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Michigan wins 39th men's Big Ten title

BY IAN MURPHY | MARCH 02, 2015 5:00 AM

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In Big Ten swimming, there is one fight song that dominates the speakers during the awards ceremonies following an event. 

The refrain over the past last four years has been that of Michigan, and it was heard again from Feb. 25-28 in the Campus Recreation & Wellness Center. “Hail to the Victors” played as the Wolverines won yet another Big Ten Championship, their 39th in school history.

The Wolverines completed a sweep of the relays, winning all five, and won six of the 16 individual events, for 11 wins during the championships.

Michigan totaled 760 points, with Ohio State scoring 623 to finish second. Indiana finished third with 551 points.

The tighter-than-usual team race gave Michigan head coach Mike Bottom reason to celebrate this win harder than the previous four. 

“We celebrated this victory more than any of the other victories,” Bottom said following a celebratory front flip into the diving well. “We felt like we had to fight to get this win.”

Fight might be a relative term for Michigan, which beat Indiana by more than 300 points in 2014 and Ohio State by 200 in 2013, but the Wolverines still turned in a dominant performance, led by junior Dylan Bosch, who won the 200 butterfly and 200 and 400 medleys.

“It’s awesome [to win another],” Bosch said. “I think it’s an awesome way to send off our seniors.

“This is the 39th title that Michigan has won; that’s really special, it’s part of history.”

Bosch, named the swimmer of the meet, already has his attention turned toward the NCAA meet, which will also be held in the Campus Rec Center, which will begin in 24 days.

Both Bosch and senior Bruno Ortiz, who won the 100 freestyle and 100 breaststroke, said the focus for the Wolverines in the coming weeks will be nailing down the details, including starts, turns, and walls, and in general getting more prepared to swim faster.

“We’re training for [NCAAs],” Ortiz said. “This was a good rehearsal considering that, and it kind of shows the other guys, especially the freshmen, what a championship meet is like.”

The Wolverines brought several young swimmers to Iowa City for the championships. Bottom said 12 of the 24 Michigan swimmers were underclassmen.

However, the young contingent lived up to the Michigan tradition, and helped the Wolverines send their senior class out with a four-for-four Big Ten championship record, which Ortiz called a special experience.

“It’s great; it doesn’t get any better than this,” Ortiz said.

While some of the swimmers might be looking ahead to the NCAA meet, Bottom said they wouldn’t start preparing until they arrived at the pool for their first practice.

“At this point, were not talking about NCAAs; we will do that tomorrow morning,” Bottom said on Feb. 28. “At this point, we’re just going to celebrate this victory because this one was hard fought.”

Follow @ianfromiowa on Twitter, for news, updates, and analysis on the Big Ten and NCAA championship swim meet.


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