|Vandals Sign 12 to Swim and Dive Team|
Twelve swimmers and divers from across the country as well as Australia have signed letters-of-intent to compete for the University of Idaho Swimming and Diving team.
Katherin Pope, a diver from Post Falls, is the only signee from Idaho. She is a former nationally ranked level 10 gymnast. Coach Mark Sowa said the transition to the diving board should be seamless for her.
This class consists of three signees from Washington - Christine Renzini, a swimmer from Colbert, Wash.; Faith Barr from Spokane, Wash., and Hailey Kessler from Federal Way, Wash.
Renzini, a distance swimmer, comes to campus after a breakthrough year in high school. She already has times faster than the Idaho school record in the 1,000 and 1,650 freestyle events.
“She should help turn one of our weaknesses into a strength,” Sowa said.
Barr competed in the breaststroke and distance events in high school and has been making huge strides to be ready for the Vandals.
“When I saw Faith race this past summer, I knew that we had to try to make her a Vandal,” Sowa said. “Faith has a really bright future.”
Kessler, a diver from Auburn High School, was a Washington High School state champion in the 1-meter dive.
“We are very excited about signing Hailey,” Sowa said. “She is a strong athlete and has great fundamentals for the sport across all boards.”
Cara Jernigan, a swimmer out of Kealakehe High School in Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i, comes to the Vandals after a great senior year. She holds the Hawai`i High School record in the 100 breaststroke with a time that would have placed in the top three in the Western Athletic Conference last season. She recently has been selected to represent Hawaiian swimming in New Zealand at the Oceania Swimming Championships.
Delaney Boulo is a distance and individual medley swimmer out of Apex High School at Apex, N.C. Her high school times in the 400 IM and 1650 free would have placed in WAC last season.
“Delaney is from one of the best club programs in North Carolina and should make an immediate impact in our distance events as well as the 400 IM,” Sowa said.
Alexandria Magrino is a backstroke and IM swimmer out of Dr. Phillips High School Ocoee in Florida. Sowa describes her as a talented competitior with a great deal of upside in her backstroke events.
Taylor Falk joins the Vandals as a butterfly and distance swimmer out of Batavia High School in Batavia, Ill.. She competed in the same club as Megan Venlos when she was in high school.
“Her 200 fly is going to make an immediate impact for us and we are excited to see how her distance events will improve as well,” Sowa said.
Cambridge Guerrero joins the Vandals from Cimerron Memorial High Schoolat Las Vegas, Nev. She competes in the backstroke and IM events.
Georgi York is the only international athlete in the class and comes from Mudgee High School in New South Wales, Australia. Sowa said she has great raw speed that will transfer well to collegiate short course competition.
“We hope that she will add to our sprinters and challenge for spots on our relays,” Sowa said.
Nikki Imanaka, a diver from James B. Caste High School at Kaneohe, Hawai`i, joins the Vandals after a great senior season. She was the state champion in the 1-meter dive and has put up great numbers on all of the boards.
Last, but not least, is Maren Seljevold, a diver from Moorhead High Schoolat Moorhead, Minn. Sowa said she has a great athletic background but is fairly new to diving.
“We have once again proven that becoming a Vandal is something that is truly special and exciting for swimmers and divers across the nation as well as simply in the region,” Sowa said. “We have addressed a lot of our needs from both the distance side of our program and to graduation of three excellent divers. Most importantly, these dozen young ladies are awesome people, great students, and should make the entire Vandal community better. Our future is bright.”