Nov. 29, 2011
Fri-Sun., Dec. 2-4 -- at Hawkeye Invitational (Iowa City, Iowa), 11 a.m./6 p.m. CST
The No. 16-ranked University of Michigan women's swimming and diving team (1-5, 0-2 Big Ten) heads to Iowa City, Iowa, this weekend for the first time in 19 years, when it competes at the Hawkeye Invitational. The meet will begin on Friday (Dec. 2) and run through Sunday (Dec. 4), and will be run like the NCAA Championships. Prelims will be at 11 a.m. CST all three days of the meet, with finals at 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 4 p.m. on Sunday.
Joining Michigan and Iowa at the meet will be Denver, Washington State, UW-Green Bay and UW-Milwaukee.
Last Time Out ... While the Wolverines' swimmers have been off since its double-dual meet Nov. 4-5 against Florida and Stanford, the Maize and Blue divers took home three individual event titles at the Pittsburgh Invitational (Nov. 18-20). Senior Amanda Lohman won both the one-meter (305.65) and three-meter (317.00), while freshman Carey Chen won platform (249.50). All three scores met the NCAA Zone Diving qualifying standard.
Familiar Setting ... Head coach Jim Richardson and senior swimmer Alexa Mehesan both have ties to the state of Iowa. Richardson got his coaching career started at the University of Iowa, where he was an assistant coach for three years from 1982-85. Mehesan, a West Des Moines native, was an elite swimmer at Valley High School, capturing 12 state championships, setting five state records and earning three State Athlete of the Year awards.
Long Time Coming ... This weekend's meet marks Michigan's first appearance competing in Iowa City in 19 years. Outside of the Big Ten Championships, Michigan has faced Iowa only six times in dual meets, the lowest number of meetings between Michigan and any other Big Ten foe (excluding new member Nebraska, which Michigan is 1-0 against). The Wolverines have only swam in Iowa City three times -- the 1985 Big Ten Championships, a dual meet on Nov. 22, 1985, and at the Iowa Invitational (Oct. 30-31, 1992).
Iowa is also the host to this year's Big Ten Championships, to be held from Feb. 15-18 at its new facility, the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center, which opened last summer.
Ranked Again ... Michigan came in at No. 16 in the first CollegeSwimming.com/CSCAA Coaches Top 25 poll, released on Nov. 9 [ Poll ]
Future Wolverines ... On Nov. 15, Michigan announced the signings of seven prep standouts to National Letters of Intent for the 2012-13 season. The signees include Ali DeLoof (Grosse Pointe, Mich./Grosse Pointe South), Marie Georger (Erie, Pa./Mercyhurst Prep), Zoe Mattingly (Zionsville, Ind./Zionsville), Sharalynn Missiuna (Oakville, Ontario/Oakville Trafalgar), Marni Oldershaw (Oakville, Ontario/Iroquois Ridge), Jessica Wolf (Waukesha, Wis./Muskego), and diver Emmy Orrico (Commerce Township, Mich./Mercy). [ Full Release ]
Three of the six swimmers are ranked in inside the top 100 in CollegeSwimming.com's 2012 Recruiting Rankings, including Oldershaw (No. 42), Georger (No. 65), and Wolf (No. 80). Additionally, Mattingly is No. 101, while DeLoof is No. 156 and Missiuna is No. 158.
TheSwimmersCircle.com rated Michigan's recruiting haul as the 10th-best class in the nation through the early signing period. [ Rankings ]
Both Georger and Oldershaw are rated as five-star recruits by SwimmingWorldMagazine.com.
Jessica Wolf is the second-best distance swimmer in the country, trailing only Bonnie Brandon, the No. 1 overall recruit by CollegeSwimming.com, who signed with Arizona.
Out In Front ... Caitlin Dauw is the team's top butterflier, holding season-best times in the 100-yard butterfly (54.86) and 200-yard butterfly (2:01.82), while Alexa Mehesan is the team's top sprinter (23.01 in the 50-yard freestyle; 51.11 in the 100-yard freestyle). Both Dauw and Mehesan are on the team's four major relays (200 free, 400 free, 200 medley, 400 medley) and are undefeated in the 100-yard butterfly and 50-yard freestyle, respectively, so far this season.
Making Strides ... Junior Ashley Cohagen, who is from Ann Arbor, has established herself as the team's primary backstroker, holding team-best marks in the 100-yard (55.95) and 200-yard (1:59.64) races.
Divers Stepping Up ... The Michigan divers are excelling in the second year under KZ Li. Amanda Lohman, Carey Chen, Erin Bridgewater (one-meter) and Marina Nazario (three-meter) all have NCAA Zone qualifying scores, while sophomore Brianna Maroukis is getting close. Her season-best score of 260.25 on one-meter is just five points shy of the required 265.00 minimum for that board.
Setting Records ... Against Florida and Stanford on Nov. 4, the Wolverines set two program long-course records on relays. The 200-meter freestyle relay, consisting of Alexa Mehesan, Caitlin Dauw, Deirdre Jones, and Claudia Lau, finished third, but its time of 1:47.29 shattered the 16-year-old program record, previously held by former Wolverines Rachel Gustin, Alegra Breaux, Elizabeth Jackson and Anne Malley (set in 1995).
Also, Mehesan, Dauw, Angela Chokran, and Ashley Cohagen set a new program and Canham Natatorium record in the 200-meter medley relay (1:56.94), beating the field by more than a full second. They broke the former record held by Elizabeth Jackson, Rachel Gustin, Talor Bendel and Megan Gillam (1:59.25), which was also set in 1995. Gustin, Bendel and Gillam were NCAA Champions as part of Michigan's 400-yard medley relay team that season.
Impressive Race ... Against Florida and Stanford on Nov. 4, freshman Claudia Lau won the race, finishing with a time of 1:03.55, beating a talented field that included Florida's Sarah Bateman (a U.S. National Team member and U.S. Olympian), and Stanford's Felicia Lee (a U.S. National Team member) and Betsy Webb (a 14-time NCAA All-American).
2011-12 Top Times/Scores
50-yard Freestyle: 23.01, Alexa Mehesan (Oct. 28 vs. IU/Texas)
100-yard Freestyle: 51.11, Alexa Mehesan (Nov. 5 vs. Florida/Stanford)
200-yard Freestyle: 1:50.93, Adrienne Bicek (Oct. 7 at Minnesota)
500-yard Freestyle: 4:52.66, Adrienne Bicek (Oct. 8 at Minnesota)
1,650-yard Freestyle: 17:09.59, Kally Fayhee (Oct. 28 vs. IU/Texas)
100-yard Butterfly: 54.86, Caitlin Dauw (Oct. 28 vs. IU/Texas)
200-yard Butterfly: 2:01.82, Caitlin Dauw (Oct. 28 vs. IU/Texas)
100-yard Backstroke: 55.95, Ashley Cohagen (Oct. 21 vs. Toledo)
200-yard Backstroke: 1:59.64, Ashley Cohagen (Oct. 28 vs. IU/Texas)
100-yard Breaststroke: 1:03.97, Angela Chokran (Oct. 21 vs. Toledo)
200-yard Breaststroke: 2:17.89, Angela Chokarn (Oct. 21 vs. Toledo)
200-yard IM: 2:06.13, Val Barthelemy (Oct. 7 at Minnesota)
400-yard IM: 4:22.65, Adrienne Bicek (Oct. 8 at Minnesota)
One-meter Diving: 305.65, Amanda Lohman (Nov. 18 at Pittsburgh Invitational)
Three-meter Diving: 317.00, Amanda Lohman (Nov. 19 at Pittsburgh Invitational)
Platform Diving: 249.50, Carey Chen (Nov. 20 at Pittsburgh Invitational)
200-yard Freestyle Relay: 1:34.60, Mehesan, Dauw, Jones, Lau (Oct. 8 at Minnesota)
400-yard Freestyle Relay: 3:27.10, Mehesan, Dauw, Liz Johnson, Bicek (Oct. 7 at Minnesota)
800-yard Freestyle Relay: N/A
200-yard Medley Relay: 1:42.97, Cohagen, Andracki, Dauw, Mehesan (Oct. 7 at Minnesota)
400-yard Medley Relay: 3:44.96, Cohagen, Chokran, Dauw, Mehesan (Oct. 28 vs. IU/Texas)
Who's Back ... Michigan returns 24 letterwinners off last year's roster, including six NCAA All-America honorable mentions and three Big Ten champions. Highlighting the roster is a group of seven seniors, led by Caitlin Dauw, Alexa Mehesan and Amanda Lohman. Last season, Dauw was awarded with three NCAA All-America honorable mentions and two Big Ten Conference championships (100-yard butterfly and 200-yard freestyle relay). Mehesan and junior Deirdre Jones return from that championship-winning relay team, while Lohman established herself as the team's top diver after qualifying for the NCAA Championships for the second consecutive season. Also back is sophomore Angela Chokran, who was an NCAA All-America honorable mention last season.
Fresh Faces ... Nine freshmen dot the roster this season: divers Emily Boyd (Monrovia, Calif./Flintridge Sacret Heart Academy), Carey Chen (Vancouver, British Columbia/University Hill Secondary), and Marina Nazario (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas), and swimmers Kayla Douglas (Livonia, Mich./Franklin), Savannah Hatt (Livonia, Mich./Stevenson), Claudia Lau (Hong Kong, China/Diocesan Girls' School), Molly Schaefer (Orchard Lake, Mich./Marian), Michelle Stefandl (Princeton, N.J./Stuart Country Day School), and Alisa Zoltowski (West Lafayette, Ind./West Lafayette).
Familiar Foes ... The Wolverines will swim off against many familiar teams this season. The Wolverines will swim in 12 competitions this season, and all but one of those opponents was on the schedule last season (the lone exception is Florida Gulf-Coast on Jan. 2, 2012).
Home Sweet Home ... Michigan is at home six times this season, facing Indiana twice (Oct. 28, Jan. 7), Toledo (Oct. 21), Texas (Oct. 28), Florida (Nov. 4-5), Stanford (Nov. 4-5), Northwestern (Jan. 14), Notre Dame (Jan. 14), and Michigan State (Jan. 27). [ 2011-12 Schedule ]
Help the Wolverines ... The Wolverines are heading to Fort Myers, Fla., for their annual semester break training trip, and they need your help. Support the program! Follow the link for more information. [ More Information ]
Monday, Jan. 2 -- at Florida Gulf Coast (Fort Myers, Fla.)
Contact: Brad Rudner (734) 763-4423