Dec. 21, 2011
OXFORD, Ohio - Miami University women's swimming and diving team has taken a huge step towards remaining one of the Mid-American Conference's most competitive programs with the addition of eight outstanding high school performers.
Four swimmers from Ohio and one each from Connecticut, Indiana, Kentucky and Wisconsin have signed letters of intent to become RedHawk student-athletes in the 2012-13 season. They've earned state champion and All-America acclaim as well as achieving national qualifying standards.
"We have recruited eight really strong athletes and have signed one of our strongest incoming freshman classes," said Head Coach Dave Jennings. "We have young ladies who will help us remain in the top 10 and contend for Mid-American Conference championships. We've lost and will lose some good seniors from these past couple of years, but this new group of quality kids will not only help us individually, but also in multiple events. This new group has a lot of great personalities and I think they'll mesh very well into our team concept. We focused our recruiting in a lot of different areas, looking at not only what we're losing in this year's senior class, but also our huge junior class that will graduate the following year. We needed some more distance girls and I feel like they'll be a good addition to the girls that we've got. We've also strengthened our sprint area, from the 50 all the way to the 200 freestyle."
SHANNON AHEARN, Trumbull, CT (Trumbull HS), Parents: Michael and Patricia Ahearn
Honors: State champion in 2009 (100 backstroke) and 2010 (200 IM), setting school records in both events. Community oriented individual who has a twin brother (Michael). Undecided as to her major at Miami.
Quoting Dave Jennings: Shannon is a really solid, overall swimmer. Without a doubt, she's one of the fastest IM'ers we've ever brought in. Both her 200 and her 400 IM times are very, very good, but she can swim a bunch of other events, including breaststroke and butterfly and really everything. She's a great addition and a really nice young lady."
SARA KRUEGER, Cincinnati, OH (McAuley HS), Mother: Denise Krueger
Honors: A four-time letter winner who captains her senior squad. School record holder in the 50 freestyle. Three-time state qualifier and a two-time GGCL first-teamer. Her sister, Laura, is currently a member of the RedHawk swimming team. Plans to major in psychology at Miami.
Quoting Dave Jennings: "Sara has really made a lot of strides this past year. She had a great summer and is swimming very well as a senior. She is a great student and a very hard worker. I think that Sara will become a force in our sprint program."
AUBREY KLUTH, Noblesville, IN (Noblesville HS), Parents: Michael and Joni Kluth
Honors: A two-time captain and four-time letter winner for Noblesville High. A first-team all-state selection, her team won four IHSAA state championships. Intends to major in exercise science at Miami.
Quoting Dave Jennings: "Aubrey is a very good IM'er. She had a break-through summer in the 400-meter IM and that's going to be one of her strong suits. Aubrey is also a very good distance swimmer, so we look for her to help us in those events as well."
HOPE MITCHELL, Mansfield, OH (Ontario HS), Parents: Phil and Lynn Mitchell
Honors: District champion and school record holder in the 100 breaststroke. Ontario High was a state championship finalist in 2009, '10 and '11. She earned All-Ohio and All-America honors in the 100 breaststroke. Plans to major in business management at Miami.
Quoting Dave Jennings: "Hope is a U.S. national qualifier in the breaststroke who's just a couple of tenths off of her Olympic Trials cut. She trains down in the Greater Columbus (Indiana) Swim Club with Coach Steve Nye. Hope has had to drive about 45 minutes a day just to swim with her club. At Miami, she will be able to get to our pool immediately and that's really going to help Hope. She's got a lot of potential."
KELLY ROGERS, Louisville, KY (Christian Academy of Louisville), Parents: Kell and Candis Rogers
Honors: A two-time captain, her team has been ranked among the state's top three teams each of the last three seasons. A second-team all-stater who is very community oriented. Intends to major in speech pathology at Miami.
Quoting Dave Jennings: "Kelly is a very hard-working young lady who's involved in a lot of community service activities. She's a distance swimmer and a really good backstroker. Initially, we'll probably focus her more in the distance freestyle events (500 and 1,650) and the 200 backstroke. She will definitely help our program."
NATALIE ROHR, Kettering, OH (Fairmont HS), Parents: Steven and Lynn Rohr
Honors: Fairmont's record holder in the 50 and 100 freestyles, earning All-America laurels. The Firebirds are perennially excel in the Ohio state championship meet. Sister, Brittney, is a senior swimmer at Miami; mother also attended Miami and Natalie's grandfather was a professor at MU. An excellent cello player in Fairmont's symphonic orchestra. Intends to major in exercise science.
Quoting Dave Jennings: "Natalie is a really good sprinter, from the 50 through the 200, and also swims the backstroke. She's got a solid background and great technique. She's going to be a very good sprinter for us in the future. I think that Natalie will really move forward once she gets to college."
EMMA SZCZUPAKIEWICZ, (pronounced zoo-PACK-o-wits), Muskego, WI (Muskego HS), Parents: Ted and Heidi Szczupakiewicz
Honors: Captained the Warriors twice, winning four consecutive team conference titles. A four-time state qualifier and two-time national qualifier who was Wisconsin's 2010 champ in the 100 backstroke. Outstanding in the classroom, Emma compiled a 4.1 GPA and was twice selected as a Scholastic All-American. She plans to major in psychology at Miami.
Quoting Dave Jennings: "Emma is a very competitive swimmer who is a U.S. National qualifier in the backstroke events. She's done very well this year during her high school season and was the state runner-up in the 100 backstroke after winning that event her junior year. We hope that she'll replace some of our freestylers and butterflyers who will be graduating. She has a very solid 200 fly. Emma is a very strong swimmer and I love her attitude as a competitor."
GABBY VERI, Columbus, OH (Upper Arlington HS), Parents: Donald and Joanie Veri
Honors: Not including her senior year, she's earned All-America honors three times. The Golden Bears' 200 freestyle relay unit holds the state and school record. UAHS's 400 freestyle relay also won the state championship. Gabby also was a member of her school's water polo state championship team. Mother attended Miami. Gabby plans to major in mass communications.
Quoting Dave Jennings: "We'll look at Gabby anywhere from the 50 to the 500 type of swimmer, so she could be a sprinter or a middle distance freestyler for us. She swam well this past summer, swimming a great 100 fly. She was outstanding up at the Sectionals in Cleveland. Gabby can swim in a wide variety of events."