Three New Signees Grow Northwestern Women Swimming’s Freshman Class

EVANSTON, Illinois, June 26. NORTHWESTERN head coach Jimmy Tierney announced today the addition of breaststrokers Katie Branch (Phoenix, Ariz./Horizon Honors) and Georgie Pettibone (Santa Rosa, Calif./Analy), and freestyler Danielle Elliott (Barrington, Ill./Barrington) to the Wildcats' incoming class of 2017, bringing the incredibly deep future freshman group to 11 strong entering the fall.

“We are thrilled to add Katie and Georgie to our breaststroke group for 2013-14,” Tierney said. “They are both such a great fit for Northwestern with their exceptional talent both in the pool and in the classroom. Both had a passion for the Wildcats throughout the search process and fell in love with NU after visiting. We welcome them both to the NU swimming and diving family.

“We also are pleased to add Danielle, younger sister of current freshman Erika Elliott. Danielle will be a great addition to our middle and distance freestyle group that will be our deepest and most talented in this discipline in over a decade. We also are always excited to add another outstanding local talent to our team.”

Branch hails from Phoenix, Ariz., where she competed exclusively for Sun Devil Aquatics because her high school did not have a swim team. Her best club time in the 100 breast would have resulted in a medal at the most recent Arizona high school state meet.

Pettibone is an eight-time Rhode Island state champion with four individual (including three 100 breast) and four relay titles in just three years of competition. After her junior season, Pettibone and her family moved to Santa Rosa, Calif., where she completed her prep career at Analy High School.

Elliott is a product of the very successful local Barrington High School program while also swimming with the Patriot Aquatic Club, with which she was a member of three Illinois Senior State relay champions and established the state's 800 free relay record.

Branch, Elliott and Pettibone join eight NLI signees from the fall to comprise Northwestern's freshman class for the 2013-14 campaign.

Complete bios for Northwestern's three newest B1GCats are as follows:

Katie Branch
5-7 * Breast
Phoenix, Ariz./Horizon Honors

High School: High school did not have a swim team, so competed exclusively with the Sun Devil Aquatics club for over 11 years … Ranked as the No. 15 recruit from the state of Arizona by … Member of the Sun Devil Aquatics national meet training group and team captain … Helped team to several top three finishes at national meets … Her best club time in the 100 breast would have placed her second at the Arizona high school state meet … All-America Scholastic Achievement award winner … National Honor Society member.

Personal: Born Katie Rebecca Branch … Daughter of Lauri and Michael Branch … Chose Northwestern over Oregon State … Anticipated major is biological sciences.

Danielle Elliott
5-9 * Freestyle
Barrington, Ill./Barrington

High School: All-state, all-sectional and all-conference award winner who won three Mid-Suburban League championships, three sectional crowns and twice qualified for the Illinois state meet … Named team MVP … Holds the Barrington school record in the 500 free for a program that has won 20-straight team conference championships … Swam 12 years with Patriot Aquatic Club, which won the Illinois Senior State Championship in 2011 and 2012 … Part of state-record-holding 800 free relay … Won Senior State titles in the 800 free, 400 free and 400 medley relays … NCSA Junior National qualifier … Also lettered for one year in water polo in high school … AP Scholar with Distinction … National Honor Society member … Spanish Honor Society member … Editor-in-Chief of high school newspaper … Four-year honor roll honoree and was in the top five percent of her class.

Personal: Born Danielle Nicole Elliott … Daughter of Michele Perlis and Mark Elliott … Older sister, Erika, also swims for Northwestern as a member of the Class of 2016 … Has been competing alongside her sister for 12 years … Chose Northwestern over Dartmouth and Brown … Plans to major in journalism.

,b>Georgie Pettibone
5-4 * Breast
Santa Rosa, Calif./Analy

High School: Competed for La Salle Academy in Providence, R.I., for three seasons before moving to Santa Rosa, Calif., and swimming at Analy High School as a senior … Four-time Rhode Island individual state champion (three times in the 100 breast and once in the 200 IM) while also winning 200 medley and 200 free relay state titles in both 2011 and 2012 … Ranked as the No. 2 recruit from that state by … Three-time Providence Journal All-State and All-Division honoree … Led La Salle to three-straight Rhode Island state team titles … Holds LSA school records in the 100 fly, 100 breast, 200 IM and 200 medley relay … Competed with Bluefish Swim Club in Rhode Island and Neptune Swim Club in California … Member of Bluefish's national team and Neptune's elite team … National Honor Society and Honor Roll member.

Personal: Born Georgia Clement Pettibone … Daughter of Chip and Margie Pettibone … Chose Northwestern over UC Davis, University of San Diego and Emory … Anticipated major is cognitive science.

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