Postmeet Quotes: NCAA Championships - Day 1

March 27, 2014

Recap | Notes | Prelims  | Finals 

Michigan Head Coach Mike Bottom
On the first day ... "It's a battle. We knew that we were coming in as David against several Goliaths and it played out a little bit that way today. We're not out of it by any means. We're in a good position being in the top four, but we can do better. We can move up, but we'll have to do it tomorrow morning like we did it today. The 200-yard freestyle will be a good race for us. I'm looking forward to that. Our guys in the 500-yard freestyle swam well in the morning. We know we have to swim fast in the morning otherwise we don't get to swim at night."

On the attitude of the team ... "When we came into this, we knew it would be tough. We're champions and we'll continue to be champions no matter what the score is. We'll treat the meet like we treated it last year -- fight for each other and fight for Michigan. That's what these guys are doing."

On if the abundance of relay disqualifications change strategy ... "It sure is scary. You can see everyone's take-offs are slowing down a little bit. We made sure that we finished those races. Being in the final, that's what you can do. You're going to get your points. Whether it's sixth or eighth, there isn't a huge difference in points, but if you make a mistake and get DQed, you get nothing. Since we're racing for points, we're not going to jeopardize anything by pushing starts. We might push a little more in the preliminaries to make sure we're in the finals, but once you're there, we're going to swim fast and swim for the place."

On the senior leadership both in and out of the pool ... "Take a guy like Connor Jaeger, who gets out of the water following the 500-yard freestyle. He was disappointed, but he led the cheer for the next event. He had barely been out of the water, was still wet and led the cheer. That's the kind of spirit that we have. We're fighting for the team and fighting for Michigan. We're counting on those guys to continue to lead the charge these next two days and set the example for everyone here. As the meet goes on, we'll keep working hard so we can put up as many points as possible for the team."

U-M Senior Connor Jaeger
On the race ... "I knew Cristian (Quintero of USC) would be going out fast. I was hoping he would fall off a little more at the end, but he had a strong race throughout. I couldn't quite keep up tonight."

On if he was disappointed with his finish ... "Not at all. I was still able to score a lot of points for this team. We had two guys in the 'A' final. I can tell you that we're all still in great spirits. (Michael) Wynalda is all excited because he's never swimming a 500 again. The guys are smiling and having fun."

On how the team can get points back tomorrow ... "You look at events like the 200-yard freestyle. We're excited for events like that because we have a lot of guys, but we also have a lot of guys that haven't even swum individual events yet. They'll get their first individual swims tomorrow. For us, we need to stay consistent and see how the meet goes."

U-M Senior Kyle Whitaker
On the 200-yard individual medley ... "It was a good race. I went out there without any expectations and just tried to swim my own race. Before it, I was looking in the stands and at the team with a sort of 'whatever happens, happens' mentality. It's my senior year. Your first three years, you're maybe a little bit nervous and don't know what to expect. Now, as a senior, you just want to go out and have fun. That's what I tried to do."

On the team's mentality ... "We knew coming in that it would be a battle. It's going to be a lot closer this year than in years past. Every point counts and the guys realize that. We have to battle for everything."