Wolverines confident they will continue 75 years of dominance (Men’s Swimming)

Brian Sumers

When told of his team’s 75-yearwinning streak against Northwestern, Michigan’s men’s swim coach John Urbanchek couldn’t contain his disbelief.

“Well that’s eight years longer than my lifespan, so that’s pretty good,” he said. “Seventy-five years, holy shit.”

The Wildcats last beat Michigan during the 1928-29 season. Since then, Michigan has won 27-straight meets, including the most recent one — a 100-11 victory in 1989.

Friday’s 6 p.m. meet at Michigan’s Canham Natatorium will be the Cats’ hardest of the season.

Michigan is ranked No. 4 and held the No. 1 spot in December. The Cats are shooting for an upset, but Urbanchek doesn’t give them much of a chance.

“I don’t think it’s going to happen,” he said. “Michigan has lost only four (Big Ten) dual meets in the last 21 years. So our chances of losing this weekend aren’t very high.”

The Wolverines currently hold the fastest Big Ten times in seven of 19 events. Senior butterflyer Kellan O’Connor is NU’s lone swimmer to lead the conference in an event, the 200-yard butterfly.

Unlike NU, Michigan has a long history of strong swimming programs. In the past 20 years, eight Michigan alums have won Olympic medals — including five golds.

NU may not be at Michigan’s level, but it has improved its swimming program recently, Urbancheck said. He called next year’s NU recuriting class, “the best in the Big Ten.”

“Matt Grevers is probably one of the top recruits in the country this year,” he said. “Every program starts with one big catch.”

But it’s going to be harder for NU to catch up to Michigan. While the Wolverines can hand out 10 scholarships, the Cats have only eight.

Still, there is one aspect where NU has the recruiting edge.

“Northwestern swimmers have a better average SAT score than us,” Urbanchek said. “About 11 points higher.”

NU at No. 4 Michigan

6 p.m., Today

Canham Natatorium,

Ann Arbor, Mich.