MADISON, Wisc., June 6. UNIVERSITY of Wisconsin men's and women's swimming and diving head coach Eric Hansen has announced the signing of six individuals to join the Badgers for the 2003-04 season. Four of the six signees are Wisconsin natives.
"We feel this year's class will help us to continue to move forward and break new ground," Hansen said. "We're excited about the size of the new class, as well as the individuals. We're thrilled to get athletes that are so versatile and it's nice to have some local athletes joining our program.
"We return a solid nucleus from last season and we will continue to improve with the talent we have added."
Joe Ebinger, a Mequon native and Homestead graduate, captured the 2003 WIAA Division I state championship in the 500 freestyle. He was named to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel All-Area team.
Michael Hruska, a Verona native and Verona Area High graduate, won consecutive state championships in the 100 breaststroke at the WIAA Division I State Championships as a junior and a senior. He also placed fourth in the 200 individual medley in 2003 and helped lead the Wildcats to a fourth-place team finish.
A.J. Lerner, another Verona native and Verona Area High grad, finished fourth in the 100 breaststroke and fifth in the 100 butterfly at the 2003 state championships. He was also a member of the Wildcats' 200 medley relay squad that earned a runner-up finish.
Tom Molzahn, a Barrington, Ill., native and a Barrington High graduate, holds school records in both the 50 and 100 freestyles. He earned a third-place finish in the 500 freestyle and a fifth in the 200 free at the 2003 Illinois High School Association State Championships.
Stephen Skalinder, an Evanston, Ill., native and Evanston Township High graduate, will compete in the middle distance freestyle events. As a senior he finished seventh in the 100 backstroke at the IHSA State Championships in 2003.
The only addition to the women's squad during the spring signing period is Liz Klanderman. The Madison native and West High graduate placed second in both the 200 and 500 freestyles at the 2003 WIAA Division I state meet. She also helped West earn a pair of runner-up finishes in the 200 and 400 freestyle relays, while helping the Regents place second as a team.
The six individuals join 10 others that previously signed national letters of intent in the fall. The group of 16 includes nine men and seven women.