Week #9: Wolverines Ready for NCAA Championships

March 13, 2017

What You Need to Know
» The Wolverines are looking for its second consecutive top-10 finish at the NCAA Championships, a feat last achieved from 2007-08.
» Among the individual qualifiers are two seniors, five juniors, four sophomores and two freshmen. Kristen Hayden, Keegan McCaffrey, Carolyn McCann and Astrid Swensen are making their debuts at the NCAA Championships.
» Distance swimmers G Ryan and Yirong Bi are seeded in the top five in the 500-yard freestyle and in the top eight (the timed final) of the 1,650-yard freestyle.
» Three divers qualified for the second consecutive year. The last time Michigan sent three-or-more divers to the NCAA Championships in consecutive seasons was 1987-88.

Wed-Sat., March 15-18 -- at NCAA Championships (Indianapolis, Ind.), 10 a.m./6 p.m.
Tickets | Live Results | Championships Central | Psych Sheet PDF

• Live Video: Wednesday | Thursday | Friday AM | Saturday AM
• WatchESPN: Friday PM | Saturday PM
• Social Media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Fresh off its second consecutive Big Ten title last month, the University of Michigan women's swimming and diving team will send a total of 15 student-athletes to the NCAA Championships, set to be held Wednesday to Saturday (March 15-18) at IUPUI Natatorium in Indianapolis. The Wolverines are seeking their second straight top-10 finish at the national meet, a feat last achieved from 2007-08.

The roster is comprised of seniors Keegan McCaffrey and Allie Murphy; juniors Gabby DeLoof, Emily Kopas, Carolyn McCann, G Ryan and Clara Smiddy; sophomores Yirong Bi, Siobhán Haughey, Becca Postoll and Astrid Swensen; and freshmen Kristen Hayden and Vanessa Krause. In addition, sophomore Catie DeLoof and freshman Jacqui Schafer will travel as relay alternates.

The NCAA and the Indiana Sports Corporation will live stream every session except for the finals sessions on Friday and Saturday, as those will be shown live via ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app. ESPNU will air a tape-delayed version of the meet on Tuesday, March 28 at 7 p.m. ET.


Wednesday, March 15
800-yard Freestyle Relay

Thursday, March 16
200-yard Freestyle Relay
500-yard Freestyle -- G Ryan, Yirong Bi, Becca Postoll
200-yard IM -- Siobhán Haughey, Clara Smiddy
One-Meter Diving -- Kristen Hayden
400-yard Medley Relay

Friday, March 17
100-yard Butterfly -- Vanessa Krause
200-yard Freestyle -- Siobhán Haughey, Gabby DeLoof, G Ryan, Yirong Bi, Becca Postoll
100-yard Breaststroke -- Emily Kopas, Carolyn McCann
100-yard Backstroke -- Clara Smiddy
Three-Meter Diving -- Kristen Hayden, Keegan McCaffrey, Allie Murphy
200-yard Medley Relay

Saturday, March 18
1,650-yard Freestyle -- G Ryan, Yirong Bi
200-yard Backstroke -- Clara Smiddy, Gabby DeLoof
100-yard Freestyle -- Siobhán Haughey
200-yard Breaststroke -- Emily Kopas
200-yard Butterfly -- Vanessa Krause, Astrid Swensen
Platform Diving -- Kristen Hayden, Allie Murphy
400-yard Freestyle Relay

The top eight times (places 1-8) in each preliminary race, including relays, will advance to the evening's finals and earn NCAA All-America (the only exception is the 1,650-yard freestyle, which is a timed final) awards. The next eight times (places 9-16) will swim in the 'B' final and earn NCAA All-America honorable mention. The top 16 finishers will score points for their team.


History: The Wolverines have scored points at the NCAA Championships every season since 1983. U-M has finished outside of the top 25 only five times in the past 28 seasons (1986, 2002, 2012-14). It has secured 16 top-10 finishes, including a runner-up team finish in 1995, the highest in program history. In the four years since Mike Bottom took over the women's program, the Wolverines have gone from 36th (2013) to 10th (2016).

Champions: U-M has 14 NCAA champions in its history (10 in individual swimming events, three in diving, one relay). The last champion was Emily Brunemann in the 1,650-yard freestyle in 2008.

Best Events: The Wolverines have tabulated a total of 158 NCAA All-America honors (98 in individual swimming events, 39 on relays, 21 in diving). Traditionally, the best events for Michigan have been the 200-yard IM (14 NCAA All-Americans), the 400-yard IM (12), the 200-yard breaststroke (11) and the 200-yard freestyle (11). The Wolverines have not picked up an NCAA All-America honor on a relay since 2007 (200-yard medley relay, 400-yard freestyle relay).

Last Season: The Wolverines finished 10th at McAuley Aquatic Center in Atlanta, securing the finish by winning the consolation final of the 400-yard freestyle relay to conclude the meet. Four different swimmers earned NCAA All-America honors -- including an NCAA All-American in each of the five freestyle events -- the most in a single season since 1996. [ Recap ]


Big Ten Champions (Feb. 15-18): Michigan captured its second consecutive Big Ten title last month, going from third on the second day to winning by more than 160 points despite winning only four individual or relay titles. G Ryan swept the 500- and 1,650-yard freestyles and swam the anchor leg on the team's winning 800-yard freestyle relay. Siobhán Haughey defended her title in the 200-yard freestyle. On the final day of competition, 26 of the team's 28 student-athletes scored points. [ Recap ]

NCAA Zone C Diving Championships (March 9-11): Divers Kristen Hayden, Keegan McCaffrey and Allie Murphy qualified on at least one event at the NCAA Zone C Diving Championships, held last Thursday through Saturday (March 9-11) in Bloomington, Indiana. [ Recap ]


• The women's swimming and diving team has steadily risen through the national ranks since Mike Bottom took over in September 2012. Last year, Michigan ended a 12-year title drought and finished in the top 10 at the NCAA Championships.

2012-135-4 (4-2 B1G)36th6th00
2013-146-5 (3-4 B1G)30th5th11
2014-159-2 (7-0 B1G)22nd3rd11
2015-168-1 (6-0 B1G)10th1st76
2016-175-1 (4-0 B1G)--1st4--

• Three swimmers are looking to repeat as NCAA All-Americans from a year ago: Yirong Bi (500-yard freestyle, 1,650-yard freestyle), Siobhán Haughey (200-yard freestyle) and Clara Smiddy (200-yard backstroke).

• Last year, Michigan put one swimmer on the podium for each of the five freestyle events and had all three freestyle relays swim in the consolation final. Though they do not have anyone entered in the 50-yard freestyle this year, the Wolverines have serious scoring potential once again in the freestyles with Siobhán Haughey (4th in 200, 9th in 100) and distance swimmers G Ryan (3rd in 500, 4th in 1650) and Yirong Bi (4th in 500, 7th in 1650).

• The Wolverines have top-16 seeds in four of the five relays, including a fourth seed in the 800-yard freestyle relay. The program is looking to put at least one relay on the NCAA All-America podium for the first time since 2007 and could potentially be looking at scoring all five relays for the first time since 2004.

• Freshman Vanessa Krause, a native of Chesterton, Indiana, and a four-time Indiana state champion, will be making her first appearance at the NCAA Championships. She earned two individual medals at the Big Ten Championships (second in the 200-yard butterfly, third in the 100-yard butterfly), setting the school record in the former. She will be gunning for Caroline Rodriguez's school record in the 100-yard butterfly (51.85, 2009), the only swimming record that has not changed since Mike Bottom took over the program.

• The Wolverines are sending three divers to the NCAA Championships for the second year in a row, a feat last accomplished in the 1987 and 1988 seasons. Freshman Kristen Hayden qualified in all three events, while senior Allie Murphy will do three-meter and platform. Senior Keegan McCaffrey, who will be making her first and only NCAA Championships appearance, will dive on three-meter only. The diving program has made big jumps under Mike Hilde, sending seven individual qualifiers in his three years (2015-17), compared to nine in the previous 20 years (1995-2014).

Communications Contact: Brad Rudner