The Wolverine

September 2019

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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62 THE WOLVERINE SEPTEMBER 2019   TOP TEN OLYMPIC SPORTS FRESHMEN BY AUSTIN FOX R eeling in outstanding prep classes is nothing new for Michigan's Olympic sports squads, with the Wolver- ines continuing that trend by signing several excellent youngsters in the 2018-19 recruiting cycle. The following is a breakdown of The Wolverine's top 10 incoming freshmen in U-M athletics for the 2019-20 school year: 1. ERICKA VANDERLENDE Rockford, Mich. • Track & Field She was pegged as the Gatorade Michigan Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year in July after coming out victorious in both the 1,600 meters (with a time of 4:41.00) and the 3,200 meters (10:24.57) at the 2019 Divi- sion 1 state meet. Earlier in the year, VanderLende clocked a 9:57.01 in the 3,200 — the fastest prep time in state history. She also came out on top in the two-mile run at the Brooks PR In- vitational in June, by recording a 9:53.00, the country's top perfor- mance among high schoolers in 2019 and the sixth-fastest time in U.S. high school history. VanderLende was a member of the 2019 USA Today All-USA Girls Track & Field team, was a four-time Michigan High School Athletic Asso- ciation Division 1 state champion on the track and was a two-time cross country victor. FloTrack named her the top distance recruit in the class of 2019. "[Her success] didn't just show up," Rockford head coach Ben Wat- son said in June. "She was a girl who did not go to state her freshman year in track. It took her until her junior year to gain all-state honors, and then to go to where we're talking about, she's run the fastest time in state history. "It's truly incredible." 2. CAMERON AMINE Brighton, Mich. • Wrestling He was tabbed as the No. 2 wres- tler in the country at 152 pounds by both InterMat and FloWrestling in their final 2019 prep rankings. The sixth Amine to wrestle at U-M (fol- lowing his father, brother, uncle and two cousins) was a three-time high school state champion, winning the Division 1 title at 152 as a senior. Amine also took home state titles as a freshman and sophomore before finishing runner-up as a junior, a set- back that fueled his 40-0 campaign in his last go-round. "That was the whole motivation coming into this [senior] year," he said in March. "That drove me every day. I just had to get better so it won't ever happen again." The Brighton native was tabbed as's Wrestler of the Year in 2019. InterMat listed him as the No. 15 recruit in the land, while FloWres- tling ranked him 17th overall. He is projected to be a power- ful middleweight at Michigan who could fill in the 157-pound spot left by the graduation of three-time All- American Alec Pantaleo. 3. KURT MCHENRY Leesburg, Va. • Wrestling He is a two-time United World Wrestling freestyle cadet world champion (just the third American ever to win two Cadet world ti- tles), claiming the 46-kilogram (101 pounds) title in 2017 and the 42-kilo- gram (92 pounds) crown in 2016. On top of that, McHenry is also a three-time Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association state champion for St. Paul's School. A second con- secutive Beast of the East title in 2017 and Fargo All-American honors are on the Virginia native's résumé as well. InterMat ranked him as the No. 21 prospect in the class of 2019, while FloWrestling listed him No. 37 but noted "if he can put on some size and get a bit better on bottom," he could represent U-M in the NCAA finals. McHenry actually departed St. Paul's in January to get a head start on his collegiate career at U-M. "Kurt is going to be Michigan's guy so they want to make sure he puts the size on and is getting in the weight room," St. Paul's head coach Rob Eiter explained in January. "To be honest with you, there's not enough time to do that out here. "Kurt is one of the most talented kids I've ever seen and that's cou- pled with my 20-plus years of college coaching. There are very few kids A NEW WAVE OF INCOMING TALENT The Top 10 Freshmen Who Will Suit Up For U-M Olympic Sports In 2019-20 Ericka VanderLende was named the country's top distance-running recruit by FloTrack. PHOTO COURTESY MICHIGAN PHOTOGRAPHY

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