Aug. 17, 2015

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s swimming and diving team has added a 13-member incoming class for the 2015-16 season, which includes two transfers. The group consists of top swimmers and divers from Ohio, Illinois, Texas, Indiana, California and Florida.

“We are unbelievably excited for this group to join our program and university,” head coach Bill Dorenkott said. “This class has a good mix of talent, work ethic and desire to reach their potential.

“Ohio State has a proud history of finding and developing champions, and this group of young women fits the mold.”

Emily Albrecht
Downers Grove, Ill.
Downers Grove North

Top Times:
50 free (SCY) 23.39; 100 free (SCY) 51.64; 50 free (LCM) 27.39

Honors: Four-time NCSA Junior National qualifier … five-time NCSA Junior National medalist … four-time All-State selection … eight-time All-American … four-time Illinois state qualifier … 14-time state medalist … three-time state champion.

Background: Emily started taking swim lessons at the age of five or six and continued for a few years. She took it up again when she was 11 and swam for a summer team for two years, before joining club swim. Her favorite swimming memory occurred during her senior year in high school when her team got second at the state meet and won the 200-free relay.

On choosing Ohio State: “I decided to come to Ohio State because it reminded me a lot of home and wasn’t super far from home either. I also knew I wanted to go to a Big Ten school. I loved the girls on the team and the coaches because everyone was so willing to work with me and I was able to communicate with everyone on the team. My best friend is going to OSU as well which is a bonus!”

Emily plans to major in criminology since from the time she was little, she has loved mystery books and playing games like Clue. Other than athletics, she is looking forward to meeting new people and getting more in depth with what she learns. She is excited to meet people who share the same major as her, as well as other people on the team.

Haley Allen
Midland, Texas
Midland Christian

Honors: Received bronze in Synchro 3 meter at the 2015 World University games in Gwangju, South Korea … 3-meter Junior National Champion … 2016 Olympic Trial qualifier in 3-meter synchro.

Background: Haley started diving when she was eight. Her mom was signing up for water aerobics and saw flyers for swimmers and some for diving, but chose diving because she thought Haley would get bored swimming back and forth. One of her favorite memories from diving is when she was at a meet and had gotten the worst hurdle for 305, but still went. When she came up from the water, everyone was on their feet screaming and pumping their fists in the air because she had nailed it.

On choosing Ohio State: “OSU had a little bit of everything, but I mainly chose to come here because of Justin. I was really sick on my trip so I didn’t see much, but I really liked the wall. You can stand on one end whispering and a person on the other side can hear you perfectly.”

Haley plans to major in engineering because her dad is an engineer. She is excited about meeting new people and having to do things on her own.

Ariana Bullard
Carmel, Ind.
Carmel/United States Military Academy

Top Times: 100 fly (SCY) 53.40; 200 fly (SCY) 1:58.97; 100 fly (LCM) 1:02.19; 50 free (SCY) 23.34; 100 free (SCY) 51.63

Honors: Eastern College Athletic Conference Rookie of the Meet … holds two ECAC conference records … holds UConn 100 fly pool record … broke numerous West Point Academy school records … received the West Point Athletic Director Coin.

Background: Ariana started swimming when she was 10 because at first she was jealous of her sister.  Her favorite athletic memory is from age group state. The night before the meet — after devouring a whole box of double stuffed Oreos right before going to bed — she was ready to compete. With unwavering support and many odds against her, she won age group state in her 50 back. In a close race, what led her to finally finishing first was her dolphin kicks her mom made her practice during hypoxic sets.

On choosing Ohio State: “I chose Ohio State because I wanted a change. I am looking forward to a new college experience filled with many opportunities, and I know OSU will provide me with this. I am ready for the next chapter in my life with the Buckeyes and to be a part of the Buckeye family. During my visit at Ohio State, I experienced a team that cared about each other like an extended family. No matter how fast you are, you are a part of this team. This is an attribute most teams strive to achieve but fall short of.”

Ariana plans on majoring in either biochemistry or biomedical engineering since her overall goal is to become a doctor. She looks forward to enjoying her teammates and the team spirit, as well as creating new lifelong friendships.

Maria Coy
Willoughby, Ohio

Top Times: 100 breast (SCY) 1:05.36; 100 breast (LCM) 1:16.52; 400 IM (SCY) 4:25.97; 200 IM (SCY) 2:06.50; 50 free (SCY) 23.99

Honors: Graduated with a 4.0 GPA and summa cum laude … earned the U.S. Army Reserve national scholar-athlete award … has been competing at USA swimming sectional meets since age 12 … state finalist all four years of high school … holds five records at Mentor High School.

Background: Maria started swimming at age nine when she decided swimming looked fun after watching her neighborhood’s summer swim team practice during her younger brother’s swim lessons. The reason she has stuck with swimming and improved so much is because her coach, John Elliott, has supported her both in and out of the pool through all of the ups and downs of the sport. Maria’s favorite swimming memory is standing on the podium at her high school state meet.

On choosing Ohio State: “I chose Ohio State because of its outstanding athletic and academic opportunities, facilities and services. I really appreciated the sincerity and genuine interest the coaches showed both in person and over the phone.”

Maria plans to major in health promotion, exercise science and nutrition to pursue a career in physical therapy. Outside of the pool, she looks forward to meeting new people.

Brookley Garry
Cincinnati, Ohio
Walnut Hills

Top Times: 100 breast (SCY) 1:06.09; 100 breast (LCM) 1:16.71; 200 breast (LCM) 2:45.32

Honors: NCSA Junior National qualifier … YMCA Nationals qualifier.

Background: Brookley began year-round swimming when she was nine and got into it because she tried every other sport imaginable and none worked out for her. Her favorite memory from swimming is when she made it to state finals for the first time this year.

On choosing Ohio State: “My mom went to Ohio State and it may sound cheesy but it just felt right on my tour. Everyone on the team was so nice. I was the only one on my trip so I got to spend a lot of time with all of the girls on the team and everyone was so welcoming.”

Brookley is majoring in business (specifically marketing) because her mom told her she is good at persuading people to do things. As a first-year student, she looks forward to meeting new people and going to the football games.

Claire Gilmore
Cincinnati, Ohio

Top Times: 200 free (SCY) 1:48.38; 100 free (SCY) 51.01; 500 free (SCY) 4:54.60; 200 free (LCM) 2:05.10; 100 free (LCM) 58.36

Honors: 16-time state qualifier … state champion in 200 free … DII team state runner-up

Background: Claire started swimming for summer club when she was five, then joined a winter club at age six until she was 13. She swam on her high school’s team freshman year and joined a club team the end of that year. As of now, winning a state title and being on her high school state runner-up team are her best memories in the sport. She loves seeing months of time and energy pay off at a taper meet.

On choosing Ohio State:  “I chose to come to Ohio State because of the endless opportunities. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to study and I felt like I would be okay coming here without a major in mind. Plus, it’s close to home. I was fortunate enough to be on OSU’s first recruiting weekend, so I was getting a whole lot of attention. It made me feel like I was home!”

Claire is undecided on her major for the moment but is interested in everything sports. She looks forward to attending the football games during her freshman year.

Mikayla Murphy
Toledo, Ohio
Saint Ursula Academy

Top Times: 500 free (SCY) 4:58.28; 200 IM 2:06.70; 200 back (SCY) 2:02.45; 400 free (LCM) 4:30.62

Honors: National Honor Society member … four -year state qualifier … district champion … school-record holder.

Background: Mikayla became involved with swimming at age eight. She spent her childhood in the local pool and once she lost the floaties, it just felt natural. Mikayla’s favorite swimming memory was being district runner-up her freshman year. This may not sound like much, but it was a big accomplishment for her team. It came down to the final relay between her team and their rival school. They were stacked with seniors and her relay was made up of three freshmen and a senior. Her relay was nervous, but ready. Unfortunately, they lost the race, which meant they lost the meet. Although losing wasn’t the ideal outcome, she was grateful. The pressure made her team all swim lifetime bests and it prepared them for states and an amazing high school career.

On choosing Ohio State: “I chose Ohio State not for the specific details, but for one overwhelming feeling. My decision was between Ohio State and one other school. On paper, the other school may have even looked better, but as I was sitting there trying to choose, I had one thought come to my head: “I can’t go anywhere else.” I couldn’t see myself at any school besides The Ohio State University. The swim program stood out among the rest. At the other schools, I got the sense I would succeed. At Ohio State, I got the feeling I would succeed individually just as much as I would on a team level. It’s a really great group of girls that gave me the feeling of home I was looking for.”

Mikayla plans on majoring in kinesiology because she is amazed by the way the body moves. She has always been interested in medicine, but specifically chose kinesiology because of her fascination with the physical activity aspect. Outside of the pool, she looks forward to meeting new people. Ohio State brings a special aspect of diversity, something she is excited about. And of course, the football games…she’s pumped for those, too.

Cara Norris
Cincinnati, Ohio

Top Times: 200 fly (SCY) 2:01.72; 100 fly (SCY) 55.65; 200 fly (LCM) 2:16.55; 100 fly (LCM) 1:02.46; 200 free (SCY) 1:49.82; 200 free (LCM) 2:04.78

Honors: Junior National qualifier

Background:  Cara started swimming when she was six years old. She had been dragged to her sister’s swim practices and wanted to try it out. She wanted to be like her sister and since she was on the swim team, Cara had to try out. Even though she looked up to her sister, she believes the most influential people on her swimming career have been her parents.

On choosing Ohio State: “After going on all my recruiting trips, I felt Ohio State fit me best. I loved the pride everyone had about their school.”

Cara plans to major in psychology because she took AP Psychology her junior year of high school and was really intrigued by it. Besides swimming and school, Cara looks forward to meeting new people during her freshman year.

Taylor Pamplin
San Diego, Calif.
Escondido Charter

Honors: Bi-National Games 1-meter champion, finalist at 2014 Nationals in Tennessee … four-year high school diving champion … holds section and division records … placed fourth in 10-meter synchronized diving at Winter Nationals … national qualifier on 1-meter, 3-meter, and 10-meter platform individual events.

Background: Taylor started diving when she was 12 after a 10-year gymnastics career that ended with a severe injury. She decided to try a different sport that incorporated the same acrobatic skills, which is how she found diving. The one thing she always looks forward to when traveling for diving is seeing all her friends from across the country and some internationally.

On choosing Ohio State: “I chose Ohio State because Justin really understood me as a person and a diver. As soon as I got on campus on my trip, Justin already had ideas of how he wanted me to train and what dives he wanted me to do to push me to my full potential. Justin and I connected really well and I also thought the campus was really pretty! On my trip I felt really accepted by the other people on the team.”

Taylor plans to major in psychology because she likes working with people and understanding their thought process. She looks forward to meeting other athletes and becoming part of the Buckeye family.

Christi Riley
Jacksonville, Fla.

Top Times: 100 free (SCY) 51.14; 50 free (SCY) 23.88; 100 fly (SCY) 56.61

Honors: Two-time Academic All-American … selected three times for All-First Coast … National Honor Society member … Mu Alpha Theta … Spanish Honor Society … Bolles school-record holder in the 400-free relay.

Background: Christi began swimming when she was 12. Her mom bet her she wouldn’t be dedicated enough to finish high school season and couldn’t make the district team. She did both and five years later, she is still swimming and her mom doesn’t make bets with her anymore. Christi basically grew up on the pool deck and in seventh grade finally worked up the courage to try swimming. She also knew she needed to take up a sport because she loves food so much.

On choosing Ohio State: “I chose to go to Ohio State because I loved the campus and the numerous opportunities available academically, and, of course, because of the team and coaching philosophy. I very much appreciated how up front Coach Dorenkott was about himself, the process, and the program.”

Christi plans to double major in political science and world politics, since she hopes to have a career in international law. While at Ohio State, she is most looking forward to having many new opportunities and freedoms.

Stephanie Samudro
Newport Beach, Calif.
Corona Del Mar/UNLV

Top Times: 100 fly (SCY) 54.76; 200 fly (SCY) 2:02.05; 100 breast (SCY) 1:03.22; 200 fly (LCM) 2:19.52; 100 breast (LCM) 1:13.82

Honors: Four-time California Interscholastic Federation finalist … competed at 2015 Mountain West Conference … competed for Indonesia.

Background: Stephanie started swimming when she was nine years old when her mom signed her up for the swim team at Rose Bowl Aquatics in Pasadena, Calif. She learned how to swim very quickly and loved it. Ever since, she hasn’t been able to get herself out of the water! Her favorite part about swimming is being at swim meets and feeling the adrenaline of people cheering for each other.

On choosing Ohio State: “Aside from falling in love with the school itself, I wanted to step out of my comfort zone and experience living in a different atmosphere. I also felt connected with the swim team during my recruiting trip and could see myself growing to be a better swimmer and student at Ohio State. The team dynamics stood out to me during my recruiting trip. Coming in as a transfer student, I wanted to make sure I was around the right kind of people that had the same goals as I did, and Ohio State seemed like the perfect fit for me.”

Stephanie is majoring in hospitality management because she aspires to have her own business in the industry, possibly doing events and wedding planning. During her first year at OSU, she looks forward to attending football games and being part of a big school atmosphere.

Kerrigan Vargo
Sandusky, Ohio

Top Times: 200 IM (SCY) 2:04.17; 100 fly (SCY) 56.49; 200 fly (SCY) 2:05.06; 200 IM (LCM) 2:22.03; 100 fly (LCM) 1:03.56

Honors:  Top 10 of class … holds multiple high school swimming records … 200 IM All-American Honorable Mention … Academic All-American … six-time All-Ohio … seven-time district champion.

Background: Kerrigan started swimming at the age of six for a summer league team. She believes she has been blessed with great coaches throughout her swimming career to help her get to where she is today, but, as a swimmer, thinks she is her own catalyst in the sport and must learn to use self-motivation and dedication to succeed and achieve personal goals. Her favorite athletic memory occurred at the district meet her senior year when she made history with her team by winning the meet for the first time.

On choosing Ohio State:  “I felt like Ohio State was the right fit for me not just for swimming but for the entire college experience. I love the diversity the school has to offer and opportunity for a world class education. My recruiting trip to Ohio State was definitely the best experience, especially getting to take part in the football game festivities.”

Kerrigan plans on majoring in biology/pre-medicine because she has always been interested in the medical field and looks forward to helping others. Outside of the pool, she cannot wait to meet new friends, learn to live on her own and adapt to rigorous coursework.

Kaylee Witkiewicz
Columbus, Ohio
Thomas Worthington

Top Times: 100 back (SCY) 54.34; 50 back (SCY) 25.12; 100 fly (SCY) 55.86; 50 free (SCY) 23.71; 100 back (LCM) 1:03.87

Honors: All-American and All-State for four years … four-year state finalist … 2015 100-back state runner-up … placed third in the 50 free at state her junior year.

Background: Kaylee started with the usual swim lessons at the YMCA before the instructor asked her mom if she would be interested in starting on the year-round club team. This of course was part of the plan from the start, since her dad swam through college at Michigan Tech.

Thus far, her favorite memory from her swimming career is when she broke the 100-backstroke Junior Olympics short course state record as a 12-year old, a record she still holds.

On choosing Ohio State: “I’ve always loved the atmosphere of Ohio State and the great traditions we have here. I fell in love with the school and the team even more on my recruiting trip and I knew this was where I belonged for my college experience. I loved how I was constantly in the know about what was going on at OSU with not only swimming but other sports as well. I would always get emails and Jordan would keep me updated on everything going on as well. I really felt welcomed before I had even committed.”

Kaylee plans to major in international business and finance because she wants to be involved with a worldwide company in their financial department and be able to travel around the world while working. Outside of the pool, she looks forward to Buckeye football the most. She’s grown up around a diehard football family her entire life so she has definitely been trained into being a fan.