Brown Women Add 9 for 2016-17 Season

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Brown women’s swimming and diving program will welcome seven swimmers and two divers to the team this coming fall, as head coach Kate Kovenock heads into her third season at the helm. The Bears’ 2015-2016 campaign was the strongest in the last decade of the program’s history, producing a double Ivy Champion and breaking eight school records on the way to recording the highest Ivy Championship finish in the last 10 years of the program.

JULIA ARMITAGE
Hometown: Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Lake Erie Silver Dolphins (Coaches Jerry Holtrey, Rick Stacy, & Jim Bocci)
Hathaway Brown School (Coach Roderick Speed)

Top Times:
500 Freestyle – 4:57.92
1650 Freestyle – 16:58.19
200 IM – 2:06.99
400 IM – 4:28.75

Why Brown?  “I chose Brown because the combination of academics and athletics is a perfect fit for me. The liberal approach of Brown’s curriculum will allow me to explore many academic opportunities and further discover my passions. I am so excited to become a part of the Brown’s swimming and diving community and grow as a student and swimmer.”

JULIA BENZ  
Hometown: Superior, Colo.
Sagebrush Diving Club (Coach Kevin Sage)
Fairview High School

Top Scores:
1M – 503.35 (11 dives), 285.95 (6 dives)
3M – 285.95 (10 dives)

Why Brown?  “From the time I first started considering Brown, everything I heard and experienced kept getting better and better. I felt welcomed by the coaches and team, and truly at home when I first visited the campus even though I’ve never been more rained on in my life. I love the people, spirit, and choice at Brown, and I can’t wait to spend my next four years here.”

JESSIE BLAKE-WEST
Hometown: Belmont, Mass.
Crimson Aquatics (Coach Kyle Schack)
Belmont High School (Coach Ev Crosscup)

Top Times:
50 Freestyle – 23.81
100 Freestyle – 52.19
50 Butterfly – 24.83
100 Butterfly – 54.66
200 Butterfly – 2:02.30

Why Brown?  “I chose Brown because it’s the perfect balance of amazing academics and a strong swimming program. The team, coaching staff, and school community create a welcoming environment where I can’t wait to spend the next four years.”

MARLEY CROSS
Hometown: Seattle, Wash.
Bellevue Club Swim Team (Coaches Nate O’Brian & formerly Andy Pym)
Garfield High School

Top Times:
50 Freestyle – 23.70
100 Freestyle – 50.96
200 Freestyle – 1:51.62

Why Brown?  “The moment I arrived on campus, I was struck by the incredibly open and welcoming community at Brown. I was greeted with such warmth and friendliness, both on the team and simply walking around campus. This coupled with Brown’s outstanding academics made it an easy choice.  I am so excited to be spending the next four years with this amazing group of people.”

AMELIA GILCHRIST
Hometown: Greensboro, N.C.
Greensboro Swim Association (Coach Kevin Thornton)
Grimsley High School  (Coach Angelo Kontoulas)

Top Times:
200 Freestyle – 1:50.07
500 Freestyle – 4:56.10
100 Backstroke – 55.85
200 Backstroke – 1:59.96

Why Brown?  “I chose Brown because it felt like the best fit for me both athletically and academically.  As one of the best schools in the country, Brown offers the opportunity for an outstanding education, and I see myself benefiting from the open curriculum. On my trip, I felt an immediate connection with my host and the rest of the team, and I loved that coach Kovenock and coach Speroni have huge goals, and great enthusiasm for the sport of swimming.  By the time I left Providence, I just knew that Brown was where I wanted to spend my next four years. I am extremely excited for the fall.”

ZOE PHILLIPS
Hometown: Salt Lake City, Utah
Utah (Coaches Mark Gray & Ian Clarke)
Highland High School

Top Times:
100 Backstroke – 56.75
200 Backstroke – 1:59.57
200 IM – 2:04.36
400 IM – 4:18.79

Why Brown?  “The moment I visited Brown on my first trip to the east coast I fell in love with the incredible people and the city of Providence. The women’s coaches were so welcoming and passionate about swimming that I couldn’t help but choose Brown’s balance of amazing academics and athletics. Psyched to be on College Hill next year.”

KELLEY TACKETT
Hometown: Columbia, Mo.
Columbia Swim Club (Coach Gary Galbreath)
Rock Bridge Senior High School (Coach Zach Martens)

Top Times:
100 Freestyle – 50.54
200 Freestyle – 1:48.60
500 Freestyle – 4:56.70
200 Butterfly – 2:02.03

Why Brown?  “I chose Brown because it offers incredible opportunities both academically and athletically. The open curriculum makes it really special, as do the coaching staff, the pool, and the stunning campus foliage. I can’t wait to spend the next four years at Brown.”

SARAH WELCH
Hometown: Beverly, Mass.
YMCA of the North Shore (Coaches Cecelia Tripp & Janet Harty)
Beverly High School (Coaches Dave Swensen & Carla Dropo)

Top Times:
50 Freestyle – 23.77
100 Freestyle – 51.12
200 Freestyle – 1:51.31
200 Backstroke – 1:58.92
>200 IM – 2:03.31
400 IM – 4:28.46

Why Brown?  “I chose Brown University because it gives me the opportunity to explore outstanding academics and swim for an impressive coaching staff. I am so proud to join an amazing team as a member of the Brown Bears class of 2020. Go Bruno.”

EMILY ZITKOVSKY
Hometown: Lexington, Mass.
Boston Area Diving (Coaches Joe Chirico & Jim Brainard)
Lexington High School (Coach Kate Sorenson)

Top Scores:
1M – 491.45  (11 dives)
3M – 336.80  (10 dives)

Why Brown?  “I was drawn to Brown by the spirit of collaboration and teamwork both in the pool and inside the classroom. The supportive coaching staff and beautiful facilities at Brown make it the ideal program for me to grow as a diver. Brown’s open curriculum and countless opportunities will challenge and inspire me academically. I am honored to be joining the Brown swimming and diving family.”

Swimming news courtesy of Brown Swimming & Diving.

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About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona (2013-2015) and the University of Florida (2011-2013). While her college swimming career left a bit to be desired, her Snapchat chin selfies and hot takes on Twitter do not disappoint. She's also a high school graduate of The …

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