Huskies Sign Five Prep Standouts

Dec. 7, 2007

SEATTLE - The University of Washington swimming team recently signed five prep standouts to National Letters of Intent. The five swimmers, who will join the Huskies next fall, all signed during the early signing period, which ran from Nov. 14-21. The regular signing period begins April 9, 2008 and runs through Aug. 1, 2008.

Four females and one male will swim next season for the UW and the headliner of the class is Danielle Gong from Presentation High School in San Jose, Calif. Gong is ranked fifth in the nation in her age group in the 200 individual medley and is also an Olympic Trial qualifier in the event.

Gong is an eight-time All-American and is a National qualifier in the 100 butterfly, 200 IM and 400 IM. She has won two California Central Coast state championships in the 200 IM while at PHS.

'She's one of the top recruits in the nation and I'm really excited about her versatility,' said Huskies head coach Whitney Hite. 'She is one of the top swimmers in the IM events in the country. She's an outstanding student and an even better person.'

Joining Gong on the women's side is Kelly Flynn (Woodlands, Texas), Amelia Messegee (Centralia, Wash.) and Alesha Trattner (Hillsboro, Ore.).

Flynn, who attends Woodlands High School, is a junior national qualifier in the 200 breaststroke and a US Open qualifier in the 200 freestyle and 400 IM.

'She's a girl that can swim the breaststroke and freestyle events for us,' said Hite. 'She can come in and have an immediate impact for us in the middle-distance freestyle and breaststroke events. She has some versatility and her potential is untapped.'

Messegee in a two-time Washington State champion in the 100 and 200 freestyle events at Centralia High School, and is also a Junior National qualifier in the 200 free and 200 IM.

'Amelia, as I've called her, is the fastest senior in the state of Washington,' said Hite. 'It's really important for us to get the in-state kids. She's going to help us out in the short free events and we're really excited to have her join us. She is also a really outstanding student.'

Trattner was the Oregon State Class 5A champion in the 50 and 100 free last season as a junior at Glencoe High School and helped the Crimson Tide to a fourth place finish at state. Also as a junior, Trattner won the state championship in the shot put in track and field.

'She's a sprint freestyler with a ton of potential,' said Hite of Trattner, who is a National Qualifier in the 50 and 100 free. 'She's someone that's going to come in and have an immediate impact in the 50 and 100 freestyle events as well as the relays.'

The lone male to sign during the early signing period was Ryan Shea out of Mt. St. Joseph High School in Baltimore, Md., which is the alma mater of Huskies assistant coach Tommy Hannan.

Shea was named to the USA Swimming Scholastic All-American Team as a junior last year and is a high school All-American and a National Qualifier in the 100 and 200 freestyle events.

'Talk about potential, his is off the charts,' said Hite. 'He broke some of Tommy's records at Mt. St. Joseph and he has the potential to be great. We're really excited about having him come all the way across the country and be a part of what we're doing here.'

Hite anticipates that the Huskies will sign more swimmers during the regular signing period, but as of now he is very pleased with the five athletes that will be joining his squad next year.

'Overall it's a very strong class and we can't wait to get all five of them here. We're bringing in four girls and one guy who will have an immediate impact for our program. I'm very excited to see them swimming for us next year.'

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