Swimming And Diving Has High Hopes For Incoming Class

Aug. 27, 2002

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Arizona State's Swimming & Diving team announced a recruiting class of nine women and 12 men coming to Tempe to help fill the gaps after 12 women's letterwinners and 16 men's letterwinners from last season's roster are gone. ASU head swimming coach Michael Chasson and ASU head diving coach Mark Bradshaw are confident that the incoming class of athletes can make contributions this season and are excited about the additions to their squads.

On the women's side, there are three transfers and six freshman that aim to make their mark as Sun Devils. Swimming transfers Petra Banovic (San Jose State) and Courtney Caples (Miami, Fla.), and diving transfer Trisha Tumlinson (Kentucky) look to make immediate impacts.

'Petra swims middle distance free and IM, and based on her best times she should come in as our number two or number three 200 freestyler right off the bat and she'll help us right away,' says Coach Chasson.

Caples comes in as a breaststroke and IM specialist and is capable of being one of the top breaststroke swimmers for the Sun Devils. 'Courtney will be able to add depth right away and maybe be able to help us in free sprinting as well,' Chasson believes.

Trisha Tumlinson is a platform diving specialist who won a national championship on platform at the 2001 US Diving Championships and is coming off an honorable mention All-American season at the University of Kentucky.

'I'm looking forward to working with her and getting her to the NCAAs,' said Coach Bradshaw. 'Last year we finished tenth in the NCAAs without any diving points, so her impact should be immediate.'

Leading the women's freshmen swimming class are Laura Ulrich and Katherine Hennessey, athletes who Chasson hopes can contribute in their first season.

'Katherine is a distance swimmer and Laura is a sprint flyer and they should be able to help us right away.' The incoming freshman swimming class is completed with the additions of Erin Baldinger, a sprint free and backstroker, and sprint freestyler Julia Chang, both of whom will make their contributions felt during their freshman season.

Two freshman divers belong to the recruiting class of 2002, Krisitn Littell and Lina Schwetz. Littell, out of Chino, Calif., has been a regular participant in the National Junior Championships since her early teens.

'We're looking for these girls to get some points and be successful over the next several years,' said Bradshaw.

On the men's side there are 10 swimmers and two divers coming in as new Sun Devils, all of whom are freshmen. One highlight of the class is David Kolazar, a fifth place finisher in the 200 fly just a few weeks ago at the European Championships while swimming for Hungary.

'He should be, based on his best times, an NCAA finalist as a freshman,' Chasson said. 'He is one of the top recruits in college swimming and should have an instant impact.'

Joona Puhakka, a freshman diver out of Helsinki, Finland, is also very highly touted and also looks to make his mark early in the season. 'He's the biggest diving recruit since I've been here,' said coach Bradshaw. 'Building on his success is what we want to do and he's very excited to be here.' Puhakka is a Finnish national champion and was an Olympian in the 2000 Summer Games in Sydney.

Joey Clements, a breaststroker out of California, John Zemaitis, a freestyler out of Phoenix, Tom Hickman a freestyler from Texas, Steve McDonald, a sprint flyer from Ohio, and Leornardo Martins, a breaststroker from Brazil, are some more athletes in the freshman swimming class looking to make an impression. 'These guys, if they continue to improve, have a chance to have an impact on the team by the end of their freshman year,.' Chasson emphasizes. The men's recruiting class is further solidified with the additions of fly specialists Alex Ebner and Brett Meconis, mid free swimmer John Raatz, backstroke specialist Evans Rahaeuser and diver Brant Bingham.

'Brant is a great addition to our program and he's excited and enthusiastic to be here,' says Bradshaw. 'He'll be able to contribute valuable diving points to our team. Overall, we've got some talented kids coming in and we're really excited for this season.'

The Sun Devil swimming and diving teams will open the 2002-03 season Oct. 4 with the annual intrasquad meet at Mona Plummer Aquatic Center. ASU will host its first dual meet with UNLV and Northern Arizona Friday, Oct. 25.

-- www.TheSunDevils.com--

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