Cordes won in 1:48.68 to set an NCAA record, and Carl Mickelson was second in 1:51.90.

Wisconsin sophomore Andrew Tediutswon the 200 yard backstroke in 1:38.27.

Associated Press

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