Cal Signs Eight New Golden Bears

Nov. 17, 2006

BERKELEY - With seven swimmers and one diver, California head coach Teri McKeever inks an outstanding and diverse group of athletes. One of the best recruiting classes in the nation, Cal brings in swimmers Erica Dagg, Elise Etem, Kelsey Hoff, Ellie Monobe, Amanda Sims, Tara Thomas and Hannah Wilson, as well as diver Laura Sanford.

'We are thrilled to have such a fantastic group of student-athletes coming in the fall 2007 semester,' McKeever said. 'This entire group of swimmers will make a significant impact right away. I couldn't be happier. This is a great group of high-impact swimmers to join us here at Cal, and I look forward to working with them and seeing them grow as athletes and students over the next four years.'

A stellar group of California natives is expected to make an immediate impact for a program that took fourth place at the NCAA Championships last season. Amanda Sims (Santa Rosa, Calif.) and Tara Thomas (Tustin, Calif.), both U.S. National Junior Team members, are butterfly and freestyle specialists. Elise Etem (Long Beach, Calif.) specializes in the butterfly, Kelsey Hoff (Sacramento, Calif.) in fly, backstroke and individual medley, and Ellie Monobe (Fremont, Calif.) in breaststroke. All three will add great depth and versatility to the returning group of Bears.

Erica Dagg and Hannah Wilson come from furthest away. Dagg, from New Orleans, La., will have a big impact in both the backstroke and free races. Wilson, a 2004 Hong Kong Olympian, will showcase her strengths in both the free and fly events.

Additionally, Dagg, Etem, Sims and Thomas are high school All-Americans.

Sanford looks to help the improving Cal women's diving team under coach Tom Davidson, who is in his first year in Berkeley.

'Laura Sanford is a diver that will be adding to our team with her experience on one-meter, three-meter and tower events,' Davidson said. 'She will be a nice addition to our team because of her wealth of diving knowledge. She is a recent All-American and AAU national diver.'

The list of eight signees follows below:

Erica Dagg
Events: Backstroke and freestyle
Hometown: New Orleans, La.
High School: Isidore Newman High School
Club: Nu Wave Swim Club

Elise Etem
Events: Butterfly and freestyle
Hometown: Long Beach, Calif.
High School: Wilson High School

Kelsey Hoff
Events: Butterfly, backstroke and individual medley
Hometown: Sacramento, Calif.
High School: Horizon
Club: Arden Hills Swimming

Ellie Monobe
Events: Breaststroke and individual medley
Hometown: Fremont, Calif.
High School: Mission San Jose High School
Club: Mission San Jose Aquatics

Amanda Sims
Events: Butterfly, backstroke and freestyle
Hometown: Santa Rosa, Calif.
High School: Montgomery High School
Club: Santa Rosa Neptunes

Tara Thomas
Events: Freestyle and butterfly
Hometown: Tustin, Calif.
High School: Beckman High School
Club: Irvine Novaquatics

Hannah Wilson
Events: Freestyle and butterfly
Home: Hong Kong
Club: Harry Wright International

Laura Sanford
Events: Diving - one-meter and three-meter springboards and tower
Hometown: San Diego, Calif.
High School: Torrey Pines High School
Club: Mission Viejo Nadadores

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