EVANSTON, Ill, November 25. NORTHWESTERN University Women's Swimming Head Coach Jimmy Tierney announced the addition of five swimmers and one diver to the program for the 2004-2005 season.
Jessica Bailis (Omaha, Neb./Millard North), Katie Braun (Edina, Minn./Edina), Elizabeth Campbell (Burr Ridge, Ill./Fenwick), Laura Gart (Wilmette, Ill./New Trier), Andrea Hupman (Lawrenceville, Ga./Brookwood), and Katherine Welnhofer (Wilmette, Ill./New Trier) have all signed National Letters of Intent to compete at NU.
Bailis is "one of the nation's most talented high school breaststrokers" according to Tierney. She holds the 100 breast state record in Nebraska and was named Team MVP three consecutive years (2001-'03). A top-flight student, Bailis was named to the 2002 USA Swimming Scholastic All-American team. Tierney expects Bailis to be an immediate contributor.
"Jessie has great speed that will improve our medley relays right away," said Tierney.
Braun, meanwhile, has established herself as one of Minnesota's most accomplished swimmers. She was a finalist at the 2002 Spring Nationals and is a 2004 Olympic Trials qualifier. A highly sought recruit, Braun turned down a number of schools and decided to become a member of the Wildcat swimming and diving program.
"We targeted Katie several years ago as a swimmer that we wanted at NU," Tierney said. "Katie is a very talented butterflier and medley swimmer who will help lead the' Cats back to Big Ten and NCAA success."
Laura Gart is one of two NU commits that starred at New Trier High School. In her prep career, Gart set New Trier Swim Club records in the 200-yard fly, 100-yard fly, and 200-meter fly. She also won the Summer 2003 Illinois Senior Championship in the 200 fly. Tierney feels as though Gart will bring not only talent to the program, but strong leadership as well.
"She is a hard worker and will help push our current group," said Tierney.
Hupman comes to NU as a Georgia All-Star and all-state Swimmer. In 2003, Hupman won the Georgia State Championship in the 50 free and 100 free. Tierney expects her to make an immediate impact at NU as she continues to develop.
"Andrea is a great 100 freestyler who will also be a successful 100 backstroker and 50 freestyler. She comes from a club program that has developed numerous swimmers to national and international success. Andrea will be a huge contributor to our relays."
Welnhofer is another local product of the New Trier Swim Club. She will join her sister, Ashley, a current Wildcat swimmer, in the Northwestern program. Welnhofer is a five-time All-American and a six-time Relay All-American. She is a USA Swimming Scholastic All-American and a US National Qualifier.
"Katie will help make our sprint and fly group one of the best in the Big Ten," said Tierney. "I am always pleased to have one of our best local talents choose NU."
Diver Elizabeth Campbell, another local talent from Fenwick High School, is a four-time state qualifier and two-time state finalist at the high school level. Additionally, she has been a Regional and Zone finalist in the 1-meter, 3-meter and platform events for the last three years. Head diving coach Tom Michael is excited about what Campbell can achieve.
"I've been coaching Beth for the last three years in the youth programs and I am really looking forward to coaching her at the collegiate level," Michael said. "She has a great work ethic and is willing to try juts about anything off the diving board."