As the Texas men easily defeated both IU and Michigan in Friday’s dual meet, the Hoosiers and Wolverines were in a battle that was decided during the final relay.
Michigan’s two relays had to finish first and second to win the meet, while one of the IU teams had to win in order to claim a victory. In the final 25 yards, the Wolverines pulled just ahead of the Hoosiers to win the race. As IU finished second, the meet actually ended in a tie.
“We always have a rivalry with Michigan, and we really wanted to beat them,” senior Titus Knight said. “But a tie is just as good because they’ve beaten us every year, and a lot of the guys really stepped up this week.”
Sophomore Eric Ress, who was crowned Big Ten Swimmer of the Week two weeks ago, turned in another excellent performance, winning the 200-yard backstroke and finishing second in the 100-yard backstroke.
Michigan didn’t return for the second day of competition, in which Texas and IU participated in a double-distance meet. The swimmers swam various lengths of races and then added them together to determine a winner.
Looze said the events Saturday were actually a bit more competitive than those on Friday.
“One thing we can take out of this meet is we can hang with these guys,” Knight said. “Because we did extremely well, we won a lot of close races and racing with people at that high level gives you confidence.”
The next meet for the men is Nov. 19 at Charlottesville, Va. as they take on Virginia and Penn State. Prior to this, Looze wants the team to focus on fundamentals like starts, turns and streamlines. He also wants to improve how mentally prepared the team is during practices.
“Hopefully we can get a higher level of dedication and focus,” Looze said. “Because that’s really what it takes to be the best you can be.”
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