HOUSTON, Texas, June 25. THE Rice swimming team added three standouts to the roster for the 2007-08 season, head coach Seth Houston announced Monday. The new signees are Karen Gerken of Cedar Park, Texas; Sarah Korellis of Champaign, Ill; and Sally DeWitt of Alexandria, La.
Gerken, who competed for Cedar Park High School and Texas Gold Swimming, earned all-America and all-State honors in the 500 free posting her best time of 5:02.34. Gerken also received all-America honors for her work in the classroom while additionally being named a National Merit Finalist. She will also be a second generation Rice swimmer as her parents Chris and Kay Gerken both finished their careers as Owl record-holders in multiple events. The former Kay Snell held the Rice record in six individual events three relays, and was a four-time recipient of the Catherine Hannah award as the Owls' top swimmer. Chris held three individual marks and was on four different record-setting relay teams.
Korellis swam for Champaign Centennial High School and Storm Aquatics and is a two-time all-America and four-time state qualifier (in four different individual events). She as posted top times of 2:09.57 in the 200 IM and 4:39.48 in the 400 IM. She is also a three-time academic all-America.
DeWitt was named the regional swimmer of the year all four years at Bolton High School and also swam for Crawfish Aquatics. She posted top times of 24.89 in the 50 free and 1:58.90 in the 200 free. At Bolton High School, she served as the president of the student council and was named a Louisiana State Board of Education Regents Scholar. In addition to her prowess in the pool, DeWitt also lettered in soccer and tennis.
The new trio of signees join Ashten Ackerman of Kissimmee, Fla. and Hannah Chura of Bozeman, Mont., in completing the Owls incoming freshman class.
"This freshman class, like others, will bring some excitement and new blood to the team," said Huston. "We have really strengthened ourselves in the IM events and stoke events in particular. I am very optimistic about these young ladies ability to greatly improve personally and contribute to Rice Swimming this year and over their collegiate careers."
Special thanks to Rice for providing this report.