LARAMIE, Wyo, December 3. UNIVERSITY of Wyoming head swimming and diving coach Tom Johnson announced the signing of eight student-athletes to national letters of intent, today. Haley Bonin, of Lincoln, Neb., Angela DeWolf, of LaPorte, Ind., Lindsey Russenberger-Dillon, of Marana, Ariz., Robin Lehner, of Orchard Park, N.Y. and Rachel Leyes, of Colorado Springs, Colo. will join the Cowgirl swimming team while Brittany Wainwright, of Evanston, Wyo., will join the diving team next fall. Piers Blyth, of Greenwood Village, Colo. and Carl Marais of Pretoria, South Africa will join the Cowboy swimming team. Haley Bonin, Lincoln, Neb. (Lincoln Southeast High School)
Bonin will add depth to the sprint freestyle events next season. In 2003, she placed third at the Nebraska State High School meet in the 50 freestyle as a junior. She also placed third in the 50 freestyle her sophomore year. Haley is a junior national, US Open qualifier and a high school All-American. She is also a Nebraska High School State finalist in track and field. She was also recruited by Purdue University, Colorado State University and was recruited to run track at Kansas University.
"Haley is a tremendous athlete," said UW head coach Tom Johnson. "She will be able to challenge our team records in the sprint freestyle events as a freshman. She will also be a great addition to our sprint relays." Angela DeWolf, Laporte, Ind. (Laporte High School)
DeWolfe brings experience in many events including the sprint freestyle, breaststroke and butterfly to UW. She is a junior national qualifier in the 100 butterfly and an Indiana High School State finalist in the 50 freestyle and the 100 breaststroke. She was the Laporte High School team captain her sophomore and junior years. She is a National Honor Society and a National Music Honor Society member. She has been her high school teams MVP the past three years. She also runs cross country and track. Angela was also recruited by Evansville University, Maine University, Xavier University and Kenyon College.
"Angela is a talented young lady who is very versatile," said Johnson. "She can help us many ways and we will look for her to add depth to our relays." Lindsey Russenberger-Dillon, Marana, Ariz. (Marana High School)
Russenberger-Dillon will bring her strength to the Cowgirl breaststroke and butterfly events. She is a US Open qualifier and a US Swimming National qualifier in the 100 and 200 breaststrokes. At the recent Arizona High School State 4A Championships she won the 100 breaststroke and placed second in the 100 butterfly. She holds seven Marana High School records and is a member of all three relay school record holding teams. Lindsey is a two time high school All-American in both the 100 breaststroke and the 100 butterfly. In 2003, she was Arizona All-State selection. Lindsey has been a team captain her sophomore, junior and senior years. She has a great training background with the FORD Aquatics club team in Tuscon, Ariz. She was also recruited by Texas A&M University, Florida Atlantic University, and UCLA.
"We are very pleased to have Lindsey joining us next fall," said Johnson. "She is a very talented athlete and will be a great addition to our team. She has swum at the highest levels of club swimming and will lead us in the breaststroke and butterfly events while becoming a great addition to our relays." Robin Lehner, Orchard Park, N.Y. (Orchard Park High School)
Lehner, a breaststroke and IM'er, is a three-time New York State High School Champion. In 2002, she won the 100 breaststroke and swam the breaststroke leg of the state champion 200 medley relay team. This season, she won the 200 medley relay and placed fifth in the 100 breaststroke at the New York State Championships. She is a Junior National qualifier in the breaststroke. Robin is not new to this area as she lived in Denver, Colo. for four years, where she swam for the North Jeffco Swim Club. She currently swims with the South Town Aquatic Racers in Buffalo, N.Y., where her father is the head coach. Robin is also a member of her school's honor roll. She was also recruited by West Virginia and Connecticut
"Robin has had a great swimming experience and will provide us with additional depth in the breaststroke and in the IM," said Johnson. "She is a great trainer and will continue to improve vastly." Rachel Leyes, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Air Academy High School)
Leyes will add much needed depth to the Cowgirl backstroke events next season. She is a sectional qualifier in the 100 and 200 backstrokes. She swims club for the AFA Falfins in Colorado Springs.
"Rachel will add depth to the backstroke events," said Johnson. "She has improvement significantly over the past year and will look forward to continued improvement down the road." Brittany Wainwright, Evanston, Wyo. (Evanston High School)
Wainwright was an All-State and All-Conference diver all four years of her high school career. She was a state and conference champion three consecutive years. She was named a National Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association All-American. She placed sixth in the 1-meter and eighth in the 3-meter competitions at the 2003 Spring Regional Championships. Brittany placed 18th in the platform competition at the Zone Championships this past summer.
"Brittany brings a lot of talent to the program and will contribute right away," said UW diving coach Russ Dekker. "She has a lot of potential and I can see her becoming an outstanding MWC diver." Piers Blyth, Greenwood Village, Colo. (Regis Jesuit High School)
Blyth will swim the backstroke and middle distance freestyle events for the Cowboys next fall. Piers was born in New Zealand but now has dual citizenship. He is a member of the Colorado State Champions and was named All-State for his contributions in the 200 medley relay. Piers also trains and competes with the Greenwood Tiger sharks, where he has represented Colorado at the Western Zone Championships and the USA Swimming's Sectional Championships. He is a junior national qualifier in the 100 backstroke. Piers was also recruited by Xavier University, Duquesne University and Denver University.
"Piers will add depth to the backstroke events and is also versatile enough to help in the freestyle and the butterfly events," said Johnson. "He really impressed me at Sectionals last summer and has the athletic tools to be a great swimmer." Carl Marais, Pretoria, South Africa (St. Albans)
Carl will compete in the backstroke and middle distance freestyle events next season for the Cowboys. He has US National qualifying times in the 200 and 400 freestyles and the 100 and 200 backstrokes. He is currently training for an upcoming World Cup meet to be hosted in Durban, South Africa from December 5-7 of this year. He will also be competing in South Africa's upcoming Olympic Trials. Southern Methodist University also recruited Carl.
"Carl is immensely talented and we are very excited to have him join us next fall," said Johnson. "He will certainly add depth to all of our relays. Carl will be looked to lead us in the backstroke events as well as the middle distance freestyle events. He has the ability to compete at very high levels."