Swimming Signs 20 To National Letters Of Intent

May 23, 2001

SEATTLE - Washington head swimming coach Mickey Wender has announced the signings today of 20 high school seniors - 13 women and seven men - to national letters of intent. The 20 swimmers will compose the Husky class of 2005.

'We are extremely pleased with the recruiting class this year,' Wender said. 'After a tumultuous start to the recruiting season, we were able to sign one of the most promising classes of Husky swimmers in the history of the program.'

On the women's side, the Huskies will look to improve on the team's eighth-place finish at this season's Pac-10 championships by signing 13 women to a roster, which included just four upperclassmen in 2000-2001. The 13 women, who hail from eight different states, will add to each of the stroke groups for the Huskies.

Headlining this year's local signees on the women's side is standout Hannah Jo (Federal Way, Wash./Decatur HS), who is a five-time individual Washington state champion, having swept the 200 individual medley and 100 butterfly at the 4A state meet for the second straight year in 2000.

'Her versatility is incredible,' Wender says. 'Hannah is the type of swimmer that we can use in almost any event and expect her to score big. She is the top high school senior in the state and we are thrilled that she is now a Husky.'

One of two signees from Colorado, Abby Hutton (Englewood, Colo./Cherry Creek HS) will help the Huskies in the backstroke, after claiming three state titles in the 100-yard race and four consecutive first-place finishes as a member of Cherry Creek's medley relay team. Hutton also helped lead her team to three Class 5A championships.

'Abby will be an immediate contributor in the backstroke,' Wender said. 'She is the Colorado state champ in the 100 backstroke and has all of the intangibles to succeed at the highest level.'

Three of the 13 future Huskies hail from California, including freestyle/backstroke swimmer Annette Vayo (Placentia, Calif./Troy HS), along with high school and club teammates Anissa Hilyard (Whittier, Calif./La Serna HS) and Courtney Hentzen (La Habra Heights, Calif./La Serna HS).

Melissa Chandler (Reno, Nev./McQueen HS) will join her former Reno Aquatics' Club teammate, UW freshman Brittany Reichardt, while Desiree Johnson (Post Falls, Idaho/Post Falls HS), a four-year starter on her school's basketball team, will add depth in the backstroke and the sprint freestyle events.

Other signees on the women's side include: Eva Hershaw (Plouse, Wash.), Laurie Johnson (Lafayette, Colo.), Brianne Kelson (Yakima, Wash.), Karen Magunson (Wilmette, Ill.), Nicole Real (Omaha, Neb.) and Leslie Wukstich (Bainbridge Island, Wash.).

'Our incoming class of women will play a major role in the success of next year's squad,' Wender said. 'We have significant contributors in every event, as well as a number of very talented swimmers with vast potential for improvement.'

On the men's side, the Huskies added seven signees, who will look to not only help the UW improve on its sixth-place finish at the 2001 Pac-10 meet, but also stem the loss of senior co-captain and school record-holders Francis Tam and Jamie Stone, along with U.S. Olympic trials participant Ben Millard.

'On the men's side, we have a solid group of swimmers who will add depth to all areas of the team and greatly strengthen us in the individual medleys and distance freestyle events,' Wender said.

All seven of the men's signees hail from the Western part of the United States in addition to one swimmer from Canada.

Jim Wolfe (Hillsboro, Ore.), a senior at Century High School, will give the Huskies added depth in the middle distance and distance freestyle events.

'Jim has the physical and mental tools to continue his major improvements from the past year and compete for us at a very high level,' Wender said. 'His potential in the middle distance freestyle events is limitless and he will be a major contributor right away.'

The team's lone signee from Canada, Craig Gillis (Calgary, Alberta/Bishop Carroll HS) finished second in both the 100-meter backstroke and the 200 individual medley at the 2001 Speedo Junior and Youth Nationals-West last February in Regina, Saskatchewan.

'Craig is a guy who will make an immediate impact on the team, not only by contributing points, but also by promoting a positive team dynamic,' Wender says.

One of the top prep swimmers in the state of Washington, Cameron Barclift (Olympia, Wash./North Thurston HS) will be expected to swim both the individual medleys and the breaststroke events for the Huskies.

'Cameron can swim virtually every event, and we look for big things from him early on in his career as a Husky,' Wender said.

Other signees on the men's side include Washington natives Garrett McCaffrey (Federal Way, Wash./Decatur HS) and Kevin Quinn (Issaquah, Wash./Issaquah HS), Oregon state breaststroke champion Ben Metcalfe (Springfield, Ore./Springfield HS) and sprint free/butterfly swimmer David Slavich (San Francisco, Calif./University HS).

'Perhaps the most exciting aspect of this group of incoming Husky Swimmers is that they all have tremendous work ethic and are positive, motivated people, both in the pool and in the classroom,' Wender said. 'This is a very talented group of students as well as swimmers. They have demonstrated all of the skills necessary to perform at a very high level in the classroom here at the UW and truly demonstrate that the best is yet to come for Husky swimming.'

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