BOISE, Idaho With her first official recruiting class in the books, Boise State University swimming and diving Head Coach Kristin Hill announced the signing of 11 student-athletes to National Letters of Intent, Monday.
The recruits joining the second-year program range from all over North America: Erica Christianson of Las Vegas, Nev., Tara Hahto of Victoria, B.C., Canada, Rachael Meisner of Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, Megan Morton of Anchorage, Alaska, Kim Nelson of Corpus Christi, Texas, Jenny Nowatzke of Missoula, Mont., Natalie Rohling of Highland, Ind., Samantha Sanchez-O’Dell of Portland, Ore., Erin Stotts of Lander, Wyo., Andrea Thiltgen of Spring Valley, Calif., and Johanna Wubbena of Des Moines, Iowa.
Lauren Keele, an Idaho Falls, Idaho, native, also signed a valid financial aid agreement. With Allison Hall, Denise Green and Samantha Eichner committing during the early signing period, Hill has added a total of 14 student-athletes to next year’s roster.
“This is an impressive first recruiting class, and we are so excited to welcome these young women to our program,” Hill said. “With this class comes an extraordinary amount of leadership, dedication to hard work and a desire to build a team family; the things we focus on as a coaching staff. Recruiting is always important, but this year it was obviously a big focus for us in continuing to develop a brand new program at Boise State. These young women saw the potential for the program within our outstanding athletic department and university, and we look forward to helping them develop to be at their best in the classroom, the water and the community.”
Each of the recruits boasts an impressive resume, which follows below:
Christianson, a co-valedictorian and swim team captain, was a member of the two-time State champion 200-yard freestyle relay team and the State champion 400-free relay team at Bishop Gorman High School. The three-year regional champion is coached by Ron Aitken at both the high school and club levels.
Hahto, who swims for head coach Randy Bennett at Island Swimming, earned three medals at the Canadian Age Group Nationals in 2006, capturing a silver in the 100- and 200-breaststroke, and a bronze in the 50-breast. The Stelly’s Secondary School senior was also a medallist at the Provincial Championships from 1998-2007.
Keele, a transfer from the University of Nevada, was a member of the 2006 WAC All-Academic Team. She attended Idaho Falls High School where she was coached by Barb Frank. In 2004 she was the state runner up in the 200 individual medley and she anchored the 2003 state champion 200-free relay team. Keele holds three Idaho Falls HS records (200 IM, 500-free and 100-butterfly) and two relay team records (200 frees and medley relays). She swam with Coach James Baisden while competing for Idaho Falls YMCA where she was the team captain and 2005 Athlete of the Year.
Meisner joins the Broncos from Kamehameha High School in Honolulu where she won the age group State championship in the 500-free, the 1000-free and the 1650-free, and was the Waikiki Rough Water first place female finisher in the 15-17 age group. Meisner is coached by Kevin Flanagan at both the high school and club levels, as well as Kenny Chew (high school) and John Flanagan (Kamehameha Swim Club).
Morton, the lone diver in the group, dives for A.J. Dimond High School and Denali Diving, both of which are coached by Dale Williams. Morton won the Alaska State Diving Championship in 2006 and holds the third-highest diving total in State history. She was a team captain her senior year.
Nelson was a member of Bruce Swart’s and Dotson Smith’s Mary Carroll High School district championship teams from 2004-06 and the regional championship teams from 2004-05. Over the course of her four-year varsity career, Nelson received individual honors for both Female Regional Swimmer of the Year and Female District Swimmer of the Year. The two-year team captain was also a State qualifier from 2004-07 and was named to the all-State team in 2005. Nelson also competed for Adam Scott’s Bay’s Edge Aquatic Team (BEAT).
Nowatzke was named the Montana Female Swimmer of the Year in 2006, and recorded a State championship in a single event in each of her four years of high school competition. The Loyola Sacred Heart High School two-year captain and two-time MVP also boasts the State record in the 50-backstroke (28.09). Nowatzke also swims for head coach Dave Berkoff’s Missoula Aquatic Club.
Rohling was a State finalist all four years while swimming for Highland High School, and was twice named an All-American. The 2006 team captain holds the school record in the 200-free (1:55.19) and the 500-free (5:11.89), and was a member of the school’s record-setting 400-free relay and 200-free relay teams. Rohling swims for the Highland Hurricanes club team, whose head coach, Ryan Harrington, also coached the high school team.
Sanchez-O’Dell currently attends Woodrow Wilson High School, where she was a four-time PIL champion under head coach Todd Elbert. She was also an age group sectional champion and a senior sectional qualifier while swimming for the Portland Aquatic Club, coached by Jody Braden.
Stotts swam for coaches Bruce Gresley and Tim Hester at Lander Valley High School, and coaches Shawna Muir and LT Ratz at the Lander Swim Club. She is a five-time individual State champion (three times in the 100-breast and twice in the 200 IM). She was named Swimmer of the Year in 2006 at the State championship meet, and earned the same honor for the 3A West Conference. The senior class president also holds the school’s 100-breast record (1:09.56), and has earned six academic letters.
Thiltgen was named the Grossmont South League Swimmer of the Year in 2006. She holds the school record in the 200 IM (2:10.75) and served as team captain for Monte Vista High School, and swims for head coach Pat Tope with the Heartland Swim Association.
Wubbena will graduate from West Des Moines Valley High School, where she swims for head coach Mark Corley. She also competes for Kelly Nordell’s Des Moines Swim Federation. The NISCA Academic All-American was a member of her school’s State champion 400-free relay team, as well as the school’s record-setting 200-medley relay and 400-free relay teams. The 400-free team also set the State record and earned High School All-America status.