BOWLING GREEN, Kentucky, May 31. WESTERN Kentucky University associate head swimming coach/recruiting coordinator Bruce Marchionda announced Monday the signing of the Hilltoppers’ 2004-05 incoming class. WKU has inked 23 swimmers and divers for next season, 11 men and 12 women, to form a class loaded with talented preps and experienced transfers.
“We are extremely excited about next year’s class and look forward to the talent and experience that they bring to our program,” said Marchionda. “Their enthusiasm and ability, along with the strong nucleus of swimmers and divers that are returning from last year’s squad, should make for a very exciting year on the Hill.”
The men’s class is led by Javon Atkinson, a member of the Jamaican National Team along with three junior-college transfers from Indian River Community College, which won the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) national championship. Joining the Hilltoppers from IRCC are a trio of NJCAA national champions: Richard Chapman (100 Breast), John Bishop (200 Breast) and Graham Bailey (800 Free).
The women’s class is highlighted by Cassie Fahrlender, a Tennessee state champion in the 100 Breast, Stephanie Doellman, a Kentucky state finalist in the 100 Fly, Bridget Carriero, a national qualifier in the 1- and 3-meter diving events, and Charlotte Martin, a Michigan state finalist in the 1-meter dive. Fahrlender is believed to be the Lady Toppers’ most versatile swimmer since Brandi Carey, the 2002 Sun Belt Conference Swimmer of the Year.
After competing in the Missouri Valley Conference last season, the Hilltoppers will look to make their mark in the Sun Belt Conference as the league adds men’s swimming for 2004-05. The Toppers will expect immediate impacts from several of their incoming freshman, including: Francis Gilmore, a Junior National qualifier in the Back and distance events; Kyle Peterson, a Kentucky state finalist in the sprint Free and Fly events; Brian Lewis, a Junior National qualifier in the Fly events; and Michael Caruso, a Junior National qualifier in the Back events.
Aiming for their fifth-straight Sun Belt Championship, the Lady Toppers will expect several newcomers to step in and help add to WKU’s league dominance: Elizabeth Peterson, a Junior National qualifier in the Back events; Tessa Weghorst, a Junior National qualifier in the distance Free events; Pam Galvin, a sectional finalist in the Individual Medley and Breast events; Kelly Hargather, a sectional qualifier in the Breast events; Mallory Cook, a sectional qualifier in the distance Free events; and Ohio State transfer Kristin Hopkins.
Bridget Carreiro (East Freetown, Mass.)
Anna Clark (Manitou, Ky.)
Mallory Cook (Plymouth, Ind.)
Stephanie Doellman (Erlanger, Ky.)
Cassie Fahrlender (Cosby, Tenn.)
Pam Galvin (Hendersonville, Tenn.)
Kelly Hargather (Roswell, Ga.)
Kristin Hopkins (Richmond, Ky.)
Charlotte Martin (Wixom, Mich.)
Elizabeth Peterson (Franklin, Tenn.)
Jodi Streitelmeier (Edgewood, Ky.)
Tessa Weghorst (Germantown, Tenn.)
Javon Atkinson (Kingston, Jamaica)
Graham Bailey (Lawrence, Ga.)
John Bishop (Oviedo, Fla.)
Wes Brown (Bowling Green, Ky.)
Michael Caruso (Glendale, Ariz.)
Richard Chapman (St. Lucie, Fla.)
Michael Freese (Westerville, Ohio)
Francis Gilmore (Daphne, Ala.)
Brad Huster (Versailles, Ky.)
Brian Lewis (Birmingham, Ala.)
Kyle Peterson (Clarksville, Ind.)