Chokran Named MVP at Team's Annual Awards Banquet
Angela Chokran

April 19, 2013

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The University of Michigan women's swimming and diving team capped its 2012-13 season today (Friday, April 19) by thanking its 10 seniors and honoring seven individuals with team awards at its annual banquet held inside the Jack Roth Stadium Club.

Junior Angela Chokran (South Elgin, Ill./St. Charles North) was chosen as the team MVP. Chokran earned two All-America honorable mentions at the NCAA Championships for her performances in the 100-yard breaststroke (16th) and as part of the 200-yard medley relay (15th). She also set a new school record in the 100-yard breaststroke (59.80) during the Big Ten Championships. The junior was named Big Ten Swimmer of the Week twice and also earned Academic All-Big Ten for the second consecutive season.

Seniors Adrienne Bicek (Downers Grove, Ill./Downers Grove North) and Linnea Johnson (Grand Haven, Mich./Grand Haven) were given the Coaches Award, honored for their invaluable contributions to the team. Bicek qualified for the NCAA Championships in three events and was earned Big Ten Swimmer of the Week honors once. She also was named Academic All-Big Ten for the second season in a row. Johnson was forced to stop competing in January due to an injury. She remained with the program as a student assistant dutifully helping out however she could for the remaining two months of the season.

Senior tri-captain Kally Fayhee (North Aurora, Ill./Rosary) took home the Frank E. Barnard Leadership Award, which was established in 1994 by Frank E. Barnard, who was a three-year letterwinner (1935-37) and the 1937 captain of the swim team. His dedication, enthusiasm and leadership helped his team win several Big Ten and NCAA championships. The annual recipient is recognized for the same qualities Frank exhibited.

Senior tri-captain Val Barthelemy (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer) was honored with the Erik Namesnik Memorial Award, given to swimmer who best exemplifies the Three D's: desire, determination and dedication. In January 2006, Michigan swimming and diving lost one of the most admired and accomplished members of its family when two-time Olympic silver medalist Eric Namesnik died following an automobile accident. A four-year letterwinner at U-M (1989-93), "Snik" was a member of four Big Ten champion teams. He emphasized his belief in the Three D's during his coaching career at U-M that followed his swimming career. It is these three attributes that serve as the criteria for the Eric Namesnik Memorial Award.

Senior Deirdre Jones (Nashville, Tenn./University School of Nashville) received the Most Improved Award. Jones earned All-America honorable mention at the NCAA Championships for the 200-yard medley relay. She was named Big Ten Swimmer of the Week once and also earned her third Academic All-Big Ten distinction. Jones set a trio of new personal bests during the Big Ten Championships in the 50, 100 and 200-yard freestyles.

Junior Courtney Beidler (Richboro, Pa./Council Rock South) earned the Academic Award for her achievements in the classroom and in the pool. Beidler is a communications studies major and was named to the Academic All-Big Ten team.

Michigan finished the 2012-13 season with a 5-4 record in dual meets and 4-2 mark in the Big Ten. The Maize and Blue placed sixth at the Big Ten Championships and 31st at the NCAA Championships. The team sent eight swimmers to the NCAA meet, a marked improvement from the one swimmer and one diver who qualified in 2011-12.

Head coach Mike Bottom took over the women's team in August 2012 as U-M combined the men's and women's programs. He has guided the men's team since 2008. Bottom brought on associate head coach Rick Bishop and assistant coach Danielle Tansel this season to join his coaching staff and primarily work with the women.

The team honored its 10 seniors and their contributions to the program: Fayhee, Barthelemy, Bicek, Johnson, Jones, Julia Andracki (Arlington Heights, Ill./Prospect), Katherine Carl (Bloomfield Hills, Mich./Lahser), Ashley Cohagen (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer), Melissa Lang (Edison, N.J./Bishop George) and Sam Pearson (Las Vegas, Nev./Faith Lutheran).

Most Valuable Player: Angela Chokran
Coaches Award: Adrienne Bicek, Linnea Johnson
Frank E. Barnard Leadership Award: Kally Fayhee
Erik Namesnik Memorial Award: Val Barthelemy
Most Improved Award: Deirdre Jones
Academic Award: Courtney Beidler

Contact: Michael Kasiborski (734) 764-4423