DENTON, Texas- North Texas Swimming and Diving announced the signing of student-athletes to their incoming class, who will be eligible to compete for the 2011-12 season.
"I am so thrilled to announce the addition of all these fine student-athletes to our program," said North Texas Head Coach Joe Dykstra. "Never before have we brought in such a talented or deep group. This group can cover every event and cover them well. Swimmers such as Mona Groteguth, Krista Rossum, Holly Moon, and Kimmy Phillips are all going to come in and challenge for All-Conference Honors right away. The depth and versatility of the entire group is going to help us to win championships in the coming years. This is also one of the most talented incoming groups of students we've ever had, with nearly every member of the class being ranked in the top 25% of their graduating class and having standardized test scores and GPA's higher than the average student entering North Texas."
Bobbi Bliss is a diver from Olathe South High School in Olathe, Kan., who finished first in the Sunflower League and fifth in the Kansas High School State Meet. An excellent student, Bliss received the President's Award for Academic Achievement.
"Bobbi is a relative newcomer to the sport of diving, but has tremendous potential and a great physical skill set," said Dykstra. "She is much in the mold of Delia Covo who was a latecomer to diving but has really blossomed into one of the premier divers in the Sun Belt. Bobbi has the opportunity to have the same kind of impact on our program."
Kenize Calkins is a mid-distance freestyle and fly swimmer from Universal City, Texas who attends Judson High School in Converse, Texas and swims club for Alamo Area Aquatics Association. She was a member of the 11th place 400 yard free relay at 2010 Texas 5A State meet. She finished sixth in the 200 yard freestyle, where she has a best time of 1:53.57, and seventh in the 500 yard free, where her career best is 5:03.77, at 2010 5A-Region VII meet. She was a four year letterman in swimming, and was a sectional finalist in 2010. She received All-State and All-American honors while in high school. Her career bests include a 17:55.50 in the 1650 free , a 2:05.98 in the 200 fly and a 4:36.86 in the 400 IM.
"Kenzie will be a fantastic member of our team," said Dykstra. "She and Holly Moon are both coming to us from the same club team that produced a few of our current team members who have been very successful. I expect Kenzie to be a big help to us in the 400 IM, 200 Fly, and mid-distance and distance freestyle relays."
Mona Groteguth is a backstroke swimmer from Springe, Germany who swims for SGS Hannover Swim Club and attends Otto-Han Gymnasium. She had a strong showing at the German National Championships during November of 2009, finishing sixth in the 200 backstroke, 11th in the 100 backstroke, and 12th in the 50 backstroke. She has lifetime bests of 56.45 in the 100 back* and 2:00.72 in the 200 back.*
"Mona will come in and immediately challenge to be our top backstroker at the 50, 100, and 200 distances," said Dykstra. "She is truly gifted in her ability to kick under water, and I believe we can further develop that skill to make her an NCAA qualifier very quickly. I also expect her to compete for spots on freestyle relays."
Jarmila Gupta is a versatile swimmer, who can swim fly, with bests of 59.42 in the 100 fly and 2:11.90 in the 200 fly, IM, with bests of 2:12.53 in the 200 and 4:38.41 in the 400, breast, with a lifetime best of 2:30.54 in the 200, and distance freestyle events. Gupta, who is legally deaf, was born in Germany but lives in San Antonio and swims club for Alamo Area Aquatics Association. Gupta won the silver medal and set the European Deaf Swimming record in the 400 IM at the Deaf Olympics in Taiwan, and is a two-time European Deaf Swimming Champion. She has earned the Silver Bay Leaf, the highest athletic German award and the Junior Athlete Special Award.
"Jarmila is someone who I am really excited to work with," said Dykstra. "She has a unique story, hailing originally from Germany and being legally deaf. She has swam at the Deaf Olympics representing Germany and is an accomplished international competitor. She is still very young, having just turned 17 this month and has all of her best swimming in front of her."
Kasey Hahn is a four year letterwinner at Spring High School, who qualified for the region meet each year in school. She is the pool record holder in the 100-yard backstroke at Spring. She has top times of 2:12.21 in the 200 IM, 4:36.50 in the 400 IM, 2:09.79 in the 200 fly, 2:08.74 in the 200 back and 18:20.44 in the 1650 free.
"Kasey is an exciting addition to our team," said Dykstra. "She can literally swim any event and that is a valuable thing when crafting dual meet line-ups. She is also a great team player who is going to help make her teammates better."
Holly Moon is a middle-distance freestyle swimmer from San Antonio, who attended Converse Judson High School. She received All-State honors in the 200 free, where she has a top time of 1:52.21 and the 500 free, where she has a best time of 4:58.69. Additionally, she was a part of an All-American 400 free relay team. Moon was the captian of the Judson swim team. Moon's sister, Shelby, is captain of the swimming team at UT-Permian Basin.
"Holly is a very talented distance swimmer who is going to help us build upon the strong legacy of distance swimming we've developed the last few years. She can swim freestyle from the 100 through the mile at a very high level and will be a valuable contributor for us right away."
Lainey Parham is a middle-distance freestyle swimmer from Lubbock, Texas. She has posted best times of 53.66 in the 100 free, 1:52.83 in the 200 free, 5:06.25 in the 500 free and 17:59.27 in the 1650 free.
"I am thrilled that Lainey decided to come east and join us at North Texas," said Dykstra. "She has a wonderfully positive spirit and energy and will lend that to all of her teammates. She can also swim any distance of freestyle and I expect her to get much faster when she begins our training program in the fall."
Kimmy Phillips is a freestyle and backstroke swimmer from Argyle High School in Argyle, Texas. She is a 4-time regional champion in the 200 freestyle, and has a career best of 1:51.41 in that event. She was named Swimmer of the Meet in the Region II-4A meet. She received All-State honors 11 times while in High School, and received the bronze medal at the 4A State Championships in the 200 free and 500 free, an event where she has a career best of 4:59.96. She swam in the State Championship all four years she was in high school, and was a USA Scholastic All-American in the 200 free, 500 free, and 1000 freestyle, where she has a career best of 10:16.08, during the 2011 campaign.
"I can't tell you how excited I was when Kimmy Phillips signed her letter of intent to swim for North Texas," said Dykstra. "She is from the Denton area so we've had our eyes on her for some time, however it was only in the last year that she has started to realize her vast potential. At 6'1" she has the type of frame that swim coaches dream of, and as we get her into a more consistent and higher intensity training program, I think she will really become a player at the national level."
Jessica Rodriguez is a distance freestyle and fly swimmer from Stafford, Texas. She attends Dulles High School and swims club for First Colony Swim Team. Her best times include a 5:03.37 in the 500 free, a 2:12.35 in the 200 fly, and a 4:42.23 in the 400 IM.
"Jessica is going to add great depth to our team in all of the distance races, including the 200 fly and 400 IM," said Dykstra. "She is a hard worker, great student, and is going to get a lot faster over the next four seasons."
Krista Rossum is a versatile swimmer who can swim breaststroke, individual medley, and freestyle from Winnipeg, Manitoba. Rossum attends Kelvin High School and swims club for the Manitoba Marlins. She ranked either 1st or 2nd in the Provence of Manitoba in the 50-yard breaststroke, 100-yard breaststroke, where she has a career best of 1:03.50*, 200-yard breaststroke, where she has a best time of 2:16.94*, 200-yard IM, where she has a top time of 2:04.60* and 400-yard IM, where she has a top time of 4:28.04*. Rossum has been a Canadian age group National qualifier since she was 12, and was a Canadian senior national qualifier in 2009-10. She was the cross country provincial champion in 10th grade, and she won the Swimming Award of Merit in 2009-10. She received the Award of Excellence from the Manitoba Marlins, in 2009-10.
"Krista is one of the best student-athletes ever to come into our program and I can't wait for her to arrive in August," said Dykstra. "Her times when converted from meters to yards are better than our school records in 3 events, and she will be in the top 8 on our depth chart in 9 different events. She is also a tremendous student and in many ways typifies the type of team member we are trying to build this program upon. She will be an NCAA qualifier for North Texas and should establish some very lofty times in her career."
Chloe Tong is a breaststroke and individual medley swimmer from Katy, Texas. Tong attends Seven Lakes High School and swims club for Fleet Swimming. She was a member of the seventh place 200 medley relay at the 2010 Texas 5A State Championships. She finished third in the 100 breast, where she has a career best of 1:07.06, and sixth in the 200 IM, where she has a career best of 2:12.27, at 2010 5A-Region V Championships
"Chloe comes to us from Fleet in Houston, which is one of the premier club programs in the country coached by Clayton Cagle," said Dykstra. "She is going to challenge for a travel spot in both breaststrokes and IM races, and will be a valuable asset for us in the years to come."
Shannen Wehrman is a sprint swimmer from Kingwood High School, who won the Texas 5A State Championship in 2010 and 2011. She was named All-American in the 200 free relay, 400 free relay and received All-State honors in the 100 free, with a top time of 59.58. Wehrman was named to the All-Region team each of her four seasons in high school. Wehrman showed academic prowess, as she is a two-time Scholastic All-American (2010, 2011).
"Shannen has the potential to become a great sprinter at North Texas," said Dykstra. "She has great physical tools and a wonderful attitude. She is also a winner, having swam on Kingwood High School's Texas 5A State Championship Team this year including swimming legs on their freestyle relays. I expect that she will use that championship level experience to compete for spots on our sprint relays."
*- Time converted from meters to yards