HONOLULU – August 8. HEAD Swimming Coach Mike Anderson and Diving Coach Mike Brown are expanding the already cosmopolitan makeup of the Rainbow Warriors for 2004-05.
They have recently announced the signing of swimmers from Canada, Germany, Poland and Australia, along with divers from China and Sweden. No Americans were included in the most recent announcements.
They first signed six swimmers: Thomas Winkler, Kurtis Miller, Graeme Tozer, Grzegorz Mroz, Mackenzie Downing, Cassandra Hunt. They later announced the additional signing of Joy Symons and Melanie Schlanger.
"This is the best recruiting class we've had since I've been here," head swimming coach Mike Anderson said. "On the men's side, we replaced four key seniors from last year. On the women's side, we think we are able to move to the next level of being an NCAA Top 20 team."
Winker, from Germany, specializes in freestyle. In the 2000-01 FINA Swimming World Cup in Brazil, he placed fifth in the 100-meter free (49.55). Winkler was also a part of the 4×50-meter medley relay team that won gold, and the 4×50-meter free relay team that took silver at the 2000 European Short Course Championships in Spain.
Miller, a Canadian backstroker, won the gold in the 100 Back (55.96, SCM) at the 2004 Eastern Championships Swimming Competition. He also captured first in both the 50 Back (27.69, LCM) and the 100 Back (59.22, LCM) at the 2004 Quebec Cup.
Tozer, a Canadian freestyler, won the 200 Free (1:50.49) at the 2004 Western Canadian Championships, while placing second in the 50 Free (24.03).
Mroz, from Poland, is transferring to UH from Cal State Bakersfield, where he holds the school record in 400 IM (3:54.420 and a NCAA Division II National Champion. Mroz, whose specialty is freestyle, currently holds personal best times of 1:38.40 in the 200 Free (SCY) and 4:22.63 in the 500 Free (SCY).
Downing, a butterfly specialist from Canada, holds the No. 1 Long Course Power Ranking in the 50, 100, and 200 Fly events. Downing placed second in the 50 Fly and fourth in the 100 Fly at the Canadian Nationals. She was also a 2004 Canadian Olympic trial finalist in the 100 and 200 Fly.
Hunt, an Australian sprinter, was a member of the Australian National team. Hunt's personal bests are 25.40 in the 50 Free (LCM) and 55.40 in the 100 Free (LCM).
Rui Wang and Mats Wiktorsson are two divers joining UH. Wang is a transfer from Tsing Hua University in Beijing, China. Amongst her long list of diving kudos, she was the 10-meter platform (546.30) diving champion at the 21st World University Games in 2001. She also won gold in the synchronized 10-meter platform at the Diving World Cup in both 1995 and 1997, while also garnering a Chinese National Championship. Wiktorsson specializes in the platform. The Swedish diver won silver medals in the platform at the 2004 Sweden Winter Senior Nationals (307.15) and at the 2003 Diving Lund (470.85).
"I'm very excited about the talent and depth of the diving squad next season," UH Diving Coach Mike Brown said. "With what we're bring in along with the returnees, we should be very solid."
Both swimmers noted in the second announcement, Joy Symons and Melanie Schlanger, hail from Australia and specialize in the freestyle.
Symons is a transfer from University of Southern Queensland. Among her numerous accomplishments is winning the silver medal in the 100-meter LC free (57.81) at the 2000 Oceania Championships. Symons also hit a "B" Olympic qualification time in the 100-meter free (57.37) at the Australian Open Championships in May 2000.
Schlanger was a member of the 400-meter SC freestyle relay team (3:49.98) that captured a bronze medal at the 2003 New Zealand Winter Championships. At the 2002 Telstra Australian Short Course Championships, she placed 13th in the 50-meter (26.33) semi-finals. She also had a 12th place showing in the 100-meter free (57.85) at the 2003 National Swimming Championships in Sydney.
The swimming and diving season begins Oct. 15 with the first senior meet, slated for 6 p.m. at the Duke Kahanamoku Aquatics Complex.