TALLAHASSEE, Florida, December 8. THE Florida State No. 10 men's and No. 6 women's swimming and diving teams signed five student-athletes to national letters of intent. The Seminoles first signing class for the 2007-08 season included three swimmers on the men's side and two swimmers on the women's side. The class includes Scott Baker (Lake Mary, Fla.), Ian Rowe (Towson, Md.), Chelsea Hendry (Augusta, Ga.), Jocelyn Phillips (Napa, Calif.) and Jon Rubritz (Dover, Pa.).
"I think that we emphasized the quality rather than the quantity," said head coach Neil Harper. "We are excited to get these five swimmers. I think that they were well sought out by other programs and we did a great job in recruiting them and our team did a great job in really providing a great atmosphere for these five to really want to come and be here for the next few years to come. I think that we still have a few other spots that we are chasing, but these five really fill our needs and make us feel good about what we did."
Baker is a 2005 graduate of Lake Mary High School and currently attends Indian River Community College. During his time in high school he won three state, district and regional championships. He was also a four time All-American and was the MVP of his team as a senior. At IRCC he currently serves as the captain of the team and has earned seven All-Americans honors at the NJCAA level. At Florida State he plans on majoring in education and computer science.
"Well, obviously Scott has collegiate experience being at a junior college," said Harper. "I'm excited because we tried to recruit him the first time around. He is one of the fastest guys entering Division I college swimming right now. We are just excited about what he brings to our team and how well he fits in. I think it is going to be a great match, I think he is going to learn a lot more skills and I see some big things for him."
Rowe, who currently attends Towson High School, was a USA National Junior Team member in 2006-07. He is a USA Olympic Trials qualifier in the 1500 free (15:33.56) and was named Rookie of the Meet at the 2006 US Nationals. He swam on the USA Swimming FINA World Youth Championships team where he earned a bronze medal in the 1500 free (15:33.97) at the FINA World Youth Championships in Rio de Janeiro. He also was a US Open qualifier in the 400 free (4:04.49) and a US Junior Nationals qualifier in the 400 IM (4:41.42 L) and 200 back (2:10.31 L). He currently holds Maryland state records in the 1650 free (15:21.47; 15-16yrs.) and 1500 free (15:33.56; open). At the 2006 Maryland State Open Championships he took home titles in the 1650 (15:21.47) and 500 free (4:32.61).
"Ian is one of the best distance recruits in the nation," said Harper. "He made the US National Junior team that swam in Brazil this summer and that speaks volumes for our team and especially our distance program that he is coming here."
Hendry currently attends Evans High School. During her time there she is a four time team MVP and eight time state finalist. At the 2006 Georgia High School State Championships she earned the silver medal in the 200 IM and bronze medal in the 100 free. She also earned the honors of 2006 Georgia All-State Team and High School All-American consideration. At the USA swimming level she is a 16 time Georgia All-Star, nine time Senior Sectional qualifier, US Open qualifier in the 100 and 200 fly and a 2006 Junior National Team 100 fly finalist. She was a member of the 2006 Georgia Zone Team where she was a five time medalist that included three silver medals in the 100 and 200 fly and 200 back. At Florida State she plans on majoring in communications and graphic design.
"She is just a great person who comes from a line of Seminoles," said Harper. "She fits in real well and the thing that stands out about her is that she is versatile. She can swim a lot of events and has the potential to score at the conference meet and potentially down the road at NCAAs. She brings that versatility to the program and she will be a great teammate and just a great person to be around so we are excited on all fronts that she will be a part of our family."
Phillips, a student at Vintage High School, earned All-American honors as a sophomore, junior and senior in the 200 and 500 free. She earned the coaches award in 2004 and 2005 and was named team MVP in 2006. She currently holds team records in the 200 and 500 free. She qualified for the Olympic trials during her junior year in the 100 free at Spring Nationals. She plans on majoring in Psychology at Florida State.
"Coming all the way from California she fell in love with the place when she got here," said Harper. "She was pretty picky in terms of what she was looking for in a program, obviously a program that had a great sprinting tradition and she is also looking to moving up into middle distance areas too. We feel that from the freestyle she can cover it from the 50 to the 500 so we think that she is going to be a great asset."
Rubritz, who currently attends Dover Area High School, had a strong showing at the 2006 Pennsylvania High School State Championships as he won the 200 free, finished third in the 100 fly and was a part of the third place medley relay. At the district level he placed second in the 200 free and fourth in the 100 fly and at the county level he was champion in the 100 free. In 2005 he finished first at the state meet as a part of the medley relay and also placed third in the 200 free and eighth in the 100 free. In 2004 he was a state meet qualifier and finished third as a part of 200 free relay and fourth as a part of the 400 free relay. At the YMCA Summer Nationals he placed sixth in the 200 free and 12th in the 100 fly. At Florida State he plans on majoring in mechanical engineering.
"Jon is someone who is coming into his own right now," said Harper. "He changed programs and he was able to win a Penn State Championship. I think his better days are all ahead of him. Jon has not had to many great guys to swim with over the years and that was one of the things that really attracted him to FSU is that he could come train with a great team and a great group of men who aspire to qualify for NCAAs and be the best in conference."