Off the Blocks #13: Wolverines Send 11 to NCAA Championships

March 22, 2010

His Blood is Blue: Alon Mandel's Journey from Israel to Ann Arbor

Fri-Sun., March 26-28 -- at NCAA Championships (Columbus, Ohio), Noon/7 p.m.
Championships Central | Live Results

The No. 7-ranked University of Michigan men's swimming and diving team looks to improve on its 2009 NCAA seventh-place finish, heading back to Columbus, Ohio, for the 2010 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships. The three-day meet (March 26-28) will take place at the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion on the campus of Ohio State University. will offer streaming of the meet on Friday, Saturday and Sunday's preliminary action with streaming Sunday's finals live. ESPN2 will air a 90-minute show recapping the championships at 1:30 p.m. on April 7.

Going to the NCAA Championships -- The Wolverines will send 12 swimmers, along with two alternates, to the NCAA Championships, with at least one Michigan swimmer participating in each event. The following swimmers qualified for the national championships:

Hassaan Abdel Khalik: 200-yard freestyle, 500-yard freestyle, 1,650-yard freestyle
Chris Brady: 50-yard freestyle, 100-yard freestyle, 100-yard butterfly
Tyler Clary: 200-yard backstroke, 200-yard individual medley, 400-yard individual medley
Ryan Feeley: 200-yard freestyle, 500-yard freestyle, 1,650-yard freestyle
Sam Hoekstra: 50-yard freestyle
Neal Kennedy: 100-yard butterfly, 200-yard individual medley
Charlie Houchin: 100-yard freestyle, 200-yard freestyle, 500-yard freestyle
Dan Madwed: 200-yard freestyle, 200-yard butterfly, 500-yard freestyle
Alon Mandel: 100-yard butterfly, 100-yard backstroke, 200-yard backstroke
Jared Miller: 200-yard breaststroke, 400-yard individual medley, 500-yard freestyle
James Ridgeway: 100-yard breaststroke, 200-yard breaststroke, 200-yard individual medley
Andre Schultz: 200-yard backstroke, 200-yard individual medley, 400-yard individual medley

200-yard medley relay: Mandel, Ridgeway, Brady, Kennedy
400-yard medley relay: Mandel, Kennedy, Brady, Clary
200-yard freestyle relay: Brady, Kennedy, Hoekstra, Clary
400-yard freestyle relay: Clary, Schultz, Kennedy, Madwed
800-yard freestyle relay: Madwed, Schultz, Houchin, Clary

In addition, U-M will take relay alternates freshmen Miguel Ortiz and Roman Willets.

Last Year at the NCAAs -- Tyler Clary took home two NCAA titles (200-yard backstroke, 400-yard individual medley) as the Wolverines finished in seventh place with 248 points. U-M had eight swimmers garner All-America status, with another three earning honorable mention.

School Records -- Chris Brady (100-yard butterfly - 45.24), Tyler Clary (200-yard backstroke - 1:37.58, 200-yard individual medley - 1:41.67, 400-yard individual medley - 3:35.98) and Alon Mandel (100-yard backstroke - 46.47) all set individual school records at last year's championships. U-M also set new school standards in the 200-yard freestyle, 400-yard freestyle, 800-yard freestyle and 200-yard medley relays last year. All of the records except for the 800-yard freestyle relay time all still stand.

Records Part Two -- Michigan holds four NCAA records heading into the 2010 Championships. U-M holds the standard in the 500-yard freestyle (Peter Vanderkaay - 4:08.60, 2006), 200-yard backstroke (Tyler Clary, 2009), 400-yard individual medley (Tyler Clary, 2009) and 1,650-yard freestyle (Chris Thompson - 14:26.62, 2001).

All-America All-Around -- Each U-M swimmer that has participated at a past NCAA Championship meet-- Chris Brady, Tyler Clary, Charlie Houchin, Dan Madwed, Alon Mandel and André Schultz -- has earned All-America honors.

Back to Ohio State...Again -- For the fourth time this season, U-M is off to Columbus for an event. Michigan has already competed in the Big Ten Championships (Feb. 24-27), a Big Ten quad meet (Jan. 29-30) and the Ohio State Winter Invitational (Feb. 13-14) at the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion. The Maize and Blue will participate in almost as many events at Ohio State (four total) as all season at Canham Natatorium (six total).

Looking for More -- The Wolverines have racked up 159 NCAA titles while winning 11 team championships. Tyler Clary is the only Wolverine with NCAA titles on the current team after winning two in 2009 (200-yard backstroke, 400-yard individual medley). U-M last won a team championship in 1995, making Michigan the only school to win NCAA Championships under three different coaches -- Matt Mann (6), Gus Stager (4) and Jon Urbanchek (1).

Keep the Streak Alive -- Michigan has had a swimmer or diver win a national title at the past seven NCAA Championships and at 10 of the last 11.

Making their NCAA Debut -- Of the 12 swimmers going to the NCAA Championships, six will be participating for the first time in their careers. Juniors Neal Kennedy, Jared Miller and James Ridgeway along with freshmen Hassaan Abdel Khalik, Ryan Feeley and Sam Hoekstra are all first-time NCAA participants.

Runner-up at Big Tens -- The Wolverines took second at the 2010 Big Ten Championships (Feb. 24-27), winning 10 events over the course of the four-day meet. Junior Tyler Clary swept the Big Ten Swimmer of the Year and Swimmer of the Championships awards for the second consecutive year after winning the 200-yard backstroke, 200-yard individual medley and 400-yard individual medley. U-M won all but one relay, setting a new school and Big Ten record in the 800-yard freestyle relay (6:15.80).

2010 Big Ten Champions
Chris Brady (3): 100-yard butterfly, 200-yard medley relay, 400-yard medley relay
Tyler Clary (6): 200-yard individual medley, 200-yard backstroke, 400-yard individual medley, 400-yard medley relay, 400-yard freestyle relay, 800-yard freestyle relay
Charlie Houchin (1): 800-yard freestyle relay
Neal Kennedy (3): 200-yard medley relay, 400-yard medley relay, 400-yard freestyle relay
Dan Madwed (4): 200-yard freestyle, 200-yard butterfly, 400-yard freestyle relay, 800-yard freestyle relay
Alon Mandel (2): 200-yard medley relay, 400-yard medley relay
James Ridgeway (1): 200-yard medley relay
André Schultz (2): 400-yard freestyle relay, 800-yard freestyle relay

Rank and File -- U-M features 19 top-25 times across 10 individual events heading into the NCAA Championships. In addition, all five relay teams are in the top 11, led by the 800-yard freestyle relay team of Dan Madwed, André Schultz, Charlie Houchin and Tyler Clary with the second-fastest time in the country. [ Season Best Times ]

Wolverines Rack Up the Awards -- Michigan had a Big Ten Swimmer of the Week seven times this season, marking the highest single-season total in school and Big Ten history. Chris Brady and Tyler Clary have both won the award twice while senior Charlie Houchin, Dan Madwed and André Schultz have all been honored by the conference.

Unbeaten Again -- With its win over Michigan State (Feb. 6), U-M finished the dual-meet season with a perfect 7-0 mark (5-0 Big Ten). It is the first time since the 2005-06 season that the Wolverines did not drop a dual meet and the 26th time in history the Wolverines have been unbeaten. U-M has 24 perfect seasons to go along with two seasons (1934-35 and 1938-39) that featured ties but no losses.

Bottom at the Top of the Big Ten -- Head coach Mike Bottom has not dropped a Big Ten dual meet since taking over at Michigan. In his two seasons, he has an 11-0 Big Ten record to go along with his 15-1 dual meet record in Ann Arbor.

Men's Swimming Tabbed Second in STACK Elite 50 College Rankings -- The University of Michigan was ranked second in the STACK Elite 50 College Rankings in men's swimming and sixth as an entire athletic department. Factors that are considered during the ranking include 2010 U.S. News & World report on America's Best Colleges, Academic Progress Rate (APR), past NCAA Championship finish and the STACK factor, which evaluates the strength of this athletic community, in terms of the level of athletic support and prowess throughout all 21 varsity sports covered. The score is based largely on the number of a school's sports teams that finished in the top 25 nationally.

Two in a Row at the Short Course Nationals -- The Wolverines made it two in a row at the AT&T USA Swimming Short Course National Championships (Dec. 3-5), rallying to win the college/university division on the final day of competition. U-M trailed California by five points entering the final day before putting up 109 points to finish with 281 total points and its second straight title. Junior Tyler Clary was awarded as the high scorer of the meet, as he took home three individual third-place finishes.

Wolverines Add Eight for 2010-11 -- Head coach Mike Bottom added eight swimmers during the early signing period. The Wolverines will welcome Kyle Duckitt (Johannesburg, South Africa/St. John's College), Jonathon Ekleberry (Rochester, Mich. /Avondale), Connor Jaeger (Rumson, N.J./Rumson-Fair Haven), Ryutaro Kamiya (Tokyo, Japan/St. Mary's International), Sean Ryan (Hixson, Tenn./McCallie School), Kyle Whitaker (Chesterton, Ind./Chesterton), John Wojciechowski (Scottsdale, Ariz./Phoenix Brophy Prep) and Michael Wynalda (Wyoming, Mich./Grandville) to the team next year.

Trio Voted Captains -- Seniors Chris Brady, André Schultz and Shaun Weinberg were voted by their teammates as captains for the upcoming season.

Leader of the Wolverines -- Head coach Mike Bottom is in his second year leading the Wolverines. Last season, he led the Maize and Blue to an 8-1 overall record to go along with a perfect 6-0 Big Ten mark. His only blemish was a loss to Texas, the No. 1 team in the country. Considered one of the finest sprint coaches in the country, he has led swimmers to national titles in every stroke. This past summer, he was part of the United States' coaching staff at the FINA World Championships in Rome.

Michigan men's swimming and diving is now on Twitter. Sign up and follow the Wolverines (Michigan_swim) with up-to-the-minute news and information throughout the season and beyond. Twitter is a free casual, online social network that is designed to connect businesses, organizations and individuals. Each Twitter post (or "tweet") can be received on a user's cell phone via text or on the web.

Beginning with the 2009-10 academic year, the University of Michigan athletics department will no longer print media guides. U-M fans and media can still obtain all the information they're used to, only now it's available online. If you're looking for in-depth historical information, statistics, records, archives, etc., the Record Book is what you'll need. For more of a general overview of a team, the staff and student-athletes, check out the Yearbook. [ Check out both in our new publications section! ]