COLLEGE STATION, Texas, December 12. TEXAS A&M Head Coach Steve Bultman announced the signing of three swimmers to letters-of-intent yesterday.
The Aggies signed Meghan Nebera (Brentwood, Tenn.), Rebecca Sturdy (Anacortes, Wash.) and Jenna Wheeler (Ft. Smith, Ark.) during the early signing period in mid-November.
Meghan Nebera swims for the Nashville Aquatic Club coached by John Morse. She is a senior at Brentwood High School where she swims for Coach Dawn VanCuren. Nebera, a two-time high school All-American, had six top ten finishes at the Tennessee state meet including a runner-up effort in the 100 fly last year as a junior. She has senior national qualifying times in the 200 butterfly in both short course and long course races as well as an Olympic trials qualifying time. Meghan is the daughter of Dennis and Ileana Nebera.
"I fell in love with A&M the moment I set foot there," Nebera said. "When I met the girls on the team I knew that's where I belonged! Everything fit perfectly and I just knew that I could flourish there!"
"Meghan is coming from a great club program," Bultman said. "She has had consistent improvement, and she has her Olympic trial cut in the 200 fly, which will contribute to our butterfly strength over the next several years. In addition, she has some versatility with strengths in middle distance freestyle and IM events. Meghan is serious about her swimming and her academics, and we feel that we can provide her with a great balance of both which will allow her to be a successful student-athlete. We're very pleased to have her join our program."
Rebecca Sturdy, a senior at Anacortes High School, swims for Coach Leslie Mix and dad Gary Sturdy. Her club team is th Thunderbird Aquatic Club coached by Mike Bemis. She is a USA Swimming Academic All-American, four-time high school swimmer of the year and was named Washington state high school swimmer of the year in 2002. She was the first swimmer in her high school's history to win a state title. She has nine top five finishes at state including four individual state titles with three coming in the 100 butterfly. Sturdy has senior national qualifying times in the 100 and 200 back, 100 and 200 fly, 100 freestyle and 200 individual medley and has Olympic trial qualifying times in the 100 and 200 back. Rebecca is the daughter of Gary and Karen Sturdy.
"I love the traditions and school spirit at A&M," Sturdy said. "Working with Steve and Kristin will be a great experience. A&M is an up-and-coming team that I think will be a lot of fun to work with over the next couple of years."
"We are very excited to have Rebecca come to A&M," Bultman said. "She has six senior national qualifying times * the most of any incoming freshman we've signed in my four years here. She is very versatile and can help us in a number of places over the next four years * fly, back, sprint freestyle, or IM. We feel that she could also be one who helps the United States out as a national team member, as she has her Olympic trial cuts in the 100 and 200 backstroke and she is close in several other events. She has had some great coaching which really lays a strong foundation for us to work with. We had fun recruiting her and getting to know her family, and it will be great to continue to develop those relationships."
Jenna Wheeler, a senior at Southside High School, is coached by Ian Bullock who is also her club coach for the Fort Smith Tideriders. Wheeler is a USA Swimming Academic All-American and has four top three finishes at the state meet in the past two years. She is the defending state champion in the 100 butterfly and was also a member of the state champion 200 medley and 400 freestyle relay teams. She owns her high school records i the 50, 100 and 500 free, 100 back and 200 IM. She has achieved a senior national qualifying time in the 200 fly and has won numerous state club titles. Jenna is the daughter of John and Celeste Wheeler.
"I was looking for a school where I could truly combine a great education with a great swim program and A&M was it," said Wheeler. "The overall atmosphere and enthusiasm of the school made me want to be a part of it. The team, the coaches and the facilities were all awesome!"
"Jenna has been a hard worker which has really allowed her to improve a lot over the last few years," Bultman said. "She is also a good student which is very important to us as a team. Jenna knew a lot about Texas A&M before her visit, as her brother is a sophomore here this year, so she knew about our strong traditions and really liked the atmosphere that we offer. We are excited that she is going to be joining us next fall, as we really feel that her best swimming is yet to come."