NORMAL, Illinois, December 6. UPON graduation in May there will be many voids to fill on the Illinois State swimming and diving team. Redbird head coach Steve Paska has begun to fill those voids by adding three new swimmers to the roster for the 2007-2008 season. Christine Byron, Caitlin Costa and Amy Schaefer have officially signed their national letters of intent to continue both their swimming and educational careers at Illinois State.
Paska believes each recruit will bring their own unique attributes to the team next year.
"By these three swimmers signing with Illinois State, we've set the foundation," said Paska. "Each of the newly signed recruits will be filling vital roles for the success of the 2007-2008 team."
Byron comes to Illinois State from Barrington High School in Lake Barrington, Ill., where she is a multi-sport athlete competing in swimming, gymnastics and water polo. As a coach, Paska is excited she picked swimming as her collegiate sport.
"Christine is very athletic, and I feel wholeheartedly that her fastest swimming years are going to be at Illinois State," Paska said. "There is a certain persona about her, and she is coming into this with an outstanding work ethic. The personality she has and the passion she holds for the sport of swimming is definitely going to contribute to our swimming program."
Costa is a native of Montgomery, Ill., and has spent the last four years swimming distance freestyle events for Oswego High School. Paska is thrilled about signing a swimmer that is passionate about distance events.
"I always try to find recruits who like to swim distance events," said Paska. "Caitlin's best events are her distance events, and that is where she excels. We need to get deeper rotation in our distance events, and I think Caitlin will be an incredible addition to help our team accomplish that in the next four years."
Schaefer has been recruited from Rosary High School in Aurora, Ill., where she and her team just claimed the 2006 Illinois High School Association Championship. Paska looks forward to working with a swimmer coming from such a talented program.
"Rosary High School has been one of the most successful women's swimming programs in Illinois for the past few years," Paska said. "Coming from such a program, Amy knows what it takes to become a champion, and I believe she will bring a winning attitude to our team during the next four years. She is a very versatile swimmer, an outstanding student and has the work ethic every coach dreams of. Amy is somebody who has been passionate about the sport of swimming for a long time, and having been with successful programs all of her life, I think she is going to lend a helping hand to our team in many ways."