Nov. 24, 2009
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- University of Michigan women's swimming and diving head coach Jim Richardson has inked five swimmers to National Letters of Intent, the announcement coming Tuesday (Nov. 24). Swimmers Courtney Beidler (Richboro, Pa./Council Rock South), Erin Cameron (Rockwood, Mich./Oscar A. Carlson), Angela Chokran (South Elgin, Ill./St. Charles North), Nikki Hubbard (Granger, Ind./Penn) and Molly Osterhage (Centerville, Ohio/Centerville) and diver Erin Bridgewater (Kawkawlin, Mich./Western) will join the Wolverines beginning next fall.
"We recruit character above all else and talent won't ever trump that," Richardson said. "We want to be sure we have the right people on our bus. It will be a great journey for them and a great destination at the end. These five future Michigan student-athletes will have a comfortable seat on our bus immediately."
Beidler hails from Richboro, Pa., and attends Council Rock South H.S. She swims for the Tri-Hampton YMCA Swim Team in Newton, Pa., and is coached by Dave Prutow. Beidler will provide Michigan with depth in the 500-meter freestyle, 400-meter individual medley and 200-meter butterfly. At the YMCA Long Course National Championships this past July, Beidler finished second in the 400-yard IM (4:59.48) and fourth in the 400- and 800-meter freestyle. Her times in the 400 freestyle and 400 IM were USA Swimming long course junior national and short course senior national qualifying times, and all three were short course junior national qualifying times.
"Courtney is going to give us strength in middle-distance events," Richardson said. "She has tremendous potential and is a great fit for us."
Hailing from Rockwood, Mich., Cameron is the only state-born swimmer joining the Wolverines next season. She attends Oscar A. Carlson H.S. and is coached by Amy Hulderman. She swims club for the Dearborn Dolphins and is coached by Tim Skowronski. Cameron was an All-America qualifier in the 100 back and 200 IM, also being named all-state in both events. She won the 2009 Michigan Division III State championship in the 100 back, setting a new record.
Cameron was also named MVP for both her league and team from 2006-08. She will provide depth in the backstroke and individual medleys.
"Erin is one of the top swimmers in all the state of Michigan this year," Richardson said. "She has always wanted to be a Wolverine and she will contribute in the backstroke and IM races for us."
Chokran, a St. Charles North senior from South Elgin, Ill., trains with coach Rob Rooney and swims for the St. Charles Swim Team. Just this month, Chokran traveled with USA Swimming's World Youth Team to Stockholm, Sweden, to the FINA World Cup. In 2009, she was a NCSA Junior national champion in the 50 breaststroke and a World Championship Trials qualifier. A year ago, Chokran was an Olympic Trials qualifier, and she will contribute in both breaststroke races.
"Angie is one of the fastest breaststrokers in the country," Richardson said. "She's got valuable experience on the national stage. Like all of our swimmers, she has tremendous potential, but more importantly, she's a wonderful fit for Michigan and the team as an individual."
Hubbard, a Granger, Ind., native, attends Penn H.S. and trains with Andy Scupham of the Penn Aquatic Club. A U.S. Open qualifier, Hubbard finished 11th in the 100 breast at the Zone 4 State Meet in May 2009 and was a national qualifier as a junior and senior. She was a first team all-conference selection in four events and was a three-time sectional champion in both breaststroke races and both relays. Hubbard holds six school/pool records and will primarily swim in the breaststroke and butterfly races.
"On any team she is on, Nikki is the glue that holds it together," Richardson said. "She's the kind of person that makes people around her better. A great fit for us."
Osterhage, a Centerville, Ohio, native, attends Centerville H.S. and trains with Kevin Weldon of the Dayton Raiders. She owns top times for the 50 and 100 freestyles, clocking in at 23.14 and 50.72, respectively, this year. She will give Michigan depth in both of those events, as well as the 100 back.
"Molly is going to have the opportunity to contribute immediate in speed freestyle events," Richardson said. "She may be physically short, but she swims tall."
Bridgewater, a native of Kawkawlin, Mich., attends Western High School and is coached by Janet Beattie. At the Division II State meet last week at Oakland University, Bridgewater finished fourth, earning all-state honors, after finishing 19th in 2007 and ninth in 2008. In 2008, she was tri-city champion and Division II Regional champion, as well as a two-time Saginaw Valley League champion (2007, '08).
Contact: Brad Rudner (734) 647-4237