Nov. 27, 2012
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern head coach Jimmy Tierney announced today the signing of eight future Wildcats to National Letters of Intent. The group comprises the early signing period portion of NU's incoming Class of 2016.
Lauren Abruzzo (Denver, Colo./Kent Denver), Jackie Doyle (Danville, Calif./San Ramon Valley), Lacey Locke (Carmel, Ind./Carmel), Melissa Postoll (Acworth, Ga./Kennesaw Mountain), Megan Purdy (Boulder City, Nev./Boulder City), Lacey Smith (Boulder, Colo./Fairview), Ellen Stello (Shorewood, Wis./Shorewood) and Annika Winsnes (Singapore/United World College) make up the class that will matriculate to Evanston in the fall of 2013.
"We are thrilled to sign a very deep class for the second-consecutive year," Tierney said. "This class brings outstanding talent in the pool that will satisfy many different needs. They will no doubt help us continue our ascent upwards in the Big Ten and NCAA.
"They also possess a strong academic background that will help us continue our high level of academic success. Each of these young women has great character and will bring tremendous spirit to the `Cats next fall."
The class is headlined by Locke and Winsnes, both Collegeswimming.com
top-60 national recruits and Swimming World Magazine
five-star recruits at the time they signed their National Letters of Intent earlier this month.
Commanding great natural speed in three different strokes, Locke is a 2012 Olympic Trials qualifier who also is a four-time national qualifier and five-time junior national qualifier. At the time of her signing, she held 21 school records for storied Carmel High School and nine state of Indiana records, earning 2010-11 Indiana Swimmer of the Year honors in the process.
Winsnes is a sprinter with international potential who comes from an international background. Of Dutch and Norwegian descent and a native of Malaysia and Singapore, Winsnes was Malaysia's Selangor State Champion in 2012 for the 15-17 year old age group, earned multiple podium finishes at the 2012 Malaysian Open and also earned national podium finishes at the 2012 Norway age-group competition.
Abruzzo is a distance freestyler who competed in the 1,500-meter free at the 2012 Long Course Junior Nationals and was a finalist in the both the 200- and 500-yard freestyles at the Colorado state meet as a sophomore.
Doyle projects as a backstroke contributor for the Wildcats with her tremendous underwater kick. She is a Junior National swimmer and competed at both backstroke distances at the Speedo Sectional Championships in 2011.
Postoll is a 6-foot Olympic Trials and Junior Nationals qualifier whose height and length give her top-level potential in the backstroke. The eighth overall recruit in the state of Georgia according to Collegeswimming.com, Postoll is a state champion and earned team MVP honors while leading Kennesaw Mountain to a fifth-place team finish at the state meet.
Purdy is a versatile distance swimmer with abilities from 200 yards all the way to a mile. Ranked as Collegeswimming.com's second-overall recruit from the state of Nevada, Purdy holds All-America status times in the 500 free and with several relays. She helped her high school to a second-place finish at the Nevada state meet in 2012.
Smith is a sprinter who was a finalist at the 2012 Colorado state meet in both the 100 and 200 freestyle events. She earned All-America status as a member of a relay during her sophomore season, and projects as a free relay and middle distance freestyle competitor for NU next year.
Stello is the 2012 Wisconsin state champion in the 500 free and runner-up in the 200 IM, leading Shorewood to the Wisconsin Division Two team title. A Speedo Junior National Championships qualifier and 2011 All-America honoree, Stello projects as an emerging talent in the 400 IM and 200 butterfly events for the Wildcats.
Compete bios on all of Northwestern's early signing period future Wildcats are as follows:
Denver, Colo./Kent Denver
High School: Competed in the 2012 Long Course Junior Nationals, placing 18th in the 1,500-meter freestyle ... Was third in that event at the 2012 Long Course Western Sectionals ... Finished fourth at the Colorado 4A state meet in the 200- and 500-yard freestyle events as a sophomore ... Competed for 10 years with the University of Denver Hilltoppers club, which held Gold Medal status in the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons, ranking 14th in the country during that time ... Three-time Scholastic All-America team member ... Cum Laude Society ... Honor roll member every semester of high school.
Personal: Born Lauren Elizabeth Abruzzo ... Daughter of Susan McInnes and Joseph Abruzzo ... Chose Northwestern over Duke and Yale ... Plans to major in either math and English or cognitive science.
Says Tierney: "Lauren is an up-and-coming distance swimmer who will add great support to our young distance corps. She follows Shelly Patton as our second-straight signee from Shawn Smith's Denver Hilltoppers swim team, and as an outstanding scholar-athlete she will fit in well with the NU community."
Danville, Calif./San Ramon Valley
High School: Named to the East Bay Athletic League All-Conference team every year of high school ... Scored points in multiple individual events as an EBAL finalist in every season ... NCS finalist each year as well ... Led team to the EBAL and NCS championships as a sophomore and junior ... Competed for the Crow Canyon Sharks club team beginning in 2007 ... Junior National swimmer ... Competed in the Speedo Sectional Championships in 2011, taking 13th in the 100 back and 15th in the 200 back ... Competed in six Speedo Grand Prix meets ... Named Most Inspirational Swimmer in 2011 ... Multiple-time USA Swimming Scholastic All-American ... Honor roll every year of high school.
Personal: Born Jacqueline LeDrew Doyle ... Daughter of Steve Doyle and Sandra LeDrew ... Chose Northwestern over Emory ... Anticipated major is undecided.
Says Tierney: "Jackie fell in love with Northwestern right away after her official visit and is so excited to be a Wildcat. A terrific underwater kicker, she will add great depth to our young backstroke squad."
High School: Ranked as the No. 31 overall recruit in the nation by Collegeswimming.com and as a five-star recruit by Swimming World Magazine ... 2012 Olympic Trial qualifier ... Four-time National Qualifying swimmer and five-time Junior National swimmer ... Finished as a Junior National runner-up in 2011 and had a top-eight finish in 2012 ... 2009 National Select Camp invitee ... At the time of her signing (Nov. 14, 2012), held 21 Carmel Swim Club and nine Indiana state swimming records ... Four-time Indiana state age group high point champion and top age group performer ... In high school competition, has won nine total individual and relay state championship titles while leading her school to three-straight team crowns ... Named the 2010-11 Indiana Swimmer of the Year ... Three-time NISCA All-American and 2010-11 Speedo Girls High School Swimming All-American ... As a freshman, won three state championships including a school-record 100 backstroke effort that was named the Indiana Performance of the Year ... Led her team to the 2011 national high school championship with four state titles ... Won individually in the 200 IM and the 100 back (breaking her own school record) while setting the national public high school record in the 200 medley relay and also winning in the 200 free relay ... Captured two more state crowns as a junior ... All-America Scholar, Academic All-Conference and Carmel High School Scholar Athlete ... Key Club board member, Dance Marathon participant, active in student government and the 2012-13 Carmel Homecoming Queen.
Personal: Born Lacey Alexandra Locke ... Daughter of Twig and Nancy Locke ... Anticipated major in undecided.
Says Tierney: Lacey is one of the highest-rated swimmers we have ever signed. She has great natural speed in three strokes and comes from a storied Carmel high school program under Chris Plumb that has the longest state title streak of any sport in the United State. Lacey is a wonderfully upbeat person who was sold on NU this summer and gave us our earliest commit ever."
Acworth, Ga./Kennesaw Mountain
High School: Olympic Trials and Junior Nationals qualifier ... Ranked as the No. 8 recruit in the state of Georgia by Collegeswimming.com ... All-state honoree in 2012 as a junior after winning the 4x100 free relay state championship in school-record fashion ... Also holds the 100 free and 100 back school records ... Team placed fifth in the state and third in the county in 2012 ... Team MVP in all years of high school while also earning all-country recognition in 2010-11 ... Swam club for Stingrays Swimming starting in 2000 ... Team took 10th at Junior Nationals and first in the Georgia Long Course State meet ... Scholastic All-American ... National Honor Society and Beta Club vice president.
Personal: Born Melissa Ann Postoll ... Daughter of David and Patricia Postoll ... Chose Northwestern over Harvard, Georgia Tech and Pennsylvania ... Plans to pursue pre-medicine studies.
Says Tierney: "Melissa has good height and length to develop into a top-level backstroker and to add support to NU free relays in the future. We have been working hard to bring in a member of Ian Goss' Stingrays program in Atlanta, Ga., and we are thrilled to welcome Melissa to Evanston."
Boulder City, Nev./Boulder City
High School: Ranked as the No. 2 overall recruit in the state of Nevada by Collegeswimming.com ... Holds All-America status reportable times individually in the 500 free and with relays in the 400 free and 200 medley ... Helped Boulder City high school to a second-place finish in the 2012 Nevada state meet, establishing a state record with the 400 free relay and a regional record with the 200 medley relay ... Named Athlete of the Season and Swimmer of the Week ... Freshman/Sophomore meet high point scorer ... Has swum 12 years of club with Boulder City Henderson ... Holds short course records in the 200 free, 500 free, 200 fly, 200 IM and 400 IM ... Has long course records in the 100, 200 and 400 freestyles along with the 200 and 400 fly, and 200 and 400 IM ... Nevada All-State Academic Team ... Scholastic All-American ... Class Valedictorian ... National Honor Society member ... High Honors Distinction and AP Scholar.
Personal: Born Megan Hellen Purdy ... Daughter of Joseph and Joan Purdy ... Chose Northwestern over Princeton, Ohio State, Virginia Tech and Purdue ... Anticipated major is biology.
Says Tierney: "Another young and talented distance swimmer who has range from 200 yards to the mile, Megan is a terrific young lady who hit it off well on her visit here. She will give us a strong option in the 200 fly as well."
High School: Finished top-eight in Colorado in the 100 and 200 freestyle races as a junior ... Earned top-16 finishes at the state meet as a freshman and sophomore ... Earned All-America relay status as a sophomore ... High point scorer at each of the last two Boulder County Invitationals .... Swam five years of club with Rally Sport Aquatics ... Junior Nationals finalist ... Also a sectional finalist ... National Honor Society and honor roll member.
Personal: Born Lacey Ann Smith ... Daughter of Mary and Paul Smith ... Has a sister who swims for Claremont McKenna ... Uncle, Tom Kuzmarski, teaches in NU's Kellogg executive MBA program ... Chose Northwestern over Pennsylvania, Columbia, Brown and Cal Poly ... Anticipated major is applied mathematics.
Says Tierney: "Lacey fits well into the NU mold of a talented scholar-athlete. She has a wonderful feel for the water and her best swimming still is ahead. We are hopeful she will challenge for a spot on our free relays next year and step right into the middle distance free for us."
High School: 2012 Wisconsin state champion in the 500 free and runner-up in the 200 IM ... Led school to the 2012 Wisconsin Division Two championship one year after finishing runner-up ... Four-year Woodland Conference champion in the 100 fly and three year titlist in the 500 free ... Earned three sectional wins, capturing the 100 fly in 2010 and the 200 IM and 500 free in 2012 ... All-American in 2011, two-time All-State winner and 2011 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel All-Area Team choice ... Team MVP ... Rated as the No. 8 overall recruit in the state of Wisconsin by Collegeswimming.com ... Competed seven seasons with Shorewood Swim Club ... Speedo Junior National Championships qualifier in the spring and summer of 2012 ... Four-year high honor roll member ... National Honor Society ... 2011-12 Scholastic All-American.
Personal: Born Ellen Frances Stello ... Daughter of Michael and Christine Stello ... Chose Northwestern over Notre Dame and Rice ... Anticipated major is undecided.
Says Tierney: "Ellen is an emerging talent in the 400 IM and 200 fly events. She connected right away with the team and school environment on her visit here. Ellen will be a Big Ten player for us in the coming years."
Singapore/United World College
High School: Ranked as the No. 57 overall recruit in the current class by Collegeswimming.com and as a five-start recruit by Swimming World Magazine ... As a junior in 2012, was Malaysia's Selangor State Champion for the 15-17 year old age group ... Won gold in the 50-meter freestyle and butterfly, silver in the 100-meter freestyle and bronze in the 50-meter backstroke in Singapore National age group competition, beating the 50 fly meet record ... Earned gold with meet records in the 50-meter free and fly, and the 100-meter free at Malaysia's National age group competition ... Swam to 50-meter freestyle and butterfly bronze at the 2012 Malaysian Open ... Earned silver in the 50- and 100-meter freestyle races at Norway's National age group competition in 2012 ... As a sophomore in 2011, took gold in the 50- and 100-meter freestyle events and the 50-meter butterfly at the Malaysia National age group competition ... Malaysia's Selangor State Champion in the 13-14 year old age group as a freshman in 2010 ... In high school competition with United World College, was a two-time Seasac girls 15 and over champion ... Named 2012 UWC Female Swimmer of the Year ... Two-time team MVP ... Also lettered two years as a middle blocker in volleyball ... National Honor Society and Gold Honor Roll member.
Personal: Born Annika Gerda Winsnes ... Daughter of Hans and Margot Winsnes ... Is of half Dutch and half Norwegian ancestry, but was born in Jakarta, Indonesian, before moving to Malaysia and ultimately Singapore in 2011 ... Chose Northwestern over Princeton, UCLA, USC and Florida ... Anticipated major is biological sciences.
Says Tierney: "Annika is a very talented sprint freestyler who will have an immediate impact next year. We won her over from some of the nation's top programs and will develop her into a player on not just the Big Ten and NCAA stages, but the international level as well."
Be the first to know what's going on with the 'Cats -- Follow @NU_Sports on Twitter, become a fan of Northwestern Athletics on Facebook, subscribe to the NU Sports Express e-newsletter and sign up to receive promotional text alerts for the latest news, schedule updates and video and to interact with NU. For more information on following specific Northwestern teams online, visit our Social Media page!