Fletcher, Nielsen, Relay Win Titles, U-M Stays in First at Big Tens
Anders Lie Nielsen

March 1, 2013

Prelims  | Finals  | Championships Central
• Postmeet Video (YouTube): Coach Bottom | Sean Fletcher

Site: Bloomington, Ind. (Counsilman-Billingsley Aquatic Center)
Event: Big Ten Championships (Day 3 of 4)
U-M Team Standing: 1st of 10 Teams (601 points) after Day 3
Next U-M Event: Saturday, March 2 -- at Big Ten Championships - Day Four (Bloomington, Ind.), 11 a.m./6:30 p.m.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The No. 3-ranked University of Michigan men's swimming and diving team won three more conference titles to stay in first (601 points) at the Big Ten Championships on Friday (March 1) at the Counsilman-Billingsley Aquatic Center. Individual champions included senior Sean Fletcher (Vienna, Va./James Madison) in the 100-yard butterfly and freshman Anders Lie Nielsen (Vanloese, Denmark) in the 200-yard freestyle (1:33.20).

Fletcher was one of the evening's best swimmers, swimming in three events. He first aided Michigan to a win in the 200-yard freestyle relay and later won the 100-yard butterfly title (45.59). He also took seventh in the 100-yard backstroke (46.77). Nielsen was one of five U-M swimmers in the 'A' final of the 200-yard freestyle, setting new Big Ten Championships and pool records (1:33.20). It is also the second-fastest time in both U-M and Big Ten history behind Tyler Clary, who went 1:33.10 on the leadoff leg of the 800-yard freestyle relay at the 2009 NCAA Championships.

The Wolverines started the meet winning the 200-yard freestyle relay, their fourth relay title of the championships. The quartet of graduate student Zachary Turk (Akron, Ohio/St. Edwards), senior Miguel Ortiz (Tokyo, Japan/St. Mary's International), Fletcher and sophomore Bruno Ortiz (Tokyo, Japan/St. Mary's International) finished with a time of 1:16.42, setting new Big Ten, Big Ten Championships, school and pool records. The Ortiz brothers provided the fastest splits; Miguel in 19.08 (second leg) and Bruno in 18.59 (anchor).

In the individual races, Michigan showcased its depth throughout the night, beginning in the 400-yard individual medley, a race which it had dominated over the last 15 years. Though it did not crown a winner on Friday, the Wolverines did have four 'A' finalists, led by junior Kyle Whitaker (Chesterton, Ind./Chesterton), who shaved nearly three seconds off his preliminaries time to finish second (a career-best time of 3:40.94). Freshman Dylan Bosch (Johannesburg, South Africa/Crawford College, Sandton) was right behind Whitaker to finish third (3:42.17), with both men earning NCAA 'A' cuts. Rounding out the final was junior Connor Jaeger (Fair Haven, N.J./Rumson-Fair Haven) in seventh (3:47.07) and junior Ryutaro Kamiya (Tokyo, Japan/St. Mary's International) in eighth (3:51.32).

The Wolverines loaded up on 'A' finalists in the 200-yard freestyle, taking the first four spots on the podium. Nielsen beat out junior Michael Wynalda (Wyoming, Mich./Grandville), the conference's defending champion to win, with Wynalda finishing second (1:33.91). Following the two were senior/junior Hassaan Abdel Khalik (Mississauga, Ontario/Silverthorn Collegiate) in third (1:34.03), sophomore Justin Glanda (Rochester Hills, Mich./Cranbrook Kingswood) in fourth (52.99) and freshman Peter Brumm (Cornelius, N.C./Hough) in sixth (1:35.43). The five collected a total of 81 points for the team.

Following Fletcher in the 100-yard butterfly was junior John Wojciechowski (Scottsdale, Ariz./Phoenix Brophy Prep) in fifth (1:34.43). Senior Evan Gregg (Blacksburg, Va./Blacksburg) took second in the 'B' final, finishing in 10th (47.94).

Michigan held two of the top three places in the 100-yard breaststroke, led by sophomore Richard Funk (Edmonton, Alberta/Strathcona), who improved on his school-record time from the morning, taking second (51.91). B. Ortiz continued his great meet, taking third (52.42), while junior Kyle Duckitt (Johannesburg, South Africa/St. John's College) finishing 10th (53.58).

Joining Fletcher in the 100-yard backstroke was M. Ortiz, who took fourth (46.28). It was one of the fastest races of the meet, with the top seven finalists finishing within seven tenths-of-a-second of each other.

Michigan had two student-athletes dive off the three-meter board, both just missing the consolation final. Freshman Timothy Faerber (Potomac, Md./Churchill) finished 18th (a career-best score of 334.25), while junior Jack Lee (North Egremont, Mass./The Berkshire School) placed 19th (328.55).

The Wolverines aim to finish strong and close out the championship during the final day of the Big Ten Championships tomorrow. Preliminaries will begin at 11 a.m., with finals at 6:30. The trophy presentation and award ceremony will follow. The events scheduled are the 200-yard backstroke, 100-yard freestyle, 200-yard breaststroke, 200-yard butterfly, 1,650-yard freestyle, 400-yard freestyle relay and platform diving.

Team Standings (After Day 3)

 1. MICHIGAN               601
 2. Indiana                464
 3. Ohio State             335
 4. Minnesota              247
 5. Purdue                 216
 6. Iowa                   190
 7. Wisconsin              187
 8. Penn State             150
 9. Northwestern           100
10. Michigan State          86

Event Winners/U-M Finishers (Day 3 Finals)

200-yard Freestyle Relay
 1. MICHIGAN                   1:16.42*%@+~
   (Zachary Turk, Miguel Ortiz,
    Sean Fletcher, Bruno Ortiz)
400-yard Individual Medley
 1. Michael Weiss, Wisconsin   3:39.17*%
 2. Kyle Whitaker, U-M         3:40.94*
 3. Dylan Bosch, U-M           3:42.17*
 7. Connor Jaeger, U-M         3:47.07# (3:46.09#)
 8. Ryutaro Kamiya, U-M        3:51.32# (3:48.61#)
100-yard Butterfly
 1. Sean Fletcher, U-M           45.59*%
 5. John Wojciechowski, U-M      46.28#
10. Evan Gregg, U-M              47.94#
22. Reid Elliott, U-M            48.69
200-yard Freestyle
 1. Anders Lie Nielsen, U-M    1:33.20*%+
 2. Michael Wynalda, U-M       1:33.91* (1:33.61#)
 3. Hassaan Abdel Khalik, U-M  1:34.03#
 4. Justin Glanda, U-M         1:34.43#
 6. Peter Brumm, U-M           1:35.43#
17. Daniel Miller, U-M         1:37.11#
19. Roman Willets, U-M         1:37.62#
20. Sean Ryan, U-M             1:37.65#
32. Ryan Feeley, U-M           1:38.64
100-yard Breaststroke
 1. Cody Miller, Indiana         51.50*+%~
 2. Richard Funk, U-M            51.91*@
 3. Bruno Ortiz, U-M             52.42*
10. Kyle Duckitt, U-M            53.38#
24. Matt McNamara, U-M           55.36
100-yard Backstroke
 1. James Wells, Indiana         46.04# (45.52*%)
 4. Miguel Ortiz, U-M            46.43# (46.28#)
 7. Sean Fletcher, U-M           46.79# (46.77#)
19. Evan Gregg, U-M              48.38#
20. Reid Elliott, U-M            48.50
Three-Meter Diving
 1. Shane Miskiel, Ohio State   467.10^
18. Timothy Faerber, U-M        334.25^
19. Jack Lee, U-M               328.55^
* NCAA automatic qualifying time
# NCAA consideration time
^ NCAA zone diving qualifying mark
% Pool record
@ University of Michigan record
+ Big Ten Championships record
~ Big Ten Conference record
• Previous Results: Day 1 | Day 2


• Through three days, Michigan has set seven school records, three Big Ten records, five Big Ten Championships records and six pool records. Its student-athletes also have 34 career-best times/performances so far.

• The win in the 200-yard freestyle relay was only the fourth in program history (1927, 2008, 2009). The previous Big Ten record was 1:16.65, set by Northwestern in 2007. The old school record tonight's foursome passed was 1:17.46, set by Bobby Savulich, Chris Brady, Curtis Dauw and Evan Ryser in 2009.

• The meet record in 200-yard freestyle went back and forth over the last couple of days. Anders Lie Nielsen originally set it on Wednesday in the leadoff leg of the 800-yard freestyle relay (1:33.77), before Michael Wynalda set it in this morning's preliminaries (1:33.61). Nielsen took it back in the event finals (1:33.20).

Bruno Ortiz has won four Big Ten titles in three days (200-yard medley relay, 400-yard medley relay, 200-yard freestyle relay, 50-yard freestyle).

Sean Fletcher also won the 100-yard butterfly as a sophomore back in 2011. A Michigan swimmer has won that race 15 times in program history, including in five straight championships meets.

Anders Lie Nielsen's win in the 200-yard freestyle gives Michigan 25 program titles in that event, including eight straight.

Richard Funk originally set the school record in the 100-yard breaststroke during the preliminaries earlier Friday morning (52.14). He broke Scott Spann's old record of 52.68, which was set in 2008.

Dylan Bosch's previous career-high time in the 400-yard IM was 3:50.70. He swam 3:44.84 in the preliminaries and 3:42.17 in the finals.

• Michigan had its streak of 15 straight championships in the 400-yard IM broken on Friday. Wisconsin's Michael Weiss won the race at 3:39.17 ahead of Kyle Whitaker (3:40.94), who had won the last two. As a team, Michigan had won the race every year from 1998-2012.

• Video coordinator and student manager Tim Hochradel was the team's honoree for the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award.


Michigan Head Swimming Coach Mike Bottom
On the team's third day ... "We had 15 swims tonight and 15 best times. We can't get much better than that. We could have gotten a hand on the wall here or there. Instead of goint 1-2-3-4-6 in the 200-yard freestyle, we could have gotten two hundredths faster and be 1-2-3-4-5. We swam well, battled well and pulled together as a team. That's the great thing, seeing this team gelling and that showed with the way they swam."

On the 200-yard freestyle ... "You'll have to see it. You see those Maize and Blue caps, we had five of the eight all up at the top. Dave Brandon got to give out the awards again. Our AD got to shake hands with five Wolverines. It's a lot of fun just to watch that."

On Sean Fletcher ... "He went out for it. If you got see the race, he was going for the win. He got out fast and held on. The last four strokes, we were all biting each other's nails. He was inching to the finish and he got his hand on the wall."

On other top performers ... "Kyle [Whitaker] but Dylan. Dylan Bosch was right in there (in the 400-yard IM) and he's never swum that event. Ryutaro [Kamiya] got eighth and again, he's never swam that event. We put him in there. The amount of time dropped in that event alone is about 30 seconds. It's a lot of fun to see these guys stepping up and swim for the team."

On what the message to the team is tomorrow ... "We need to make NCAA cuts. Fight and continue to fight. Michigan is Michigan. We're not ever going to let up. We're just going to keep moving forward."

U-M Freshman Anders Lie Nielsen
On the 500-yard freestyle ... "It was fun. We knew we were going to do well. We wanted to place in the top eight, all of us, and we did. It was fun racing with the guys. It's always challenging. We just wanted to help each other get better and score points for the team."

On swimming the 1,650-yard freestyle tomorrow ... "It's my second time doing the mile. The first time was after two weeks of being here. I'm hoping to drop a lot of time tomorrow. It's been a while since I've done long distances like that. I focused more on the 200 and 400 for the Olympics during training. It's going to be fun and challenging. The coaches believe in me. I'm confident."

Contact: Brad Rudner (734) 763-4423