CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - University of North Carolina men's and women's swimming and diving coach Rich DeSelm recently signed an outstanding group of 11 recruits during the fall 2012 National Letter of Intent period. DeSelm has added five men and six women who will begin their academic and swimming and diving careers at UNC in August 2013.
In alphabetical order here are brief bios on each individual signed during the fall period beginning with the men's signees.
Josh Beals hails from Attleboro, Mass. The distance freestyler has competed in club swimming for Crimson Aquatics where he has been coached by Carl Cederquist and Skip Bryant. On a short course level, Beals has top times of 4:26.90 in the 500-yard freestyle, 9:14.69 in the 1000-yard freestyle and 15:18.95 in the 1650-yard freestyle. His comparative personal best times in long course swimming include 4:01.02 (400 meters), 8:30.33 (800 meters) and 15:53.32 (1500 meters).
Coach Rich DeSelm on Josh Beals: "Josh comes from a great program, Crimson Aquatics, and is relatively new to distance events, yet has already swum some outstanding times. We are excited Josh felt UNC provided him with the best combination of an outstanding business program, swimming team environment and distance training group."
Josh Beals on Choosing UNC: "The knowledgeable staff, led by Coach DeSelm, the incredible team unity, and the outstanding academic reputation made Carolina the perfect choice for me."
Matt Conway is a native Grayslake, Ill., where he attends Warren Township High School (coached there by Chris Bertana). He also competes for the Blue Devil Swim Club, which is also coached by Bertana. A butterflier and backstroker and 2012-13 U.S. Junior National Team member, Conway has career best short course times of 50.08 in the 100-yard butterfly, 1:50.40 in the 200-yard butterfly and 1:52.18 in the 200-yard backstroke. His comparable top clockings in long course events are 55.62, 2:00.58 and 2:08.29, respectively.
Coach Rich DeSelm on Matt Conway - "Coach Mike Litzinger was instrumental in recruiting Matt, but it became clear early in the recruiting process that our school and our team and Matt were a great fit. Matt, his parents, coach Bertana and our staff quickly realized we were all working toward the goal of Matt becoming a Tar Heel"
Matt Conway on Choosing UNC - "I chose the University of North Carolina because of its outstanding academics and its first class swimming program. The staff is amazing and the team provides a very supportive environment. I felt, North Carolina gave the best opportunity to succeed."
Jack Nyquist comes to UNC from Alpharetta, Ga., where he attends Alpharetta High School (Emily Santowski is his high school coach). A national level diver, Nyquist competes for the Atlanta Diving Association where his club coach is John Ames. He finished second at the 2012 U.S. Diving junior national championships on the three-meter board and fifth on the one-meter board. At the 2012 AT&T National Championships senior level meet, he was seventh in one-meter diving, ninth in three-meter diving and, with partner Steele Johnson, placed ninth in the three-meter synchronized event. A 2012 U.S. Diving Junior National Team member, Nyquist finished 19th with Johnson in three-meter synchro at the FINA World Junior Diving Championships in 2012.
Coach Jenny Keim Johansen on Nyquist - "I am very excited to have Jack become part of the Tar Heel swimming and diving program. He joins us with a lot of experience and success, competing at the 2012 Junior World Championships. Jack qualified for the finals and finished ninth on three-meter springboard. Jack is one of the U.S.'s top male divers and he will contribute to the Tar Heel team from the moment he arrives. I am truly excited for the opportunity to coach Jack to the highest levels both in NCAA and world competitions."
Jack Nyquist on Choosing UNC - "I chose UNC because I have many ambitions and I believe UNC is the school and the program that can help me achieve my goals."
Lucas Popp calls Wichita, Kan., home and he will graduate from Maize High School in spring 2013. Popp is coached on the high school level by Hussein Yassine and his club coach is Brian Kupferer with the Wichita Swim Club. A sprint and middle distance freestyler, Popp's best times in short course events are 21.15, 45.96 and 1:40.36 from the 50- through 200-yard distances. His comparable long course bests are 24.16, 52.90 and 1:56.05.
Coach Rich DeSelm on Lucas Popp - "Lucas is an outstanding student who has lofty academic and career goals and UNC is a great match. He is a strong and powerful swimmer who is rapidly improving. We think Lucas has tremendous improvement ahead of him."
Lucas Popp on Choosing UNC - "I chose to swim at UNC not only because of its standard of athletic and academic excellence but because the team and coaches are some of the kindest and most supportive people that I have ever had the privilege of meeting."
Eugene Tee is Coach DeSelm's first Australian recruit. The Melbourne native has attended Camberwell Grammar School & St. Monica Catholic High School (Santa Monica, Calif.) where he is coached by Rick Bruce. In his native Australia, he competed for Surrey Park Swimming Club and Team Santa Monica (coached by Dave Kelsheimer). He has been a member of multiple national youth teams for Australia including the 2009 and 2010 Trans-Tasman Team for Australia, 2009 Australian Age All-Star Team, 2011 Youth Commonwealth Games Team, 2011 Australian Youth All-Star Team and 2012 Junior Pan Pac Team. Tee's three best events are the 200 IM, 400 IM and mile. His personal bests (short course yards, short course meters, long course meters) are 400 IM - 3:50.74, 4:15.84, 4:25.65; 200 IM - 1:50.21, 2:01.92, 2:06.04; 1650-yard freestyle/1500-meter - 15:25.62, 15:21.90, 15:51.45.
Coach Rich DeSelm on Eugene Tee -- "Eugene has a great feel for the water, outstanding international experience and a great work ethic. He immediately fit in with our men's team and coaches. We are excited to add Eugene to our team."
Eugene Tee on Choosing UNC - "I chose UNC because it is the best fit for me academically and athletically. I am excited to receive a world-class education as well as joining an exceptional Division I swimming program. Go Tar Heels!"
In alphabetical order here are brief bios on each individual signed during the fall period beginning for the Tar Heel women's team.
Abby Fisher hails from Kinnelon, N.J, where she attends Kinnelon High School (coached by Brian Boardman). She competes for Lakeland Hills YMCA (coached by Keira Cruz). Amongst Fisher's best events are the 200 breaststroke, 400 IM and 200 IM where her personal bests short course are 2:13.55, 4:21.26 and 2:03.45, respectively, and long course are 2:33.89, 4:52.02 and 2:19.54.
Coach Rich DeSelm on Abby Fisher --"Abby could have attended almost any school she wished to attend as she is a stellar student. She has also excelled at both the YMCA National and USA Swimming national and junior national levels. We look forward to having Abby join our strong IM/breaststroke group."
Abby Fisher on Choosing UNC - "I found a close-knit team, amazing coaches and the right balance between top notch academics and fast swimming - all at a beautiful place that I know I will be happy to call home."
Sarah Hitchens calls West Chester, Pa. home, where she attends Villa Maria Academy and is coached by Cathy Hay. Hitchens swims for the Suburban Seahawks Club under the coaching tutelage of the legendary Charlie Kennedy. Primarily a sprinter, Hitchens had career best times short course: 50 free: 23.41, 100 free: 51.32, 100 back: 54.89 and long course: 50 free: 27.23, 100 free: 59.54, 100 back: 1:03.64.
Coach Rich DeSelm on Sarah Hitchens -- "Sarah comes from the great Suburban Swim Club program coached by Charlie Kennedy. She has a tremendous upside in both the backstrokes and sprint freestyles and we are confident Sarah will have an outstanding collegiate career."
Sarah Hitchens on Choosing UNC - "I chose UNC because it is the perfect blend of academics and athletics. The coaches, the team, and the spirit surrounding Chapel Hill made me want to become a Tar Heel!"
Caty Hulsey is another strong addition to DeSelm's recruiting class. The Savannah, Ga., native attends Calvary Day School where she is coached by Bill Forrester. He also serves as her coach at Georgia Coastal Aquatic Team. Hulsey is one of the most versatile swimmers in the recruiting class. In short course swimming her personal bests include 200 fly - 2:01.42; 400 IM - 4:18.63 and 500 free - 4:50.79. She has achieved Olympic Trials status in three long course events, with times of 200 fly - 2:16.30; 400 IM - 4:53.88; and 400 free - 4:18.15.
Coach Rich DeSelm on Caty Hulsey - "Caty and her mother visited UNC early in the recruiting process. Through the official visit process we all kept working at making UNC work for her, as our school and team seemed to be a great fit. Her work ethic instilled by Bill Forrester will serve her well here at North Carolina."
Caty Hulsey on Choosing UNC - "I chose Carolina because it seems like the perfect school for me. It has the best combination of academics and athletics and the friendliest people anywhere. I can't wait to be in Chapel Hill!"
Sarah Koucheki of Cleveland, Ohio is a butterflier and freestyler. She attends Hawken Upper School where she is coached by Jerry Holtrey. Koucheki competes for the Spire Lake Erie Silver Dolphins whose coaching staff includes both Jim Bocci and her high school coach, Jerry Holtrey. Koucheki's career best short course times include 200 Fly- 1:59.63; 100 Fly- 54.66; and 100 Free-50.97 while her long course best clockings are 200 Fly-2:13.71; 100 Fly-1:00.67; and 100 Free-57.73.
Coach Rich DeSelm on Sarah Koucheki - "Sarah also comes from a great program, Lake Erie Silver Dolphins and coaches Jerry Holtrey and Jim Bocci have done a wonderful job working with her. We are excited about her current abilities and are certain she is going to improve and be a significant contributor."
Sarah Koucheki on Choosing UNC - "I chose UNC because I loved everything about the school and its program. It's a cohesive team with a great coaching staff. Overall, it was the best fit for me among all of the schools that I visited."
Hellen Moffitt hails from Alexandria, Va., where she attends West Potomac High School and is coached by Bob Lombardi. Moffitt competes for Machine Aquatics where her club mentor is Dan Jacobs. Another excellent butterflier and backstroker, Moffitt's career best short course times include 200 Back- 1:59.07; 100 Fly- 55.02; and 100 Back- 55.70 while her comparable personal best long course times are 1:03.22 in the 100-meter back, 2:17.32 in the 200-meter back and 1:02.42 in the 100-meter fly.
Coach Rich DeSelm on Hellen Moffitt - "Hellen also visited UNC early in the process. Coaches Jeff King and Dan Jacobs recommended her highly and it seemed UNC was her #1 school throughout the process. We are eager to have Hellen join us in Chapel Hill."
Hellen Moffitt on Choosing UNC - "I have dreamt of wearing Carolina blue since I was in elementary school. When I visited Chapel Hill and met my future teammates, there was something unique that instantly made me feel at home. At UNC, I will be able to contribute to the team's future success and reach my full potential with the help of Coach DeSelm and Coach Litzinger. The whole swim team has so much spirit. I'm really looking forward to being a part of that next year. Go Heels!"
Taylor Olanski, a native of London, Ontario, finishes off UNC's stellar recruiting class. A talented diver, she attends Mother Teresa Catholic Secondary School and competes for Forest City Diving Club where she is coached by Ioana Marinescu. A decorated diver, she has been a member of the Canadian Junior National Team since 2010. Amongst her top placings in national and international competitions have been ninth at the 2012 Junior World Championships, 2010 Junior National Champion and 2012 Junior National silver medalist. She is also a 2012 Canadian Olympic Trials Finalist.
Coach Jenny Keim Johansen on Olanski - "I am very excited to have Taylor become part of the Tar Heel Swimming and Diving program. She joins us with a lot of experience and success, competing at the 2012 Junior World Championships. Taylor finished ninth on platform and has a great background in all three events. She will immediately impact the women's team as we continue to strive for high levels of success in both the pool and classroom. I am truly excited for the opportunity to coach both Taylor to the highest levels both in the NCAA and in world competitions."Taylor Olanski on Choosing UNC - "I chose UNC because it is the whole package with high academic standards, a commitment to the diving program, and welcoming, upbeat people, it is the perfect place to grow as a student, an athlete and an overall person. Plus, Carolina blue has always been my favorite colour!"