June 8, 2011

McClanahan signs 12 more to wrap up another recruiting class

McClanahan's bio

GREELEY, Colo. – With new recruits coming in from Florida all the way to California, Northern Colorado head swim coach Kelly McClanahan has finally wrapped what has turned out to be an enormous recruiting class.

With 15 new swimmers in all, it is clear that McClanahan believes this class will be able to make an impact right away.

"Aimee [Dunavant] and Kevin [Oswalt] exceeded my expectation in recruiting.  Through their tireless efforts, it has been a very successful recruiting year.  With the three from the fall, we will have 16 newcomers for the 2010-11 season.  All of them will either expand on the events we are already strong in to make them even stronger, or fill the holes in the events we struggled in last year.  The key in swimming is to score in every possible event; at dual meets and conference, and I believe we have put ourselves in a position to do just that next year.  I am very excited about this incoming class, and the talent they bring.  Combined with the returnees, we will be a team to be reckoned with next year, and hopefully surprise many."  

Below is a short biography, as well as some thoughts from McClanahan, about each of the new Northern Colorado swimmers.

Hannah Abelein, Berthoud, Colo. (Mountain View High)
Is a three-time All-Northern Conference swimmer and a four-time state qualifier … In both her junior and senior campaigns, she helped capture school records in all relay races … During her final two years with the Lions, she was named team MVP … Also graduated with academic honors.

"I am very excited to get Hannah across I-25 swimming with us.  She is a versatile swimmer, and has a lot of depth to her events.  She reminds me a lot of Tori Gutt's abilities.  She will come in swimming primarily IM and backstroke, but has the range to cover breast and fly if and when we need it. She has one of the best backgrounds in swimming after swimming under the coach Jim Nickell for 12 years."

Bethany Bates, Lyons, Colo. (Silver Creek High)
Is the sole-owner of four different school records, including the 200 and 500-meter freestyle … Named a member of the All-Northern Conference team in each of her final three years as a Raptor … Helped Silver Creek to  Northern Conference titles in both her sophomore and junior seasons … Is also on the honor roll.

"Bethany comes from just down the road in Lyons and comes from a long history of swimming, 12 years in it herself. She will make an impact in the middle distance freestyle events and will fit in with the program immediately. She should have very little trouble transitioning to this next level of competition."

Brenna Boese, Billings, Mont. (Billings Senior High)
Was named the captain of the swim team as a senior … In both her sophomore and junior campaigns, she finished third in state competition in the 100-meter backstroke … Also finished third in the 50-meter freestyle as a senior and helped anchor a 200-meter IM relay team that finished second in state … Was named a team captain for Team Montana at the 2010 Western Zones … Was included as a member of the Academic All-State Swimming Team three times.

"Brenna comes from one of the premier club programs in Montana: Billings Aquatic Club.  She will join Courtney Van Oost in the backstroke events and add some depth for the lead off on the Medley relays.  I expect great things from Brenna, especially having a training partner like Courtney."

Kellie Burke, Carlsbad, Calif. (Carlsbad High)
Is a four time San Diego CIF Championship qualifier and finalist … Helped lead the Lancers to a second-place finish in the San Diego CIF Championships as a freshman and helped win the team title as a sophomore … Also helped lead Carlsbad to an Avocado League team title in 2009 … As a junior, she was named to the San Diego Union-Tribune All-Academic Athletic Team … Also a four-year honor roll member.

"We are very fortunate to have Kellie making the trek from Southern California to join our program.  She swims primarily middle distance free, but has the ability to do the breaststroke events when needed.  Our primary focus with Kellie is middle distance free, and she will be one of the leaders in rebuilding those events for our program.  I expect she will be a scorer in every meet, and make a large impact at conference in relays and her individual events."

Casey Crawford, St. Charles, Ill. (St. Charles East High)
Was named a member of the All-Upstate Eight Conference squad as a junior … Also was named team co-captain in her junior campaign … Helped lead St. Charles East to sectional championships as both a sophomore and junior … Also a four-time Academic All-Conference member.

"Casey is going to be our second Illinois native on the team.  She will add depth to our breast, fly and IM events.  I expect Casey will transition very easily, and make drastic improvement very quickly in her freshman year as a Bear."

Kayla Lucas, Arvada, Colo. (Arvada High)
Is a two time Jeffco 4A League Champion and a Jeffco Invite champion as a senior … Also finished in seventh place in state competition during her senior campaign … She was named team MVP as both a junior and a senior … Also holds a number of Arvada High School diving records.

"We had to battle some great schools to get Kayla, but in the end she decided the best place for her was with the Bears.  Having Sara Moldenhauer as our only returning diver, there are vast opportunities in the diving program for someone to step-up and compete.  Kayla comes from a great club coach, Kevin Sage, and I expect with [assistant coach] Kevin Oswalt's guidance she will continue to grow and become a scorer at meets, conference and a Zone qualifier."

Claire Mills, Centennial, Colo. (Eaglecrest High)
She finished in the top eight in the Centennial League Championships as a senior and finished in the top-16 her first three years … Was a state qualifier in the 200-meter freestyle relay as a sophomore … Named team captain during her senior campaign … Also a member of the honor roll all four yeas.

"We were able to beat out our local opponent, Colorado State, to make Claire an Bear.  She comes from a great background, swimming for Eric Craven, and will have little difficulty transitioning to the college scene.  She is very deep in the free events, so that will be our primary focus from the starts.  However, we may be able to expand on her IM and possibly butterfly.  I think Claire will surprise herself with her versatility we can bring out of her."

Jessica Reed-Baum, Loveland, Colo. (Mountain View High)
Is a holder of five different school records, including the 100-meter butterfly and 50-meter freestyle … As a senior, she was named to the All-Colorado team and the All-Conference squad … Won the Northern Conference 50-meter freestyle championship … Also finished fourth in state competition in both the 100 and 50-meter freestyle … She has been an honor roll member in each of her four years at Mountain View.

"Jessica and Hannah Abelein have been training partners since they were six years old. I am happy to see they will continue this bond with our program. Like Abelein, she has been coached by Jim Nickell and learned all the finer points of becoming a versatile swimmer, as well as being prepared for college.  She is primarily a sprint free and flyer; however, we will be expanding on her fly and IM events as well. Through the training, Jessica's three primary events will emerge, and I am confident she will be an immediate contributor in those events."

Melissa Tillman, Superior, Colo. (Monarch High)
Has been named to the All-Front Range League Team in each of her four years at Monarch High School … Is the school record holder in four different categories, including the 100-meter backstroke and the 400-meter freestyle relay … Named an All-American as a sophomore and has garnered more All-American consideration as a senior … Is also a member of the National Honor Society.

"Melissa has been actively looking at our school since her sophomore year in high school. To say this young lady was prepared to make her decision for college is an understatement. Our prestigious nursing program helped our recruiting efforts in making Tillman a Bear. We will focus primarily on backstroke, and she will join Van Oost to round out our backstroke staff. She has yet to reach her full potential, and I am excited to bring that out of her and see what her full capabilities are."

Brittany Walters, Estes Park, Colo. (Estes Park High)
Was a two-sport athlete at Estes Park, as she participated in cross-country to go along with her achievements in the pool … Was a member of the All-Tri Valley Conference team three times and named the Swimmer of the Year in the Tri-Valley Conference as a senior.

"Brittany has been a smart swimmer coming up in club, being that she has not focused solely on any one event. She has trained to be a versatile swimmer, and the Estes Park coaches have helped her reach that goal. Now it is time to start narrowing that focus. I can foresee Brittany focusing on sprint free and breast; however, she also has the IM and 200 free we can dip into. I am excited to see Brittany's transition, as I do not believe she has scratched the surface on her full potential yet. She will be a great addition to the program."

Casey Wolter, DeForest, Wis. (DeForest Area High)
Was named a member of the All-Wisconsin Team in each of her four years at DeForest … Also named team MVP in her sophomore, junior and senior seasons … Helped lead the Norskis to Badger North Conference championships four times … Also a member of DeForest's high honor roll for academic achievement.

"Casey has made quite a reputation for herself up in Wisconsin and now it is time for her to do the same down here. I cannot wait to get Casey here and in the water. She has so much range in the free events, she be a leader in the middle distance or join Tatum Boehnke in the distance charge. Either way, she will be an immediate contributor in her events; and events we were lacking in points in at conference.  Casey is a very bright and determined young lady and will have zero problems with the transition to college.  I am excited to see her full potential."

Sarah Wygle, Crystal River, Fl. (Indian River State C.C.)
Was a four year letter-winner in both swimming and softball at Crystal River High School … Was a four-time Citrus County Athletic Association champion and a three-time state qualifier … Also was named a First Team All-American in both the one and three-meter diving competitions as a freshman at Indian River … Also a member of the National Honor Society.

"Sarah is our Florida transplant. She literally fell into our recruiting efforts, and will be a big contributor to the team. She transfers from Indian River State Community College, where she had a good run as a freshman. Sarah isn't afraid to throw big dives, whether on the spring boards or platform. She will round out the diving field with Sara Moldenhauer and Kayla Lucas, and I expect her to be an immediate point factor in our meets."