Women's Swimming Completes Early Signing Class
ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. - Women's swimming and diving head coach Seth Johnson announced the signing of seven student athletes to National Letters of Intent on Friday as part of the early signing period.
Lauren Caldwell (Jamestown, N.Y./Jamestown), Nikki Gagen (Atlanta, Ga./George Walton), Gabi Lavine (Livingston, N.J./Arthur L. Johnson), Meaghan McCann (Oakville, Ont./Corpus Christi), Aly Paz (Miami, Fla./Our Lady of Lourdes Academy), Katie Yeity (Reading, Pa./Muhlenberg) and Rachel Heferle (Hamburg, N.Y./Frontier) will join the Bonnies next fall for the 2011-12 season.
"I like that we fill a couple needs, especially in relays and also in individual events," Johnson said. "I also like that we have a few IMers coming in. It shows the versatility that we will be able to use these kids not only in our duel meets but also in the Atlantic 10 Championships."
During her junior year, Caldwell was Section 6 Champion in the 100-yard butterfly and the 200-yard individual medley. She was a state qualifier in the 200-yard individual medley and the 100-yard butterfly. She picked up a 2nd-place finish in the 100-yard butterfly and 4th-place finish in the 200 individual medley at the state championships. The Jamestown, N.Y. native currently holds six Jamestown High School records and was a High School All-American in the 100-yard butterfly.
"She was second in the state last year as a junior and her best time in the 100 fly is a 56.6. That will score very well in our championship meet," said Johnson.
Gagen was the captain of her high school swim team and a high school 5A state qualifier. In the 100-yard breaststroke, she swam a 1:10.83, in the 200-breaststroke she swam a 2:29.41 and in the 500-yard freestyle she posted a time of 5:28.70.
"She's going to be able to add depth in the breaststroke events," added Johnson.
Levine holds the Arthur L. Johnson High School records for the 50-yard freestyle, 100-yard freestyle and the 500-yard freestyle. She also holds school records in the 100-yard breaststroke, 200-yard IM and the 100-yard butterfly.
"She's very young in the sport – this is only her third or fourth year swimming seriously at the club level – but she would already be a major scorer in the 100 fly in our championship meet," commented Johnson.
During her senior year, McCann made Ontario Nationals and competed in the Canada Cup and both winter and spring Senior Nationals.
"She's a girl who is very, very good and very, very talented and the sky is the limit for her," Johnson surmised. "Her times coming in are not only going to be very competitive in the medley relays, but very competitive in both the 100 and 200 back and also in the 400 IM immediately as a freshmen."
Paz was 10th at states in Florida in the 100-yard butterfly. She was also the team captain and team MVP at Our Lady of Lourdes Academy.
"She not only adds depth in the 100 fly and 200 fly, but she also adds depth in the distance free event – which is an area of need for us," Johnson deduced.
During her junior season, Yeity swam a :24.2 in the 50-yard freestyle and a :52.8 in the 100-yard freestyle. She set the school and District 3 AA medley relay record (freestyle leg) with a time of 1:48.34. She gained All-American recognition for the medley relay, and her Muhlenberg High School team won the District 3 AA team championship. Yeity was also a District and State Medalist and team MVP.
"We look for her to add depth not only in our sprint freestyles but also in our sprint relays," Johnson said.
Throughout her swimming career, Heferle was a four-year state qualifier in the 100-yard backstroke and posted the seventh fastest time in the 200-yard IM at the New York State meet. In her junior campaign, she was a USA Speedo qualifier in the 100- and 200-yard backstrokes, 200-yard IM and the 1650-yard freestyle.
"She is probably one of our most versatile swimmers coming in," Johnson concluded.
This class is part of the early signing period for swimming, which is now finalized. Recruits cannot sign a National Letter of Intent again until the spring.