UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa., September 8. THIRTEEN men and seven women make up the incoming class of freshmen that will join the Penn State men's and women's swimming and diving teams in 2004-05, as announced by head coach Bill Dorenkott.
Sean Biedermann (Colorado Springs, Colo.), the younger brother of current Nittany Lion Amberle Biedermann, will join Patrick Bukowski (North East, Pa.), Rob Felty (Hummelstown, Pa.), Paul Fian (Binghamton, N.Y.), Bobby Franssen (Conestoga, Pa.), Josh Graham (Newport News, Va.), Rich Kraus (Saint Charles, Ill.), Andy McCracken (Naperville, Ill.), Kyle Miranda (Louisville, Colo.), James Monaco (Kingston, Pa.), J.L. Rathfon (Fort Washington, Pa.), Brad Roth (Kutztown, Pa.) and Sean Swanepoel (Kwa Zulu Natal, ZAF) on the men's team.
Molly Crispell (Boalsburg, Pa.), Sara DiNardo (McKees Rocks, Pa.), Jill Heck (Kennett Square, Pa.), Lauren Preyss (Chagrin Falls, Ohio), Melanie Rolish (Cherry Hill, N.J.), Kristin Smith (Columbia, Md.) and Katie Zuccolo will join the women's team.
The Nittany Lion men's team finished seventh at the 2004 Big Ten Championships with a very young squad. Fifteen letterwinners and the 13 incoming freshmen are sure to make an immediate improvement in Penn State's standings in the conference.
The seven incoming women will join 20 returning letterwinners that will return for the women's team that just missed winning its second Big Ten Championship in three years.
"Our staff is extremely excited that these young men and women have chosen Penn State," said Dorenkott, who is entering his seventh season as women's coach and fourth season as the men's coach. "We believe we have some pretty darned good swimmers and divers in this group. These student-athletes fit the profile of former Penn State student-athletes who have excelled in our program in both the classroom and the pool."
Sean Biedermann comes to Penn State as a two-time Colorado state champion. He captured state titles in the 200 IM and the 500 freestyle, while swimming for Rampart High School. He was a national qualifier in the 200 and 400 IMs and he was a Sectional Champion in the 200 freestyle, 500 freestyle, 200 IM and 400 IM, while competing for the AFA Falfins club team.
Bukowski captured District 10 diving titles in 2003 and 2004 on the 1-meter board, while competing for Mercyhurst Prep. He was a 2004 Winter and Summer Junior Olympic Eastern National Qualifier, while competing for West Florida Diving.
Graham comes to Penn State after breaking the Virginia state record, and becoming a U.S. National Qualifier, in the 200 freestyle in 2004. He will swim in freestyle, backstroke and IM events at Penn State.
Kraus holds eight Saint Charles North High School records, including the 50 freestyle, 100 freestyle, 200 freestyle, 500 freestyle, 200 IM, 200 medley relay and 400 freestyle relay. While swimming for the St. Charles Club Swim Team, he was a Top 16 performer in the 100 freestyle at the Ann Arbor Grand Prix and a Top 8 in the Speedo Championship Series in the 200 IM, 50 freestyle, 100 freestyle, 200 freestyle and 100 backstroke.
Miranda has impressive credentials out of Monarch High School. He is a seven-time Colorado state champion, a Colorado Class 5A record holder and an 11-time high school All-American. He was named the Rocky Mountain News' 2004 Colorado 5A Swimmer of the Year. He won four consecutive Colorado state titles in the 100-yard breaststroke, setting the state mark his freshman season and breaking it each subsequent year. He was a member of the 2003 and 2004 200 freestyle relay state championship team, as well as the 2003 200 medley relay state championship team. While swimming for Boulder Swimming Club, he collected three state titles and two sectional titles. He was a Junior National finalist and a Senior National consolation finalist.
Swanepoel will be a freestyle swimmer at Penn State. He enters his Nittany Lion career after performing in the Top 8 in the 50 freestyle at the South Africa Olympic Trials.
Heck comes to Penn State as a three-time PIAA state finalist (200 freestyle, 200 freestyle relay and 400 freestyle relay) and a high school All-American in the 200 freestyle relay out of Unionville High School. She was a winner of the Chester County Press Scholar-Athlete Award and the U.S. Army Reserve Scholar-Athlete Award. While swimming for Upper Main Line YMCA, she became a two-time YMCA All-American and was a two-time national finalist in the 100 freestyle and 200 freestyle.
Preyss is the Ohio State record holder in the 100 and 200 freestyles. She is expected to compete at Penn State in the 50, 100, 200 and 500 freestyles.
"Our staff has made recruiting great people a high priority," Dorenkott said. "This group has a solid blend of talent and potential.