Kansas Swimming and Diving Adds Seven
Nov. 28, 2012
LAWRENCE, Kan. - Kansas swimming and diving has signed seven student athletes including Olympic Trials qualifier and Topeka, Kan. native, Sammie Schurig, to National Letters of Intent during the fall signing period.
Schurig joins Hannah Angell, Lindsay Manning, Allison Merecka, Leah Pfitzer, Gretchen Pocisk and Graylyn Jones as student-athletes deciding to further their education and athletic careers at Kansas. The 2013 class spans four states, including two swimmers from Kansas, three from Texas, one from Ohio and a diver from Georgia.
“We are thrilled these seven athletes will be joining us next fall,” Kansas head coach Clark Campbell said. “Each has the capability to help us immediately and make us a better team. Coach (Jen) Fox and coach (Eric) Elliott worked hard on this class for some time and we look forward to their arrival next season.”
Schurig swam at Washburn Rural High School and for the Topeka Swim Association club team under head coach Barry Neville. She qualified for the 2012 Olympic Trials, where she swam with three current Jayhawks, with a time of 2:19.51 in the 200-yard backstroke at the USA Swimming Sectionals held in Jenks, Okla., last March. In addition to her specialty in the backstroke, Schurig will also compete in the individual medley and middle distance freestyle events at KU.
“We’ve had our eye on Sammie for a while,” Campbell said. “Of our signing class, Sammie was the lone 2012 Olympic Trial qualifier. Her local ties will create excitement in the swimming community as she develops her talents as a Jayhawk.”
Angell also has local ties; the Overland Park, Kan., native joins the Jayhawks as the other commitment from the state of Kansas for the 2013 signing class. Angell attended Blue Valley Southwest High School and swam for the Kansas City Blazers club team under head coach Gardner Howland. Angell was a Junior National qualifier and narrowly missed qualifying for the Olympic Trials last summer.
“Hannah is an athlete that we’ve watched for a while as one of the top Kansas swimmers in the class of 2013,” Campbell said. “She has improved a lot and we’re excited to start working with her, as she has big goals and will make an immediate impact.”
Manning joins the Jayhawks from Spring, Texas where she attended Oak Ridge High School and swam for the Magnolia Aquatic Club under head coach Scott MacFarland. She earned the distinction of Junior National Qualifier in several distance freestyle events, which is where Campbell sees her helping next year’s team the most.
“Lindsay will play a major role for us in the distance group,” Campbell said. “She is fortunate working with Coach MacFarland, as he has a lot of experience developing athletes in her area of expertise. As one of the top distance swimmers in Texas, she will come in and help us as soon as she arrives in Lawrence.”
Merecka is from Cypress, Texas where she attended Cypress Woods High School and swam for the Cypress Fairbanks Swim Club (FLEET) under head coach Clayton Cagle and swam with current Jayhawks junior Morgan Sharp and freshman Chelsie Miller. Like Manning, Campbell hopes that Merecka will impact the Jayhawks distance freestyle events next year.
“Allison is our third athlete from the FLEET program in the last three years,” Campbell said. “She is a lot like Morgan (Sharp) and will help us in the middle-distance freestyle events. Our hope is that she develops into a Big 12-level miler as well.”
Rounding out the Texas portion of the class, Pfitzer comes to Lawrence from Kingwood, Texas where she attended Kingwood High School and swam for Blue Tide Aquatics under head coach Charlie Fry. Pfitzer is also a Junior National Qualifier and will help the Jayhawks in the butterfly and sprint freestyle events.
“Leah rounds out our contingent from Houston,” Campbell said. “Leah will come in and help right away in the sprint free and fly events. We believe she will benefit from our strength program and develop into a high level sprinter.”
Pocisk has KU ties through her grandfather, Riley Donald, who played basketball at KU under legendary coach Dr. Phog Allen from 1950-51. Pocisk attended Oakwood High School in Dayton, Ohio and swam for the Dayton Raiders club team under head coach Kevin Weldon. When Pocisk joins the Jayhawks, she will be looked upon to contribute in the breaststroke, the individual medley and the sprint freestyle.
“Gretchen continues her family’s tradition within Kansas Athletics,” Campbell said. “She will help right away in her specialty, which is breaststroke. We are also looking forward to developing her sprint freestyle capabilities as well.”
Jones joins the Jayhawks as the lone diving recruit for the 2013 class. Jones attended Wheeler High School in Marietta, Ga., and dove for the Metro Atlanta Divers club team under head coach Bill Humber. Jones picked up two top-15 finishes at the 2012 AAU Diving National Championships, finishing seventh in the one-meter (313.5) and 12th in the three-meter (307.7) event.
“I think she will be very good,” diving coach Eric Elliott said. “She is one of those ‘diamond in the rough’ types that come under the radar. She is an extremely hard worker and will do whatever you ask her to do and that is big. You want kids that want to work and want to improve.”
The Jayhawks are currently training for their spring 2013 schedule, which begins on Saturday, Jan. 12, when they travel to Los Angeles, Calif., for a double dual against San Diego State and host UCLA at the Spieker Aquatics Center.
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