McKendree University Announces Inaugural Class

Photo Courtesy: Mckendree University

In August 2015, McKendree University announced the beginning of a men’s and women’s swimming and diving team, coached by Jimmy Tierney .

The NCAA Division II team has now announced that it will launch its inaugural season in the Great Lakes Valley Conference with 11 men.

The University currently has a new pool under construction, the McKendree Metro Rec Plex. Tierney comes to McKendree after a 21 year tenure at Northwestern. In September, he appeared on the Morning Swim Show to discuss his new team’s opportunities.

Press releases:

(LEBANON, Ill., April 18)–McKendree University head swimming and diving coach Jimmy Tierney has announced the initial signees for the 2016-17 inaugural season for the men’s swimming and diving programs. A total of eight student-athletes make up the inaugural group of signees for the Bearcats.

“I am extremely honored and privileged to announce the first ever men’s signing class for swimming and diving at McKendree University.” stated Tierney, “We made a conscious effort to target student-athletes with great character who also have tremendous leadership qualities to help develop this team into a very respected and admired program. The group we have assembled so far will allow us to make great strides forward in building a championship program. I am very impressed with their talents and potential in the pool and in the classroom. These future Bearcats will represent this community very well as student-athletes as well as good citizens. I can’t wait to get in the pool with these motivated athletes to start our journey in the NCAA swimming world. These young men will join our fall signee for the women in Sydney Rey. We hope to add more to both programs in the coming weeks.”

Tyler Hayes (Hometown: Lubbock, TX)
Coronado High School
Backstroke and IM
Personal Records:
100 Back — 53.41
200 Back — 1:53.87
200 IM — 1:58.55
400 IM — 4:10.01
500 Free — 4:51.96
100 Fly — 53.63
Coach Tierney on Hayes: “Tyler just completed a very historically successful high school career in Lubbock, TX, winning numerous district and conference championships. He comes from a swimming family as both parents, April and Trey, have had a hand in his development as versatile and talented swimmer. We will be utilize Tyler in multiple events but primarily backstroke, free, and IM.”

Peyton Shafto (Hometown: Granite Bay, CA)
Granite Bay High School
Sprinter
Personal Records:
50 Free — 21.53
100 Fly — 51.43
100 Free — 47.45
200 Free — 1:47.77
Coach Tierney on Shafto: “Peyton was the first male to commit to us so he holds a special place in Bearcat history. He will be a tremendous fit for our school and swim team. Peyton will provide us excellent speed in both free and fly, and be an asset on several of our relays. He is a member of the Sierra Marlins Swim Team in California under Scott Shea.”

Kyle Shahenian (Hometown: Surprise, AZ)
Dysart High School
Distance Freestyle, IM
Personal Records:
500 Free — 5:09.92
200 Free — 1:55.45
100 Breast — 1:11.23
Coach Tierney on Shahenian: “Kyle was one of our first visitors to McKendree this past fall that believed in the vision that we were selling about the future of Bearcat swimming. He easily fit into the community and quickly decided that he wanted to join our inaugural team. Kyle is a very versatile swimmer who will compete in a variety of events, primarily free, fly, and IM. He competes for the Westside Silver Dolphins in Goodyear, AZ.”

Cole Morgan (Hometown: George Town, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands)
Cayman International School
Backstroke, Sprint Free, IM
Personal Records:
50scm Free — 24.37
100scm Free — 53.13
100scy Back — 52.75
200scm Back — 1:55.32
200scm IM — 2:10.45
Coach Tierney on Morgan: “It is tremendously exciting for the Bearcat world to welcome Kyle as our first Caribbean swimmer. He is a Canadian citizen who has lived and competed in the Canary Islands for most of his career. He will bring exceptional talent and strength to our program in back, free, and IM events. Cole is a backstroke silver medalist in the CARIFTA swimming championships and coached by David Pursley (of the famous Pursley coaching tree).”

Luca Simonetti (Hometown: Sassari, Sardinia, Italy)
Liceo Scientifico Gulielmo Marconi Sassari
Short Course
Personal Records:
50 Free — 23.60
100 Free — 50.09
200 Free — 1:49.40 (Sardinian Senior Record)
400 Free — 3:58.32
800 Free — 8:14.98
1500 Free — 16:11.26
50 Fly — 25.63
100 Fly — 56.15
Coach Tierney on Simonetti: “Luca brings a wonderfully bright personality and a tremendous set of skills as a swimmer to Lebanon. Luca has competed at numerous Italian Championships and owns numerous Sardinian records. He will primarily compete for the Bearcats in the 50-500 free as well as 100 fly. We hope this is just the beginning of bringing future star talents from European countries to Bearcat Country.”

Cole Scully (Hometown: Hastings, MN)
Hastings High School
Sprinter
Personal Records:
50 Free — 21.90
100 Free — 48.90
Coach Tierney on Scully: “Cole is another wonderful fit for McKendree University as a student and an athlete. As a high school swimmer, he has earned numerous honors in his state both in the pool and in the classroom. He also hails from the Hastings Area Swim Team in Minnesota and will primarily race for the Bearcats in the spring free and relays events.”

Zach Breeding (Hometown: Midland, TX)
Midland High School
Breaststroke
Personal Record:
100 Breast — 58.64
Coach Tierney on Breeding: “We are thrilled to win out on another Texan with Zach. He is an up and coming talent in breaststroke who emerged as a finalist this year in the highly competitive Texas State High School Championships. Zach is an excellent student who will bring great leadership qualities to the Bearcats. He competes for the City of Midland Swim Team under Bob Kizer.”

Cannon Talley (Hometown: Lubbock, TX)
Coronado High School
Freestyle
Coach Tierney on Talley: “We completed the dynamic Lubbock, TX duo with the addition of Cannon. He seemed like a great fit for McKendree from the first time he stepped foot our campus. There is no doubt Cannon has his best swimming ahead of him and will contribute mightily in the 50-200 free and 100-200 back events. He also is a member of the Lubbock Swim Club under the Team Hayes coaching umbrella.”

The McKendree University swimming and diving program will compete as members of the Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) in NCAA Division II next year. The Bearcats’ home meets will be held at the McKendree Metro Rec Plex, a new facility under construction in O’Fallon, Ill., which will serve as the home for the University’s swimming and diving teams, water polo programs and ice hockey squads.

(LEBANON, Ill., April 29)- McKendree University head swimming and diving coach Jimmy Tierney has announced three additional signees for the 2016-17 inaugural season for the men’s swimming and diving programs. The McKendree University swimming and diving program will compete as members of the Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) in NCAA Division II next year.

The newest members of the McKendree swimming and diving program include Jack Davies of Conroe, Texas, Chinyere (Izaya) Owotor of Portland, Ore., and Stephen Hutchinson of South Elgin, Ill.

“We are extremely excited to add these three gentlemen to our squad for the 2016-17 season.” Tierney went on to say, “There is no doubt in my mind that we have added some tremendous talent, both as students and athletes, to the previous group announced last week. These guys all have a true passion for the sport and will contribute great things to both our athletic and academic communities here at McKendree University.”

The Bearcats’ home meets will be held at the McKendree Metro Rec Plex, a new facility under construction in O’Fallon, Ill., which will serve as the home for the University’s swimming and diving teams, water polo programs and ice hockey squads.

Jack Davies (Hometown: Conroe, TX)
Woodlands College Park High School
Backstroke
Personal Records:
50 Back 25.74
100 Back 52.65
200 Back 1:53.18
Coach Tierney on Davies: “Jack will bring a very diverse set of talents to the Bearcat community. The British Texan (originally from England) has found success in the backstroke events in the pool (Junior National qualifier), and still finds time to delve into music as a composer and player.  He hails from the nationally powerful Woodlands Swim Team in Houston and its highly successful coach Tim Bower.”

Chinyere (Izaya) Owotor (Hometown: Portland, OR)
David Douglas High School
Sprint Freestyle
Personal Records:
100 Free 48.18
50 Free 21.99
100 Back 1:06.22
100 Free Relay 47.91
50 Free Relay 21.50
Coach Tierney on Owotor: “We are thrilled that Izaya has decided to become a Bearcat this coming fall. From the moment Izaya came onto campus, he impressed everyone that he met during his visit. Izaya is an incredibly personable young man who will without a doubt be a very successful student and athlete here at McKendree. He will primarily compete in the freestyle sprint events (50 and 100 free) and contribute to our sprint relays as well.”

Stephen Hutchinson (Hometown: South Elgin, IL)
St. Charles North High School
Sprint Freestyler
Personal Records:
50 Free 21.29 (relay)
100 Fly 52.74
50 Free 21.42
100 Free 47.01 (relay)
100 Free 47.95
200 Free 1:45.73
Coach Tierney on Hutchinson: “It is very exciting for Bearcat swimming to get our first Chicago-area swimmer in Stephen. He completed a very successful high school career under legendary coach Rob Rooney at St. Charles North High School. He will bring tremendous spring free power to the Bearcats and contribute valuable points in both individual and relay events. Stephen was a member of several relays that competed in the finals at the prestigious Illinois State High School Championships.”

Courtesy of McKendree University Athletics. 

3 Comments

3 comments

  1. Jennifer Cameron

    Sounds interesting. Hopefully they have better student-athlete support than when my brother was there for golf (he transferred out). I gotta say, if you’re looking for a college with small town charm within driving distance of a metro area (St. Louis, MO) this is a neat University to check out.

  2. avatar
    John Adamson

    Best wishes to Coach Tierney and the Bearcats!

Author: Cathleen Pruden

avatar
Cathleen Pruden is a 2016 graduate of Mount Holyoke College and the High School Content Manager at Swimming World. She was a four time All-American and a three time Academic All-American for the Lyons. She grew up swimming in and has also coached in Raleigh, North Carolina. Currently she is the Assistant Coach at Bowdoin College.

Current Swimming World Issue


Trouble Viewing on Smart Phones, Tablets or iPads? Click Here