CHARLOTTE, North Carolina, January 6. THE swim program at Queens University of Charlotte has started strong in the early part of the recruiting season with five athletes signing National Letters of Intent to compete for the Royals starting in 2014. Headlined by Nick Arakelian, Hannah Veale, Jessie Parmenter, Jessica Stringfellow, and Patricia Castro-Ortega, this new class offers a lot to be excited about, building on top 10 finishes from both the men and women's teams in 2013.
We are very excited to welcome these tremendous student-athletes to the Royals family," said head coach Jeff Dugdale. "Our future continues to be brighter by the day and these athletes help open the door for us to continue growing our program into the spring."
Nick Arakelian from Lavonia, Mich. brings an immediate impact to the men's program at Queens as one of the country's top overall recruits in 2013. Arakelian's performances in the middle and long distance freestyles as well as IM events will help the Royals at the NCAA Championship level right away.
He joins his sister, Caroline Arakelian who was a two-time NCAA champion in 2013 for the Royals. Arakelian comes from the Kingfish Aquatic Club of Waterford and Livonia-Stevenson High School, where he earned the Michigan High School Division I state record in the 500 yard freestyle. At Kingfish, Arakelian is coached by Brad Brockway.
"I really enjoy working with Nick and Caroline's coach Brad Brockway. He does an excellent job in preparing his athletes and believes in non-traditional pathways to success. Similar to his sister Nick is very versatile and will bring a lot of talent to the Royal family," said Dugdale
Jessie Parmenter from San Marcos, Calif. will join the Royals program as a breaststroke and IM specialist, adding depth to the Royals women's program. A top recruit out of the southern California area, Queens is excited to extend the Royals family to the west coast. Parmenter currently competes for North Coast Aquatic Club under Coach Jeff Pease and San Marcos High School.
"Jesse is good friends with current swimmer Shane Knight thus had excellent insight into the program. Jesse's older sister swims for SMU, thus the family is very in tune with high level collegiate swimming," said Dugdale
Hannah Veale from Fort Lauderdale, Fla. will join the Royals as a freestyler with the capability of impacting team relays immediately. Hannah leaves Florida as a top 25 recruit in the state with championship caliber performances already in place. Veale competes for Pinecrest Crest School under coach Jay Fitzgerald and the affiliated club program.
"Hannah has had a very exciting high school season swimming for Coach Jay Fitzgerald. She is very passionate about performing at the highest level both academically and athletically. We are excited that she will arrive ready to make an impact in our relays from day one," said Dugdale.
Jessica Stringfellow is the first recruit for the Royals from within the state this year, coming from Cary, N.C. and the New Wave Swim Team. Stringfellow will add depth to the women's program in the distance freestyle events. Her consistent work ethic will continue to build an already strong Royals distance program. She comes from Middle Creek High School and the New Wave Swim Team, coached by John Roy.
"Coach John Roy has done an excellent job with Jessica. He brought her to our attention this summer at the N.C. State Championship and Coach Verhoef and myself knew that she belonged at Queens," said Dugdale.
Patricia Castro-Ortega from Madrid, Spain rounds out the class for the Royals. Castro-Ortega looks to bring a great deal of talent to the Royals program, as well as, a wealth of high-level experience. She not only will represent Queens in the pool, but has already competed for Spain in the 2012 Summer Olympic Games when she finished tenth on the 200 freestyle relay team.
"Patri is going to be a welcomed addition to our program, providing an immediate impact in her events. She brings a great deal of experience to the program and will be a great fit for what we look to accomplish," said Dugdale.
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