Last weekend, the women’s swim team fell to two ranked opponents — Texas and Michigan. As the men’s team prepares for the same two adversaries, this weekend’s double dual meet appears to be another competitive one.
The Texas men are the defending NCAA champions, and the Michigan team finished second in the Big Ten Championships in February.
“The Texas women and the Michigan women are both very strong opponents,” sophomore Eric Ress said. “But going up against the National Champions is a pretty big event.”
Ress, who won Big Ten Swimmer of the Week two weeks ago for his excellence in meets against Northwestern and Kentucky, knows how much more difficult it will be to end the weekend in victory.
“I’m pretty content with how I’ve done this year,” Ress said. “But I know that against these swimmers that we’re going to be facing on Friday and Saturday, that what we thought was fast against Northwestern and Kentucky is not going to be fast against these new teams.”
Ress stressed that relays will prove very important, as they build momentum from race to race. Both the coaches and swimmers understand that success on relays, team depth and overall teamwork will help lead to success.
“Our upperclassmen need to set the tone for our underclassmen and show them how to get the job done in tough situations,” IU assistant coach Mike Westphal said. “It’s a great meet to really simulate what Big Ten competition is going to be like."
Michigan has won 17 consecutive dual meets since it lost to Texas in the 2008 double dual meet with the Longhorns and IU. The action begins at 3 p.m. Friday, and the final session begins at 10 a.m. Saturday.
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