Nov. 19, 2012
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky swimming team added 11 new athletes to the class of 2013 on Monday, as the final National Letters of Intent came rolling in Nov. 19. Kentucky will bring in six women and five men to the team next season including several nationally ranked athletes.
“It’s one of the best classes Kentucky’s had overall in awhile,” said associate head coach Lars Jorgenson. “We’re really pleased to have these 11 people joining us. We hope that they have a huge impact on us next season.”
Head coach Gary Conelly and his staff believes the class will help fill some immediate holes on next year’s squad to help Kentucky improve next season.
All six women’s incoming swimmers have been ranked nationally by CollegeSwimming.com, and many have been highly ranked in-state.
Kendal Casey comes to UK from Florida. The Port Orange-native is the seventh-ranked female swimmer in the state and is ranked 78th nationally according to College Swimming. She trains with the Daytona Beach Swimming club under Steve Lochte, father of five-time Olympic Gold Medalist Ryan Lochte. She recently finished second in the 200- and 500-freestyle at the Florida High School State Meet on November 9.
The No. 1-ranked recruit out of South Carolina in Danielle Galyer. Galyer is College Swimming’s 97th ranked recruit nationally. Galyer attends Maudlin High School in Greer, S.C., and swims for the Y-Spartaquatics Swim Club coached by Peter Wright. Kentucky is looking forward to adding Galyer’s ability in the backstroke and freestyle events.
Kate Kelly will follow her club teammate in Galyer to the Bluegrass State from South Carolina. Crew, a specialist in the butterfly, ranks right behind Galyer in the College Swimming rankings as the No. 2 recruit in South Carolina.
The top-ranked swimmer in Alabama will also make her way Lexington next fall. Out of Northport, Ala., Kelly Berger will join the Wildcats as a distance swimmer. Her father also swam in the Southeastern Conference, competing for Alabama in his college days. Berger swam for Crimson Tide Aquatics coached by John Boxmeyer.
Morgan Contino comes from the state of Ohio as the No. 15 recruit out of the state of Ohio. The Cincinnati native swims for ME Lyons Anderson Baracudas YMCA coached by Tim Hart and also plays volleyball for her Turpin High School team. Contino will add to Kentucky’s depth in the butterfly and freestyle events.
Kendra Crew also will make the trip south from Ohio as the 11th ranked recruit in the state. Crew, from Springfield, specialized in the breaststroke and individual medley while swimming for Bruce Patmos at Springfield YMCA.
Kentucky adds five versatile men to the class of 2013 that figure to add instant depth to their team for next season and years to come.
Chris Grimmett-Norris arrives from Virginia. The freestyle and butterfly specialist is a member of the US Junior National Swim Team and competed against Japan last September. Grimmett-Norris scored an Olympic Trial qualifying time in the 200-butterfly. He swam at the club level for head coach John Flanagan at Nations Capital Swim Club.
The 11th ranked swimmer from the state of Maryland will join the Wildcats next season. Freestyle swimmer Jamie Stevenson from Chevy Chase, Md., will give Kentucky a strong presence in their distance events during his four years in Lexington. Stevenson swam under Scott Vekeman for Rockville Montgomery.
Brandon Flynn of the York YMCA Swimming club coached by Michael Brooks placed fourth at the LC Junior Nationals in the 400-indivdual medley. Flynn will help Kentucky as one of the top individual medley performers in the country.
Kyle Higgins comes to UK after swimming for Tom Donati, the same club coach as current sophomore Abby Myers, at the Mt. Lebanon Aquatic Club, one of the top clubs in Pennsylvania. Higgins has great potential in the butterfly and long course events.
Kentucky will add breaststroke specialist Tanner Anderson out of Moscow, Idaho. Anderson swims for the Gold Medal Swim Club under head coach Mike Anderson. Tanner Anderson is expected to contribute in breaststroke events immediately.
Quotes from Kentucky staff on the 2013 class:
“Kendal has a bright future at UK. She will make an immediate impact in both her individual events and relays. She displayed her talent a week ago at her high school state meet. We believe that’s just the beginning.” – On Kendal Casey
“We are excited to have Danielle. We need to add to our backstroke and freestyle depth. She will do that beginning her first year as a Wildcat!” – On Danielle Galyer
“Kelly comes from a great family of swimming talent as her father competed for Alabama. She will be a great asset to our distance group right away. We are thrilled to have her join us.” – On Kelly Berger
“As a multi-sport athlete Morgan has a ton of up-side as she focuses on swimming solely. We are very excited about her potential not only as a flyer, but as a freestyler as well.” – On Morgan Contino
“Kendra gives us much needed depth in the breaststroke. Her impact in those events will be felt immediately. She will compete for relay spots her first year.” – On Kendra Crew
“Kate adds another talent to our strong fly contingent. Her work ethic is outstanding. We’re excited to be adding two super stars from Peter Wright’s team.” – On Kate Kelly
“Chris has serious NCAA potential in both middle distance free style events and in the butterfly events. He isn’t afraid of hard work and has a great demeanor. He’ll be an excellent teammate in the pool and out.” – On Chris Grimmett-Norris
“Jamie is a determined distance swimmer who we know has tons of potential. He’s excited to be a Wildcat and we’re thrilled to have him.” – On Jamie Stevenson
“After a standout summer Brandon established himself as one of the top high school IM prospects in the nation. Brandon will contend for SEC finals his freshman year without a doubt.” – On Brandon Flynn
“Kyle comes from one of the best club programs in eastern Pennsylvania. We think he has the upside to be an accomplished SEC swimmer.” – On Kyle Higgins
“Tanner is an excellent overall athlete. He is a great competitor and his breaststroke talents will be immediately felt. We are excited to have him.” – On Tanner Anderson