The University of Redlands swimming & diving teams excitedly welcomed 27 new competitors to campus with the start of classes last week. Of the 225 new student-athletes actively recruited by the Bulldogs' 21 teams, 12% of them look forward to competing under 18th-year Head Coach Leslie Whittemore. The talented crew anticipates great things for the upcoming 2018-19 campaign that includes plenty of home action at the newly renovated Thompson Aquatic Center.
"This is the largest, most versatile first-year class I have seen in my time at the U of R. I am beyond thrilled to call these excellent student-athletes Bulldogs. I cannot wait to get started training!" stated Whittemore.
Hailing from Tualatin, OR, first-year Sarah Martin strives to contribute early on with her solid experience in the breaststroke. This past summer, Martin finished fourth and fifth in the 100LCM and 200LCM, respectively, at the Oregon Swim Championships. Going back to spring, Martin posted her fastest times of 1:07.38 in the 100 Breast and 2:26.85 in the 200 Breast.
Newcomer Sydney Nakagawa (Milwaukie, OR) comes from a high-caliber program that shined at the Oregon School Activities Association (OSAA) 5A State Championships, where she contributed a third-place finish in the 100 Back with a time of 59.49. She also turned in a fifth-place time of 54.39 in the 100 Free. Her championship pedigree is projected to bring a rejuvenated energy and add speed to the young backstroke core.
After competing in the CIF Southern Division II Championships last year, first-year Emily Heaston (Corona, CA) brings excellent experience as a versatile swimmer. She registered an impressive time of 1:00.97 in the 100 Fly while continuing a successful senior season with a 2:14.47 in the 200 Individual Medley. Whittemore expects to move Heaston around the lineup to make the most of her talents. In addition, Redlands holds high hopes for Makenna Parneti as a high-caliber butterfly swimmer who finished 13th in the 100 Fly with a mark of 59.20 at the CIF San Joaquin Championships. She works to immediately add depth to the fly and sprint free group.
Jacqueline Setlich (Mission Viejo, CA) looks forward to the start of her first season with the Maroon and Gray with solid sprinting abilities that will play a tremendous factor in the Bulldogs' success for years to come. Her best times from the spring came at the South Coast League Championships in the 50 Free (24.89) and 100 Free (53.87).
Furthermore, Madison Southmayd (Anthem, AZ) brings a revitalized energy to the distance group. She touched the wall in 19:44.71 in the 1650 Free and 11:03.89 in the 1000 Free at the Four Corners Speedo Champions Series last spring. She also offers experience in the 100 Breast after posting a personal-best time of 1:09.62 in the spring.
First-year Erika Schickerling (Mt. Prospect, IL) joins the Bulldogs as a lifelong-gymnast-turned-diver. She offers a wealth of knowledge to the small but mighty core of Redlands divers and will be counted on early in her career to produce solid scores.
Redlands also anticipates excellent contributions from the following notable newcomers: freestylers Grace Falk (Phoenix, AZ; sprints), Mary Tanouye (Kiel, WI), and Chessie Briggs (Tacoma, WA); backstrokers Erin McGrellis (Wilmington, DE) and Anna O'Meara (Clovis, CA); butterfliers Kayla Smith (Redlands, CA) and Verenice Tapia (Napa, CA); breaststroker Hanna Parker (Seattle, WA), and all-around talents of Katherine Neri (Palm Harbor, FL; backstroke, breaststroke, freestyle) and Courtney Prefontaine (Dana Point, CA; backstroke, fly, free). The speed and depth of the entire roster are expected to explode with these impressive additions.
On the men's side, newcomer Samuel Ayers (Moraga, CA) won the 100M Free at the Western Zones earlier this summer with a time of 52.27. Ayers finished his high school career with a second-place finish at the CIF North Coast Championships in the 100Y Free with a time of 45.76. The Bulldogs expect him to quickly work his way onto the top relay teams as a viable sprinter.
The Bulldogs also welcome first-year Lucas Walker (Mountain View, CA) to the team as a talented and capable competitor. During the CIF Central Coast Championships, he completed the 100 Breast with an impressive sixth-place time of 58.34. This past summer, Walker competed at the Junior Nationals, where he swam the 100M Breast (1:06.56), 200M Breast (2:23.52), and the 400M IM (4:44.72). After a great senior season, the Bulldogs are excited to have Walker continue his success at the U of R.
Newcomer Tanner Gish (Pasadena, CA) joins the squad as a double-champion at his CIF Southern Section Division IV Championships last spring. He topped the competition in the 50 Free with a time of 21.82 before unleashing a first-place finish in the 100 Free (47.70). Gish will further provide depth to the young sprint core.
In addition, the Bulldogs welcome rookie Tom Jansen (Pleasant Hills, CA) as another key piece to the distance events' puzzle. During the summer, he swam at the Western Zones, where he took sixth in the 1500M Free (16:17.98) while also registering times of 8:41.16 in the 800M Free and 4:09.84 in the 400M Free. His notable times from his senior season in high school will push some of the best distance swimmers in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC). Jacob Harvill (Danville, CA) will complement Jansen and the distance crew well after finishing a solid senior season. He recorded his best time in the 500 Free at the CIF North Coast Section Championships in May, and earlier in the year, he uncorked a lifetime-best in the 1650 Free.
First-year Derrick Garcia (Moraga, CA) finished 12th at the CIF North Coast Championships with a time of 51.03 in the 100 Fly last spring. He boasts quality experience in a variety of freestyle and butterfly events that will contribute to the team's success in the future.
The team also welcomes rookie Daniel Precie (Redlands, CA) as a quality sprinter. He posted three top-10 finishes at the CIF Southern Section Division II meet last spring. His best finish came in the 200 IM with a time of 1:53.93 to finish eighth. Precie offers great strength to the freestyle core while also boasting one of the top IM times to the team.
First-year Anders Stenfjord's (Shoreline, WA) versatility bodes well for the Maroon and Gray. He recently turned in a speedy time of 52.88 in the 100 Back at the Washington State Short Course Championships in December. His freestyle times of 47.45 and 1:45.14 bolster the team's depth, as does his ability to swim fast fly and IMs.
Finally, the Bulldogs add freestyler Tommy Weber (Valencia, CA) and breaststroker Maxime Amiset (Lakewood, CA).
Redlands dives into the 2018-19 season on October 20 by hosting the Bulldog Pentathlon at 11 a.m. at the Thompson Aquatic Center.