Nov. 23, 2016
BOISE, Idaho - Boise State swimming and diving announced the signing of 11 prep standouts to National Letters of Intent Wednesday. Boise State swimming and diving head coach Jeremy Kipp and diving head coach Brandon Blaisdell's class of 11 (nine swimmers, two divers) will begin their academic and athletic careers at Boise State in 2017-18.
Joining the Bronco Family in 2017-18 are swimmers Lydiah Almeter (Allen, Texas/Texas Ford Aquatics), Cassie Barkhorn (Santa Barbara, Calif./Dos Pueblos HS), Lucia Davis (Sweet Home, Ore./East Linn Christian Academy), Madison Frederick (Temecula, Calif./Chapparal HS), Hayley Hill (Phoenix, Ariz./Pinnacle HS), Molly Hogg (Aberdeen, S.D./Aberdeen Central HS), Lauren Sale (Westminster, Colo./Pomona HS), Emma Segneri (Scottsdale, Ariz./Chapparal HS) and Brittany Wen (Columbia, Mo./Hickman HS), and divers Taylor Clark (Broomfield, Colo./Legacy HS) and Tatum Thompkins (Racine, Wis./J.I. Case HS).
Two swimmers, Hill and Segneri, come from Scottsdale Aquatic Club in Arizona. Hill had a strong spring and summer with the club, rolling up top-10 finishes at both the Western Zone Sectionals and the Speedo Champions Series event in Mount Hood, Ore., highlighted by a first-place effort in the 200 free (2:05.65) at the latter event. At Pinnacle High School, she is preparing for the upcoming 2016 Arizona State championships, and posted four top-four finishes at the 2015 event, taking fourth in both the 200 and 500 frees, and third with both the 200 and 400 free relays. While living in Utah and attending Corner Canyon High School, Hill captured the state title in the 200 free and finished second in the 500 free at the 2014 Utah state meet.
"Hayley Hill brings an outstanding personality, which is critical for the events that she competes. As distance/middle distance swimmers, Hayley's attitude is going to generate great energy in our training groups," Kipp said. "But Hayley is not just a great personality addition, look at Hayley's progression over the last two years, it's easy to see why Hayley is going to bring a lot to the table of Boise State distance swimming."
Segneri competed at both the Mount Hood event and the Phoenix Winter Invitational this past year, with top finishes of 13th in the 50 free in Mount Hood and 13th in the 100 fly in Phoenix. At the prep level, Segneri, competing for Chapparal, finished third in the 50 free and sixth in the 100 fly at the 2015 Arizona state meet. She was seventh in the 50 free and third in the 100 fly at the 2014 championship meet, and fourth and seventh, respectively, in 2013.
"Emma is going to bring some much-needed new blood to our sprint fly group," said Kipp. "Emma is an impact butterfly swimmer right away and coming from a powerhouse group in Scottsdale we know that she is only going to thrive in in our specialized sprint training. Emma is used to the highly-competitive practices and competition of Arizona swimming and we look forward to her bringing that experience to the Broncos."
Almeter, a sprint freestyle specialist, swims for Texas Ford Aquatics and put together some top-15 finishes at July's Speedo Champions Series event. At the event in Austin, Almeter took ninth in the 50 free (27.64) and 14th in the 100 free (1:01.40).
"In a year, Lydiah is going to be the type of swimmer who makes other college coaches wonder where she came from. At 6-2, Lydiah is currently beginning her first full year of competitive year-round swimming," Kipp noted. "For most of high school Lydiah was a water polo player as well as swimmer. This summer she committed to training full-time with her club coach Dan McDonough and just in her 200 free she has dropped 12 seconds in a year. Lydiah also is our first swimmer from the state of Texas which will be fun addition to our program."
Barkhorn is coming off of a junior season at Dos Pueblos High School in which she reached the B Finals of the 500 free and 200 IM, finishing 11th and 12th, respectively. Competing for Santa Barbara Swim Club, Barkhorn posted three top-10 finishes in long-course racing at the 2016 Western Senior Zones Championships in August, taking fourth in the 200 breast (2:39.99), eighth in the 800 free (9:22.84) and 10th in the 100 breast (1:16.17). She also claimed seventh place in the 1500 free at the Speedo Champions Series event in July.
"Everyone needs a teammate from Santa Barbara and Cassie represents our first person from the SoCal city and Santa Barbara Swim Club. For me, that is where I got my coaching start and it's great to keep that connection alive in my coaching," Kipp noted. "Cassie is a great IM and breaststroke pick up and is going to add some serious depth to our IM and Breaststroke group. Cassie also brings excellent middle distance freestyle and will impact the Mountain West immediately."
Davis competed for Sweet Home Swim Club, reached the finals of the 800 free at the USA Swimming Futures Championships at Stanford this past August, finishing sixth. At the same meet she took ninth in the 1,500 free and 15th in the 400 free. While she attends East Linn Christian Academy, Davis swims for Sweet Home High School, for which she has captured three-straight state titles in both the 200 and 500 frees and been part of the school's state champion 200 and 400 free relays each of the past two years.
"You may have never heard of Sweet Home, Oregon, but coming from the small town Lucia is bringing some quality middle distance swimming to the Broncos and also represents the theme of excellent progression over the last two years," Kipp said. "Lucia's parents both swam for Kansas and Lucia knows what it means to be part of a quality team. We know with our consistent training and pool time, something she doesn't always have at home, she is going to flourish as a middle distance swimmer."
Frederick has enjoyed a strong late summer/early fall, most recently capturing the 100 back, finishing second in the 200 back and fifth in the 50 free at the Kevin Perry Senior Invitational in November. Swimming for Temecula Swim Club and seniors head coach Nathan Wilcox, Frederick also registered top-10 finishes in the 200 back (second), 100 back (fourth), 100 free (fifth), 200 free (10th) and 50 free (10th) at the USA Swimming Futures Championships in August. At the 2016 CIF Southern Section Division II Championships, competing for Chapparal High School, Frederick took fourth 100 back and sixth in the 100 free. She was the 2014 Southern Section Division II champion in the 100 free and finished second in the 100 back in 2015.
"At 6-3, Madi is going to bring a lot of speed and depth to our freestyle and backstroke training groups," Kipp said. "The coaches looked at progression in this year's class and one thing that jumps out in Madi's resume in that in her six best events, Madi has improved dramatically in each one. We expect Madi to do good things at this year's California state championship and we consider her a steal out of Southern California."
Hogg, swimming for Aberdeen (S.D.) Swim Club, turned in a pair of top-10 finishes at the USA Swimming Futures Championship in Austin, taking second in the 100 back and eighth in the 100 free. In March, she was eighth in the 100 back at the Speedo Champions Series event in South Prairie. At the South Dakota Short Course State Championships in March, Hogg captured the 50 free and 400 medley relay, finished second in the 100 and 200 backs, 100 and 200 frees, 100 fly, 200 IM, 200 medley relay and 400 free relay.
"Molly is going to be an immediate impact swimmer in the Mountain West and is the best all-around swimmer out of South Dakota," Kipp noted. "One thing that you won't see is that Molly has a great deal of room to grow in training and her club coach has done an excellent job of developing her skill set and not over training her in yards. We are excited to see Molly grow a great deal at Boise State and we expect Molly to truly thrive in our training and with her always optimistic personality."
Sale, who competes for Jeffco Hurricanes in Colorado, posted 11th-place finishes in the 200-yard and 200-meter backs at the Dolfin Junior National Championship Cup in March. A month prior, she took 11th in the same event for Pomona High School at the 2016 Colorado Girls 5A State Championships, and took second in the 100 fly at the Jeffco League Championships.
"Lauren will provide depth and talent to our backstroke and IM group and will have a chance to represent Boise State internationally as a member of the Samoan national team at the next world championships and Olympics in 2020," Kipp said. "Lauren trains at well above sea level and has tremendous potential in all of her events. Lauren is someone who loved Boise State right when she landed and we knew she is going to be a great fit."
Wen, out of the Columbia Swim Club in Missouri, posted finishes of third in the 200 fly and 11th in the 100 fly at the Speedo Champions Series event in Columbia in July. In March, she had a strong performance at the Speedo Sectionals Championship Series event, taking third in the 200 fly, fourth in the 200 free and sixth in both the 100 fly and 100 free. Swimming for Hickman High School, Wen captured the 500 free title at the 2016 Missouri High School State Championships while finishing second in the 200 IM.
"Brittany will be our first Bronco from Missouri and she fills some much-needed areas in the IM and 200 fly. Brittany also has excellent range in her freestyle events as well and will be an integral member of our future relays," Kipp said. "When we evaluate upside and ability to race numerous events, Brittany was the type of athlete that checked every box and we are excited about her personality that she is going to bring to our program."
On the diving side of things, Taylor Clark, competing for Mile High Diving Club, competed at the USA Diving National Zone E Meet with a top finish of ninth on platform in the 16-18 Girls class. She finished 16th on 1-meter and 17th on 3-meter at the 2016 Junior Region 9 Championships, and 16th and 12th, respectively, in the same events at the 2015 edition of the event.
"I've had the opportunity to watch Taylor develop and progress over the short time she has been diving," said Blaisdell. "She comes with a high level of dry-land training as well as experience in all events. Taylor has a great attitude and a strong work ethic and I am looking forward to working with her."
Thompkins, captured the Wisconsin prep Division I diving title as a junior in 2015, a year after taking fifth. At the club level, she dives for Schroeder Diving Team, competing at the USA Diving National Zone D Meet where she finished 15th on platform and 23rd on 1-meter in the 16-18 Girls class. At the 2016 USA Diving Region 8 Championships, she competed in all three events, taking 12th on platform, 15th on 1-meter and 18th on 3-meter. At the Region 8 Championships a year prior, Thompkins took eighth on platform.
"Tatum is a natural athlete. She is very strong and has an extensive gymnastics background," Blaisdell said. "She has had a lot of success at the high school level and is just tapping into her potential on 3-meter and platform."