‘Best of the Rest’ Sprinter Josie Connelly Flips ’24 Commitment From Tennessee to Michigan

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First-year Michigan head coach Matt Bowe is on a recruiting roll right now.

After flipping World Juniors finalist Rebecca Diaconescu from Louisville, the Wolverines have secured another change in commitment from Michigan native Josie Connelly, who will keep her sprinting talents in-state with Bowe next fall instead of heading to Tennessee as she originally announced last year.

Connelly was featured as a “Best of the Rest” sprint freestyler in SwimSwam’s class of 2024 rankings. Her hometown of Fenton is only about half an hour away from Ann Arbor.

Last December, Connelly lowered her lifetime best in the 50-yard freestyle to 22.47. Less than a week later at Winter Juniors, she placed 7th in the event with a 22.70 (her personal best would have placed 3rd).

Connelly competes at the club level for OLY Swimming in Ortonville. Her high school, Lake Fenton High, does not have a pool. Among her highlights this year were making two A-finals at the NCSA Spring Championships (6th in 50-yard free, 8th in 50-yard back) and making three A-finals at the NCSA Summer Championships (2nd in 50-meter free, 2nd in 50-meter back, 7th in 100-meter back). Connelly also went to U.S. Nationals this summer and placed 40th in the 50-meter free prelims (25.92).

Best Times (SCY)

  • 50 free – 22.47
  • 100 free – 49.87
  • 50 back – 24.78
  • 100 back – 53.73

Connelly’s best times would have placed her in the B-final of the 50 free and the C-final of the 100 back at the 2023 Big Ten Championships, where the Michigan women placed 3rd (1,108 points) behind Indiana (1,291.5) and Ohio State (1,425). The conference will become even more competitive next fall with USC and UCLA entering the fold as well.

Connelly will join Diaconescu, Abby Dunford, Sophia Jahn, Canadian sprinter Leila Fack, and Miller Ward in Ann Arbor next fall.

Michigan proved it has plenty of momentum already under Bowe at Georgia’s midseason invite last weekend. Brazilian freshman Stephanie Balduccini stole the show with wins in the 100 free (47.26) and 200 free (1:43.30), but equally as impressive were massive time drops by Michigan native Tyler Ray in the 100 fly (from 46.58 to 45.84) and 200 fly (from 1:46.27 to 1:43.13).

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Shannon
2 months ago

It’s only November..Let’s see what happens in March..

Sweet Sweet Peter Rosen
2 months ago

Going to regret this walking through 18” of snow to practice

Coach Chackett
Reply to  Sweet Sweet Peter Rosen
2 months ago

It doesn’t snow much in Ann Arbor.

Facts
2 months ago

The recruits watched the Michigan OSU game and said bet

Lovetoswim
2 months ago

How does this even work? Athlete gives verbal after recruit trips, then a coach contacts them and the athlete takes the risk of losing their first commit thru this interaction?

JimSwim22
Reply to  Lovetoswim
2 months ago

It’s like the athlete is free to choose until they sign.

Old Swim Coach
2 months ago

Turning the lights back on in Canham. Michigan vs. Everybody!

Love
Reply to  Old Swim Coach
2 months ago

Yuh, we here now. Its our time baby. Go Blue.

Blue Magic
2 months ago

Honestly…good for Michigan! Most likely prospects that did not consider Michigan under previous regime. With fresh energy on staff, easier to stay home and compete for your dream school. Would love to see Umstead do the same in the 2025 cycle.

For ‘Guy’…looks like new staff is just building on prior relationships. Can’t fault them for trying to make the program better. Athletes reach out when they aren’t 100 percent sold on current commitments.

ACC fan
2 months ago

“so what if you’ve already committed”, come swim for Michigan

Oldmanswimmer
Reply to  ACC fan
2 months ago

With a revitalized program, it is easy to see why she’d pick the better academic institution close to home. Circumstances change.

Former Cal Student
2 months ago

Good to see Matt Bowe revitalizing Michigan. Love to see more schools in the mix. Hopefully, this is just the start!

About Riley Overend

Riley is an associate editor interested in the stories taking place outside of the pool just as much as the drama between the lane lines. A 2019 graduate of Boston College, he arrived at SwimSwam in April of 2022 after three years as a sports reporter and sports editor at newspapers …

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