Swimming recruiting class ranked 21st
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The 2008-09 University of Arkansas swimming and diving recruiting class ranked 21st in the nation by CollegeSwimming.com, it was announced today. Next year’s class is the second top-25 recruiting class that second year head coach Jeff Poppell landed. “We’re ecstatic about now having two top-25 classes in our first two years of the program,” said Poppell. “We’re excited about the student-athletes we have coming in. They represent great character, good work ethic and are good students in the classroom. We feel that they will make an immediate impact on our program and help us to continue to climb up the ranks of the SEC and the national top 25.” Joining Lady’Back swimming and diving next year is Katie Davis (Lincoln, Neb.), Cai Lin Khoo (Petaling Jaya, Malaysia), Lisa Lunkenheimer (Derby, Kan.), Leah Pierce (Columbia, Mo.) Jillienne Schilling (Webster Groves, Mo.), Alison Templin (West Plam Beach, Fla.) and Katie Whitbeck (Oklahoma City, Okla.). Arkansas almost doubled its squad last fall after adding nine swimmers. The 2007-08 recruiting class ranked fifth and four incoming Lady’Backs were named to the top 100 recruits list. The class helped move the Lady’Backs from ninth place (143 points) in 2007 at the Southeastern Conference Championships to equaling the program’s best finish ever at 7th with 229 points. The Lady’Backs crushed 10 school records and had nine NCAA automatic qualifying times and 18 “B”-cut times in the four-day championship. Four Lady’Backs qualified for and competed in the 2008 NCAA Championships, marking the first time since 2004 that any Arkansas student-athlete competed at NCAA’s. Stephanie Carr, Katie Kastes and Madison Palmer took home four All-American honors. Here’s what CollegeSwimming.com had to say about the new class: “Last year Jeff Poppell and Todd Mann landed a top-five class when they seemingly brought half of their Bolles team with them. A second top-five class might have been a bit optimistic, but the pair has managed to make inroads the nation’s breadbasket. Few coaches would look at Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas as prime recruiting targets, but this year it was their bread and butter. “Katherine Whitbeck will strengthen Razorback relays’ case for NCAA’s. Malaysian native Cai Lin Khoo will fit in nicely with Missourian Jillienne Schilling and Kansan Lisa Lunkenheimer to give Arkansas some much-needed versatility. Last year Arkansas’ medley relays stacked up well in the back, fly, and free. If Purdue transfer Leah Pierce can return to form, their Medleys will be in the top half of the conference.” For more information about Arkansas swimming and diving, please log on to LADYBACKS.COM.