By: Ryan Hartwig (@RyanHartwig)
GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) – Green Bay swimming and diving head coach Jim Merner has announced the addition of 16 student-athletes to his 2013-14 rosters, as seven inked National Letters of Intent (NLIs) to join the Phoenix in November’s early signing period and nine more have signed on in the spring period. In all, Green Bay will welcome 10 women and six men to campus next season.
The early signees included Haley Lucas (Menomonee Falls, Wis./Menomonee Falls HS), Claire Friederick (Lancaster, Wis./Lancaster HS), Danielle Marcusen (Green Bay, Wis./Bay Port HS), Samantha Rottel (New Berlin, Wis./Eisenhower HS), Autumn Roepsch (Dubuque, Iowa/Dubuque Senior HS) and Janna Check (Stevens Point, Wis./Stevens Point Area Senior HS) on the women’s side and Alex Jenness (Prior Lake, Minn./Prior Lake HS) on the men’s side.
Joining the Green Bay women in the late signing period were Alyssa Udean (Brooklyn Center, Minn./Centennial HS), Crystal Franzwa (Winona, Minn./Winona Senior HS), Claire Walters (Northfield, Minn./Northfield HS) and Natalie Neuwirth (Stevens Point, Wis./Stevens Point Area Senior HS), while Alex Bodin (West Des Moines, Iowa/Valley HS), James Wise (Chilton, Wis./Chilton HS), Jacob Vance (Roselle, Ill./Lake Park HS), Andy Cooper (Peoria, Ill./Dunlap HS) and Jarred Glaser (Racine, Wis./J.I. Case HS) signed NLIs to join the men’s squad.
Below are comments from Merner on each of the future Phoenix swimmers and divers.
Early Signing Period
Haley Lucas • Menomonee Falls, Wis. (Menomonee Falls HS) • Butterfly/Freestyle
“We graduated a very good senior butterflyer this year, and I think Haley can step right in and take her place. As a Junior National qualifier, we expect a lot of great things from Haley. She’s very talented, a very nice young lady and I think she’s going to fit in wonderfully with our program.”
Claire Friederick • Lancaster, Wis. (Lancaster HS) • Sprint
“Nobody knows a lot about this young lady, which is why I’m really excited about her. I have seen Claire swim and she’s a very powerful sprinter. I think she’s going to fit in great in our program and I think people are going to be surprised at how good she’s going to become.”
Danielle Marcusen • Green Bay, Wis. (Bay Port HS) • Breaststroke
“Danielle has shown some really good things in the last two years in high school and I’m very excited to work with her and help her get a lot better. I believe she is going to have a good freshman season for us next year.”
Samantha Rottel • New Berlin, Wis. (Eisenhower HS) • Sprint/Backstroke
“Samantha has consistently been a top-level sprinter in the state of Wisconsin. The question is whether or not we put her in the backstroke area or move her up to the 200 freestyle, but I’m excited about her 50 and 100 freestyle races that she is going to bring to us.”
Autumn Roepsch • Dubuque, Iowa (Dubuque Senior HS) • Breaststroke/IM/Sprint
“Autumn is a very talented athlete. Not only is she a swimmer but she has done many other sports. I am very excited to get her into the pool next year. I’m not certain where exactly her talents will be used for us, but she is going to make us a much better team.”
Janna Check • Stevens Point, Wis. (Stevens Point Area Senior HS) • Butterfly
“Janna has really shown some good signs of being able to help our program a lot. We were a little weak in the butterfly this year in terms of our depth, and Janna is going to add to that depth next year. I’m really looking forward to getting her on campus.”
Alex Jenness • Prior Lake, Minn. (Prior Lake HS) • Backstroke/IM
“I am really excited about this young man. Alex is an up-and-coming swimmer, he’s got a lot of good goals set for himself and I think he’s going to obtain them very quickly. I think he’s going to step right in and help our program get a lot better right away and make an impact in the Horizon League as a freshman.”
Late Signing Period
Alyssa Udean • Brooklyn Center, Minn. (Centennial HS) • Distance Freestyle/Butterfly/IM
“Alyssa is a very good all-around swimmer. She’s an excellent butterflyer, is excellent in IMs, but more importantly she really loves to swim the distance freestyle races. She is going to make a huge impact on our team next year. She will allow us to be more creative with other peoples’ races, and we’re very excited about this great young lady joining our program.”
Crystal Franzwa • Winona, Minn. (Winona Senior HS) • Diving
“Crystal has shown a lot of improvements in her diving abilities over the last couple years and has made an impact on Minnesota diving. She was a finalist at the Minnesota State Championships this year and diving coach Tom Stover and I are confident that this talented diver is going to make an impact for us right away.”
Claire Walters • Northfield, Minn. (Northfield HS) • Freestyle/Butterfly
“The word that comes to mind when talking about Claire Walters is ‘wow.’ We are very fortunate that she has chosen our program. She is an outstanding swimmer from the short frees, up to the longer middle-distance freestyles and into the butterflys. She can do it all. She is a Junior National qualifier, a championship-level swimmer from Minnesota, and prior to that she was a state champion in Texas. We’re extremely excited to have her join our program this coming year.”
Natalie Neuwirth • Stevens Point, Wis. (Stevens Point Area Senior HS) • Freestyle/Backstroke/Butterfly/IM
“We have been recruiting Natalie for a long time and we are very happy that she has made the decision to join our team next year. She is extremely talented in a number of areas and I know she is going to help us excel as a team next season.”
Alex Bodin • West Des Moines, Iowa (Valley HS) • Middle-Distance Freestyle/Breaststroke
“I believe Alex is an up-and-coming young man who has in the past been a breaststroker but has really branched off into becoming a talented middle-distance freestyler. I’m excited to see him explore his middle-distance freestyle and see what he can do to help our men’s squad.”
James Wise • Chilton, Wis. (Chilton HS) • Diving
“James is an excellent diver from the state of Wisconsin who took second place in the state championship this year in Division 2. He is highly talented and very academically oriented. He is going to be an excellent diver to have on our men’s team.”
Jacob Vance • Roselle, Ill. (Lake Park HS) • Breaststroke/Distance Freestyle
“I think Jacob is someone with a lot of potential and someone I believe is going to really excel at Green Bay. He’s very tall. His breaststroke and distance freestyle abilities form a weird combination, but I think they actually might fit well for our team. I’m so excited to see this young man get better and better.”
Andy Cooper • Peoria, Ill. (Dunlap HS) • IM
“Andy is a good all-around swimmer who came to us late in the recruiting process. He showed a lot of desire to want to be at Green Bay, and after spending some time in our program I believe he’ll really improve and become a great 200 and 400 IM swimmer for us in the future.”
Video: Dunlap's Cooper signs with Green Bay
Jarred Glaser • Racine, Wis. (J.I. Case HS) • Middle-Distance Freestyle
“I really like the way Jarred swims and I think he’s going to become a very talented middle-distance freestyler for us. He’s going to benefit from spending some time training in a Division I college program, and I think he’s going to do some good things here at Green Bay.”
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