The Valparaiso University women’s swim team prepares to make a splash into the 2011-2012 season. The Crusaders return eight swimmers from last season’s roster and welcome eight freshmen to this year’s Brown and Gold community.
Finishing their 2010-2011 season in eighth place at the Horizon League conference championships, the Crusaders look to move up in this year’s standings.
Natalie Jarrett leads the Brown and Gold as the team’s lone senior. Jarrett placed in the top-16 at the Horizon League championships in both the 200 individual medley and 200 backstroke. The senior ranks second all-time at Valpo in both of these events, along with third place all-time in the 100 back and eighth all-time in the 400 individual medley.
Two juniors return to the Crusaders roster. Justine Barnes ranks ninth on Valpo’s all-time record book in the 100 butterfly, after having first made the list her rookie season. She is also second in the 200 butterfly. Sarah Robertson will return in the spring semester of this season after she completes her travel studying abroad in New Zealand. Robertson will support the Brown and Gold in the breastroke and individual medley events.
Andrea Bretl returns as one of five sophomores on this year’s squad. Bretl posted the eighth fastest time ever at Valpo her rookie season in the 1000 yard freestyle. She swam her personal best in the 1650 freestyle during the same season at the Horizon League championships, placing seventh all-time in Valpo’s record book. Classmate Alizabeth Taubert holds the ninth best all-time mark in the 1000 freestyle.
Katrina Peters returns to add depth to the Crusaders roster in this season’s breastroke events. Katie Meunier and Brittany Bencur got their first taste of collegiate swimming on last year’s squad and they look to contribute even more this season in the freestyle events.
Eight true freshmen head to the Brown and Gold pool looking to make waves this season. Makenna Cannon was a Wisconsin state team qualifier and placed third at her conference championships four years in a row. She looks to add depth to the Crusaders’ squad in the breastroke and individual medley events. Teammate and four-year letterwinner Nicole Michalowski is looking to make an impact in her first year of collegiate swimming this season as well.
Laura Fowler helped to lead the Washington Metro Prep School to four championships during her time as a Falcon. She looks to support the Crusaders in the butterfly events along with newcomer Lauren Knop, who will contribute in the backstroke and freestyle events as well.
Freshman Stephanie Steiner was Ohio’s state champion in 2008 in the 200 fly and qualified for Senior State four years in a row. Flavia Segatto joins Steiner in the butterfly events for the Crusaders. While Segatto looks to make an impact in the freestyle events, Steiner will as well in the backstroke. Alexandra Caruthers qualified for Ohio districts during her four years at Hilliard Darby. Along with her fellow teammate Megan Mariani, Caruthers will compete in the freestyle events this season.
The Valpo women open this season on October 2 as they head to Indianapolis, Ind. to compete in a five team meet. The Brown and Gold are also scheduled to compete in several invitationals over the course of this season, including the Indiana Intercollegiates, Coers, and Calvin Invitationals.
The Crusaders welcome Butler and Monmouth to the Athletics-Recreation Center pool for the only home meet of the season on January 28. The Brown and Gold will finish their season at the Horizon League Championships in Milwaukee, Wis. in late February.
With a coalition of eight returnees and eight newcomers, the Crusaders look to prosper in the 2011-2012 season. The strong group of upperclassmen lead the youthful pool of swimmers in this exciting season in the Horizon League.