Alabama Women Get Three American Verbal Commitments to Turn the Corner on Recruiting

Temarie Tomley, Paige Matherson, and Mia Nonnenberg have all verbally committed to the University of Alabama in the last two weeks.

After a year of grabbing some big international signings to put a jolt of excitement back into the Crimson Tide program, second-year head coach Dennis Pursley has quickly turned his sights on this year’s deep American class, and has had some big success there as well.

His latest group of signings includes the above three women, all of whom are immediate-impact additions to a rising Alabama squad.

Tomley, of the Mercy Healthplex Sea Wolves in Ohio, is a sprint freestyler. In yards, she had her breakout meet at last summer’s Winter Junior Nationals, where she was a 23.11, 50.82, and 1:49.78 in the 50, 100, and 200 yard freestyles.

Tomley has been fortunate enough to swim for the same coach since she was 9 years old, a relative rarity in the modern era of swimming. Aaron Dorfman, the programs head coach and 2009 Ohio Age Group Coach of the Year, has moved up the ladder along with Tomley, and together the two have had great success.

Where Tomley specializes in the sprints, Matherson is more of a distance freestyler. The Terrapins Swim Team (CA) product has yards bests of 4:51.83 in the 500 and 10:02.66 in the 1000 freestyle. In the intersection race, the 200 free, Matherson is almost as good as her future teammate, having been 1:50.44.

On paper, they should both, as freshman, end up on the school’s 800 free relay, where they’ll join the new school record holder Emma Saunders and rising sophomore Brittany Gilbert, and it looks like that 800 free relay could very well be where these Crimson Tide get their big breakthrough and return to the NCAA Championships. (The 2014 qualifying time in that relay is a 7:07.31, which comes out to about a 1:46.8 on average).

Also hunting for a spot on that relay will be Mia Nonnenberg from Blue Dolphin Aquatics in Scranton, Pennsylvania. In the freestyle races, she has yards bests of 1:50.10 and 4:48.18 in the 200 and 500, including the latter of which made her the Pennsylvania AAA (big school) state champion.

But her versatility runs well deeper than the other two girls. She’s also been 2:01.9 in the 200 fly, 2:00.41 in the 200 IM, and 4:16.21 in the 400 IM.

Those IM times absolutely blow away anything that Alabama had last season, and she should be an immediate scorer in both at SEC’s as a freshman, as well as in that 500 free.

After finishing 10th out of 12 teams at last year’s SEC Championships, the only direction for Alabama is up.  As their international additions continue to gel in their new surroundings, and as Pursley adds classes like this one, the Crimson Tide could be jumping up and competing for perhaps the top 7 at the 2015 SEC Championships, and continue building from there.

Leave a Reply

3 Comment threads
1 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
2 Comment authors
newest oldest most voted

Finally some American recruits. The rest of purselys team is internationals


Just to clear things up and show the facts. There are 41 eligible athletes on the men’s side and only 7 are foreign. There are 30 eligible athletes on the women’s side and only 4 are foreign.


Also, of the 8 recruits committed this year all 8 are American.


On the mens team there are actually 9 foreign athletes. 10 if you can count kristian golemeev they hope comes in this Jan. Almost 25% of the team is representing another country. The American tax payers are paying for their education only for them to go back home in 4 years and represent their countries at the olympics.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

Read More »

Want to take your swimfandom to the next level?

Subscribe to SwimSwam Magazine!