DALLAS, Texas, November 23. THE SMU women's swimming & diving team announced the signing of Roxane Akradi, Candace Blackman, Jennifer Blackman, Anja Carman and Katie Roberts. The five high school seniors will begin swimming at SMU in the fall of 2004. SMU head coach Steve Collins made the announcement on Thursday.
"This is the strongest class SMU has signed in the Fall period in our history," Collins said. "I feel these swimmers will make a core group to continue our success over the next four years. All of these swimmers are excellent students and leaders – I feel they have the talent and spirit to build on the tradition of SMU swimming."
Roxane Akradi, a current senior at Eagan High School in Eagan, Minnesota, is the Minnesota state champion in the 50 free and 100 back.
"Roxane is an excellent short course swimmer," Collins said. "She will be a key swimmer for us in the sprint free and back as well as relay events."
Local products, sisters Candace and Jennifer Blackman, are currently seniors at nearby Highland Park High School in Highland Park, Texas. Candace is a member of the U.S. Junior National team and has been a national finalist in freestyle events. Jennifer, a U.S. National qualifier in the 100 and 200 meter freestyle, was the Texas state champion last year in the 50 and 100 free.
"Candace and Jennifer are local products that we are excited about having attend SMU," Collins said. "Candace will swim free and fly for us beginning next year. We expect Jennifer to compete in sprint and middle distance freestyle events."
Anja Carman, a native of Skofja Loka, Slovenia, attended The Bolles School in Jacksonville, Fla. where she was the state champion last season in the 500 free, 200 medley relay, 100 back and 400 free relay. Carman is a member of the Slovenian World Championship team and was a semi-finalist in the 200 back at the World Championships in 2003.
"Anja is a quality swimmer and will be a key swimmer for us in sprint free and backstroke events, as well as relays," Collins said.
Local product Katie Roberts, a senior at Colleyville Heritage High School in Colleyville, Texas, finished second in the state last year in the 200 free. Roberts was a U.S. National qualifier in the 100 and 200 meter free.
"Katie really has key relay potential for us next year," Collins said. "She will compete in sprint and middle distance free events for us."