LYNCHBURG, Virginia, November 22. LIBERTY Head Swimming Coach Jake Shellenberger has announced the signing of five athletes to national letters of intent for the 2011-12 academic year. Marley Cripe, Erin Curry, Emily Duff, Margaret Riel and Chloe Thomas will join the Liberty swimming program for its second year of NCAA Division I competition next fall.
"This is a very talented group of young ladies, as more than half of them come into the conference scoring in the top-eight in their best events," commented Shellenberger. "We greatly improved our relays with this class, which is very important for team performance at the conference meet, and we are expecting those relays to score very high. More importantly, these student-athletes excel in the classroom and are perfect fits for Liberty and the mission of the University. They will instantly make us a better team and will help us to build this program into a winner both in and out of the pool."
Hometown: Noblesville, Ind.
High School: Noblesville High School
Club: Noblesville Swim Club
Club Coach: Richard Wolfred
Intended Major: History
Honors and Highlights: Career best times: 24.26 in the 50 Freestyle SCY, 52.43 in the 100 Freestyle SCY, 27.99 in the 50 Free LCM, 1:00.83 100 Backstroke SCY.
Quote from Shellenberger: "Marley has the ability to be a great athlete at the Division I level. She comes from one of the top club programs in Indiana and has all the tools to excel in our conference, where she scores in the top eight and will contribute immediately on relays."
Hometown: Linwood, New Jersey
High School: Mainland Regional High School
Club: Atlantic City Aquatic Club
Club Coach: David Wakeley
Intended Major: Elementary/Special Education
Honors and Highlights:
-2009: Newark Star-Ledger All-South Jersey third team, 200 IM
– 2009: SJISA (South Jersey Interscholastic Swimming Association) All-South Jersey third team, 200 IM; 2010: SJISA All-South Jersey first team, 200 IM
-Three time Cape Atlantic League All Star
-Career best times: 2:09.41in the 200- yard IM; 4:39.80 in the 400-yard IM; 2:10.57 in the 200-yard backstroke; 25.71 in the 50-yard freestyle; 53.75 in the 100-yard freestyle from a relay start
Quote from Curry: "Liberty is the perfect fit. It has a great swim team, students who take their education seriously, and a safe environment. I feel like Liberty University is where I can flourish as both a swimmer and as a person!"
Quote from Shellenberger: "Erin is coached at the Atlantic City Aquatic Club by David Wakeley, the father of current sophomore Bethany Wakeley. She scores in our conference in backstroke and IM, and will help to provide depth in freestyle as well."
Hometown: Clayton, N.C.
High School: Clayton High School
Club: Marlins of Raleigh
Club Coach: Paul Silver
Intended Major: Biochemistry
Honors and Highlights
-Awarded a Varsity Letter in High School Swimming beginning as a Freshman
-Awarded 2009-2010 Scholastic All-American by USA Swimming (3.7 GPA and 4:32.54 400 IM)
-Qualified and swam at the NC State Championship Meet for 3 consecutive years
-Nationally Ranked 103rd for 17 year old females in USA Swimming's IM Xtreme Challenge
-Qualified and swam at the 2010 Southern Zone Senior Sectionals in the 200/500/1000 free, 100/200 back, 200/400 IM, and 200 breast
-Best Times: 100 free-54.93, 200 free-1:56.27, 500 free-5:10.03, 1000 free-10:34.82, 100 back-59.32, 200 back-2:07.62, 400 IM-4:32.54
Quote from Duff: "I believe Liberty University will provide me the opportunity to achieve both my academic and athletic goals."
Quote from Shellenberger: "Emily comes from one of the best club programs in North Carolina, and will provide much-needed help in the backstroke and IM events. She scores in the top-eight in our conference and will help out our medley relays tremendously."
Hometown: Alpharetta, Ga.
High School: Milton High School
Club: Swim Atlanta
Club Coach: Wil Bayer
Intended Major: Early Childhood Education
Honors and Highlights:
-2007-2011 Georgia All-State Swimmer
-Milton High School Record Holder
– 4 Year Letterman
-Career best times: 24.91 in the 50-yard freestyle; 54.38 in the 100-yard Freestyle, 2:10.20 in the 200-yard backstroke, and 1:00.83 in the 100-yard backstroke.
Quote from Riel: "I chose Liberty because of the opportunities to grow as not only an athlete, but as a person. At Liberty, I will be a part of history as the swim team makes a name for itself. At Liberty, I feel at home!"
Quote from Shellenberger: "Margaret comes to Liberty from SwimAtlanta and scores in our conference in both backstroke events. She will fight for relay spots and will provide much-needed depth in the freestyle events as well."
Hometown: Souderton, Penn.
High School: Souderton Area High School
Intended Major: Elementary Education
Honors and Highlights:
-3 time varsity letter for swimming
-Suburban 1 All League
-2008-2009- 1st team: 200 Medley Relay, 200 Free Relay
-All District 1
2008-2009, 2009-2010- 50 Free, 400 Free Relay, 200 Free Relay, 200 Medley Relay
2008-2009- 400 Free Relay, 200 Free Relay
2009-2010- 200 Free Relay, 50 Free
2008-2009- 200 Free Relay & 400 Free Relay State Champions and Record Holders
-Career Bests: 50 Free SCY 23.88, 100 Free SCY 52.78
Quote from Thomas: "I am so excited to be going to Liberty to continue my swimming and so excited to see what God's plan is for my future."
Quote from Shellenberger: "Chloe is one of the top sprinters out of Pennsylvania, and has improved greatly under Todd Bauer at Souderton High School. She will make our relays better instantly and scores in the top eight in our conference as well."
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