|Swimming and diving finalizes recruiting class|
MOSCOW - The University of Idaho swimming and diving team has beefed up its roster for the 2010-11 season, as head coach Tom Jager announced the addition of nine women to join the Vandals in the fall. The large signing class is partly because the Vandals needed to fill multiple diving vacancies.
"Three of the signees are divers, that's the biggest change right there," Jager said. "Last year we recruited zero divers. This year we brought in a new diving coach who is energetic and wants to coach at the collegiate level. It's a normal sized class when you take out the divers."
Seven different states plus Singapore are represented with the nine newcomers. The class, which Jager said has the mission of filling up the mid-distance events, includes two swimmers from Colorado, and one each from Washington, Arizona, Oregon, North Dakota, South Carolina, and Illinois, along with one from Singapore.
"That was a conscious effort. The first four years we did most of our recruiting in the northwest and now we're trying to expand that," Jager said. "We mainly focus on the U.S. kids but we're trying to recruit a little more internationally. We still continue to recruit in the northwest but we want to create some more diversity."
Paige Conrad comes to Idaho from Nation Ford High School in Fort Mill, S.C., and will help fill the 100 and 200 butterfly events for the Vandals. Conrad was a Sonic Scholar Athlete of the Week, and also competed for the RAYS club swim team.
"Paige just brings great energy," Jager said. "I thought it was important that I was able to get this kid on our team because she brings a great energy that we will be able to appreciate."
Hannah Cox (Denver, Colo./Dakota Ridge HS) was an all-conference selection in high school, and a four-time state qualifier. She also competed for her club team for 12 years and was a 10-time state qualifier, five-time sectional qualifier, Scholastic All-American and a Colorado All-Star. In the classroom, Cox was a four-year 4.0 Honor Roll student. Her sister Lyndsey swam for Colorado State University.
"She is a smart kid with big energy," Jager said. "She is gregarious, outspoken and has a lot of personality. She can stand up for herself and that will translate into being very competitive in our conference."
Paige Hunt (Mesa, Ariz./Mesa CC) is a very talented diver who joins the team after spending the 2009-10 season at Mesa Community College in Mesa, Ariz. She graduated from Mountain View High School in Mesa in 2009 and also competed for the Sun Devil Divers club team in Tempe, Ariz.
"Paige is probably one of our most talented recruits coming in," Jager said. "She comes out of a great diving program down there. It was a great pickup for her to choose the University of Idaho."
Mairin Jameson (Fargo, N.D./Oak Grove Lutheran HS) is another diver who joins the Vandals. Jameson was a two-time all-state selection, four-time all-conference selection, team captain and team MVP at Oak Grove Lutheran. She was also an academic All-American, a member of National Honor Society, and named to the Presidential Honor Roll. Jameson also played basketball and competed in track and field.
"She is a great athlete, and her attitude is probably the best that I saw walk through the door as we were recruiting these kids," Jager said. "She's willing to put it all on the line to be great, and I don't think anything will stop her."
Shana Lim is Idaho's only international signee of the class, and comes to Idaho from Singapore. Lim has been successfully representing Singapore in meets all over the world over the past few years. In 2009 she earned the Gold medal in the 4x100 medley relay, Silver in the 100m backstroke, and bronze in the 200m backstroke at the SEA Games in Vientiane, Laos. In 2008 Lim placed 10th in the 50m backstroke at the Fina World Youth Swimming Championships in Monterrey, Mexico, and claimed Bronze in the same event at the Commonwealth Youth Games in Pune, India. In the 2007 SEA Games in Korat, Thailand, Lim took Gold in the 4x100 medley relay, silver in the 100m backstroke, and bronze in the 200m backstroke. Lim is the national record holder in the 50m backstroke with a time of 28.58.
"The biggest thing is we've needed a back-stroker for two years, and we finally got that," Jager said. "Shana is just a great talent, and I'm sure she'll get faster every year. I'm looking forward to having that talent in our water."
Sammi Mischkot (Salem, Ore./Sprague HS) was an eight-time divisional champion and four-time state-qualifier at Sprague High School, where she was captain of the swim team and an Honor Roll student. She also competed for the Bearcat Swim Club for 13 years.
"Sammi just has a great attitude. She really wants to challenge herself at the collegiate level and she is willing to work hard to get there. I like the positive energy she brings. It's a tough haul for the distance kids, but she has a great attitude and a smile and I like that."
Diver Kelsi Potterf joins the Vandals from Bonney Lake High School in Bonney Lake, Wash. Potterf began diving as a freshman in high school after a 12-year gymnastics career. She placed sixth in state in 2008, and fourth in 2009. While diving for the Pacific Northwest Diving club team Potterf recently took 12th place in the regional championship meet. Despite giving up club gymnastics in order to focus on diving, Potterf continued to compete in high school gymnastics, and in 2010 she took first place in districts and subdistricts, and finished 10th in state on the balance beam.
"She is a diver with great potential," Jager said. "With Niko's guidance she is going to get that flair that really sets her apart. A lot of divers come with really great basics, and then Niko takes that and makes them even better."
Megan Venlos comes to Idaho from St. Edward Central Catholic High School in Elgin, Ill., and swims for the St. Charles Swim Team. She is a four-time NCSA Junior Nationals qualifier, and swam at the National meet at Georgia Tech during her sophomore year. She qualified for state all four years in the 200m freestyle, as well as the 500m freestyle her junior year and the 100m freestyle her senior year. She is also a repeat USA Swimming Scholastic All-American. Megan also runs track, and qualified for state in the one mile and two mile races.
"She's not the biggest kid in the water, but she's got a big heart," Jager said. "Her work ethic is going to match anybody on this team. She's got a great drive in and out of the water. She has no problem being tough and I think she's going to do some great things for the Vandals."
Lyndsay Williams (Aurora, Colo./Grandview HS) earned team Most Improved and Most Valuable honors during her time at Grandview High School. She also swam for the Colorado Athletic club team for three years.
"Again this is somebody who is basically on our team because I believe in her work ethic," Jager said. "Those are the kids who I do well with. I think Lyndsay has potential to do great in all the distance strokes. She has had to work hard for everything that she has earned in life."