Michigan Adds Verbals from Christey Liang, Ella Jo Piersma to Class of 2026

christey liang ella jo piersma
Photo Courtesy: Christey Liang / Ella Jo Piersma

NEW COMMITS: The University of Michigan has received two more verbal commitments for the 2022-23 season and beyond from Edmonton, Alberta native Christey Liang and Ella Jo Piersma of Cincinnati, Ohio.

Both talented swimmers will join Brady KendallRiley FrancisMalia AmuanDevon Kitchel of Zionsville, Ind. as a member of the Wolverines’ Class of 2026.

Under head coach Mike Bottom, Michigan finished second overall in the team standings at the 2020 Big Ten Championships.


Christey Liang michigan

Photo Courtesy: Christey Liang

Regarding her commitment, she said:

“I am beyond excited to announce my verbal commitment to continue my academic and athletic career at the University of Michigan!! I want to thank all my friends, family, and coaches who have supported me throughout this process and I can’t wait to be a wolverine!! GO BLUE!!!💙💛〽️

A talented freestyler, Liang trains year-round with Edmonton Keyano Swim Club and recorded five top-8 finishes at the Edmonton Keyano Open last February after finaling in the 100m free at the TYR Pro Swim Series in Knoxville.

Her best times include (LCM/SCY conversions):

  • 50 free – 26.50 / 23.37
  • 100 free – 56.75 / 50.49
  • 200 free – 2:04.19 / 1:49.84
  • 400/500 free – 4:27.96 / 5:00.17

At the 2019 Canadian Junior Championships, Liang won the 50m free, 200m free, and 400m free and was the runner-up in the 100m free. She also competed in the 100m/200m free combo at the Canadian Swimming Trials in April 2019.


Ella Jo Piersma michigan

Photo Courtesy: Ella Jo Piersma

Regarding her commitment, she said:

“I am SO excited to announce my verbal commitment to continue my academic and athletic careers at the University of Michigan! I am so thankful for all my family, friends, and coaches who have been there for me along the way. GO BLUE!”

Also a sprint freestyler, Piersma does her club swimming with the Cincinnati Marlins and most recently competed at the 18&U Winter Championships in Oxford where she earned a best time after racing three events at the Toyota U.S. Open back in November. In Summer 2019, she sprinted to seventh in the 100m free at Cleveland Sectionals.

Piersma will continue the Michigan legacy as she is the daughter of Rachel Gustin and John Piersma, who both competed for the Wolverines and were USA National Teamers in the 1990s.

Her best times include:

  • 50 free – 23.51
  • 100 free – 50.39
  • 200 free – 1:49.16
  • 500 free – 4:58.39
  • 100 back – 57.32
  • 200 back – 2:05.31
  • 100 fly – 56.75

Also competing for Seven Hills Upper High School, Piersma is already a four-time individual Ohio State Championship finalist. She won the 100 free and 200 free as a sophomore while taking fourth and third, respectively, in those events during her freshman season.

If you have a commitment to share, please send a photo and quote via email to hs@swimmingworld.com.

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