DENTON, Texas- North Texas swimming and diving announced five more commitments to increase the 2012 recruiting class to ten. The Mean Green lose eight seniors from its 2011-12 squad that finished third at the Sun Belt Conference Swimming and Diving Championships.
Jana Burkard is a 5'6" distance freestyle swimmer that graduated from the Gymnasium Suderelbe in Hamburg, Germany. Transferring from Hamburg Academy for Communications Design, she holds personal bests (50-m pool) in the 200-m free (2:06.20), 400-m free (4:21.06), 800-m free (8:58.50), and 1500-m free (17:13.86). At the 2012 German National Olympic Time Trials, Burkard placed ninth in the 400 and 1500 free, and 15th in the 800 free.
"Jana is a very talented freestyle swimmer," commented North Texas Swimming and Diving Head Coach Joe Dykstra. "She will come in and immediately be one of our top swimmers in all the freestyle events 200 and over. Adding her to an already potent group of mid-distance and distance freestylers will make our team better in both training and competition. We are thrilled she has decided to join the Mean Green!"
Freshman swimmer Mona Groteguth, a native of Springe, Germany, also competed in the German National Olympic Time Trials. Groteguth placed 13th in the 50 and 100 back, and 15th in the 200 back.
Bianca Bocsa is a 5'6" sprint freestyle/butterfly swimmer that goes to the National College Emil Racovita in Buchacrest, Romania. Bocsa holds personal best times (50-m pool) in the 50-m free (27.14), 100-m free (58.89), 200-m free (2:08.50), 50-m fly (28.68), and 100-m fly (1:03.17).
"Bianca is one of the best swimmers in Romania. She will be one of our top sprinters as soon as she arrives on campus in the fall and will be a mainstay on our relays for the next 4 years. Along with the sprinters we signed back in the November recruiting period, Bianca will really help to improve our team performance in the short events."
Sarah Manning is a 5'10" transfrer from TCU that specializes in the backstroke and has three years of eligibility remaining. She holds personal top times in the 100 back (59.16), 200 back (2:02.60), and 100 fly (58.93).
"We are excited that Sarah has decided to transfer to North Texas. We were looking for some depth behind Mona Groteguth in the backstroke races and Sarah can provide that for us immediately."
Haley Goertz is a 5'9" freestyle swimmer that goes to Fontainbleau High School In Mandeville, Louisiana. As a swimmer for Franco's Fins Swim Team, Goertz holds personal best times in the 50 free (24.80), 100 free (54.57), 200 free (1:57.38), 500 free (5:14.71), 1000 free (10:45.86), and 1650 free (17:56.57).
"We are really excited about what Haley will bring to our program. Not only will she add depth to our team with her ability to swim every distance of freestyle, she is also a tremendous student and will be in the Honors College here at UNT."
Zahra Kiaee is a diver from Denver, Colorado. The future Mean Green diver qualified for the state meet after only a year and a half of experience of jumping off the boards.
"Zahra is a real good twister and will be ahead of the game when she arrives," commented Head Diving Coach Jim Pyrch. "She hasn't been on a club team so she'll bring more energy to the team.
The Mean Green signed five swimmers during the early signing period in the fall of 2011.
Michelle Balcaen is a 5'11' sprint freestyle/butterfly swimmer that goes to Beaver Brae Secondary School in Kenora, Ontario, Canada. She holds personal top times (50-m pool) in the 50-m free (26.75), 100-m free (59.16), 200-m free (2:10.35), 50-m fly (29.20), and 100-m fly (1:05.87).
Gaby Colunga is a 5'5" swimmer from San Antonio, Texas and races in the butterfly, backstroke, and individual medley. She holds personal best times in the 100 fly (57.10), 200 fly (2:05.80), 200 back (2:05.38), and 400 IM (4:36.01). In the 100 fly, Colunga took second place at the Texas 5A-Region 7 Championships and 10th at the Texas 5A Championships.
Mackenzie Childs is a 5'7" sprint freestyle/backstroke swimmer from Magnolia, Texas. She holds personal best times in the 50 free (24.24), 100 free (51.57), 100 back (58.94), and 200 back (2:07.57). Childs won the 100 free in the Texas 4A-Region 5A Championships and took third in the 50 free. At the Texas 4A State Championships, she won bronze in the 100 free and placed sixth in the 50 free.
Zoe James is a 5'8" backstroke swimmer from Austin, Texas. She holds personal best times in the 100 back (1:00.67) and 200 back (2:10.36).
Ashley Payne is a 5'8" individual medley, butterfly, and breaststroke swimmer from El Paso, Texas. She holds personal best times in the 200 IM (2:09.33), 100 fly (57.39), 200 fly (2:11.91), 100 breast (1:06.88), and 200 breast (2:27.08). At the Texas 5A-Region 1 Championships, Payne won the 100 fly, took fourth in the 100 breast, and clocked the fastest split (52.55) on the first-place finishing 400 free relay team. She also placed 14th in the 100 fly and 15th in the 400 free relay at the Texas 5A State Championships.