Oct. 12, 2013
Michigan Head Coach Mike Bottom
On the goal of today's meet ... "Our focus today was on the details and on getting better. We're doing things differently. We've been together for a month and a week, so there's a lot of things we're working on, but it's fun watching them execute in competition. I think for us to be executing this early is very encouraging, but we still have a lot of things to work on."
On the seniors' leadership ... "It's pretty amazing how many great leaders we have on this team: Connor Jaeger, Michael Wynalda, Kyle Whitaker, Wojo [John Wojciechowski] and others. They were great. It's fun to have them lead us. The talk before the meet today was about them. We told our guys, 'Hey, if you need motivation, look to them.' Our guys stepped up, and I think everyone knew who they were swimming for. And our divers, too. James Ross stepped up. I think he beat one of the Auburn divers, which was great to see. Diving gave us points that contributed to this team win and yesterday's win."
On what the team will be working on between now and the next competition ... "Keep focusing on the details. That's what we do. We train hard and make changes. One thing I'll say is that it has been fun to watch our freshmen this year. The understanding at the beginning of the year was, for us to do well at the end, we need our freshmen to not be freshmen. We need them to quickly move into this team and understand that changes are necessary. We need them to make it. Jack Mangan had some great swims on relays and really opened some eyes today. Jason Chen did as well. Vinny Tafuto swam a pretty good 100-yard butterfly and had great swims in the sprint freestyle. It's fun to have them on board and start to see them making improvements."
U-M Senior Connor Jaeger
On the importance of winning competitions this early in the season ... "Coming in here, swimming at Notre Dame, we were excited. Nobody on this team had ever gone against Auburn before in a dual. We focus on swimming fast all the time, no matter if you are ahead or behind or who you are against. You go hard every race. We stayed focused the whole meet. It was a really long competition with the women being there and it being a tri-meet, so it was a challenge; but our guys stayed focused and performed really well."
On the performance of the distance group ... "We started off with a funny meet yesterday. One of the events was a 2x500-yard freestyle relay, and I thought we did pretty well there. It got us excited for some distance events today. Also, having a guy like Anders [Nielsen] join us in the 1,000-yard freestyle was pretty special. He's a guy that doesn't necessarily train distance with us, but it's exciting to see people that primarily work in other events step up and swim big for the team. That excited us and gave us energy that carried through the whole meet."
U-M Senior John Wojciechowski
On how yesterday's meet prepared the team for today's meet ... "Yesterday was close. It motivated guys early on in the meet. Around the halfway point, we had a pretty big lead. The important thing we keep in mind is that whenever you're racing, always look at it as an NCAA or championships meet. I'm really proud of how the guys stayed focused and raced even though we were ahead."
On transitioning to the backstroke ... "This summer, Mike told me he wanted me to try the backstroke to see if I could fill that gap. Right now, that's the plan and that's what I'm working towards. We could have a few guys that could be good there for us and turn that into a positive."
On the next two weeks of training before the next competition ... "We're getting right back to work on Monday. It's fall break, so we're going to lift hard and swim hard. We're going to make sure we're focused. On this team, we take everything week by week. We never want to think too far ahead. Each guy will find one area that he wants to get better in. If you work on that, by the end of the year, you'll be where you want to be. By the time we get to two weeks from now, we'll be better than we are today."