Weekly Release #1: U-M Opens Season With Notre Dame

Oct. 5, 2009

This Week
Friday Oct. 9 -- at Dennis Stark Relays (South Bend, Ind.), 5 p.m.
Live Stats
Saturday Oct. 10 -- at Notre Dame, (South Bend, Ind.), 10:30 a.m.
Live Stats

The University of Michigan women's swimming and diving team opens the 2009-10 season this weekend, as the Wolverines travel to South Bend, Ind., for a dual meet with Notre Dame on Saturday (Oct. 10) at 10:30 a.m. at the Rolfs Aquatic Center. Several Wolverines will also be in action a day earlier for the Dennis Stark Relays, held Friday (Oct. 9) at 5 p.m.

Michigan returns 25 letterwinners off last year's squad, including 2008 NCAA Champion Emily Brunemann (Crescent Springs, Ky./Notre Dame Academy) and 2009 All-American Margaret Kelly (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer). In addition to Kelly, sophomores Liz Koselka (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer) and Kristyne Cole (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer) earned All-America honorable mention accolades for their performance as part of Michigan's 800-yard freestyle relay team at the NCAA Championships.

Michigan went 4-6 in dual meets last season, including a 3-3 mark in Big Ten Conference action. The Wolverines finished fourth at Big Ten Championships and 24th at the NCAA Championships.

New Faces
After bringing in 12 freshmen last season, the Wolverines kept the trend alive by adding 10 new faces to this year's squad: Julia Andracki (Arlington Heights, Ill./Prospect), Valerie Barthelemy (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer), Katherine Carl (Bloomfield Hills, Mich./Lahser), Ashley Cohagen (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer), Kally Fayhee (North Aurora, Ill./Rosary), Kristina Jaeger (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer), Linnea Johnson (Grand Haven, Mich./Grand Haven), Deirdre Jones (Nashville, Tenn./University School of Nashville), Mattie Kukors (Auburn, Wash./Mountainview) and Melissa Lang (Edison, N.J./Bishop George).

The 2009-10 roster consists of 12 seniors, five juniors, 8 sophomores and 11 freshmen. There are 30 swimmers and six divers.

Scouting Notre Dame
Last season, the Fighting Irish won their 13th consecutive Big East Conference championship, the league's longest championship win streak in any sport. They went 6-3 in dual meets and received votes in the final CSCAA Top 25 poll.

Head coach Brian Barnes was named Big East Coach of the Year, while Caiming Xie won the league hardware for Diving Coach of the Year. Natalie Stitt claimed first place in both one- and three-meter diving at the Big East Championships, earning the Top Female Diver award. Samantha Maxwell and Amywren Miller joined Stitt at the NCAA Championships, helping the Irish score 19 points as a team. They finished 31st overall.

The two teams met last season in Ann Arbor, with Michigan pulling out a 141-102 win over the Fighting Irish. Michigan holds a 7-4 edge in the all-time series.

Top Returning Times
50-yard Freestyle: Natasha Moodie, 22.64# (2/19 at Big Ten Championships)
100-yard Freestyle: Margaret Kelly, 49.33# (11/23 at Texas A&M Invitational)
200-yard Freestyle: Hannah Smith, 1:46.42r# (2/18 at Big Ten Championships)
500-yard Freestyle: Kristyne Cole, 4:47.68# (2/19 at Big Ten Championships)
1,000-yard Freestyle: Emily Hanson, 10:08.22 (10/17 vs. Florida/Stanford)
1,650-yard Freestyle: Emily Hanson, 16:19.94# (11/23 at Texas A&M Invitational)
100-yard Butterfly: Caroline Rodriguez, 51.85*@!% (2/20 at Big Ten Championships)
200-yard Butterfly: Caitlin Dauw, 1:57.53# (2/21 at Big Ten Championships)
100-yard Backstroke: Caroline Rodriguez, 53.15#@ (2/20 at Big Ten Championships)
200-yard Backstroke: Hannah Smith, 1:55.00# (11/23 at Texas A&M Invitational)
100-yard Breaststroke: Christine Nichols, 1:02.12# (2/20 at Big Ten Championships)
200-yard Breaststroke: Christine Nichols, 2:18.46 (2/21 at Big Ten Championships)
200-yard Individual Medley: Margaret Kelly, 1:55.90*@!% (2/19 at Big Ten Championships)
400-yard Individual Medley: Margaret Kelly, 4:12.27# (12/6 at EMU Invitational)
One-Meter Diving: Amanda Lohman, 296.00^ (2/19 at Big Ten Championships)
Three-Meter Diving: Amanda Lohman, 330.60^ (2/20 at Big Ten Championships)
Platform Diving: Jillian Drow, 267.40^ (11/01 vs. Texas/Indiana)
200-yard Freestyle Relay: Smith, Mehesan, Rodriguez, Moodie, 1:29.88# (2/19 at Big Ten Championships)
400-yard Freestyle Relay: Rodriguez, Kelly, Smith, Koselka, 3:18.17# (3/20 at NCAA Championships)
800-yard Freestyle Relay: Smith, Kelly, K. Cole, Koselka, 7:06.32# (2/18 at Big Ten Championships)
200-yard Medley Relay: Rodriguez, Nichols, P. Johnson, Moodie, 1:39.32# (2/19 at Big Ten Championships)
400-yard Medley Relay: Smith, Kelly, Dauw, Moodie, 3:45.68 (12/6 at EMU Invitational)

* NCAA automatic qualifying time
# NCAA consideration time
^ NCAA zone diving qualifying mark
% at 2008 NCAA Championships
r achieved on first leg of relay
! Big Ten record
$ Big Ten Meet Record
@ Michigan school record

Busy Summer
Several Michigan swimmers were in action all over the world this summer.

Seniors Emily Brunemann and Emily Hanson (Bloomington, Ill./Normal Community) represented the United States at the 2009 FINA World Championships in Rome, each competing in two open water races. Brunemann swam the 5k Tuesday, July 21, finishing in ninth place with a time of 57:43, earning four points for Team USA. She was back in action on Wednesday, July 22, for the 10k, placing 24th with a time of 2:02:06.

Hanson joined Brunemann in the 5k, finishing in 15th place (57:53.5). In the 25k on Saturday, July 25, Hanson spent nearly six hours in the water, finishing in 11th place with a time of 5:53:01 to garner two points for Team USA.

Junior Natasha Moodie competed in the 2009 U.S. Junior Nationals in Federal Way, Wash., on Aug. 14, taking home a sixth-place finish in the 50-yard freestyle.

While nearly every one of the Wolverines spent their summer in the pool, four University of Michigan swimmers took time out of their own lives to help others in need. Senior Courtney Beyer (Los Altos Hills, Calif./Los Altos) traveled to Nicaragua and volunteered at a humanitarian medical mission. Former U-M swimmer Payton Johnson (2005-09) was stationed in Costa Rica and Honduras as part of Duke University's Engineering World Health (EWH) Summer Institute. And seniors Catherine Nosal (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles North) and Claire Tyler (Rochester, Mich./Adams) spent two weeks in Nicaragua working with a program called Global Medical Training (GMT).

To read Beyer's story, click HERE.
To read Johnson's story, click HERE.
To read Nosal and Tyler's story, click HERE.

Bruno's Back!
After redshirting last season, fifth-year senior Emily Brunemann is back for her last season with the Maize and Blue. In 2008, Brunemann became Michigan's 14th national champion after winning the 1,650-yard freestyle at the NCAA Championships.

In 2007-08, Brunemann was a three-time All-American, earning honors in the 1,650-yard freestyle, the 500-yard freestyle and the 400-yard individual medley. She was named the 2008 Big Ten Swimmer of the Year and first team All-Big Ten after earning conference titles in both the 1,650-yard freestyle and the 500-yard freestyle. Brunemann holds the U-M and Big Ten record in the 1,650-yard freestyle with a time of 15:51.29, which she set at the Big Ten Championships in 2008. In her career, Brunemann is a four-time All-American and a three-time All-America honorable mention.

Godfrey's Return
This week's competition against Notre Dame marks the return of Michigan senior Mary Grace Godfrey (South Bend, Ind./St. Joseph's) to South Bend. Godfrey swam for the Fighting Irish for one season (2006-07) and was a Big East Conference finalist in the 100-yard Butterfly and 200-yard Freestyle, before transferring to Michigan prior to the 2007-08 season.

Leaders of the Wolverines
Michigan head swimming coach Jim Richardson enters 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 159-59 in dual-meet competition, including an impressive 105-16 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 enters his eighth season as the head diving coach, and Stefanie Kerska begins her 12th season as an assistant to Richardson.

On the Horizon...
The Wolverines return home in two weeks (Friday, Oct. 23) for the first of five home meets this season, as they host Toledo and the University of Toronto. The meet is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m.

Upcoming Schedule
Friday, Oct. 23, 3 p.m. -- vs. Toledo, Toronto (Canham Natatorium)
Fri-Sat. Oct. 30-31, 12 p.m./10 a.m. -- at Texas, Indiana (Austin, Texas)

Contact: Brad Rudner (734) 647-4237