March 30, 2011
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ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Current and former members of the University of Michigan men's and women's swimming and diving teams will take part in the 2011 Eric Namesnik Michigan Grand Prix next weekend (Fri-Sun., April 8-10) inside Canham Natatorium. Much of the current roster for both squads will be swimming unattached, joining 13 former U-M swimmers and coaches at the fifth of seven competitions in the 2010-11 USA Swimming Grand Prix series. Preliminaries will begin at 9 a.m. each day, with finals kicking off at 5:30 p.m.
Former Wolverines competing in the event include; Emily Brunemann (2006-08, '10), Justine Mueller (2005-08), Tyler Clary (2008-10), Adam DeJong (2007-10), Chris DeJong (2007-10), Charlie Houchin (2007-10), Matt Patton (2006-09), Bobby Savulich (2006-09), André Schultz (2007-10), Davis Tarwater (2003-06), Peter Vanderkaay (2003-06) and former volunteer assistant coach Michael Phelps. Former Michigan men's head coaches Jon Urbanchek and Bob Bowman will also take part.
The meet is named in honor of Michigan swimming great Eric Namesnik, whose life was tragically cut short in a car accident in 2006. Namesnik was an eight-time U.S. national champion, two-time Olympic silver medalist and the top ranked swimmer in the world in 1991 and 1993 in the 400-meter individual medley. The 1991 Big Ten champion in the 400-yard individual medley, he helped the Maize and Blue to four Big Ten titles. Following his international career, Namesnik returned to his alma mater as a coach, spending part of the 1996-97 season as the men's volunteer coach before beginning a seven-year stint as U-M's top assistant coach under his own mentor, Urbanchek.
Brunemann, a former U-M women's team standout, won a national championship in the 1,650-yard freestyle in 2008 and was the 2008 Big Ten Swimmer of the Year. In addition, she was a five-time NCAA All-American and holds all of Michigan's distance records.
Clary, a three-time NCAA champion, 2009 NCAA Swimmer of the Year and eleven-time All American, currently ranks ninth in the Grand Prix Series standings. He holds the NCAA record in the 400-yard individual medley and Big Ten record in the 200-yard backstroke while maintaining several school records.
A 2010 Michigan graduate, Adam DeJong currently swims with Club Wolverine Elite. Coupled with a solid career at Michigan, the four-year varsity letterman competed in the 2008 Olympic Trails in Omaha.
Chris DeJong was a five-time NCAA All-American and won four Big Ten titles with the Wolverines. He will return to competitive racing for the first time in three years at this weekend's event as he eyes the 2012 Olympics.
Houchin won two Big Ten relay titles for the Maize and Blue, earning a spot on the All-Big Ten first team twice. He was a two-time All-American in the 800-yard freestyle, an event he helped set the Big Ten record in during the 2010 season.
While at Michigan, Patton earned NCAA All-America honors eight times and eight Big Ten titles for the 500-yard freestyle and 1,650-yard freestyle as well as the 800-yard freestyle relay. He was selected as the Namesnik Memorial Award winner in 2008-09.
Savulich earned All-America six times and was a 13-time Big Ten champion for the Maize and Blue. Savulich swam anchor on both of U-M's record-setting medley relays. He has already qualified for the 2011 World University Games.
Schultz was a 10-time NCAA All-American and earned three All-Big Ten first team honors as a Wolverine. The Sao Paolo, Brazil, native won four Big Ten titles, including the conference record-setting 800-yard freestyle in 2010.
Graduating in 2006 as a three-time NCAA champion and 13-time All-American, Tarwater's 200-yard butterfly record at Michigan recently fell to junior Dan Madwed (Stamford, Conn./Towson). He was the U.S. champion in the 200-meter butterfly in 2005 and 2007.
Vanderkaay is a two-time USA Olympic team member (2004, 2008) and three-time Olympic medalist. Named Big Ten Athlete of the Year in 2006 and five-time NCAA champion while at Michigan, Vanderkaay was the first recipient of the Namesnik Memorial Award in 2007.
Mueller was an eight-time NCAA All-America honorable mention and four-time Big Ten champion. In 2005, she was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year and the Swimmer of the Championships.
While training for the 2008 Olympics -- in which he won a record-breaking eight medals -- Phelps served as the men's volunteer assistant under his own coach, Bowman. Phelps has a total of 59 medals in international competition.
During his 22 years as men's head coach from 1982-2004, Urbanchek helped Michigan win 13 Big Ten titles, including 10 straight during the "Decade of Dominance" from 1986-95, and the 1995 NCAA championship. He was on the coaching staff for two Olympic teams and was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 2008.
Bowman was the men's head coach from 2005-2008, leading the Maize and Blue to a 2008 Big Ten Championships title. Bowman, who also served as an assistant coach for the 2004 U.S. Olympic Team, guided the Wolverines to four top-eight finishes at the NCAA Championships.
Also expected to compete are swimming stars Ryan Lochte, Jason Lezak, Natalie Coughlin, Kara Lynn Joyce and Allison Schmitt.
Active members of both Wolverine teams will be swimming as individuals and not representatives of the university. The Michigan men are fresh off a Big Ten championship and ninth-place finish at the NCAA Championships. The U-M women's team finished sixth at the Big Ten Championships and sent seven student-athletes to the NCAA Championships.
The event will be streamed live by USA Swimming and will be broadcast on Saturday and Sunday, April 9-10, on Universal Sports.
Michigan Men's Swimming and Diving Contact: Ryan Sosin (734) 763-4423
Michigan Women's Swimming and Diving Contact: Brad Rudner (734) 763-4423
Club Wolverine Contact: Bobby Savulich (908) 217-1555
USA Swimming Contact: Karen Linhart (719) 866-3588