Weekly Release #13: Wolverines Send Eight to NCAA Championships

March 15, 2010

Live Results | 2010 NCAA Championships Psych Sheet | NCAA Championships Central

The University of Michigan women's swimming and diving team wraps up the 2009-10 season this weekend at the NCAA Championships, held at the Boilermaker Aquatic Center in West Lafayette, Ind. The event runs from Thursday (March 18) to Saturday (March 20). Preliminaries will begin at 11 a.m. each morning, with the finals commencing at 7 p.m.

Michigan All-Time at NCAAs: 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; Other: 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.

The Maize and Blue has 14 all-time national championships, including three by diver Mary Fischbach (1984, 87-88) and two apiece by Alecia Humphrey (1992-95) and Lara Hooiveld (1992-94). Michigan has earned 106 individual All-America honors and 40 relay All-America honors. Rachel Gustin (1994-96, '98) leads all Wolverines with eight All-America honors.

Last Year at NCAAs: Michigan finished in a three-way tie for 24th at last year's NCAA Championships. Senior Margaret Kelly (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer) was U-M's lone All-American, receiving the honor in the 200-yard individual medley. She also was a two-time All-America honorable mention last season, taking the laurels along with former Wolverines Hannah Smith and Caroline Rodriguez, and current Wolverines Liz Koselka (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer) and Kristyne Cole (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer).

Lohman Qualifies: Sophomore diver Amanda Lohman (Pittsburgh, Pa./Upper St. Clair) became the first U-M diver to qualify for the NCAA Championships since Elyse Lee in 2008. At the NCAA Zone C Diving Championships last Friday (March 12), Lohman finished second on the one-meter springboard, earning her a qualifying bid to the meet this weekend.

Highlighting the 2010 list of qualifiers is Kelly, who has qualified for the 200-yard individual medley, 100-yard butterfly, 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 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 Honorable Mention All-American, and a six-time Big Ten champion. Kelly holds four University of Michigan swimming records and is also an excellent student, having been named Academic All-Big Ten twice and CSCAA All-Academic back in 2007. Richardson has called Kelly one of the most versatile swimmers on this year's team and one of the most decorated swimmers in Michigan history. 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 Honorable Mention All-American. 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, Kristyne, is a sophomore on the team. This will be Cole's first appearance at the NCAA Championships.

Koselka is a two-time NCAA Honorable Mention All-American, 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 and has made huge strides in the pool. This will be her first appearance at the NCAA Championships.

University of Michigan's Women's Swimming & Diving NCAA 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)

Amanda Lohman
One-meter diving

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

Leading the Wolverines
Richardson is in his 25th season at the helm for the Wolverines. Over that time, his teams have dominated the Big Ten, winning 12 consecutive league titles from 1987-98 to add to the program's 13th in 2001 and 14th in 2004. Since taking over in 1985-86, Michigan has finished in the NCAA top 10 on 14 occasions. In 1995, U-M finished in second place as a team, following that in 1996 by hosting the NCAA Championships and finishing third.

Richardson holds a career record of 163-65 in dual-meet competition, including an impressive 107-19 mark in Big Ten action. Richardson has coached nine individual national champions, 156 NCAA All-Americans and 184 honorable mention All-Americans. On the conference level, he has guided 159 individual and relay conference champions and has been named the Big Ten Coach of the Year six times. A two-time NCAA Coach of the Year (1993, '95), Richardson's athletes have excelled in the classroom as well as the pool with 30 CSCAA Academic All-Americans and 236 Academic All-Big Ten nominations.

Chris Bergére is in his eighth season as the head diving coach, and Stefanie Kerska is in her 12th season as an assistant to Richardson.

Contact: Brad Rudner (734) 763-4423