Wolverines Soar Past Northwestern, Notre Dame in Double-Dual Meet

Jan. 14, 2012

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Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Canham Natatorium)
Scores: #22 Michigan 169, Northwestern 126; #22 Michigan 180, Notre Dame 115; Northwestern 156, Notre Dame 144
Records: U-M (4-5, 2-2 Big Ten), Northwestern (6-3, 1-3 Big Ten), Notre Dame (3-5)
Next U-M Event: Saturday, Jan. 21 -- at Ohio State (Columbus, Ohio), 1 p.m.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The No. 22-ranked University of Michigan women's swimming and diving team took first in 10 of the meet's 16 events to win a double-dual meet against Northwestern (169-126) and Notre Dame (180-115) on Saturday (Jan. 14) inside Canham Natatorium. Senior swimmers Caitlin Dauw (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles East) and Alexa Mehesan (West Des Moines, Iowa/Valley) each won two individual races and swam on a first-place relay.

The Wolverines started the meet fast, finishing first and third in the 200-yard medley relay. The 'A' team of freshman Claudia Lau (Hong Kong, China/Diocesan Girls' School), sophomore Angela Chokran (South Elgin, Ill./St. Charles North), Dauw and Mehesan took the top spot with an NCAA consideration time of 1:42.34. Michigan added to its lead in the next race, as junior Kally Fayhee (North Aurora, Ill./Rosary), freshman Michelle Stefandl (Princeton, N.J./Stuart Country Day School) and senior Kristyne Cole (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer) took first, second, and third, respectively, in the 1,000-yard freestyle. All three finished within two seconds of each other, led by Fayhee at 10:04.85.

Lau recorded an individual victory in the 100-yard backstroke (56.07), sandwiched between a Northwestern win in the 200-yard freestyle, and a Notre Dame win in the 100-yard breaststroke. Junior Adrienne Bicek (Downers Grove, Ill./Downers Grove North) narrowly missed out on a triumph of her own in the 200-yard freestyle, finishing less than two-tenths of a second behind Jackie Powell (Northwestern) for second (season-high 1:50.54). The Wolverines missed out on the top two spots in the 100-yard breaststroke, but Chokran, and juniors Julia Andracki (Arlington Heights, Ill./Prospect) and Melissa Lang (Edison, N.J./Bishop George) occupied third through fifth.

The Wolverines took first in the next two races, highlighted by yet another win in the 50-yard freestyle by Mehesan (23.23), keeping her record unblemished in that race this season (7-0). Before Mehesan hit the water, Dauw recorded a victory in the 200-yard butterfly with an NCAA consideration time of 2:00.30. At the halfway point, Michigan led Notre Dame (99-38) and Northwestern (91-46).

It was all Michigan after the break. Dauw added secured her third win of the day with a victory in the 100-yard freestyle (51.16), while Cohagen followed her performance by touching the wall first in the 200-yard backstroke (2:01.26). Northwestern and Notre Dame took 1-2 in the 200-yard breaststroke, but Michigan responded by finishing 1-2-3 in the 500-yard freestyle, headlined by Bicek (4:53.62). Cole and Fayhee followed in second (4:56.39) and third (4:56.96), respectively. Mehesan was Michigan's final winner of the day, clocking in ahead of the field in the 100-yard butterfly (54.62) by a full second-and-a-half.

Fresh off her dominating performance on the boards last Saturday (Jan. 7) against Indiana, senior Amanda Lohman (Pittsburgh, Pa./Upper St. Clair) took first on the three-meter springboard (347.50) and second on the one-meter board (career high 311.05) to lead the U-M diving contingent.

Michigan takes a reprieve from its home slate next Saturday (Jan. 21), as it travels south to battle Ohio State at the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion in Columbus, Ohio. The meet will start at 1 p.m.


• This is the second straight season that all three teams have met in a double-dual meet. Michigan also won last year's contest against both teams in Evanston, Ill., beating Northwestern, 155-145, and Notre Dame, 182-117.

• Michigan improves to 21-6 all-time against Northwestern and 9-4 all-time against Notre Dame.

• After starting the season 1-5 in dual meets, the Wolverines have now won three straight.

• Michigan's 200-yard medley relay team earned an NCAA consideration time for the third straight meet. In addition to reaching the time on Saturday, Michigan was also clocked at 1:39.18 on Dec. 3 at the Hawkeye Invitational (season high) and 1:42.12 against Indiana last Saturday (Jan. 7).

• The Wolverines' 'B' team in the 200-yard medley relay of Ashley Cohagen-Julia Andracki-Amanda Hubbard-Deidre Jones finished third (1:44.37) but finished nearly a full second faster than Notre Dame's 'A' relay team (1:45.21).

Kally Fayhee, Michelle Stefandl and Kristyne Cole each recorded season-best times in the 1,000-yard freestyle.


Michigan Head Coach Jim Richardson
On the team's performance in Saturday's meet ... "We want to see how these meets reflect our training during the week. I think the performances were evened out. Some people swam better than last week, and some were a little more fatigued. Wow were we training from Monday-Thursday? We want to control stress, or frequency of work, and recovery, or rest. If you're more fatigued, you'll need more recovery. We don't want to peak too soon. The goal is to peak at Big Tens and NCAAs."

On the distance group ... "I thought our distance group was fantastic today. The 500 and 1,000-yard freestylers really did well today. They were well-controlled swims, and (assistant coach) Stefanie (Kerska) gets a lot of credit for that. She's been doing great work with that group, and they've really improved."

On if he likes where seniors Caitlin Dauw and Alexa Mehesan are at in their training ... "I really do. They push each other. They traded out the 100-yard freestyle and 100-yard butterfly today and the results were mirrored. They are prototypical University of Michigan student-athletes, and that's directly resulted from how they operate and train. They are All-Americans in the pool, and All-Americans out of the pool."

U-M Senior Amanda Lohman
On what she has changed to excel on three-meter the last two weeks ... "We've been practicing differently, splitting things up and doing different aspects of our dives on alternating days. That's been a big help, because we can spend more time on the little things rather than trying to get everything done at once."

On what she has seen from the freshmen divers ... "They dove pretty well today, probably the best I've seen from Marina [Nazario] and Emily [Boyd]. (Head diving coach) KZ (Li) is big into the technical side, and the first semester is always difficult to adapt to in that regard. They're starting to come around. They'll only get better with experience, and each of these meets gives them that."

U-M Senior Alexa Mehesan
On the team's training ... "We've been training really well. It's been difficult, but we wanted to go hard in this meet and build off what we did last week. We had plenty of good swims today. Some of us were beat up in practice, but the results we got were definitely positive."

On swimming the 100-yard butterfly ... "It was definitely fun to do that. That was a race I swam in past years, so to be able to do that again was pretty good for me."

Contact: Brad Rudner (734) 763-4423