BUFFALO, NY - Swimming and Diving head coach Andy Bashor has announced the addition of 10 newcomers to the program beginning in 2012-13. Coming off successful seasons on both the men's and women's sides, Bashor continues to build on two programs that will compete for Mid-American Conference Championships.
Here is the full class:
Paula Stoddard: (Highland Ranch, CO/ Highland Ranch Aquatics) Paula will be joining the Bulls as a Distance Freestyle Specialist. She is a state finalist in the 200 and 500 Free this past season at the 5A Colorado High School state Meet. As a junior, she placed 4th in the 1650 at Western Sectionals. Paula is looking to study Pharmacy at UB. Paula chose the University at Buffalo because "I knew it would be a good fit for me. They have a great pharmacy program and I am so excited to be part of the swim team in the fall."
Coach Bashor on Paula: "I feel Paula will come in and make an immediate impact on our women's team because she comes from a very good club program that has given her the skills to become a successful swimmer in college. She will be able to come and compete in the MAC Conference from the 200 to the 1650."
Holly Olsen: (Oakville, Canada/ Oakville Aquatic Club) Holly will be adding to the Breaststroke and Individual Medley Events. She is a Canadian Olympic Trial Qualifier in the 100 and 200 Breaststroke. Holly swims under the direction of Sean Baker in Oakville, Canada. She is looking to study Physical Therapy at University at Buffalo. Holly states, "The reason why I chose the University at Buffalo is because when I went on my recruiting trip in the fall I really enjoyed the school. I liked what I saw of the campus and could really see myself there for the next four years. The team was extremely nice to me and made me feel very welcomed. Also, I wanted to go into the science field and the University at Buffalo has a very good science program."
Coach Bashor on Holly: "I was impressed with Holly's character from the first time I meet her. She specializes in breaststroke which is one stroke we needed to add speed and depth. She is a very accomplished swimmer qualifying for Canadian Olympic Trials and we look to build upon that at UB."
Alexis Valedon: (Brewster, NY/ Ridgefield Aquatic Club) Alexis will be an asset to the Bulls in many different areas with breaststroke and individual medley as the focus. She was a semi-finalist in the 200 IM at 2011 NY High School State Championships. She comes from a family of swimmers as her aunt also swam at UB. Alexis chose the University at Buffalo because "it's a great school with excellent programs, and I can see myself exceling in the years to come. I also like the campus, and loved the swim team, and I felt very welcomed. I'm very excited to come in the fall."
Coach Bashor on Alexis: "Alexis is a very versatile swimmer which is why we really wanted her at UB. Her focus will be breaststroke and IM events but she is also very good in the other strokes. She has made tremendous improvements at RAC and we believe she will continue to improve at UB."
Jennifer Palladino: (New York, NY/Morning Side Diving Club) Jennifer will add depth to the diving program. She is a two-time Section One Champion and two-time State Qualifier in New York. She is a USA Diving Regional and Zone Qualifier and also an AAU National Qualifier. She is undecided on a major.
Coach Helder on Jennifer: "Jennifer is a strong, consistent athlete and has the ability to do the more difficult dives. She will be an asset to UB's Swimming and Diving Teams and we are looking forward to watching the growth from this young lady."
Bill Caffee: (West Lafayette, IN/Boilermaker Aquatics) Bill was a senior captain at William Henry Harrison High School under coaches Beth Brown and Joe Strickler. Club wise Caffe swam at Boilermaker Aquatics for Head Coach TJ Day and Chris Pfaff. He placed 15th at the Indiana High School State Championship meet in both the 200IM and 500 Freestyle. Caffe really excelled at the Senior State Championships for his club team placing 2nd in the 1650 Free and 3rd in the 1000 Free. He is an Honor Roll student and also is a member of the Leadership Council. Caffe chose UB because "I really liked the idea of having an impact on a team going in freshmen year. All of the guys seem great and I felt like I would fit in very well. Academic wise I thought that they had a very nice science program that I felt I could succeed in." Bill's parents are Marc and Suzanne and he has a brother Richard.
Coach Bashor on Bill: "Bill is coming to us from a very good club program that has set him up to succeed in college. He has only been swimming for a couple of years and his best years are yet to come. He is going to be a great addition to our team and the conference."
Jason Gerlach: (Penfield, NY/Fairport Aquatics Swim Team) Jason was a junior and senior year captain at Penfield High School where he swam for Coach Eric Ingerick. He swims club for FAST and Coach Mike Kennedy. At this year's New York HS State Championships he placed 5th and 7th in the 200IM and 100 fly, respectfully. He is a 6-time Section V champion. He chose UB "for the versatile academic programs and the undeniably impressive swim team because of the opportunities that will come from my collegiate education there and for the glory of being a Division 1 swimmer on the 2011 MAC Conference Champions. " His parents are John and Kay Gerlach. He also has three brothers Mike (UB Alumni and former swimmer), Tim, and PJ.
Coach Bashor on Jason: "Jason is a well-rounded swimmer that can swim the IM, breast, and fly. He will fit well into our team and be able to compete on a daily basis with the best on our team. He is another guy that has a lot of improvement ahead of him and it's our job to get the best out of him."
Coach Bashor on Austin: "Austin comes to us from one of the best club programs in New York. His club coach has given him the training base for us to take his sprinting to a new level. Austin will be competing everyday against the best in the conference which will help him achieve his goals."
Antonio Lanzi: (Amsterdam, NY/Albany Starfish Swim Club) Antonio attended Amsterdam High School and led his team as a senior captain under the direction of Coach Nancy Spagnola. On the club side, Lanzi swam for the Albany Starfish Swim Club for Head Coach Earl "Lucky" Foreman. Antonio achieved All-American status by winning the NY State High School Championship in the 200 Freestyle. At that meet he also placed 3rd in the 500 Freestyle. Lanzi holds seven team records and one pool record and was named the Section 2 Championship's Most Valuable Swimmer. He also is a Junior National Qualifier in the 100 and 200 Free. Antonio is a member of the National Honor Society and a Scholastic All-American (USA Swimming). Antonio chose UB because "it was a well-rounded school that perfectly balances both academics and athletics. I wanted the opportunity to be part of something great!! Buffalo made me feel part of the 'swim family' right away." Antonio has one brother, Christopher and his parents are Larry and Rosemary Lanzi.
Coach Bashor on Antonio: "What attracted us to Antonio is his passion to the sport and the desire to become a very fast swimmer. Just this past year he has developed into one of the fastest 200 freestylers coming out of high school and we look forward to taking his potential to a whole new level."
Derek Linebuagh: (Conklin, NY/Susquehanna Valley HS) Derek dove for Coach Z (Patty Fian) at Susquehanna Valley High School and was named a senior captain for the Sabres. Last year at the New York HS State Championships he placed 16th. Academically he is a member of the National Technical Honor Society and an Honor Roll student. Derek chose Buffalo because "UB is one of the best schools in the State University of New York system. I could tell that the coaches truly loved what they are doing and it is a very successful team." His parents are Rob and Molly Linebaugh and he has a sister Jessica.
Coach Helder on Derek: Derek is a multifaceted athlete and brings his skills and experiences to UB in the form of diving. Strong, quick and agile are words that pop when one watches Derek perform. He will be a true force to be reckoned with in the MAC, and we are eagerly looking forward to watching his list of accolades grow in the coming years.
Billy Patrum: (Buffalo, NY/STAR Swimming) Billy was the captain of his high school team at Frontier Central HS under the direction of Jeff Moessinger. Patrum swam club locally for STAR Swimming with Head Coach Rick Aronberg. He is an accomplished Freestyler finishing 5th in the 500 Free and 9th in the 200 Free at the NY State High School Championships. Billy has achieved Senior National cut times and was a finalist at Junior Nationals en route to several club team records. Billy was an Honor Roll student at Frontier. He chose UB "because all the people both on the team and on campus are so friendly and the great academic recognition of the school." His parents are Daniel and Cynthia Patrum. He also has two brothers Erik and Trey.
Coach Bashor on Billy: "We are extremely excited to have Billy at UB because of his passion to race and his versatility. He will be counted on to swim the 200 and up in freestyle, IM, and butterfly events. Being from Buffalo, I know that he is proud to help us build upon the winning tradition we have started at UB."