|Swimming and diving adds eight|
MOSCOW, Idaho – Coach Mark Sowa signed seven swimmers and one diver to the University of Idaho’s 2013 class – one he says is likely the best in school history.
"This is arguably one of the best classes ever signed by Idaho swimming and diving – and we are not done yet,” Sowa said as he announced the class, which includes student-athletes from Massachusetts, Texas and North Carolina and as close to home as Oregon and Washington. “Every one of these young ladies can come here and contribute right away.”
Joining the Vandals this fall will be swimmers Madison Brewer (Bend, Ore.), Kortney Kay (Sam Ramon, Calif.), Abigail Messegee (Centralia, Wash.), Laura Rosen (Oak Harbor, Wash.), Hannah Stahmer (Raleigh, N.C.), Taylor Strachan (Rutland, Mass.) and Nichole Weinman (Richland, Wash.), and diver Madison Lamey (San Antonio, Texas).
Brewer will graduate from Summit High School this spring and has competed for the Current Swimming club team. She is a multi-event swimmer who qualified for sectional and grand prix competition.
“Madi came to our junior day last year and we knew right away that she should become a Vandal,” Sowa said. “She has already put together a great senior year and should make an immediate contribution to our backstroke events as well as the 500 free.”
Kay comes to Idaho from San Ramon, Calif., where she will graduate from Dougherty Valley High School and has been a member of the Pleasanton Seahawks. She has qualified for sectional competition multiple times.
“Kortney swims for one of the best club teams in California and has a personality that is infectious,” Sowa said. “I expect her to have an immediate impact on our medley events, mid-distance free and breaststroke. She gives us a ton of options, which is great.”
Messegee, like Brewer, is the daughter of a coach and is a multiple sectional qualifier. She graduates this spring from Centralia (Wash.) High School and is a member of the Poseidon Aquatic Club.
“Abi brings a lot of ability in the backstroke events and the mid-distance freestyle,” Sowa said. “She has a ton of upside and we expect her to develop into a great Vandal. She will make competition among our backstroke group even better.”
Rosen, who has qualified for Junior National competition in multiple events, is a member of the North Whidbey Aquatic Club and will graduate this spring from Oak Harbor (Wash.) High School.
“Laura had a breakthrough summer last year and is knocking on the door of making it to the national level,” Sowa said. “She gives us the wonderful problem of being able to swim just about anything. We are extremely excited to have her join the program.”
Stahmer graduates in the spring from Millbrook High School at Raleigh, N.C., and has been a member of the YCMA of the Triangle AREA YOTA.
“Hannah’s 500 time would have been in the top eight in the conference this year,” Sowa said of Stahmer, who is a multiple national qualifier. “Hannah fills a need we have in the 500 free as well as giving us a ton more depth in our mid-distance events. From the moment she was on campus, we knew she would be a great Vandal.”
Strachan brings an undefeated 100 fly record from Wachusett Regional High School (Rutland, Mass.) and was a U.S. National Qualifier as a member of the Greenwood Memorial Swim Club. Her personal best is one second faster than the current Idaho 100 fly record and her 200 IM and 200 fly would rank in the top three all-time at Idaho.
“Taylor swims for one of the best club coaches in New England history,” Sowa said. “She has a tremendous work ethic and a desire to take her swimming to the highest level. She will make an immediate impact on our team as well as the conference.”
Weinman is a multiple sectional qualifier as well and will graduate from Richland (Wash.) High School. She has been a member of the Tri-City Channel Cats club team.
“Nicole is an awesome kid from a great program in the area,” Sowa said. “She gives us some much needed help in our distance events and brings a great work ethic that will make her a tremendous Vandal.”
Lamey is the lone diver in the group and will graduate this spring from Ronald Reagan High School at San Antonio. She recently won her high school regional competition to qualify for the Texas High School Championship Meet. She also is a member of the San Antonio Divers.
“I am beyond excited to begin working with Madison,” Vandal dive coach Chelsea Oates said. “She will bring so much to our team both in and out of the pool. She has the skill set and work ethic to become great here at Idaho as well as a personality that you can’t help but love.”
As the Vandals come off their best performance at the Western Athletic Conference Meet, Sowa sees the impact this group can have.
“This gives us depth and speed across all events as well as bolstering our diving program,” he said. “This also proves that while we are going to be great recruiters in the region, we can also draw from places like New England, the South, and Texas.
“We are truly excited to have these athletes join our Vandal family."