Pittsburgh Signs 10

PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania, December 1. HEAD Men's and Women's Swimming and Diving coach Chuck Knoles announced the signing of 10 student-athletes to a National Letter of Intent (NLI) for the 2007-08 season. Five of the newcomers will join the women's team, while the other five will join the men's team. The newcomers on the women's side are Katie Cutrell, Kristen McMullan, Cookie McIntyre, Danielle Scott and Caitlin Trant. Patrick Bergin, Dan Connealy, Matt Hershey, Zachary Robertson-Phillips, and Matt Scherer will join the men's roster.

"This first signing period of our 2007-08 season for Pitt Swimming and Diving was a phenomenal success," Knoles stated. "This year's recruiting campaign-to bring the best athletes to Pitt-is well under way. With the excitement we have established about our program, the second-half of the recruiting year will no doubt be just as successful."

On the women's side, Cutrell (Ligonier, Pa./Greensburg Central Catholic High School) is a multitalented athlete who excels at almost every event. She is the top distance swimmer in the area and was runner-up in two events at the state high school meet last season. She will be looked upon to add depth and help lead our distance group.

"Katie's desire to be the best is second to none," Knoles said. "We have watched her grow over the past few years, and know she will be an outstanding collegiate swimmer. We look forward to watching her compete in Pitt Blue and Gold."

McMullan (West Chester, Pa./West Chester Henderson) is a standout in the sprints. She has competed in the 50 freestyle finals every year at the Pennsylvania State meet, and is a YMCA National Qualifier. She is planning to study science at Pitt and eventually attend medical school.

"Kristen is a raw talent who also excels in soccer," Knoles stated. "We look forward to adding her to our sprint group and expect her to challenge our top returners,"

McIntyre (York, Pa./West York High School) is a standout in a number of events. She specializes in the butterfly but can swim a variety of strokes. She has competed in the finals at the Pennsylvania State meet as well as the YMCA Nationals. She plans to study psychology.

"Cookie will give us another great Pennsylvania swimmer whose versatility will help the team immediately," Knoles added. "She will contribute to our fly events immediately."

Scott (Bethlehem, Pa./Liberty High School) can swim many events well, but specializes in the backstroke. She is another Pennsylvania athlete who placed in the state meet finals as well as in sectionals. She will add depth in the backstroke, IM and sprint free events.

"Danielle is a tremendous competitor who hates to lose," Knoles commented. "Her drive and intensity will help our backstroke ranks, while her depth allows us to use her almost anywhere."

Rounding out the women's recruits is Trant (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Hills High School), who specializes in the sprint events. Although she has only been swimming for a short time, she has developed into one of the top sprinters in the area. She is planning to study nursing.

"Caitlin is another raw talent who could possibly have a tremendous college career," Knoles said. "Her size and her ability to kick are great features, and she will impact the Big East immediately."

On the men's side, Bergin (Newcastle, NSW Australia/Newcastle Grammar School) is an U.S. Olympic Trials qualifier in the 100 and 200 backstroke events. He could make an immediate impact in the Big East Conference in both events as well as the 100 butterfly. He will join the team in January 2007.

"Patrick is a blue-chip athlete with the training background and intensity to take control of the backstroke events in the Big East Conference," Knoles noted. "We are extremely excited to have a swimmer of his caliber as a member of our program."

Connealy (Phoenix, AZ/Shadow Mountain High School) is the 2006 Arizona high school state 5A Div. II State Champion in the 100 free and a finalist in the 50 free. He has excellent size and has the ability to become an outstanding collegiate swimmer in the sprint and middle distance freestyle events.

"Dan is a relatively unknown who will surprise many as he makes his way onto the collegiate swimming scene," Knoles added. "He has great size and strength and a maturity that will help him be a great athlete and leader of our men's program."

Hershey (Mechanicsburg, PA/ Cumberland Valley High School) is a Junior National qualifier in the sprint free events and was a 2006 PA State finalist in the 100 back. He is a relatively inexperienced swimmer who will make gains very quickly and proves to be a strong asset to our sprint program.

"We are expecting great things from Matt over his four years here at Pitt, Knoles said. "He has the ability to improve very quickly and will help move our sprint program to the next level."

Robertson-Phillips (Glen Rock, PA/Susquehannock High School) is one of the premier high school distance swimmers in the state of Pennsylvania. He was the Pennsylvania AA State Champion in the 500 free and 200 IM in 2006 and looks to defend his titles as a senior. He is a U.S. Open qualifier in every freestyle event from the 400 to 1650 events.

"Zach will add great depth to our distance program," Knoles noted. "He has a strong drive to be the best and will make his presence known as he moves toward the top of the distance ranks within the Big East Conference."

Scherer (Pittsburgh, PA/North Allegheny High School) is a local talent and strong middle distance freestyle swimmer. He was a consolation finalist in the 200 free at the 2006 PA State AAA Championships. He has the ability to swim several different events and strokes in college and will become a leader in a very short time.

"We are very proud to continue to attract local talents like Matt to our program," Knoles added. "He is a sizeable young man with the talent to move forward quickly in collegiate swimming. We expect great things from Matt and look forward to seeing him excel as a Panther next year."