SAVANNAH, Georgia, July 22. SAVANNAH College of Art and Design (SCAD) men’s and women’s swimming coach Scott Rabalais announced the signing today of 15 swimmers – 10 men and five women – for next season.
“The SCAD men’s and women’s swim teams will take a quantum leap forward in the 2004-2005 season with these additions,” said Rabelais. “Five very talented women and 10 men will certainly move SCAD up the rankings in the NAIA.
“While it is impressive that several of our incoming swimmers have won state championship titles, it is even more impressive that some of them are ranked among the best graduating swimmers in the country,” said Rabalais.
Jenna Bitz, who is from Seattle, Wash., swam four seasons at Sammamish High School for coaches Jeremy Hudson and Julie Barashckoff. Bitz was named team captain as a senior and she was named the most outstanding as a junior.
“A swimmer since the age of 8, Jenna excels in the 50 and 100-yard freestyle along with the 100 butterfly and is expected to contend for SCAD’s top relays,” said Rabalais.
Kellie Fassbender, who is from Coden, Ala., transferred to SCAD after swimming the past two seasons at Spring Hill College. Fassbender finished seventh in the 400 individual medley, 11th in the 200 individual medley, and 12th in the 200 breaststroke at the NAIA National Championships earlier this year. Fassbender prepped at McGill Toolen Catholic High School where she swam for four seasons for coach John Hartman. She was named to the all-state team in 2001 and was a four-time all-county selection.
“Kellie’s experience in the longer individual medleys and breaststrokes will help us immensely at the national championships,” said Rabalais. “She is a seasoned competitor with a great work ethic.”
Julie Glaser, who is from Easton, Pa., swam four seasons at Easton Area High School for coach Robert Cuthbert. Glaser was named district champion in the 100 backstroke once and was named to the all-area team three times. She was named swimmer of the year as a senior.
“A top prep swimmer, Julie brings impressive backstroke credentials to our team,” said Rabalais. “She is expected to contribute to both medley and free relays.”
Allie Packard, who is from Colleyville, Texas, swam four seasons at Colleyville Heritage High School for coach Patrick Henry. Packard was twice named an all-american and an all-state selection in the 200 medley relay. She was also named to the all-region and district teams three times in the same event.
“Allie is a versatile swimmer who can contribute in breaststroke, sprint freestyle and individual medley events,” said Rabalais. “She comes out of a very competitive swimming environment in Texas, where she was team captain of her high school swim team.”
Taylor Sexton, who is from Salisbury, N.C., swam for four seasons at Salisbury High School for coaches Tom Sexton, Ryan Starrett and Doris Rowe. She was the North Carolina 1A/2A state champion in the 100 breaststroke this past season. She was a four-time all-conference, all-county, and Salisbury High School Swimmer of the Year selection. She was also named Rowan County’s Outstanding Swimmer of the Year three times.
“Taylor has shown she is a great competitor,” said Rabalais. “Taylor is expected to be ranked nationally in several events, including the 100 and 200 breaststrokes and sprint freestyle events.”
Robert Hess, who is from Casselberry, Fla., swam four seasons at Lyman High School for coach Alan Smith. Hess was the Florida 3A state champion in the 50 freestyle twice and was also named an all-american twice. He also helped his high school finish third overall twice in the state championships despite just having six swimmers.
“Robert will add to the SCAD’s strong sprint corps,” said Rabalais. “Robert is solid in all strokes, particularly at the 100-yard distance.”
Ryan Lindsay, who is from Cincinnati, Ohio, swam for four seasons at Saint Xavier High School for coach Jim Brower. Lindsay swam freestyle leg on state championship 200 medley relay team. Lindsay was twice named to the all-league team as Saint Xavier won four state titles. He was named to the all-city team once as well as being named an all-american in the 200 medley relay.
“Ryan comes from a storied program which was named the top boy’s swimming high school in the country,” said Rabalais. “Ryan was a member of sprint relays that were among the best in the country in 2004.”
Jonathan Lowry, who is from Richmond, Va., graduated from Mills E. Goodwin High School. He swam with the YMCA Tuckahoe Tiger Sharks Swim Team.
“Jonathan has show great talent in limited swim training in high school,” said Rabalais. “His exemplary attitude and work ethic, along with consistent training, will lead him to become one of team’s top performers.”
Chris Martz, who is from Durham, N.C., swam four seasons at the Durham School of the Arts for coach Dow Needham. He was named to the all-state team four times as well as being named the most valuable player of the 2002 state championships. He was also named his team’s most valuable player in 2004.
“Chris brings talent in freestyle and backstroke,” said Rabalais. “As a freestyler, he possesses great range from 50 to 500 yards.”
Jonathan Moore, who is from Columbus, Ohio, swam four seasons at Upper Arlington High School for coach Kevin Chapman. Moore was co-captain and qualified for the state championships as a senior. Moore, who was a district qualifier for four seasons, helped Upper Arlington finish second at the state meet in 2004.
“Jonathan is a legendary trainer and a fierce competitor, thriving in the longer freestyle events,” said Rabalais. “His backstroke and butterfly talents will contribute to medley relay lineups as well.”
Chris Mosley, who is from Portland, Maine, swam four seasons at Deering High School for coach Rick Horr. Mosley was the Maine A state champion in the 50 and 100 freestyle events in 2004. He was also named to the all-conference and all-state teams three times each.
“Maine’s state champion in the 50 and 100 freestyle in 2004, Chris is also strong in all strokes and individual medley,” said Rabalais. “Chris’s versatility will be used to score valuable points for the team in 2004.”
Randy Niemann, who is from Frankfort, Ind., swam three seasons at Frankfort High School for coach Stephen Mullen. Niemann was named an all-conference second-team performer three times – twice in the 200 medley relay and once in the 200 freestyle relay.
“Randy improved tremendously in his senior year, dropping his 100 butterfly time to a very competitive level,” said Rabalais. “Randy’s technical improvements at SCAD will enable him to compete with the best in his specialty.”
Michael Regnier, who is from Winterville, N.C., swam four seasons at D.H. Conley High School for coach Eric Sawyer and Jen Carter. The two-time team captain, was named his team’s most valuable swimmer and swimmer of the year. Regnier was named the Big East 4A Conference Swimmer of the Year twice. He also placed third in the 100 butterfly at the North Carolina 4A state championships in 2004.
“Michael enters SCAD as the team’s number one butterfly swimmer,” said Rabalais. “Michael also specializes in the 50 freestyle and 200 individual medley.”
Connor Wallace, who is from Nantucket, Mass., swam four seasons at Nantucket High School for coach Tim Pignato. Wallace, who was named team captain twice, was named an all-star four times as well as being named his team’s most valuable swimmer as a senior.
“Connor excelled at sprint freestyle events,” said Rabalais. “He was his high school team’s Most Dedicated Swimmer and MVP in 2004.”
Tanner Woodman, who is from Las Cruces, N.M., transferred to SCAD from the University of Missouri-Rolla. Woodman was an NCAA Division II All-American as a member of UMR’s 400 medley relay team as well as a honorable mention selection as a member of the 200 medley relay team. Woodman swam four seasons at Las Cruces High School for coach Dean Neff where he was the team’s most valuable player as a junior and a senior.
“A transfer from University of Missouri at Rolla, Tanner brings exceptional talents, primarily in freestyle and breaststroke,” said Rabalais.
The Savannah College of Art and Design was 5-1 (men) and 4-5 (women) in 2003-04. Both teams advanced to the NAIA National Championships in their first season as a varsity sport. The men’s team finished 11th while the women finished 12th.