LAWRENCE, Kansas, November 15. CLARK Campbell and the Kansas Swimming and Diving team have announced the signings of four athletes to the 2012 recruiting class, Monday.
Those signees include three swimmers, who all rank in the top ten of their home state's recruiting class. Diving coach Eric Elliott also announced the signing of one diver, Meredith Brownwell, from Union, Ky.
The trio of swimmers includes Bryce Hinde from Fort Scott, Kan., Haley Molden out of Topeka, Kan. and Chelsie Miller who will come to Lawrence from Houston, Texas.
"Our primary focus (for this signing class) was a small but highly talented group of athletes," Campbell said. "We are excited about our class, which is small in number but is a very high-quality class nonetheless."
Campbell and the Jayhawks will be losing five seniors at the completion of the 2011-12 season, so the incoming freshman class will be a welcome addition.
"We do have a small but mighty senior class leaving," Coach Campbell said. "And we are relatively young, so having this group of signees come in, with who we have returning, makes our program's future pretty bright."
BRYCE HINDE / BREASTSTROKE, IM / FORT SCOTT, KAN.
Hinde, (rhymes with kind) has shown significant dedication toward her swimming career. That's because the Fulton, Kan. native has to drive about 80-miles each day, just to practice and compete with the KC Blazers Swim Team.
"Bryce is your prototypical diamond in the rough," Campbell said. "Because she has to drive so far, she is only able to swim once a day. She has accomplished a lot on that schedule, but this past summer she was able to stay in Kansas City during the week and because of that improved a tremendous amount."
Hinde's progress this summer culminated with her making the `C' Finals at Junior Nationals and is only a few tenths of a second off of an Olympic Trial cut.
"She is a breaststroker, who I think will improve a lot simply from the fact of having everything close by," her future coach said. "Instead of driving an hour and a half one way to practice, she will be able to walk there. She has a lot of upside and I am really excited about getting the opportunity to work with her."
Hinde's club coach is Gardner Howland, who helped her become a Junior National Qualifier and eventually a finalist. She was also named to the 2010 USA Swimming Scholastic All-America Team. Her parents are Randy and Jennifer Hinde and she attends Fort Scott Senior High School.
CHELSIE MILLER / IM, DISTANCE FREE, BREASTSTROKE / HOUSTON, TEXAS
Miller will join sophomore Morgan Sharp as a pair of swimmers from the same club team in Houston. Both have swam for FLEET, which is coached by Clayton Cagle. Cagle is no stranger to Campbell and the KU program as he was an assistant when Campbell was a collegiate swimmer at KU.
"We identified Chelsie early on in the process and have been recruiting her for a long time," Campbell said. "She had a breakout year this summer and had great meets at senior and junior nationals, while qualifying in three events for the Olympic Trials."
Campbell thinks the void left by graduating senior Stephanie Payne, will be felt less when Miller steps onto campus in the fall.
"Chelsie will be coming in with a lot of accomplishments already and we are real excited that she will compete in almost the same events as Stephanie and help us right off the bat," Campbell thought.
Swimming with FLEET, Miller has earned three Olympic Trial cuts, and qualified for junior and senior nationals. She was also a finalist during the 2011 junior and senior nationals in Palo Alto, Calif. Her parents are Cyndie and Charlie Miller.
HALEY MOLDEN / FREESTYLE, BACKSTROKE, BUTTERFLY / TOPEKA, KAN.
Haley Molden's arrival to Mount Oread has been long anticipated, as she caught the eye of Kansas coaches before age ten.
"I remember seeing Haley when I first came here ten years ago," Coach Campbell remembered. "She was an eight-year old swimmer and I have known her dad (Ron), for years. I will never forget her writing to me in a message once, that `I am a Jayhawk at heart'.
Molden has accumulated numerous accomplishments swimming for Paul Monroe and the Topeka Swim Association, as she is a USA junior national qualifier and was named the 2010 State 6A Swimmer of the Year.
"She is a very dynamic sprinter who primarily does sprint free, but also does really well in sprint fly and sprint back," Campbell said. "She is versatile and incredibly coachable and she has a wonderful background, not only in the water, but also on dry land as she is very athletic and is incredibly gifted at lifting weights."
Taking a quick glance at the 2012 swimming signees, Campbell and his staff can claim the two top recruits out of the Sunflower State as both Haley Molden and Bryce Hinde will be wearing Crimson and Blue in the water next season. Chelsie Miller was ranked in the top 10 of swimmers from the Lone Star State.
"Our assistant coach Jen Fox, who heads up our recruiting efforts as coordinator did an awesome job," Campbell said. "We are excited about the student athletes we will have coming into our program next season."
MEREDITH BROWNELL / DIVING / UNION, KY.
The lone diving signee for Kansas comes from the commonwealth of Kentucky, where Meredith Brownell (pronounced BRON-ELLE) competes for Larry Ryle High School in Union. Brownell is a decorated and talented diver who finished second at the 2010 Kentucky state meet and has been named All-State for three straight years (2009-11).
"We are very excited to have Meredith coming in next year," said diving coach Eric Elliott. "She has competed at the junior nationals and is a very talented young lady, who has a ton of potential."
Brownell also competes for Red Hawk Elite Diving Academy, which is under the direction of Miami (OH) University head diving coach KongRong Li.
"I think one of the things that drew her to the University of Kansas was that we have a lot of very good training equipment," Elliott said. "We have a trampoline, dry board with spotting rigs as well as a great strength coach, nutritionists and a lot of academic support. I think with all of those resources behind her, she is really going to take-off once she gets here."
Brownell was a USA Diving Spring East National Qualifier for Coach Li and her club team from 2006-09, and became the USA Diving Spring Region 4 Champion in 2007 and 2009.
The four freshmen continue to compete with their respective club teams through the spring and then will arrive in Lawrence, starting in August.
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