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18 Michigan athletes headed to London for Olympics

By Colleen Thomas, Daily Sports Editor
Published July 6, 2012

In a mere three weeks, thousands of athletes from around the globe will convene in Great Britain’s capital to compete in the Games of the XXX Olympiad. And 18 of those athletes have ties to the University.

Below is an alphabetical compilation of all the current and former Wolverines who will travel to London for the 2012 Summer Olympics.

Betsey Armstrong: Goalie, USA women’s water polo. Armstrong competed at Michigan from 2002-05, winning letters during each of her four years. She won numerous national accolades and was a finalist for the 2004 Cutino Award. She has competed internationally, winning gold in the 2007 and 2009 World Championships and the 2006 and 2007 FINA Water Polo League championships. Armstrong was a part of the 2008 USA women’s water polo team that brought home the silver medal and won gold in the 2011 Pan American Games.

Nate Brannen: Runner, Canada men’s 1,500m run. Brannen spent four years at Michigan, lettering from 2002-05. As a Wolverine, Brannen won back-to-back NCAA indoor championships in the 800m in 2003 and 2004, and was a part of the world-record-breaking distance medley relay team in 2004 at the NCAA Championships. He also holds the indoor and outdoor program records in the 800m. Professionally, Brannen participated in the 2008 Summer Olympics for Canada, where he ran the 1,500m.

Syque Caesar: Gymnast, Bangladesh all-around competition. Caesar completed his senior season at Michigan in 2012. He was a part of the 2010 NCAA Championship team in addition to winning the 2011 Big Ten title in the parallel bars. In addition to his collegiate career, Caesar made history by winning the first gold medal in Bangladesh international competition history, with a win in the parallel bars at the South Central Asian Artistic Gymnastics Championship in 2011.

Tyler Clary: Swimmer, USA men’s 200m fly, 200m backstroke. Clary finished three years at Michigan — from 2008-10 — before going professional, earning three varsity letters. In 2010, Clary was the NCAA Champion in the 400-yard individual medley, and in 2009, he won the 400-yard individual medley and the 200-yard backstroke. His 2009 performance earned him NCAA Swimmer of the Year accolades. Clary has also won 10 medals in international competition.

Geena Gall: Runner, USA women’s 800m run. Gall competed at Michigan from 2006-09 and was a four-time letterwinner. She won both the indoor and outdoor NCAA titles in the 800m run in 2003 and 2004, and was a 10-time All-American as a Wolverine. Gall was also a part of the “Fab Four” relay teams that broke collegiate records in the 4x800m and the 4x1500m relays at the Penn Relays in 2007. She barely missed qualifying for the 2008 Olympics — she was a junior at Michigan at the time — but has continued her professional career running for Nike.

Janine Hanson: Rower, Canada women’s eight. Hanson competed at Michigan from 2003-06, winning varsity letters in each year. Hanson has been a part of the Canadian National team for six years, and competed in the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics, where she finished 8th. In addition, Hanson has won two silver medals in the World Championships in 2010 and 2011.

Charlie Houchin: Swimmer, USA men’s 4x200m freestyle relay. Houchin swam at Michigan from 2006-10, earning four varsity letters in his career. Houchin finished his career as a two-time All-American in the 800-yard freestyle relay and a 2009 Big Ten champion in the 400-yard freestyle relay. He also won two gold medals at the 2011 Pan American Games, and has been a member of the U.S. national team since his graduation.

Connor Jaeger: Swimmer, USA men’s 1,500m freestyle. Jaeger finished his sophomore campaign at Michigan, where he has racked up many Big Ten accolades. He is a two-time letterwinner, and placed third in the mile at the NCAA Championships in 2012. Jaeger is the only current Wolverine swimmer on the U.S. squad heading to London.

Sam Mikulak: Gymnast, USA all-around competition. Mikulak completed his sophomore year at Michigan in 2012, and has already added many accolades to his name as a Wolverine. As a freshman, Mikulak was named 2011 Big Ten Gymnast and Athlete of the Year, as well as winning the 2011 NCAA All-Around championship.