DENTON, Texas (6/17/10)
- North Texas Swimming & Diving head coach Joe Dyktra announced the addition of 10 student-athletes for the 2010-11 season Thursday.
Kaitlynn Jackson (Littleton, Colo.), Natalie Jakopin (Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada), Samantha Kluttz (Charleston, SC), Lorriane Lopez (Angleton, Texas), Gabriella Lozano (Houston, Texas), Sarida Muslow (Beit Gamliel, Israel), Melanie Tobias (Jakarta, Indonesia), Alexis Widacki (Austin, Texas) and Joanna Wozniak (Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada) will all be joining the Mean Green swimming & diving family this season.
"We are thrilled with the addition of this talented group of swimmers and divers to our program," said Dykstra. "This is probably the most talented and well rounded group of newcomers in the history of our program. They will help us to overcome the loss of a strong senior class from this past year and should keep us in contention for the conference title each and every year."
"This is a group that comes from a variety of locations and backgrounds, but they all have a few things in common such as tremendous academic prowess, lots of potential to improve in the pool, a strong work-ethic, and a positive determined spirit," Dykstra added. "I am also excited about how much height we have in this class of swimmers. While you don't need to be tall in order to swim fast, it certainly helps a great deal and we have been actively trying to recruit more size. With these 10 young ladies, the future of North Texas Swimming & Diving is very bright!"
Information on all 10 student-athletes is listed below including hometown, athletic and academic achievements and a quote from Dykstra:
Littleton, Colo. / Columbine High School
Free, IM, Breast
Columbine HS Record Holder in 100 Free, and three Relays (200FR, 200MR, 400FR)
USA Swimming Junior Nationals Qualifier in 200 IM
Junior Athlete Representative on Colorado Swimming, Inc. Board of Directors
Top 5-percent of class academically
Quote from Coach Dykstra- "Kaitlynn is a real hidden gem. Her improvement rates over the past few years are staggering and there is no end in sight for that trend. Coach Craven at Aces Swimming has done a wonderful job bringing her along and preparing her to continue to get faster and faster in college. She is also a tremendous student and a leader on both her high school and club teams, as well as in the community."
Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada / Michael Power/St. Joseph School
Sprint Free, Back, IM
On Canadian Power Ranking List (top 25 for age) in Free, Back, and IM
Canadian Nationals & Quebec Cup Compeitor
Won numerous community service and achievement awards
Quote from Coach Dykstra- "I am thrilled that Natalie is going to join us next fall. She has an amazing positive energy that will not only help her to keep improving, but will really help everyone on our team. She is physically gifted at 5'11" and is training at a very high level this fall since moving up to the National Group and Coach Thorburn at Etobicoke Swimming, which is one of the premier swim clubs in all of Canada. I expect her to be a major contributor for us in sprint free, backstroke, IM, relays, and to be a future leader in our program."
Charleston, SC / James Island Charter High School
Mid-Distance Freestyle, Fly, IM
South Carolina State Champion in 200 Free in 2007, '08 and '09 and also in the 500 Free in 2009
Quote from Coach Dykstra- "Samantha is a motivated student-athlete that is going to come in a boost our program in the mid distance freestyles and on free relays. She has a tremendous work ethic and drive, and that work ethic is what is going to make her a successful swimmer and student at North Texas."
Angleton, Texas / Angleton High School
Backstroke, Sprint Freestyle
2008, 2009 Texas 4-A State Championship Qualifier
Quote from Coach Dykstra- "Lorraine comes from a relatively small town and hasn't had the opportunity to train year round on a club team, yet comes to us loaded with potential. She is a tremendous student and athlete and has a natural ability to kick fast under water, which is about the most valuable skill there is in backstroke. It may take her a little while this fall to get adjusted to the intensity of the training, but I fully expect her to become one of our top backstrokers and sprint freestylers in her time at North Texas. We had another backstroker from Angleton named Bonnie Garcia-Meitin who was one of the best swimmers in our history and I think Lorraine has the potential to match or even surpass many of Bonnie's marks."
Houston, Texas / Saint Thomas Episcopal School
Third place in 100 Breast at TAPPS - Division III State Championships in 2010
Quote from Coach Dykstra- "I am very excited for Gabriella to join our team. She is a great student and has lots of potential in the pool. She'll help us immediately in the breaststroke races and with some further development also the IM and sprint free races."
Beit Gamliel, Israel / Pelech High School
Breaststroke, Sprint Freestyle
Medalist at Israeli Nationals from 2005-2009
Member of Israeli National Women's Team
Quote from Coach Dykstra- "Sarida will join the team in January as soon as she finishes her compulsory service in the Israeli Defense Force, where she works on maintenance of electronics and communications equipment, and also trains for the National Team. She is a dual US/Israeli citizen, having been born in the US and living in Louisiana as a child. I am really excited about all that Sarida will bring to our program as a swimmer, a student, and most of all a person. When she arrives at mid-year she will immediately challenge for our top breaststroke spot and help us tremendously."
Jakarta, Indonesia / American High School
Sprint Free, Fly
Quote from Coach Dykstra- "Melanie is an American student whose mother works for the US Embassy in Indonesia so she brings a great world perspective to our program. She is a great student and with some hard work and development can really help add depth to our group of sprinters."
San Antonio, Texas / O’Conner High School
Diving, Sprint Freestyle
4th place in 1-meter diving & 50 free at Texas 5A, Region VII Championships in 2010
“Rebecca is a wonderful addition to our team. Coach Pyrch has recruited her to be a diver for us and she has the potential to be one of the best in the Sun Belt. She is unique in that she also swims quite well, and was one of the best sprinters in 5A Region VII this year. She will primarily dive the 1 and 3 meter boards for us, but don’t be surprised to see her in the 50 free or on a sprint relay from time to time.”
Austin, Texas / McNeil High School
in 50 Free and 11th
in 100 Free at Texas 5-A State Championships in 2010
Quote from Coach Dykstra- "Alexis is a relative newcomer to the sport of swimming, but she burst onto the scene this spring as one of the most up-and-coming sprinters in Texas. She is now training at a very high level with Coach Tim O'Brien at Nitro which will prepare her well for starting our program this fall. I expect Alexis might become not only one of our top sprinters, but also one of the best in the Sun Belt, and to have a shot at NCAA's in the near future."Joanna Wozniak
Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada / University of New Orleans
IM, Free, Breast
Eighth in 400 IM, 11th
in 200 IM, 19th
in 200 Breast at 2010 SBC Championships
Swam fastest leg on UNO's 4th
place 800 Free Relay
2008 Canadian Olympic Trials Qualifier
Member of 2 Canadian National Age Group Record Setting Relays with Etobicoke Swim Club
Completed International Baccalaureate Program at St. Joseph
Quote from Coach Dykstra- "It is very unfortunate for the Sun Belt to lose the University of New Orleans, but it is very fortunate for our program to pick up one of their top performers as a transfer. Joanna is going to provide immediate help to our team in the IM's, Breaststrokes, and Mid-Distance Freestyle races. Her current time in the 400 IM is faster than the UNT school record. She had a great freshman campaign at UNO and I expect her to build on that and become one of our top performers for the next three years. She will be an integral part of our quest to win the conference in 2011."