Weekly Release #12: Four Divers Compete at Zones, Seven Qualify for NCAAs

March 8, 2010

Live Diving Results

Four University of Michigan women's divers -- sophomore Amanda Lohman (Pittsburgh, Pa./Upper St. Clair), senior Stephanie O'Callaghan (Howell, Mich./Howell), junior Rachael Ropeik (Ann Arbor, Mich./Huron) and senior Caitlin Dunphy-Daly (Royal Oak, Mich./Rochester) -- head to NCAA Zone C Diving Regionals this weekend (Fri-Sun., March 12-14). They will compete for a spot at the 2010 NCAA Championships, hoping to join the seven U-M swimmers that have qualified. Both competitions will take place at the Boilermaker Aquatic Center in West Lafayette, Ind. The NCAA Championships will run from March 18-20.


In addition to the seven swimmers, the four U-M divers could potentially qualify for the national meet as well. Under the tutelage of head diving coach Chris Bergère, the three U-M divers will compete off the one-meter board on Friday (March 12), the three-meter board on Saturday (March 13) and platform on Sunday (March 14). Zone C, which features schools from Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Michigan, is set to send nine women and nine men to the NCAA Championships. The women's total is the highest of the five zones.

Lohman has been the Wolverines' top diver this season, scoring 17 top-three finishes across all springboards (eight event wins, seven second-place finishes). She has been Big Ten Diver of the Week on two occasions this season and has set new career highs on all three boards. Ropeik and O'Callaghan are tied with eight top-three finishes on the season.

There will be 41 total divers competing at the NCAA Championships. Each of the five zones receive four automatic qualifying berths to the NCAA Championships (March 18-20), with the other bids determined by 2009 NCAA finishes. Zone C will receive an additional five bids, bringing the total to nine from the region heading on to national championships.


2010 NCAA Championships Psych Sheet

Michigan tied for 24th at last season's NCAA Championships. The Wolverines have finished outside the top 25 on only two occasions in head coach Jim Richardson's 25-year tenure, one of which came in his first year at the helm (1986 - 31st; the other came in 2002 - 27th). In all, Richardson, a two-time NCAA Coach of the Year (1993 & 1995), has coached eight national champion swimmers and 160 to All-America honors.

Highlighting the 2010 list of swimming qualifiers is senior Margaret Kelly (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer), who has qualified in the 200-yard individual medley, 100-yard butterfly and 100-yard freestyle as well as the 200-yard freestyle relay and 800-yard freestyle relay. Kelly won the Big Ten title in the 200-yard individual medley at the 2010 Big Ten Championships a little over three weeks ago and was named to the All-Big Ten first team. During her four-year career, Kelly has piled on the accolades. She is a five-time NCAA All-American, 11-time NCAA All-America honorable mention and a six-time Big Ten champion. Kelly holds four program records and is also an excellent student, having been named Academic All-Big Ten twice and CSCAA All-Academic back in 2007. Kelly has qualified for the NCAA Championships every year of her college career.

Fifth-year senior Emily Brunemann (Crescent Springs, Ky./Notre Dame Academy), the 2008 NCAA champion in the 1,650-yard freestyle, heads back to nationals looking for a repeat performance in that event, as well as the 400-yard individual medley, 500-yard freestyle and 800-yard freestyle relay. She is a four-time NCAA All-American and three-time NCAA All-America honorable mention. Brunemann was the 2008 Big Ten Swimmer of the Year and a three-time All-Big Ten selection (first team in 2008, second team in 2007 and 2010). She redshirted last season but was selected to compete for Team USA at the 2009 FINA World Championships in Rome, swimming the 5k and 10k open water races. For her efforts, Brunemann was named the 2009 Female Open Water Swimmer of the Year by USA Swimming. Brunemann has qualified for the NCAA Championships every year of her college career.

Junior Natasha Moodie (Miramar, Fla./Miramar) closed out the season as U-M's top sprinter, holding the team's best time in the 50-yard freestyle (22.53) and second-best time in the 100-yard freestyle (49.46). She will swim both of those events at NCAAs, as well as the 200-freestyle relay and 800-yard freestyle relay. Moodie was an All-Big Ten second team selection this season. This will be Moodie's first trip to the NCAA Championships.

Like Moodie, senior co-captain Leigh Cole (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer) has qualified for the 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard freestyle, as well as the 200-yard freestyle relay. Cole was named All-Big Ten second team this season, providing depth in several events and a leadership presence on two relays. An exceptional student, Cole has been named Academic All-Big Ten twice (2008, 2009) and is a three-time recipient of the U-M Athletic Academic Achievement Award (2007, 2008, 2009). Her younger sister, sophomore Kristyne Cole (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer), is also on the team. This will be Cole's first appearance at the NCAA Championships.

Sophomore Liz Koselka (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer) is a two-time NCAA All-America honorable mention, having earned the honors at last season's NCAA Championships (in 400- and 800-yard freestyle relays). She has qualified as part of the 800-yard freestyle relay team. It is her second appearance at the NCAA Championships.

Sophomore Liz Johnson (Milford, Mich./Milford) became one of Michigan's top backstrokers this season and will swim the 200-yard backstroke as well as the 800-yard freestyle relay. Johnson had seven event wins during the regular season, third-best on the team behind Brunemann and Kelly. It will be her first appearance at the NCAA Championships.

Sophomore Alexa Mehesan (West Des Moines, Iowa/Valley) is Michigan's final qualifier and put together a breakout sophomore campaign this season. An All-Big Ten second team selection, Mehesan has qualified for the 50-yard freestyle, 100-yard butterfly and 200-yard freestyle relay. This season, Mehesan has set four new career highs. This will be her first appearance at the NCAA Championships.

University of Michigan's Women's Swimming Qualifiers
(Qualifying Time and national rank in parenthesis)

Margaret Kelly
200-yard individual medley (7th - 1:56.01)
100-yard freestyle (29th - 49.25)
100-yard butterfly (9th -52.51)

Emily Brunemann
1,650-yard freestyle (10th - 16:04.87)
400-yard individual medley (23rd - 4:11.89)
500-yard freestyle (17th - 4:41.66)

Natasha Moodie
50-yard freestyle (27th - 22.53)
100-yard freestyle (36th - 49.46)

Leigh Cole
50-yard freestyle (59th - 23.01)
100-yard freestyle (39th - 49.51)

Liz Johnson
200-yard backstroke (51st - 1:58.13)

Alexa Mehesan
50-yard freestyle (62nd - 23.02)
100-yard butterfly (46th - 54.00)

200-yard freestyle relay (9th - 1:29.42)
Kelly, Cole, Mehesan, Moodie

800-yard freestyle relay (13th - 7:08.92)
Kelly, Brunemann, Liz Koselka, Johnson

Contact: Brad Rudner (734) 763-4423