Nov. 28, 2007
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern head coach Jimmy Tierney and diving coach Alik Sarkisian have announced the signing of 10 future Wildcats to National Letters of Intent during the fall signing period.
The class as it stands marks the second largest in program history after last year's class was comprised of 11 members. Assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Nichole Ellis orchestrated both of the recent recruiting successes.
The incoming Class of 2012 consists of eight swimmers and two divers. The swimmers are: Molly Hennessy (Westport, Conn./Staples), Shelby Johnson (Wayzata, Minn./Wayzata), Kristin Lewis (Indianapolis, Ind./North Central), Beth Loe (Upper Arlington, Ohio/Upper Arlington), Sheila O'Neill (Dunwoody, Ga./Marist School), Kathleen Patterson (Naperville, Ill./Neuqua Valley), Hannah Points (Tualatin, Ore./Tualatin) and Jenny Wilson (Bethesda, Md./Sidwell Friends School). The divers are Carlin Dacey (West Roxbury, Mass./Choate Rosemary Hall) and CoryAnn Debronsky (Burnsville, Minn./Apple Valley).
"We are excited to announce this 10 member class of 2012," Tierney said. "For the second year in a row we have secured another deep class that will give us more depth than ever in our program. The best swimming and diving is surely still ahead for these ladies. It's a quality group of young women that Northwestern University will be proud of as people and as student-athletes."
Following are complete bios for each future Wildcat along with quotes from Tierney and Sarkisian about each student-athlete:
West Roxbury, Mass./Choate Rosemary Hall
High School: NISCA All-America honoree as a freshman, sophomore and junior ... New England Prep School record holder for six dives on the 1-meter board with a score of 271.20 ... Western New England Prep School record holder for 11 dives in the 1-meter event with a 435.15 ... Undefeated in dual-meet competition ... School team and pool record holder on the 1-meter board for both six and 11 dives ... Named Choate outstanding female athlete of 2007 ... Dove six years of club with Charles River Diving ... AAU National finalist on the 1- and 3-meter boards ... Multiple East National qualifier on the 1- and 3-meter boards ... Also played four years of high school soccer ... Dean's list honoree.
Born Carlin Taylor Dacey on 3/10/90 ... Daughter of Dan and Kathy Dacey ... Father ran track at Holy Cross ... Mother swam at Miami ... Sister, Kendall, was a high school All-America swimmer and water polo player who now swims for Amherst College ... Chose Northwestern over Dartmouth, Columbia, Duke, Notre Dame and Virginia ... Major is undecided.
Says Sarkisian: "Carlin is a very talented diver who can bring a lot of success to Northwestern. She comes highly recommended from her coach who is a former Russian diver, Sergey Meshcherskiy. He has mentioned that she has great potential and can achieve anything in the water. With her talent and drive to be the best, she can reach her fullest potential and bring our team good placement at all major meets."
Burnsville, Minn./Apple Valley
High School: Finished third at sectionals and 12th at the Minnesota state meet in 2006 ... Took second at the 2007 section meet ... Has more than 10 first-place finishes in meets ... Multiple all-conference and team MVP honors ... Dove two years of club with Twin City Divers, where she is a Gold Team member ... Officer in the National Honor Society ... Earned the Lake Conference Academic Interscholastic Award.
Personal: Born CoryAnn Debronsky on 6/28/90 ... Daughter of Nick and Robin Debronsky ... Grandfather was the head of media at the 1980 Lake Placid Winter Olympics ... Chose Northwestern over Wisconsin and Michigan ... Plans to major in biology and mathematics.
Says Sarkisian: "CoryAnn was our first diving commitment this fall which thrilled our team. She has a lot of talent and is willing to work hard to bring a lot of success to the program in the next four years. She will give us a boost in all three diving events."
5-7 Sprint Free
High School: Won the 2007 state championship in the 100 freestyle ... Broke a 28-year-old Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference (FCIAC) record in the 100 free ... Also holds the school record in the event ... All-conference and all-state honoree as a sophomore, junior and senior ... Team, area, conference and state MVP ... As a senior at the FCIAC Championships, won the 50 and 100 free events, and anchored two winning relays to lead the team to a school-best third-place finish at the meet ... Swam three years of club with the New Canaan YMCA ... Named club MVP in 2006-07 ... Also dove for two years in high school, in addition to playing two years of water polo ... Three-time Connecticut Athlete Scholar ... Honor roll all four years of high school ... AP Scholar.
Personal: Born Molly Anne Hennessy on 10/13/89 ... Daughter of Mark and Tracey Hennessy ... Born and raised in Chicago area for 10 years ... Chose Northwestern over Brown, Amherst and Georgetown ... Plans to enroll in the McCormick School of Engineering.
Says Tierney: "Molly was our first commitment this fall, and our team could not have been happier. She is a former diver who switched over to swimming a few years ago. I think she is a talented athlete who will keep getting better in the freestyle sprints for us in the coming years."
5-8 Sprint Free
High School: Earned six varsity letters in swimming from 2002-07 ... Was an all-state and all-conference honoree in all six of those seasons ... All-American from 2005-07 ... Team MVP from 2003-07 ... Earned Star Tribune Athlete of the Week honors from 2005-07 and a KARE 11 (NBC) Athlete of the Week award in 2007 ... Junior National qualifier from 2003-07 and a Senior National qualifier in 2007 ... Anchored state champion 200 free relay in 2006 ... Silver medalist in the 50 free at the state meet in 2006 ... Holds schools records in the 50 free and three relays ... Has competed with the Mach 3 Flyers club since 1996 ... A-Honor Roll from 2004-present ... AP Scholar with Honor ... National Honor Society.
Personal: Born Shelby Elizabeth Johnson on 3/9/90 ... Daughter of Tim and Bonnie Johnson ... Both parents are Northwestern graduates ... Brother, Daniel, swims at Lehigh (2005-present) ... Sister, Whitney, ran track and field at Columbia ... Chose Northwestern over Dartmouth and Minnesota ... Plans to study pre-medicine.
Says Tierney: "Shelby is a very talented freestyle sprinter from Minnesota. She can help our sprint corps right away and provide needed depth on the freestyle relays. Her parents are both grads of NU so we're happy to keep Shelby in the family."
Indianapolis, Ind./North Central
High School: Five-time high school all-American ... Finalist at county, conference and state meets in all three of her high school seasons thus far ... Member of the county record-holding 200 free relay ... High school team has finished in the top-5 at the state meet in each of the last 10 years ... After sustaining a shoulder injury as a sophomore, still finished fourth in the 100 breast at state ... Has 13 first-place finishes as a USA swimmer ... Swam nine years of club with Washington Township Swim Club (WTSC) ... Club has been designated a Silver Medal Club by the USA Excellence program since 2003 ... National Honor Society ... French National Honor Society ... High honor roll ever semester of high school ... Student Council member ... Panther Leadership and Panther Pride award winner ... School newspaper columnist.
Personal: Born Kristin Schmidt Lewis on 4/9/90 ... Daughter of Jeffrey Lewis and Paula Schmidt-Lewis ... Chose Northwestern over Columbia ... Plans to major in psychology.
Says Tierney: "Kristen was so pumped about NU from the very beginning. We knew she was a good fit right away. Keeping connections in the swimming rich state of Indiana is important for us. Her club team regularly produces great swimmers. She is a freestyle/breaststroke specialist."
Upper Arlington, Ohio/Upper Arlington
5-9 Distance Free
High School: All-America in the 500 free in 2006-07 ... Member of all-America 200 and 400 free relays ... Has four medals at the Ohio state championship meet, including the 2007 state title in the 400 free relay ... Holds the school and state district record in the 500 free ... Career-best time of 4:54.81 in the 500 free is a junior national cut time ... Named Suburban News Publications Athlete of the Month and Columbus Dispatch Athlete of the Week ... High school was named No. 1 public swimming school in the nation, and won the Ohio state championship from 2005-07 ... Also competed four years on UA's water polo team ... Was a member of six state championship teams combining both swimming and water polo, and one state runner-up team in water polo ... Swam eight years of club with Upper Arlington Swim Club ... Honor roll honoree all four years of high school ... AP Scholar award.
Personal: Born Elizabeth Rose Loe on 3/27/90 ... Daughter of Brian and Mary Loe ... Chose Northwestern over Indiana, Duke and Ohio State ... Plans to major in engineering.
Says Tierney: "Beth is one of Ohio's most talented distance specialists. Ohio is another very rich swimming state and we are thrilled that Beth chose NU. We believe she can produce big points for us at Big Ten's in the coming years. She'll fit right in with our distance group."
Dunwoody, Ga./Marist School
High School: All-American and Georgia state champion in the 200 free ... Scholastic all-American ... Atlanta Journal Constitution All-State team ... Earned Coach's Award and Most Dedicated swimmer honor for Marist swimming ... High school team is the defending state champion ... Swam 12 years with Dynamo Swim Club ... Short course national cut time in the 200 free ... Member of the Georgia Zone team in 2004-05 ... Carries a 4.0 GPA ... National Honor Society member ... Vice President of Mu Alpha Theta ... Latin Honor Society member ... Vice President of Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) ... Eucharistic minister ... Member of Habitat for Humanity.
Personal: Born Sheila Irene O'Neill on 1/18/90 ... Daughter of Tom and Maura O'Neill ... Chose Northwestern over Harvard, Notre Dame and Princeton ... Plans to major in biomedical engineering.
Says Tierney: "Sheila came into the recruiting picture very late in the game so we feel very blessed to have her as a future Wildcat. She comes from a well-known swimming power in Atlanta, which will keep our connection going in that area after the graduation of Andrea Hupman next year. Sheila will provide much needed support in the middle-distance freestyle events."
Naperville, Ill./Neuqua Valley
5-6 Breast/Distance Free
High School: All-America honoree ... All-sectional and all-state accolades in swimming and water polo ... Has earned points in all three of her career state championship meet appearances ... Won the 2005 Illinois state title in the 400 free relay ... Speedo Sectional champion in the mile and 1,000 free in 2007 ... Team finished second at the 2005 state meet ... Swam 11 years with the Maverick Swim Club ... Played four years of water polo in addition to swimming ... Indian Prairie Scholar ... High Honor Roll for all six of her high school semesters ... Academic all-conference in swimming and water polo.
Personal: Born Kathleen Michelle Patterson on 5/17/90 ... Daughter of Brian and Karen Patterson ... Chose Northwestern over Ohio State and Miami (Ohio) ... Plans to major in communications.
Says Tierney: "Kathleen is one of the most talented swimmers to come out of Illinois this year. This is huge for our program. We think she will have an immediate impact for the 'Cats in the breast, individual medley events and relays. Her energy and enthusiasm will be felt right away within our team."
High School: Oregon state champion in the 200 individual medley ... Six-time district champion ... Two-time team MVP ... All-American in the 200 IM, 500 free and 400 free relay ... USA Swimming Scholastic All-American ... Team finished second in the state twice and third once during her time there ... Swam for the Salem Aquatic Club from 1996-2001, then with Tigard-Tualatin Swim Club from 2001-07 ... Olympic Trial qualifier in the 400 IM ... Oregon Swimming's Female Athlete of the Year in 2006 ... Two-time qualifier for Junior Nationals while also competing at Spring Nationals ... Also ran four years of cross country and two years of distance events in track ... First-team all-state in cross country ... Two-time MVP of the cross country team ... Ran in the Border Clash all-star race twice ... Officer in the National Honor Society ... Two-time Scholastic All-American ... Offier in the National Art Honors Society.
Personal: Born Hannah Koo Points on 12/22/89 ... Daughter of Koo Points ... Chose Northwestern over Denver and Wisconsin ... Plans to major in engineering.
Says Tierney: "Hannah became our last commitment which was well worth the wait. She is a very talented athlete who also runs cross country, and she was a big hit with our team on her visit here. Hannah will immediately be one of our top IM and 200 breast performers. Her impact will be felt at Big Tens and beyond."
Bethesda, Md./Sidwell Friends School
High School: Automatic All-American and U.S. Open qualifier in the 100 breast ... Junior Nationals qualifier in both the 100 and 200 breast ... Washington Post All-Metro honorable mention selection ... D.C. area Swimmer of the Year ... Sidwell Friends MVP ... Finished second in the 100 breast at the Washington-Metropolitan High School Metros, and 24th at NCSA Junior Nationals in the 100 breast ... Swam four years of club with the Curl-Burke Swim Club ... Club team finished first at NCSA Junior Nationals in 2006 and second in 2007 ... AP Scholar.
Personal: Born Jennifer Diane Wilson on 7/15/90 ... Daughter of Lisa Westfall and Bruce Wilson ... Chose Northwestern over Pennsylvania and Virginia ... Plans to major in journalism.
Says Tierney: "Jenny comes from one of the powers in U.S. swimming (Curl-Burke Swim Club). She comes highly recommended from her coach who is a former swimmer of mine. Jenny will give us a boost in both breaststroke events the next four years."