UB Women’s Swimming and Diving Team Announces 2011-2012 Recruiting Class
BUFFALO, NY – Head Coach Andy Bashor has announced The UB Women's Swimming and Diving Class of 2011, which comprises of 11 swimmers and two divers. These 13 student athletes represent six different states: New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio, California, and Minnesota.
"We are extremely happy about this year's recruiting class and the different areas of the country we were able to recruit," said Bashor. "My assistants did an outstanding job because this class is one of the best and deepest recruiting classes that we have ever entered UB. We definitely have swimmers and divers that will make a major impact at the conference level. One of our goals is to build a conference winning team and with this year's class, we are well on our way to achieving this. It's going to be an exciting year for us."
Claudia Doyle- Worthington, OH - Claudia will make an immediate impact in the Bulls backstrokes as well as the sprint freestyle events. This past season at the Ohio High School State Championships she placed 2nd in the 100 back while clearing the Junior and Senior National Time Standards.
Coach Bashor on Claudia: "Claudia impresses me with her maturity and attention to family. During the recruiting process, she asked great questions and her answers were what we were looking for. She has made tremendous improvement over the last couple of years and I believe will continue at UB."
Rachel Eckert- Rochester, NY - Rachel placed in the top 5 in her state meet for high school this year. She belongs to a year round club and brings a full complement of dives to the UB dive Team.
Diving Coach Karla Helder on Rachel: "Her speed and size are perfect for diving. Her aptitude for change and appetite for learning are going to serve to shoot her to the top of the A list."
Becky Evangelista- Liverpool, NY - Becky comes to the Bulls from the direction of UB Alumnus Zac Mekker('99). This past season Becky was a New York State High School Championships consolation finalist. She brings hard work and excitement to the sprint freestyle events.
Coach Bashor on Becky: "Becky made huge improvements her senior year which will give her the confidence to excel at UB and in the conference. She is a great addition to the team and will make an impact."
Brittney Kuras-Canandaigua, N.Y. A transfer from Rutgers University, Brittany will be a multiple event threat for the Bulls in the upcoming dual and championship season. She was a Junior and Senior National qualifier out of High School and within her first season at Rutgers.
Coach Bashor on Brittney: "We missed out on Brittney the first time and I am so excited that she has decided to come to UB. She has the skill set to improve so much and will be counted on swimming many events including relays."
Tessa Merritt- San Luis Obispo, CA - Tessa competed in what is one of the toughest CIF meets in the country. Her drive and perseverance placed her sixth against names that will be competing at future Olympic Trials.
Coach Helder on Tessa: "Tessa has the agility and dedication that will bring this team to a higher standard of competing in the MAC."
Mallory Morrell- Rush, NY - Mallory comes to the Bulls from a very successful season at Monroe Community College. This past season she was the 50 freestyle champion at the National Junior College Championships. Will make an immediate impact in the Bulls sprint events as well as relays.
Coach Bashor on Mallory: "Mallory has the raw speed and competitiveness that is needed to be a successful sprinter. It's going to be exciting working with her to continue her success."
Emily Nelson-Plymouth, MI - Emily will be an asset to the Bulls next season in the backstroke events. Her enthusiasm and hard work in the pool will be a great addition to the Bulls team.
Coach Bashor on Emily: "Emily committed to UB late in the process and we are so glad she did. With the training that we can give her, I believe she will make the improvements to move up in the conference."
Jessica Powers- Kalamazoo, MI - Jessica joins the Bulls from the great state of Michigan where she was under the watchful eye of Julie Youngquist. Powers was this past year's Division II High School State Champion in the 200 and 500 Freestyle, while setting a state record in the 500 freestyle. She is a multiple event U.S. Open, Junior and Senior National qualifier.
Coach Bashor on Jess: "Once I meet Jess I knew she was someone that we wanted on the team because of her passion for the sport. She has the experience and the capability to take her swimming to another level."
Rachael Ragen-Erie, PA - Rachael is transferring from Penn State-Behrand to the Bulls. She will be an asset to the Bulls Freestyle and Butterfly events.
Coach Bashor on Rachael: "After a year of swimming in college, Rachael has improved herself to be competitive in the conference. She has the strength to become an excellent swimmer and I look forward to making that happen."
Spencer Rodriguez- Minneapolis, MN - Spencer is the third athlete to come from the direction of Dave Bentz. She is a U.S. Open qualifier who will make an immediate impact in the Bulls Breaststroke, IM and Sprint events. At this past seasons Minnesota High School State Championships, Rodriguez placed 3rd in the 200 IM and 5th in the 100 Freestyle.
Coach Bashor on Spencer: We recruited Spencer because she can swim so many events well and has the potential to continue to get better. She is going to fit right in with the team and the conference."
Taylor Snyder- Titusville, PA - Taylor joins the Bulls as a sprint freestyle specialist from Titusville YMCA. At the 2011 Pennsylvania State High School AA Championships, she placed third in the 50 freestyle and ninth in the 100 freestyle.
Coach Bashor on Taylor: "I am looking forward with working with Taylor because she has a lot of raw talent that with the right training will become very good. She will be a player on our relays and boost our sprint group."
Taylor Steffl- Bloomington Hills, MI - Taylor comes to Buffalo after capping off a stellar senior year campaign. At this past years Michigan High School State meet she helped her team attain the Division 2 Championship by placing second in the 100 Butterfly, third in the 50 Freestyle and was a member of two winning relays, one which set a new state standard. Taylor is a U.S Open and Senior National qualifier who will be a valuable part of the sprint freestyle and butterfly events.
Coach Bashor on Taylor: "Taylor comes from a successful club and high school program that will help her succeed at UB. She is versatile and will make immediate in the sprint events and relays which we need help in."
Melissa Trail-Pound Ridge, NY - Melissa is a Junior National Qualifier in the butterfly, backstroke, and IM. She is a consolation finalist at the New York High School Championships this past year in the 100 fly. She will be a valuable asset to the Bulls Butterfly and Backstroke events.
Coach Bashor on Melissa: "Melissa has the drive and skills to become a much faster swimmer than she already is. I have no doubt that she will reach her potential and have a big impact on the team."