Minnesota Inks Richards

MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota, November 10. UNIVERSITY of Minnesota men's swimming and diving head coach Dennis Dale announced today that Michael Richards has signed a National Letter of Intent to attend the University of Minnesota. The Falcon Heights, Minn., native was the 2006 U.S. Junior National champion in the 50 freestyle, and was one of the state's most highly-recruited swimmers.

"He was a top priority for us and we are thrilled that Michael chose the University of Minnesota," Dale said. "He is a great sprinter and has an amazing work ethic. In addition, he is an excellent student. Michael will be a great addition to our program."

A senior at Roseville Area High School, Richards burst on the national scene in 2006, winning the Junior National title in the 50-meter freestyle. During the high school season, he held the second-fastest high school time in the nation in the 50-yard freestyle at 20.51 after winning the 2006 Minnesota State Class AA title in the event. Richards also finished third in the 100 freestyle at the 2006 Minnesota State meet. He was the runner-up in the 50 free and took third at the state meet as a sophomore in 2005. Richards has already achieved an Olympic Trials cut in the 50 free, making him the only high school swimmer in the country with the qualifying time. Richards also competes for the Star Swim Club under head coach Paul Lundsten.

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