SMU Women’s Swimming and Diving Adds Ten to Incoming Roster

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Photo Courtesy: SMU Mustangs

SMU women’s swimming and diving Head Coach Steve Collins has announced the addition of ten student-athletes to the 2019-20 roster.

The Mustangs are coming off their 35th consecutive appearance at the NCAA Division I Swimming and Diving Championships and a third place finish at the American Athletic Conference Championships.

Erin Trahan, who was named the league’s Most Outstanding Swimmer, competed in three events at the National meet, while fellow conference champion Andrea Podmanikova represented the Mustangs in breaststroke events.

The 2019-20 class features student-athletes from seven states, as well as Canada, and includes nine swimmers and one diver.

Felicia Anderson

Portland, Ore. | Oregon State / Central Catholic | Backstroke

At Oregon State (2016-19): Named team MVP in 2018 & 2019 and was the Rookie of the Year in 2016… An Honor Roll selection 2017-18… Set the 50 free program record (23.02) in 2019… Also had top-five times in the 100 and 200 back and was top 10 in the 200 IM… Registered a 2020 Olympic Trials cut in the 100 back… Posted five career NCAA B cuts.

Prior to SMU: Competed at Central Catholic High where she earned MVP honors… Swam for Jody Braden at Portland Aquatic Club… Competed at Nationals and Winter Nationals (2018), U.S. Open Championships (2017) and Junior Nationals (2014)… Also lettered in golf.

Personal: Dad was a golfer at Long Beach State (1984-86) and grandpa played basketball at Oregon State from 1956-69 and was on staff from 1965-89 as an assistant and 1989-95 as head coach.

“I chose SMU for the amazing Master of Science in Management program, the friendly atmosphere and competitive energy the conference has.”

Karsten Fields

The Woodlands, Texas | The Woodlands | Breaststroke / IM

Prior to SMU: Three-year letterwinner under head coach Jeremy Wade at The Woodlands High School… Two-time NISCA All-American Swimming 2016-2017… Part of the 2017 Texas Swimming 6A High School Champion Team… Graduated as part of the Texas 6A 200 medley record-setting relay… TISCA All-State Honorable Mention in the 200 IM… Swam club for The Woodlands Swim Team…

Personal: Member of the National Honor Society, Science NHS and Social Studies NHS… Earned AP Scholar with distinction awarded junior year… Daughter of Robert and Robin Fields… Has two brothers, Barley and Cotton.

“I chose SMU because it has both a committed swimming program and great network for academic opportunities. And also the beautiful campus!”

Janelle Gursoy

Ajax, Ontario | Pickering | Sprint Freestyle

Prior to SMU: Attended Pickering High School… Swam for Ontario Swimming Academy under coach Don Burton… Holds three Canadian National Age Group Records – Girls 13-14 4x50m Medley Relay SCM, Girls 13-14 4x200m Freestyle Relay SCM and Girls 13-14 4x200m Freestyle Relay LCM… Member of the Canadian Junior National Team in 2016… Member of the Canadian Youth National Team in 2018 for lifesaving… Competed at the 2017 Bermuda Amateur Swimming Association National Long Course Championship… Competed at the 2018 World Lifesaving Championships in Adelaide, Australia as a member of the Canadian Youth National team.

Personal: Received the highest marks in French, science, geography, English and Latin in 9th grade… Received the highest mark in civics, science, careers, Latin and French in 10th… Received the highest marks in math in 11th… Daughter of Huseyin Gursoy and Brenda Ahong… Has one brother, Daniel, and one sister, Giselle… Sister Giselle currently swims at West Virginia University.

“I chose SMU because it is the absolute best fit for me academically and athletically. When I visited SMU and met the team, I knew that it was a place that I would be able to call home for the next four years. I’m super excited to be able to pursue my goals at such an outstanding school! Can’t wait to be a Mustang!”

Frederica Kizek

Katy, Texas | Morton Ranch | Freestyle / IM

Prior to SMU: A four-year letterwinner for Derek Zerber at Morton Ranch High School… Named Team MVP all four seasons… A captain her junior and senior year… School record holder for all individual events and multiple relays… TISCA All-State First Team in the 200 IM and 500 free (2019) and Honorable Mention in the 200 IM (2017)… State Finalist in 2019… Swam for Sharon Power at Power for Live Aquatics… Earned Highest IMX Award (2015-17, 2019)… Competed at Futures National Championship Meet (2018-19).

Personal: Member of the National Honor Society and Mu Alpha Theta… Participated in M.A.V.S. volunteer opportunities… A Katy ISD Board of Trustees Meritorious Service Award and Student Excellence Award: At Large honoree… Valedictorian… Daughter of Dagmar and Benjamin… Has one brother, Dominic, and one sister, Alexandra… Dominic swam at Case Western Reserve University (2014-18).

“I chose SMU because it offers a great balance between competitive athletics and distinguished academics.”

Olivia Hernandez

Miami, Fla. | Gulliver Preparatory | Breaststroke / Freestyle / IM

Prior to SMU: Four-year varsity letterwinner at Gulliver Preparatory School under head coach Christopher George… Named team captain… Won three state titles… All-American consideration for relays… Swam for Gulliver Swim Club under coach Christopher George… Was a part of the Futures National Team.

Personal: Was an AP scholar and on the Honor Roll at Gulliver Preparatory… Daughter of Jerry Hernandez and Angela Hatfield… Has one sister, Chloe… Mom swam at Indiana University from 1986-1990.

“I picked SMU for its academic and athletic opportunities and how each member of the team values their performance in school and in the pool. The coaching staff is absolutely wonderful, as is the team; their sheer spirit and pride is something I am very excited to be a part of.”

Nicole Stambo

Tampa, Fla. | Berkeley Preparatory School | Diving

Prior to SMU: Competed for Jennifer Frankoqiak at Berkeley Preparatory School… Florida 1A State Diving Champion as a sophomore… Four-time NICSA All-American… Berkeley record holder… Four-time district champion and three-time region champion… three-time team MVP and captain… Four-time first-team Tampa Bay Times and All-County… Help team to four district and regional championships… Competed under Mark Ruiz at YCF Diving… Two-time USA Diving National qualifier… 2019 3m regional champion and 2018 champion on 1m and platform… YMCA Nationals Champion on 1m in 2018… Two-year member of the YCF National Team… Also lettered in track… Was a four-time Florida State Meet qualifier and three-time medalist in pole vault and triple jump… School record holder in pole vault and as part of the 4×100 relay… Played soccer for one season.

Personal: Member of the National Honor Society and four-year member Dean’s List… Brother, Nick, attends SMU.

“I chose SMU for the outstanding academics, beautiful campus in the heart of Dallas, state of the art aquatic center and great diving program.”

Alex Stevens

Summit, N.J. | The Pennington School | Freestyle

Prior to SMU: Three-year letterwinner at The Pennington School under head coach George Ward… Graduated as the 50/100/200 freestyle school record holder and as part of the 200 medley relay… 100 free All-State Champion.

Personal: Daughter of Richard and Mary Lou Stevens… Has one brother, Will, who plays Lacrosse at St. Joseph’s University… Cousin Catherine played Lacrosse at Duke… Cousin Caroline played Lacrosse at USC… Cousin Joe played Lacrosse at Union College… Cousin John played Lacrosse at Tufts University.

“I chose SMU for the perfect combination of athletics and academics. Coach Collins and coach Heller are amazing coaches who I know will help advance my swimming career. The team was warm and welcoming and the campus made me feel like this is a place I could call home. Pony Up!”

Meriel Upton

Denver, Colo. | Regis Jesuit | Sprint Freestyle

Prior to SMU: Three-year letterwinner at Regis Jesuit High School under coach Nick Frasersmith… High School All-American in 200 and 400 free relays (2016, 2017, 2018)… Competed 100 & 200 free at High School State… Was awarded MVP/High Point for her grade every year… Voted team captain… Part of the Aurora All-City Team (2016, 2017, 2018)… CHSSA 5A State Team (2016, 2017, 2018)… Swam for the Denver Swim Academy… Winter Nationals, Summer Junior Nationals and Winter Junior Nationals Qualifier in the 400 free relay (2018)… Western Zone Senior Championships 400 free relay … Two-year letterwinner in Varsity girls lacrosse (2016, 2017)… Also competed in ski racing.

Personal: Daughter to Matt and Suzie Upton… Has one brother, Mac… Dad was a ski racer at University of New Hampshire, part of the U.S. National team and went to U.S. Nationals and Olympic Trials.

“I chose SMU because I saw an opportunity to go to an amazing school with a very strong combination of academics and swimming. SMU is a place where I can see myself being able to greatly improve in not only my swimming, but academics as well! I am so grateful for this amazing opportunity to swim for a great team and amazing coaches!”

Raegan Willis

Plymouth, Minn. | Minnetonka | Butterfly / Backstroke

Prior to SMU: Three-year letterwinner at Minnetonka High School under coach Daniel Berve… All-State Athlete… Three-time True Team State Champion… Three-time 2AA Section Champion… Three-time Class AA State Runner up… Section 2AA 100 Fly champion… Five-time state finalist… Three-time member of Automatic All-American Relays… Lake Conference Honorable Mention… Swam for the Minnetonka Swim Club under coach Erich Welton.

Personal: Three-year Academic Letterwinner… AP Scholar… National Honor Society Member… Daughter of Gary Willis and Nicole DeSensi-Willis… Has one sister, Madison.

“SMU has top notch engineering programs as well as outstanding athletics. There are so many opportunities to grow as a student, athlete and person. I can imagine myself spending the next four years as a Mustang.”

Julia Yakushi

Nashville, Tenn. | Harpeth Hall | Breaststroke

Prior to SMU: Four-year letterwinner at Harpeth Hall High School under coach Polly Linden… Participated in the Region and State Championships in 2016, 2017 and 2018… Swam for Excel Aquatics under coach Steven Murry and Colin Farris… Won the Effort, Dedication and Sportsmanship Award… Competed in two NCSA meets with the National Team.

Personal: Was on the Academic Honor Roll and in the National Chinese Honors Society… Daughter of Bob and Annette Yakushi… Has one brother, Connor.

“I chose SMU because I felt at home while on campus and was impressed by the academic opportunities and swimming program. The first time I met the coaching staff and team I immediately felt welcome. Go Mustangs!”


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