ATHENS, Ohio – The Ohio women's swimming and diving team announced the addition of eight recruits for the early signing period in the fall of 2017.
"We are beyond pleased with the quality of this recruiting class, as athletes, but also as individuals," stated head coach Rachel Komisarz-Baugh. "We are excited to welcome these young ladies and their families to the Bobcat family."
Joining the Bobcats for the 2018-2019 season will be Athena Aravantinou (Bethesda, Md.), Margaret Berning (Kettering, Ohio), Maddie Haschemeyer (Springfield, Ill.), Chastity Haxton (Fort Pierce, Fla.), Maggie Menso (Barrington, Ill.), Taylor Miller (Latrobe, Pa.), Courtney Perrett (Fort Pierce, Fla.), and Kendra Sheehan (Columbus, Ohio).
Athena Aravantinou, the French Junior National Championship Gold medalist, joins the Ohio swimming and diving team from the Nation's Capital Swim Club. Aravantinou posted a 100-meter backstroke time of 1:04.44 and a 2:19.05 200-meter backstroke time at the 2017 NCSA Summer Championships. In addition, Aravantinou earned a 100-yard backstroke time of 56.51 at the 2017 NCSA Spring Championships. "Athena is an elite backstroker and we can't wait to see what the future holds for her," said Komisarz-Baugh. Athena also earned a Silver medal in the 400-meter medley relay at the 2017 NCSA Summer Championships.
Academic All-American, Margaret Berning, comes to the Bobcat program from Kevin Weldon and the Dayton Raiders Swim Club. Berning achieved a 200-meter butterfly time of 2:15.83 and a 100-meter butterfly time of 1:02.68 at the 2017 NCSA Summer Championships. "Margaret is one of the best butterfly prospects in the country and we are eager to see her excel in the Ohio University program," said Komisarz-Baugh. "She will be an invaluable asset to our team and will be a key player for the future success of our program."
Maddie Haschemeyer, the Junior National qualifier, joins the Ohio program by way of Rob Busby and the Springfield YMCA of Illinois. Haschemeyer swam a 2:02.61 200-yard backstroke and 56.79 100-yard backstroke at the 2017 IFLY Speedo Midwest Challenge. "Maddie is a multi-talented swimmer, whose versatility will add depth to the Bobcat lineup," said Komisarz-Baugh." Maddie is also a distinguished member of the National Honor Society and an Honor Roll student at Southeast High School.
The Ohio Bobcats welcome diver, Chastity Haxton, from the Indian River State College Swimming & Diving program. Haxton earned a Silver medal at 2017 NJCAA Nationals on 1-meter. Also, Chastity was in the top 10% of all IRSC athletes academically with a 3.8 GPA. "Chastity had a break-out 2016-2017 season and has just grazed the surface of her full potential" stated Komisarz-Baugh.
Maggie Menso comes to Ohio from the Palatine Park District Swim Team. Menso swam a 16:39.12 1,650-yard freestyle, 9:58.35 1,000-yard freestyle, and 4:51.65 500-yard freestyle at the 2017 NCSA Spring Championships. She competed in the 10K open water nationals against international and professional athletes in the spring of 2017. Maggie is also an outstanding and hardworking student who currently holds a 4.09 weighted GPA. "Maggie is an extremely hard worker that always strives to be the best in everything she does," said Komisarz-Baugh. "It will be exciting to watch her reach her dreams as she competes for the Bobcats."
The Ohio Swimming & Diving team welcomes diver, Taylor Miller, from Latrobe, Pa. Miller comes from the Pitt Aquatic Club. Miller is a PIAA state qualifier and broke her high school's six & twelve diving records. Taylor is also in the National Honor Society and an Honor Roll student at Greater Latrobe Senior High School. "Taylor will be a very important addition to our diving roster," said Komisarz-Baugh.
The Bobcat family welcomes NJCAA champion, Courtney Perrett, who is also a transfer from Indian River State College. Perrett recorded a 29.06 50-yard breaststroke and 1:03.20 100-yard breaststroke at the 2017 NJCAA Championships. While at IRSC, Perrett was a seven-time NJCAA champion, national champion in three events, and national/school record holder in the 50-yard breaststroke with a time of 28.88. "Courtney is a tremendous athlete and we are excited to see how she develops in our program," said Komisarz-Baugh. "She is extremely enthusiastic and her determination to work hard will help her to achieve her future goals."
The Junior National qualifier, Kendra Sheehan, will come to Ohio after swimming for the Upper Arlington Swim Club under Daniel Peterkoski. Sheehan's best times include a 26.45 50-yard backstroke, 57.03 100-yard backstroke, and 51.51 100-yard freestyle. Sheehan is the captain of her swimming and water polo teams, has been an Honor Roll student since the 6th grade, and is a member of the National Honors Society. "We are very excited to have Kendra join our swimming & diving team," said Komisarz-Baugh. "She has a great blend of work ethic in the pool and discipline in the classroom. She will be a great addition to our backstroke and sprint freestyle events."
"We strive to improve our rankings in the swimming world each season, and this year is no exception," said Komisarz-Baugh. "We are beyond proud to have accumulated such a special incoming freshman class for the 2018-2019 season. They will without a doubt help our program grow and achieve our team goals. The most exciting part of this group of athletes is their strong motivation to improve both athletically and academically. I look forward to working closely with these athletes on a daily basis."
The Bobcats just finished a weekend invitational in Evanston, Ill. where they finished third at the 2017 Northwestern TYR Invitational (Nov. 17-19). The Bobcats recorded a total of 563 to secure their place behind host Northwestern and Michigan State. The Bobcats will next see competition at the four-day US Winter Nationals in Columbus, Ohio form Wednesday, Nov. 29 through Saturday, Dec. 2.