Dec. 3, 2013
DENTON, Texas - North Texas swimming and diving head coach Brendon Bray announced today the signing of four high-school swimmers to national letters of intent: Isabelle Morris, Sydney Buckley, Caroline Culpepper and Lauren Tidwell.
"The fall signees make an instant impact on our team," Bray said. "All four swimmers will vie for relay spots in their first year, help us in events that we are looking to get better in, and they will fit well into our new system and will help our program move forward."
Isabelle Morris from Silverthorn Collegiate, in Toronto, Canada, will bring her talents in sprit freestyle events to the Mean Green in the 2014-15 season. Morris, a member of the Etobicoke Swim Club and coached by Kevin Thornburn, was ranked third in the 200-meter free in the 2012-13 long-course season for Canada Age Group Swimming (2:03.98) and fourth in the 100-meter free with a time of 57.78, where she won the Hicken Swim Cup in April 2013. Throughout the short course season, Morris was ranked in the top 10 in the 100M free, where she placed second at the Junior Ontario Championships in 2012, the 50M free, with the time of 26.1 for a bronze-medal finish at the Eastern Canadian Championships, and is also ranked in the top-10 for the 200M free.
"I had a chance to see Isabelle swim this summer, and, from the first time I saw her, I knew she was somebody we wanted to have on our team," Bray said. "I think she has a tremendous training and international competition background that is only going to get better in American short-course yards training. She was a top priority because not only can she swim the 200 free at a very high level, but she also has a great 50 and 100 free as well, so she will bolster our sprint relays while also being a force in the 200."
Sydney Buckley, a senior from Cheyenne Mountain High School in Colorado Springs, CO, is a butterflier who was the 2012-13 state champion coached by Kate Doane and Torpedo's head coach Roy Chaney. Her time of 56.41, a school record.
Buckley was also the most valuable swimmer for her school concluding the season.
"I am very excited to have Sydney join our team," Bray said. "She has been steadily dropping time every season and I expect that to continue. She is eager to join our program because of the emphasis we hold on race-pace training, and is a great student of the sport."
Caroline Culpepper, a Sacramento, CA native, will join the Mean Green with her middle-distance specialties. Coached by Debbie Walker of California Capitals Aquatics, Culpepper has reached lifetime-best in the 100 (57.6) and 200 fly (2:05.00). She also holds all eight varsity records at Antelope High School, along with three CCA records.
"Caroline fit in at North Texas as soon as she arrived," Bray said. "The 200 butterfly really is an area we can approve upon, and I think that she will significantly help our team improve in that event as well as middle distance freestyle. We look forward to having her with us, and I can't wait to get started working with her."
Lauren Tidwell, from Round Rock, Texas, is a sprint-freestyler who was a state finalist in 2012-13 in the 50 and 100 free and as a member of the 200 medley and 400 free relays. Coached by Cedar Ridge High School's head coach David Partenheimer and Texas Gold club coach Aubrey Knapper, Tidwell achieved lifetime-bests in the 50 (24.18), a school record, and the 100 free (52.56).
"She has great potential in the sprint events and will add depth and challenge for relay spots in her first year," Bray said. "We always love to be a top option for in-state Texas swimmers, so her choice to stay close to home is a great source of pride for our program."