BERKELEY – Cal women’s swimming & diving head coach Teri McKeever announced the signing of seven recruits to National Letters of Intent Wednesday, adding five swimmers and two divers to the Golden Bears’ roster.
“This group has a good balance of national and international experience,” McKeever said. “We feel they will come in and develop into significant contributors for us in the years to come. They are good fits academically and are interested in getting a world-class education to go with their world-class athletic experience.”
Heading the class is Isabelle Stadden, a backstroke specialist from Blaine, Minnesota. A member of the U.S. National Team, Stadden earned a bronze medal in the 200-meter back at the Pan American Games this past summer and captured a gold medal in the 200 back at the Junior Pan Pacific Championships in 2018.
Two other members of the group competed at the World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea, in July 2019. Emily Gantriis swam for her home country of Denmark, placing 37th in the 200-meter free. She also owns a bronze medal in the 400 free relay from the 2018 European Championships. In addition, Nicole Oliva represented the Philippines at both the 2017 and 2019 world meets, most recently taking 31st in the 400 free at the 2019 championships.
Mara Allen, a freestyler from Folsom who own school records in the 50, 100 and 200 free, and Tea Laughlin, a three-time team Swimmer of the Year from Ventura, round out the list of swimmers joining the Bears for 2020-21.
Cal also added a pair of talented divers from the Mission Viejo Nadadores in Southern California. Francesca Colby has competed at Junior Olympics nationals since 2014 and was a finalist on platform in the 14-15 age group in 2015, while Kayla Haigh started diving at Junior Nationals in 2011 and placed 13th at the CIF state meet this past year.
As a team, the Golden Bears have finished among the top 3 at the NCAA Championships each of the past 11 years, a run that has included four national titles.
Capsules on Cal’s Recruiting Class:
Mara Allen – Folsom, Calif. / Vista Del Lago HS
Set school records in the 50, 100 and 200 free … named her team’s MVP and led her high school team to the league title … top times are 23.36 in the 50-yard free, 50.67 in the 100-yard free and 1:49.43 in the 200-yard free … born in San Jose, Costa Rica.
Francesca Colby – Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif. / Trabuco Hills HS
Placed 32nd on 3-meter and 35th on 1-meter at the 2019 USA Diving 16-18 Junior National Championships … has competed at Junior Olympics since 2014 and was a finalist on platform at JO Nationals in 2015 (14-15 age group) … dives for the Mission Viejo Nadadores … father was a member of the track & field team at Boston College.
Emily Gantriis – Helsinge, Denmark / Hilleroed Handelsskole HS
Represented her home country at the 2019 World Championships, where she placed 37th in the 200m free (2:05.44) … earned a bronze medal in the 400m free relay at the 2018 European Championships … claimed a gold medal in the 400m free relay at the 2016 European Junior Championships … member of Denmark’s Junior National Team from 2015-16 and has been on the National Team since 2017 … top long-course times are 25.59 in the 50m free, 55.61 in the 100m free and 2:01.38 in the 200m free … in addition to swimming, has also participated in gymnastics, handball and unicycle.
Kayla Haigh – Irvine, Calif. / Santa Margarita Catholic HS
Competed at Junior Nationals in diving for the first time in 2011 … got into the sport of diving by watching the men’s platform competition at the 2008 Beijing Olympics … a 2019 All-American and the 2019 Santa Margarita Invitational champion … placed 13th at the 2019 CIF state championships … led her high school to the CIF state title … member of the California Scholarship Federation … has dived for the Missional Viejo Nadadores since 2011.
Tea Laughlin – Ventura, Calif. / El Camino HS
Named her school’s Swimmer of the Year the past three years … set school record in the 100 back, 200 IM and 200 medley relay … helped El Camino to the 2019 league title … sister, Solana, swam at UC Davis … … swims for the Buenaventura Swim Club, which also produced Cal junior Ali Harrison.
Nicole Oliva – Santa Clara, Calif. / St. Francis HS
Competed at the 2017 and 2019 World Championships for the Philippines … also represented the Philippines at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Argentina … the 2018 and 2019 Central Coast section champion in the 200 and 500 free … at the CIF state meet, was the runner-up in the 500 free in 2018 and took third in the event in 2019 … a USA Swimming Scholastic All-American and an NISCA All-American … member of the California Scholarship Federation … swims for the Santa Clara Swim Club.
Isabelle Stadden – Blaine, Minn. / Blaine HS
Rated the No. 3 recruit in the country by SwimSwam.com … won the 200m back at the Pro Swim Series in Greensboro earlier this month, swimming a lifetime-best 2:08.16, which puts her fifth all-time in the 17-18 age group …captured a silver medal in the 200m back at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, this past summer (2:08.39) … won a gold medal and set a meet record in the 200m back (2:08.81) at the 2018 Junior Pan Pacific Championships in Fiji … finished third in the 200m back (2:08.24) at the 2018 Phillips 66 Nationals … a three-time state champion who owns 10 school records … member of the U.S. National Team … swims for the Aquajets, the same club program that produced former Cal national champion backstroker Rachel Bootsma.