CEDAR FALLS, Iowa, May 22. THE University of Northern Iowa announced the addition of three student-athletes to the roster for the 2007-08 season. Joining UNI's squad next year will be Victoria Ward (Des Peres, Mo./Kirkwood High School), McKinzie Jacobs (Cedarville, Ill./Freeport Senior High School) and Andrea Grandcolas (Troy, Ill./Wentzville Holt High School/Univ. of Illinois).
A middle distance specialist, Ward was a three-time state qualifier, broke high school records in the 200-yard medley relay and participated at sectionals. Through outstanding academic achievements, she earned the Lamp of Learning Award, Gold K Award and was on the honor roll all four years of high school.
"Victoria will add dept to our team in middle distance areas. She will also swim the butterfly when needed. She is a hard worker and wants to improve," said head coach Stacey Simmer. "She will be a terrific addition to our squad and will make an impact in scoring points."
Jacobs was a three-year state qualifier and was named conference champion in the 500-yard free. She was also MVP and captain of her high school team and is a three-time participant in the Speedo Sectional Champion swim meet. Jacobs also was named outstanding scholar athlete and on the honor roll all four years of high school.
"McKinzie will add a lot of depth to our team. She is excellent in the individual medley events and should be a strong contender in our conference in those events," Simmer said. "She is also an excellent student, so she will be a terrific addition to the UNI student-athlete family. I can't wait to see what she will do in her college career. She is a very hard worker, has many goals and will make an awesome Panther."
Grandcolas, a breaststroke specialist, was captain of her high school swim team and also competed in the Speedo Sectional Championship with her club team, the Rec Plex Sharks Swim Team and Rockwood Swim Club. She contributed to her high school team's conference championship, which was the first in Wentzville Holt High School history and claimed eighth place at the high school swimming state meet in 2006. Grandcolas was also a member of the National Honor Society and treasurer of her senior class. She swam in five meets as a true freshman for the Fighting Illini this past year.
"Grandcolas will be an awesome addition to our team. She swims breaststroke, an area that we are weak in. She is a very strong swimmer and a very hard worker. She is excited about the sport and wants to improve, something I look for in a Panther," said Simmer. "I can't wait to see what she will do in our conference."
Special thanks to Northern Iowa for contributing this report.