July 16, 2014
DENTON - North Texas swimming and diving head coach Brendon Bray announced today the signing of six newcomers to national letters of intent: Barbara Wasilewsua, Marisa Pulaski, Deneen Carter, Annamaria Zombai, Allison Crites and Cecilia Hernandez.
“I think that the spring signees really are great compliments to the swimmers and divers that have already committed to coming to UNT from the fall,” Bray said.
North Texas will add the talents of six swimmers and two divers for the 2014-15 season after losing seven this past year.
The Mean Green signed four high-school student athletes this fall, including Isabelle Morris, Sydney Buckley, Caroline Culpepper and Lauren Tidwell.
Wasilewsua will bring her distance freestyle talents to the Mean Green from Poland. In the 1500 freestyle, she ranked 16th in the world with time of 16.36.64 recorded at the Polish Winter Nationals in December. In 2014, she competed in the Polish Summer Nationals where she placed fourth in the 400 with a lifetime-best of 4:19.83, seventh in the women’s 800 just off her best time of 8:49.7, and ninth in the 200 entered with her best time of 2:05.5.
"Barbara brings elite international-level experience to our team and will make an instant impact in all the freestyle events, from the 200 to the 1650,”Bray said. “She was the runner up in the 1500 this year and has not trained in a large competitive group like she will have here at UNT. She just recently earned best times at her short course and long course national meets and is ranked 16th in the world in short course meters last season. I expect her to improve greatly while she is here."
Pulaski, a transfer from the University of Buffalo, is a breaststroke specialist from Dayton, Ohio. Pulaski posted a time of in the 200 (2:33.45) in the 200 to qualify for the long-course nationals and qualified in short-course with a time of 2:14.30.
“Marisa will make an immediate impact in the 100 and 200 breaststroke and also will help us in the IM,” Bray said. “She is a US national qualifier in the 200 breaststroke long course, and will really bolster our breaststroke training group.”
Carter is a freestyle swimmer from Bedford, Texas, and member of the FAST Swim Team and coached by Ron Forrest. She posted personal-best times of 52.80 in the 100 free, 1:53.96 in the 200 free, and 5:09.73 in the 500 free.
“Deneen is a talented freestyler who swims for a great club team in Ft. Worth and can really compete in any distance of freestyle,” Bray said. “She has a great fitness background and incredible work ethic and I think that will be a huge asset to our team.”
Zombai, a native of Budapest, Hungary, swam a best time in the 200 freestyle of 2:03.87 LCM. She also will be a key for relay positions in the 50 (27.3 LCM) and 100 free (58.1 LCM).
“Annamaria has some extensive international swimming experience and her best time in the 200 free makes a huge impact on bolstering our middle distance freestyle group,” Bray said. “She can swim any freestyle event from the 50 to the 500.”
North Texas also adds two divers, Crites from Lubbock, Texas, and Hernandez from Misson, Texas.
“Allison and Cecilia, like Deneen, are from Texas, and our diving coach is super excited to work with them because of their potential,” Bray said. “Allison is really going to help the competitive atmosphere of our diving program after we graduated two senior captains last season. With Cecilia’s abilities and coach Jim Pyrch's long track record of developing talented divers into elite level performers, she will contribute greatly to our program."
Fall signees who made an improvement in the pool include butterliers, Buckley who won the Colorado State Championship in the 100 fly with her time of 55.8 and Culpepper’s lifetime best of 2:04.8 in the 200 fly. Tidwell posted a best time at the Texas high school championship in the 100 free (51.7) and the 50 in 23.8.
“We have a great core group of swimmers and divers returning and I think we have not only replaced the student-athletes that have moved on from the program, but taken a big step forward in addressing our areas of improvement and raising the level of competition on our team for next year,” Bray said.