MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin, May 22. THE University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee announced the signing of a huge recruiting class for its men's and women's teams.
UWM head coach Dave Griffore announced \ that Chris Champeau of Green Bay, Wis., Nick DeWitt of Two Rivers, Wis., Garett Dissmore of Manitowoc, Wis., Alex Haeger of Hales Corners, Wis., Daniel Heraly of Green Bay, Wis., Jakub Kalinowski of Prior Lake, Minn., Matthew Kluczinske of Mequon, Wis., Joshua Lindquist of Milwaukee, Wis., William McCarty of Milwaukee, Wis. and Mike Nameth of South Milwaukee, Wis., will all enroll at UWM and participate next season for the men.
Meanwhile, Ashley Hall of New Berlin, Wis., and Kate Riebe of Hales Corners, Wis., transferred to UW-Milwaukee from UW-Green Bay. Both transferred to UWM a year ago, but did not compete for the Panthers last season due to NCAA regulations.
Katelyn Brittain of Green Bay, Wis., Kelsey George of Middleton, Wis., Elizabeth Gross of Eau Claire, Wis., Michelle Kornder of Pleasant Prairie, Wis., Amanda Nelson of Forest Lake, Minn., Kelsey Ogle of West Bend, Wis., Suzy Paasch of Brookfield, Wis., Rachel Rebitski of Green Bay, Wis., Lauren Roy of Plymouth, Minn., and Danielle Wenger of Hartford, Wis., were all high school seniors last year. All will compete for the UWM women next season.
Champeau was a two-time state qualifier while at Bay Port High School. He swam the 100 breaststroke at the state meet in both his senior and junior seasons.
"Chris will contribute for us next season," Griffore said. "He will add valuable depth to our breaststroke group immediately."
DeWitt will help out the UWM diving contingent in his first season. He made back-to-back trips to the state meet while diving at Two Rivers High School, placing 13th as a junior and fifth as a senior. He owns the school record as well, which he reset as a senior.
"We are excited to add Nick to the team," Griffore said. "Under Todd Hill [UWM's diving coach], he will develop quickly into a great Horizon League diver."
Dissmore competed in backstroke and butterfly events while at Manitowoc Lincoln High School and helped his team to a 17th-place finish at the Wisconsin State meet as a senior. He finished in third place at that meet in the 100 backstroke.
"Garrett was one of the top backstrokers in the state of Wisconsin," Griffore said. "He is also a great butterflyer and will contribute in both strokes for us next season."
Haeger helped his Whitnall High School team to a fourth-place finish at the Wisconsin state meet as a senior, winning state championships in two individual events – the 50 free and 100 free – and as a member of the 200 freestyle relay as well. He has earned Milwaukee Journal Sentinel All-Area Swim team honors and led Whitnall to a Woodlands Conference championship a year ago.
"Alex was a Wisconsin high school state champion in two sprint events and will contribute right away for us next season in the Horizon League," Griffore said.
Heraly was named Fox Valley Association Conference Swimmer of the Year as a senior at Ashwaubenon High School, helping his team to a conference championship, a sectional championship and a fifth-place finish at the state meet. He placed second in the 500 freestyle and third in the 200 freestyle at the state meet, and also earned all-conference honors in both events and is the school record holder in each.
"Dan has made great improvements over the past season and had a great state championship meet," Griffore said. "He will help us out instantly in the middle-distance events."
Kalinowski was an all-state sprinter as a junior and senior at Prior Lake High School in Minnesota. As a senior, he placed third in the 50 freestyle and fifth in the 100 freestyle at the state meet. He set school records in the 100 free and 100 backstroke, as well as just missing the school mark in the 50 freestyle.
"Jakub is one of the top sprinters in Minnesota and will instantly fix up that area for us next season," Griffore said.
Kluczinske had a successful senior season at Homestead High School, helping lead his team to a fifth-place finish at the state championship meet. He took fourth in the 200 individual medley and eighth in the 100 backstroke at the state meet and was a YMCA national finalist in the 400 IM.
"Matt is an excellent swimmer in the IM events and will add great depth for us in that area," Griffore said. "He is also a very good backstroker and butterflyer."
Lindquist was an all-conference diver at Rufus King High School. He also qualified for YMCA Diving Nationals this past season, where he dives under the guidance of UWM diving coach Todd Hill.
"Josh is fairly new to diving and has already improved greatly," Griffore said.
McCarty helped his team to a sixth-place finish at the state meet as a senior last year at Nicolet High School, taking seventh place in both the 200 and 500 freestyles. He was named to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel All-Area Swim Team as a member of the 400 free relay team and also helped Nicolet to a sectional championship last season.
"Bill is someone you are going to want to watch next season," Griffore said. "He has not been swimming very long and has already accomplished a lot in just a short period of time."
Nameth was a two-time state qualifier as a diver at South Milwaukee High School. He placed eighth as a senior in 2006 at the state meet after taking 15th as a junior. He has recently started diving again with Hill at Schroeder YMCA after taking a year off.
"Mike has the talent and ability to come in next season and make an impact on both boards," Griffore said.
Hall spent two seasons at UW-Green Bay, placing sixth on both the one- and three-meter boards at the 2006 Horizon League Championships as a sophomore, and broke the UWGB school record on the one-meter. At New Berlin Eisenhower High School, she was a four-year letterwinner who went to state every year. She was an All-American and conference champion as a senior, while also serving as team captain.
"Ashley was a top diver in the Horizon League in her two years at Green Bay and also had to sit out last season and was only able to train," Griffore said. "She will be tough to beat next year."
Riebe spent two seasons at UW-Green Bay and already has a stellar Horizon League resume, placing second in the 100 backstroke, fourth in the 100 butterfly and winner of the consolation final of the 200 back at the 2006 Horizon League Championships. She was also member of the champion 200 medley relay team that set a pool record and took second in the 400 medley relay. Riebe was a four-year letterwinner and state champion swimmer in the 100 backstroke at Whitnall High School.
"Kate was one of the top backstrokers in the Horizon League while at UWGB," Griffore said. "After having to sit out a year and just train, she will be even more ready to go next season."
Brittain was a teammate of UWM recruit Rachel Rebitski at Bay Port High School. She helped team to an undefeated regular season and sectional championship in 2005 and a 10th place finish at the state meet as a senior, swimming in breaststroke and butterfly events.
"Katelyn comes from a successful high school team and will bring a winning attitude to the program," Griffore said. "She will help in our fly and breaststroke events next season."
George dove for Middleton High School, helping her high school team to state runner-up finishes in 2004, 2005 and 2006. Her team went 7-1 in the Big Eight Conference last season and George went on to finish in fifth place at the Wisconsin state meet.
"Kelsey was also one of the top seniors in the state of Wisconsin and has great potential to make an impact next season," Griffore said. "We are very excited for her to join our team."
Gross earned First Team All-Big Rivers Conference honors in the 200 freestyle, 100 backstroke, 200 medley relay and 400 free relay as a senior at Eau Claire Memorial High School. She was a state qualifier in the 200 free, finishing 15th at the state meet, and a YMCA national qualifier in the 50, 100 and 200 freestyles.
"Not only is Ellie a great freestyler," Griffore said, "but we see her making an impact in the backstroke events next season as well."
Kornder had a successful senior season diving last year at Kenosha Tremper, placing first in the Southeast Conference, first in sectionals and fourth at the Wisconsin state meet.
"Michelle was another one of the top senior divers in Wisconsin," Griffore said. "We are very excited for her to join the program and develop into a top diver in the league."
Nelson led Forest Lake High School to its first-ever sectional championship as a senior and went on to qualify for the state meet in the 100 butterfly and 200 freestyle. She placed third at the state meet in the 100 fly and set a school record in the 200 free. Also, Nelson holds school records in the 100 fly and as a member of the 200 medley relay team and was named all-state in the 100 fly.
"Amanda was one of the top swimmers in the butterfly in the state of Minnesota last year," Griffore said. "With her times, she will come in as one of the top butterflyers in the Horizon League."
Ogle was named Wisconsin Little 10 Conference Swimmer of the Year as both a senior and junior at West Bend West High School. She placed sixth in the 200 and 500 freestyles at the state meet as a senior and also holds conference records in each of those events. She earned first team all-conference honors in those same events as a senior and was also named to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel All-Area Second Team in 2006.
"Kelsey is a very talented swimmer who had great success this past season," Griffore said. "She has the ability to come in and be one of the top freestylers in the Horizon League next season."
Paasch swam distance events at Brookfield Central High School, competing in the 500, 1000 and 1650 freestyles. She was a state qualifier as a senior and a junior in the 500 freestyle.
"Suzy will add great depth to the squad in the distance events next year," Griffore said. "She will have a great chance to contribute instantly next season."
Rebitski helped lead Bay Port High School to it's best-ever finishes at the Wisconsin State meet, taking 10th as a senior and 12th as a junior. She placed 10th in the 100 freestyle and 11th in the 200 freestyle at the state meet as a senior and helped her team to an undefeated regular season and sectional championship in 2005.
"Rachel will make an impact in the freestyle events next season and has the potential to have great success in the Horizon League," Griffore said.
Roy dove to a fourth place finish as a senior and seventh place as a junior at the Minnesota State Championship meet while at Benilde-St. Margaret's High School. She was named Team MVP three times in four years and to the all-state team twice, and also earned all-conference recognition for her diving to go along with conference and all-state academic awards.
"Lauren comes to us not only with success on the one-meter board, but also on the three-meter board," Griffore said. "She should be able to step in and help us immediately next season."
Wenger served as team captain at Hartford Union High School and competed in all freestyle events. She was a state qualifier in the 200 free, 500 free, 200 free relay and 400 free relay.
"Danielle can swim everything from the 50 to the 1650," Griffore said. "She will excel wherever we put her and we look forward to that versatility."
Special thanks to Wisconsin-Milwaukee for contributing this report.