Nov. 16, 2011
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Head swimming and diving coach Neil Harper announced this week that 18 recruits will officially join the Seminoles in the fall of 2012.
"Our staff was extremely dedicated and we searched everywhere for great swimmers with potential," Harper stated. "It's an exciting time because it's one of the best classes we have had both in terms of quality and depth."
Among the 18 that will be in Tallahassee next fall, seven have achieved senior national cut times in their events, four will be competing in the 2012 Olympic Trials in Omaha, Neb. and one will be featured among the elite in South Africa's Olympic Trials.
According to Harper, this year's current freshmen class was one of the best they've brought in since he's been here, however he feels as if they've surpassed that mark with this new group.
"Our team did a great job of hosting the recruits by showing them how we do things here," Harper stated. "With the type of kids we brought in last year, they made it easier for the recruits to really connect with the team. It just goes to show the direction where we are heading with this team and its leaders."
Here is the list of the 2011 recruiting class:
Women's Kelsey Buckley (Tarpon Springs, Fla. - Tarpon)- Buckley is the reigning Florida 2A state champion in the 200 IM posting a time of 2:01.40 and was the runner-up in the 100 free, finishing with a 50.81. She is a member of the Palm Harbor YMCA where she is a senior national qualifier.
"She doesn't really have a weak stroke and she can contribute in many areas," Harper said. "She's got a natural feel for the water and we're excited to keep a state champion in the state of Florida."
Olivia Carter- (Mims, Fla.-Astronaut) Carter is a swimmer that is on the rise. She finished fourth in both the 50 and 100 free events at the 1A Florida state championships this season. As a member of the Daytona Beach Speed, which is the same team as current FSU swimmer Ginny Grams, she's achieved a senior national cut time 50 free.
"With her late push, she has a lot of potential and she could contribute to the women's team individually and in relays at the ACC and even NCAA level." Harper stated.
Angelica Chapman- (Hoover, Ala.- Hoover) Chapman is the current Alabama state record holder in the 100 fly at 55.77 which was set in 2010. She is a member of the Birmingham Swim League, where she specializes in the 100 and 200 fly, posting senior national time standards in both events.
"Angelica has great NCAA potential and really fit in well with the team when she was here. On top of her talents, she's an excellent student as well." Harper said.
Josephine Cuda- (Bluffton, S.C.- Hilton Head High School) Cuda is the 2011 3A South Carolina state champion in the 200 free and a runner-up in the 100 fly. She is a member of the Georgia Coastal Aquatic team.
"Josie is a diamond in the rough. She comes from a small program that has history of molding excellent collegiate swimmers. She has a great work ethic and will be a solid teammate and contribute."
Lauren Hine- (York, Pa.) Hine is member of one of USA Swimming's powerhouses in the North Baltimore Aquatic Club where she is coached by FSU Alumni Bob Bowman. Bowman has coached many of the swimming greats, including Michael Phelps and Katie Hoff. Hine is a talented distance swimmer that has achieved an Olympic Trial cut time in the 800 free.
"We are excited to get a swimmer like Lauren, especially because she swims for NBAC under Coach Bowman. She has a great future ahead of her where we believe she will blossom to NCAA level." Harper said.
Madison Jacobi - (Acworth, Ga.- Harrison High) Jacobi is a two-time All-American and a 2011 first team All-County Selection. She is the defending 1-5A Georgia state champion in the 200 free at 1:49. She is a member of the Marietta Marlins where she is coached by Yit Aun Lim and is a senior national qualifier. Swimming runs in the Jacobi family as her parents swam for the University of Georgia where her mother the former Lisa Geiger was an SEC Champion in the 100 and 200 breaststroke in 1986 and became the first four-year All-American swimmer for the Bulldogs. Ironically she was a co-champion in the 100 breast at the 1986 SEC championships with former Paige Busch from LSU, who is married to Harper.
"Madison has achieved on many levels. She is a very versatile swimmer and can help us in the 200 free all the way up to the mile and is an excellent 400 IMer," Harper said. "She is just a perfect team oriented student athlete."
Jordan Jarmakowicz (Winter Park, Fla.- Trinity Prep) Jarmakowicz was a 2011 1A Florida state finalist in the 200 IM. She also swims for Trinity Prep Aquatics where she specializes in the IM and the fly events.
"Jordan will be a great collegiate swimmer. She'll help us win dual meets and play a part in our relays. She has a great personality and a great sense of being a part of a team." Harper said.
Mary Elizabeth King- (Duluth, Ga. - St. Piux) Last season, King finished third in the 100 fly while achieving an All-American status at the 1-4A Georgia state championships. As a member of Swim Atlanta, she is an Olympic Trial qualifier in the 200 fly.
"The last couple of years, Mary Elizabeth has really come on strong and has the potential to breakout on the NCAA level. " Harper stated.
Samantha Pochowski- (Greenfield, Wis.-Muskego) Last weekend, Pochowski won the 200 free with a 1:48.4 and broke the state record in the 100 breast at 1:01.7 at the WIAA division 1 state championships. As a member of the South West Aquatic team, she finished second in the 100 breast with an Olympic Trial cut time of 1:10.59 at the 2011 Junior National Championships in Stanford, Calif.
"She's an athlete that we targeted early," Harper said. "Sami is a very focused and has already set serious goals for herself for when she gets here. She's a great team player and we are looking forward to her contributing right away."
Michelle Pope- (Longwood, Fla.- Lake Brantley) Pope is a 2011 2A state finalist in the 100 fly and was a part of the state champion 200 medley relay team from Lake Brantley High School. She is a member of the Patriot Aquatic Club where she has achieved a senior national cut in the 100 fly.
"Michelle really enjoyed the team and the academics that Florida State has to offer," Harper stated. "She has the potential to contribute to team's future success and is great team player."
Bianca Spinazzola- (Narragansett, R.I. ,- Narragansett High School) Spinazzola will join the Seminoles as an six-time Rhode Island State Champion in five different events. She is the current state record holder in the 50 free and was an All-American selection in the 100 free. As a member of a talented Bluefish Swim Club, she's achieved both junior and senior national times in several events.
"Bianca is great talent out of Rhode Island and is very versatile," Harper said. "She can be used in sprints, back or fly which is a key asset for the team. She's another one that can contribute in the ACC and NCAA levels right away."
Morgan Stephenson- (Kennesaw, Ga.- Kennesaw Mountain High School) Stephenson swims for the Stingrays where she was teammates with current FSU sophomore Kristine Polley under Ian Goss. She has achieved senior national cut times in both the 100 and 200 breast events.
"She has made huge improvements in her events and can come here and keep improving and make an impact for us." Harper said.
Kyle Doxtater- (Hebron, Md.-James M.Bennet High School) Swims for the Mid-Delmarva YMCA swim team where he is a specialist in middle and distance free in addition to the 400 IM. He is a senior national qualifier.
"Kyle fit in well with the guy's team and really enjoyed it here," Harper said. "He is also very excited about what FSU has to offer academically and he will come here and contribute immediately at the ACC level."
Robby Graves- (Brentwood,Tenn.- Brentwood) Graves finished third in the 500 free and fifth in the 200 free at the 2011 Tennessee high school state championships. As a member of Excel Aquatics, he is a senior national qualifier in the distance events.
"Robby comes from a great program and he's a very strong student athlete," Harper said. "We are excited to have him. He chose Florida State over some other great opportunities and we look forward to his arrival here in Tallahassee."
Anthony McMurry- (Duluth, Ga. -Wesleyan ) McMurray is the 1-4A Georgia State Champion in the 100 free and finished third in the 200 free in 2011. He is a member of Swim Atlanta.
"Anthony will contribute in the sprints," Harper said. "He has great technique and really felt comfortable with the combination of athletics and academics at FSU."
Jared Pike- (Winchester Hills, South Africa- Indian River State College) Pike will join the Seminoles from Indian River State College which is where current FSU senior Mateo De Angulo came from. Pike specializes in the 100 and 200 breaststroke and his times are faster than Olympic Trial standards but he will participate in the South African Olympic Trials.
"I am really excited about Jared joining our team. He will be one of the fastest newcomers on the NCAA scene." Harper said.
Derek Pridemore- (Venice, Fla.- Venice) Pridemore placed third in the 500 free and fourth in the 200 free at the 3A 2011 Florida state championships. He swims with Sarasota YMCA Sharks and is coached by Steve Brown where he is an Olympic Trial qualifier in the 1500 free.
"Derek is one of the best distance swimmers in the state," Harper said. "He has great potential and we are glad to keep another one of Florida's finest in the Sunshine State."
Jason Williams- (Clearwater Beach, Fla. - Palm Harbor) Williams placed third in both the 50 and 100 free at the 2011 3A Florida state championships. He was also a part of the state champion 200 medley relay team for Palm Harbor . He is currently a member of the Palm Harbor YMCA where he is teammates with fellow future Seminole, Kelsey Buckley.
"Jason has a great feel for the water," Harper said. "He is a diamond in the rough and he is just coming into his own and will be a great fit here."