CHAPEL HILL, N.C., June 20. THE University of North Carolina swimming program has added 10 swimmers to its 2012-13 recruiting class, head coach Rich DeSelm announced Thursday. The group includes eight incoming freshmen as well as two transfer students. It is comprised of five women and five men.
The women include transfer Hannah Runyon-Hass (Franklin, Tenn.) as well as freshmen Liliana Casso (Los Angeles, Calif.), Katie McKay (Holmdel, N.C.), Catherine Munch (Clifton, Va.) and Emily Pfeiffer (Washington, N.C.).
Joining the men's team will be transfer Nicholas Lowe (Baltonsborough, England) in addition to freshmen Christian Caveness (Wilmington, N.C.), Ben Mayes (Cary, N.C.), Patrick Niess (New Orleans, La.) and Ted Steinkamp (Indianapolis, Ind.).
Following are brief bios and quotes concerning each member of the recruiting class.
Liliana Casso, Los Angeles, Calif., Team Santa Monica (Coach Dave Kelsheimer), Marlborough High School
Distance Freestyle, Member of USA Open Water National Junior Team
Top Times: 1000-yard freestyle (10:10.31), 1650-yard freestyle (17:09.69)
Coach DeSelm on Liliana: “Liliana has tremendous potential in the distance events. She is somewhat untapped in short course swimming as she has devoted much of her effort to Open Water events over the past few years. We are eager to add Liliana to our training group and watch her take off her freshman year.”
Casso on her decision: “UNC offered the best combination of the highest level of academics and athletics, as well as a great sense of community that was not present at any other university that I visited.”
Katie McKay, Holmdel, N.C., Red Bank YMCA (Coach Jack Caucino), Holmdel High School
Sprint Freestyle, YMCA National All-America
Top Times: 50-yard freestyle (23.90); 100-yard freestyle (52.50)
Coach DeSelm on Katie: “Katie has a lot of experience through her years of participation with Red Bank Y at YMCA Nationals. We are looking forward to working with Katie and developing her at UNC.”
McKay on her decision: “UNC offers everything I wanted in a school: amazing academics, a perfect size and location, and of course one of the best swim teams in the country. I'm so excited and honored to swim for Carolina in the fall.”
Catherine Munch, Clifton, Va., Machine Aquatics (Coach Dan Jacobs), Robinson Secondary School
Breaststroke, Individual Medley, NSCA Junior National Finalist
Top Times: 100-yard breaststroke (1:03.71); 200-yard breaststroke (2:17.43); 200-yard individual medley (2:04.43)
Coach DeSelm on Catherine: “Catherine is a rapidly improving breaststroker/IMer and our third Machine Aquatics swimmer to commit to UNC in the past two years. We have a deep breaststroke group on the women's team this coming year and it will be fun to help Catherine and the group improve.”
Munch on her decision: “I choose UNC because of its outstanding academic reputation and because the team seems like a perfect fit for me. The team has been supportive and accepting throughout the recruiting process and I know the coaches will help me to meet my goals and grow as a swimmer.”
Emily Pfeiffer, Washington, N.C., Greenville Swim Club (Coach Casey Charles), Washington High School
Breaststroke, 2013 North Carolina state champion in 100-yard breaststroke
Top Times: 100-yard breaststroke (1:03.97), 200-yard breaststroke (2:18.55)
Coach DeSelm on Emily: “Emily makes a big commitment to drive a significant distance from home to train with Coach Charles in Greenville. Once she arrives on campus at UNC, we feel her swimming is going to take off. She will also join our great group of female breaststrokers.”
Pfeiffer on her decision: “I chose UNC for many reasons. I wanted to find the best training environment and a place that I would truly be challenged. I think UNC was the perfect choice for me. The team was so warm and welcoming during my recruiting trip and they really made me feel like a part of their family. I can't wait to be with them all next fall and start my collegiate training.”
Hannah Runyon-Hass, Franklin, Tenn., Nashville Aquatic Club (Coach John Morse), Transfer from Western Kentucky University
Butterfly, Individual Medley, 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials Qualifier
Top Times: 200-yard butterfly (2:00.26), 200-yard individual medley (1:59.99), 400-yard individual medley (4:14.48)
Coach DeSelm on Hannah: “We are excited to welcome Hannah to UNC. She is an accomplished fly and IM specialist transferring from Western Kentucky. Hannah will add tremendous scoring potential and depth to our team.
Runyon-Hass on her decision: “I chose to attend UNC for the unmatches academic and athletic opportunities. From the moment I met my future teammates they were welcoming and supportive. I am excited to be a Tar Heel.”
Nicholas Lowe, Baltonsborough, England, Millfield Swim Club (Coach Jol Fink), Transfer from UNC Wilmington
Sprint Freestyle, Butterfly, 2012 & 2013 Colonial Athletic Association Champion in 100-yard butterfly
Top Times: 50-yard freestyle (20.07); 100-yard freestyle (44.32); 100-yard butterfly (47.36)
Coach DeSelm on Nick: “Nick joins us after spending two seasons at UNC–Wilmington where he was a very successful student and swimmer. He should make an immediate impact in the shorter free and fly events and we are looking forward to working with Nick to develop his skills further.”
Lowe on his decision: “I chose UNC because the school seems like a second home. I felt welcomed by the team and all the coaching staff. The academics are fantastic. The athletic programs are amazing. It was a perfect fit for me!”
Christian Caveness, Wilmington, N.C., Waves of Wilmington (Coach David Sokolofsky), Emsley A. Laney High School
Sprint Freestyle, Butterfly
Top Times: 50-yard freestyle (20.75); 100-yard freestyle (45.23); 100-yard butterfly (49.29)
Coach DeSelm on Christian: “Christian is a terrific student and swimmer from Wilmington, N.C. He won his division of the state high school championships this season. We think Christian has a lot of ability in free and fly sprints and he will be a terrific addition to the UNC community.
Caveness on his decision: “I chose UNC because the team had a great atmosphere, it has one of the fastest teams in the conference and nation, and the chemistry department is one of the best in the country. It is also close to home which is always a plus.”
Ben Mayes, Cary, N.C., YMCA of the Triangle (Coach Chad Onken), St. David's School
Freestyle, Individual Medley
Top Times: 200-yard freestyle (1:39.97); 200-yard individual medley (1:51.11); 400-yard individual medley (3:59.13)
Coach DeSelm on Ben: “Ben was one of the first swimmers to commit to UNC. He has a large, tall body, can swim a variety of events and we look forward to his arrival this fall.
Mayes on his decision: “UNC has a great combination of academic and athletic excellence. I could not be happier to attend a school with great success in both areas! UNC has some amazing coaches, great tradition, and a beautiful campus that made me want to call it home.”
Patrick Riess, New Orleans, La., Nu Wave Swim Team (Coaches James Winchester and Andrew Schmidt), Isidore Newman School
Top Times: 100-yard backstroke (50.26); 200-yard backstroke (1:49.49)
Coach DeSelm on Patrick: “Patrick is an outstanding student and rapidly improving swimmer. His success as a student and rate of improvement as a swimmer will help Patrick settle in well at UNC.”
Riess on his decision: “UNC was the ideal place for me because it embodies the finest modes of existence that a university possibly can: great academics, top-notch athletics, and a superb student body.”
Ted Steinkamp, Indianapolis, Ind., Riviera Swim Club, North Central High School
Top Times: 50-yard freestyle (20.89); 100-yard freestyle (46.14)
Coach DeSelm on Ted: “Ted comes highly recommended by a lot of coaches we spoke to. He waited until this spring to make his decision and we are excited to have him join us. Ted has a lot of great tools and we look forward to working with him to develop them.”
Steinkamp on his decision: “I chose to attend UNC because of its rich tradition and history as well as its social, athletic, and educational environment.”
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