Gardner-Webb Swimming Announces Strong Early Recruiting Class

Tim Cowie Photo  |
Tim Cowie Photo |

BOILING SPRINGS – Gardner-Webb swimming wrapped up a successful early signing period, inking 10 student-athletes to National Letters of Intent.

"We are incredibly excited about the early signing class," said head coach Mike Simpson. "Coaches Josh (Stanfield) and Tanya (Hobbs) deserve a lot of credit for identifying and securing this fantastic group. The current team did a fabulous job finding great team fits. When the dust settled, when ended up with 10 athletes who can take our team to a different level. We can't wait to get them here in August!"

The signing class includes:

Women's Signees

Audrey Robinson (Aiken , SC)
Audrey Robinson will be following in the footsteps of her older sister Jessica in becoming a Runnin' Bulldog. Robinson was a key factor in securing South Aiken High School's 2016 4A state title. Audrey claimed individual victories in both the 100 butterfly and 50 freestyle, and anchored the women's 400 freestyle relay to claim the victory for the Thoroughbreds. She is ranked as the #10 recruit in South Carolina by, and plans to make an impact both in and out of the water for Gardner-Webb.

Top Times:
50 Freestyle: 24.05
100 Butterfly: 57.17
200 Butterfly: 2:05.62

Madolyn Aucremann (Saint Augustine, FL)
Aucremann will join the 'Dawgs after a successful career both in and out of the water during her prep career. While swimming for Pedro Menendez High School High, she posted a 12th place finish in the 100-yard butterfly and a 13th place effort in the 500-yard freestyle at the 2016 FHSAA Swimming Championships. These accomplishments led to her being chosen as the Team MVP for the 2016 season. While she offers an impressive athletic resume, Aucremann will also be a strong force in the classroom for the team which has posted the top GPA in the nation for division I women's swimming three times. Over the course of her scholastic career, she has earned a 4.6 Grade Point Average and is poised to graduate at the top of her class. Further, she will graduate as an International Baccalaureate Student in the class of 2016.

Kaitlyn Hunt (Oviedo, FL)
Hunt, who specializes in sprint freestyle, joins the program from Oviedo, Fla., after a decorated career both with the Oviedo Blue Dolphin Swim Club as well as with Oviedo High School. During her senior campaign at Oviedo High, Kaitlyn posted finishes of fifth place and sixth place in the 50 and 100 freestyle events, respectively, at the FHSAA 4A Swimming State Championship. She also helped her team to a new school record and a second-place in the 200-yard medley relay and a third-place in the 200-yard freestyle relay. Kaitlyn is the school record holder in the 100-yard freestyle, and a member of the record holding 200 medley, 200 freestyle, and 400 freestyle relays. Hunt gives back to her club program by serving as an assistant coach for the Blue Dolphins swim club, aiding the coaching staff with the team's two youngest age groups.

Top Times:
50 Freestyle: 23.72
100 Freestyle: 51.51
200 Freestyle: 1:56.19

Mary Traylor (Austin, TX)
Traylor is a senior at Round Rock High School, were she will be graduating in the top 4% of her class. She is a member of the National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta (Spanish Honor Society), and has served with the Zoi Ora Filos community service club for the past eight years. Mary is an active member of her Church's youth group, and has been a part of numerous mission trips to areas of inner-city Houston as well as Lima, Peru. Her impact out of the pool is complimented by her accomplishments in the water. Mary has been on the national team at Nitro Swim Club for the last three years, and has been honored with the "Hardest Worker" and "Most Improved" awards from the club in 2015 and 2016. Her work ethic led to an appearance in the finals of the 2016 Austin Futures 200m butterfly, where she finished fifth.

Top Times:
100 Butterfly: 57.22
200 Butterfly: 2:03.56
100 Backstroke: 59.03
200 Backstroke: 2:03.23

Bethany Leap (Sarasota, FL)
Leap will be joining the Bulldogs after spending her last two years at the University of Texas, where she had a successful career both in and out of the water. During her four semesters, Leap was honored by the University by being placed on the University Honors List. She earned All-Big XII and All-Academic Big XII honors in 2015 and 2016. Bethany competed at the 2016 United States Olympic Team Trials in the 200m breast stroke while representing the Sarasota YMCA Sharks. During her club career, Leap was a three-time YMCA National champion in the 200-yard breaststroke, breaking the national record twice. Directly preceding her senior year at Booker High School in Sarasota, Leap was selected as a member of the United States Junior National Team to compete at the World Junior Championship meet in Dubai, where she finished eight in the 200m Breaststroke.

Top Times:
100 Breaststroke: 1:01.70
200 Breaststroke: 2:11.35
200 I.M.: 2:01.90
400 I.M.: 4:18.67

Jessi Snover (Greer, SC)
Jessi Snover is a home school student who competes for Riverside High School and Y-Spartaquatics in Duncan, South Carolina. She is also the second-ranked recruit in the Palmetto State. Jessi is a seven-time SCHSL 4A/5A State Champion for Riverside, and has won the team's MVP award five times. She was named the 2016 SC Coaches Association of Women's Sports Class 5A Swimmer of the Year, and has been nominated for the 2016 Greenville News All-Upstate Girls Swimmer of the Year. While competing for Y-Spartaquatics, Snover is a ten-time qualifier for the USA Swimming Junior Nationals, where she has been a finalist five times. Snover is a six-time YMCA National Champion.

Top Times:
100 Freestyle: 50.02
200 Freestyle: 1:49.03
100 Butterfly: 53.63
200 Butterfly: 2:00.08

Men's Signees

Will Anderson (Gastonia, NC)
Anderson comes to Gardner-Webb from North Gaston High School and the Gaston Gators Swim Club. At North Gaston, Will is involved as a representative for Student Government and the Student Athlete Council, the Vice President of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and the leader of the Student Spirit Council. He serves his community as a member of the Gaston County Juvenile Crime prevention council and an instructor for the Making Waves Swim Camp. In the water, Anderson has made an impact for both the North Gaston High School team as well as the Gaston Gators club team. Anderson has been a medalist for the Wildcats at both the 2015 and 2016 NCHSAA Swimming Championships, and was selected as the Big South Conference Swimmer of the Year for the 2015-2016 Season. While competing for the Gaston Gators, Will has qualified for the USA Swimming Futures Championships and represented the State of North Carolina as a member of the 2016 Southern Zone team.

Top Times:
200 Freestyle: 1:44.85
500 Freestyle: 4:43.29
1,000 Freestyle: 9:48.77

Cullen Fields (Marietta, GA)
Cullen Fields attends Hillgrove High School and swims for the Hillgrove Hydro hawks. During his sophomore year he became the school's first ever All American for swimming in the 100 butterfly and was also a member the school's state champion and All-American 200 Medley Relay team his junior year. He placed third in the 100 fly his sophomore year and second in the 100 fly his junior year at the Class AAAAAA GHSAA State Championship meet, and has been honored twice as a USA Swimming Scholastic All-American. Fields is a three time MVP for Hillgrove High School and holds school records in the 100 butterfly, 100 backstroke, 200 freestyle, 500 freestyle, 200 free relay and 200 medley relay. Cullen was voted the 2015-16 Cobb County Boys Swimmer of the Year by the Marietta Daily Journal and Swimmer of the Year by the Cobb County Coaches Association. He also swims for the Marietta Marlins under Coach Yit Lim. Cullen competed at the 2015 Winter Junior National Championships in Atlanta and his 200 Medley Relay earned eighth-place honors.

Top Times:
100 Butterfly: 49.36
200 Butterfly: 1:52.09
100 Backstroke: 51.55
200 Backstroke: 1:51.75

Justin Conklin (Charlotte, NC)
Conklin will join the Bulldogs after an impressive career with the North Carolina-based powerhouse Swimmac Carolina. He has qualified for both Winter and Summer USA Swimming Junior National championships, competing in each meet over the 2015-2016 season and contributing to Swimmac's overall championships at both. Justin is ranked as the top 200 breaststrokers, and sits in the top-five of the 100 breaststroke, 200 IM, and 400 IM as well. Conklin was home schooled, and is currently earning college credits at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte. He was a scholastic USA Swimming Scholastic All-American in the 2014-2015 season.

Top Times:
200 IM: 1:50.32
400 IM: 3:56.06
100 Breaststroke: 57.73
200 Breaststroke: 2:02.91

Eli Coan (Cumming, GA)
Eli Coan will join Gardner-Webb in the fall of 2017 after a successful career both in and out of the water with the Cumming Waves Swim Team. Coan looks to make an impact both as a sprint freestyler for the Runnin' Bulldogs and as a student majoring in business and minoring in chemistry. While competing for the Waves, Coan was a qualifier and finalist at the USA Swimming and NCSA Junior National Championships in sprint freestyle events. In addition, Coan was the runner-up in the men's 100 freestyle at the Georgia State Championships, and has qualified for finals at Speedo Senior Sectionals on multiple occasions. In 2015, Coan's time in the 50 freestyle combined with a 3.93 GPA earned him USA Swimming Scholastic All-American honors. He will graduate in June with honors as a member of the National Society of High School Scholars from Veritas High School.

Top Times:
50 Freestyle: 20.79
100 Freestyle: 45.87
100 Backstroke: 52.77