Hanni Leach and Olivia Ontjes Verbally Commit to USC Trojans

Hanni Leach from Missoula, Montana has verbally committed to the USC Trojans.

Hanni Leach from Missoula, Montana has verbally committed to the USC Trojans.

The USC women have made their big statement in women’s recruiting this week, when they added a total of 6 new verbal commitments.

The latest two are Hanni Leach and Olivia Ontjes: two complimentary pieces from outside of the state of California.

Leach is primarily a backstroker from the Missoula Aquatic Club in Montana, and has yards bests of 53.53/1:54.31 in the 100 and 200 yard backstrokes.

She’s the fastest swimmer in Montana history in four events in short course (200 free, 50 back, 100 back, 200 back) and three events in long course (50 back, 100 back, 200 back).

Ontjes, meanwhile, specializes in the short freestyle events (23.29/50.75/1:48.57) and breaststroke events (1:01,89/2:13.62). Her ability to swim both breaststroke events and the three short freestyle events at that level makes her extremely valuable in the NCAA format, where she can contribute to all 5 relays.

“I am super excited to be apart of the Trojan family! I chose to be a part of the team because of the positive and special environment that is unique to USC,” Ontjes said via email on Tuesday. “It offers the best opportunities to achieve my potential in and out of the pool. I want to study biological sciences on the pre-med track. I would like to thank my coach Chad Onken, and my wonderful family and friends for all their support over the years!”

Ontjes swims for the YMCA of the Triangle Area and Raleigh Charter High School, and is the YMCA Long Course National Record breaker in the 50 breaststroke.

These two join a class that is extremely well-rounded. Ontjes is the third sub-1:02 breaststroker in the class, pairing with Riley Scott and Kirsten Vose. She’s also the third top-tier freestyler, pairing with Allie Wooden (who doesn’t have a second stroke as good as Ontjes’, but goes deeper into the distances) and Lily Dubroff.

Elizabeth Stinson is a distance freestyler, and Leach is a backstroker; all the program needs in this class is another sprint butterflier. Most significantly for a program like USC, where the tuition is so high for non-scholarship athletes, they’re getting value out of every swimmer. Every commit so far is a swimmer who will have the potential to have at least a conference-level impact as a freshman.

Leave a Reply

Notify of

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Al Baldy
8 years ago

We have known Olivia Ontjes since she was a baby. She will represent USC well. Not only in the pool, but in the USC community. We are so proud of her and USC is lucky to have recruited her for their program.

8 years ago

USC has a great swimmer and person in Olivia Ontjes.

8 years ago

Big week for Trojan Women recruiting and hopefully more with Arizona native Bilquist and SoCal super sprinter Weitzeil still in the mix. Quite a contrast from class of 2014 when Hannah Weiss was the only recruit. Also, quite a recruiting “reach” with Salo mining talent rich California (Scott, Santoyo and Vose) but going into every other region of the country – West (Leach), South (Ontjes and Stinson) East (Dubroff) and Midwest (Wooden, Wright, Lofquist). And for the men, USC’s two best 2015 recruits are out-of-state (Vissering and Mulcare) with a number of Top 20 recruits still on the board. And USC has done well in the past in attracting international-level talent from Europe and South America and Australia. Let’s have… Read more »

Reply to  SwimPhan
8 years ago

Bilquist is a CAL BEAR!

8 years ago

Wow really awesome class! USC on a roll! Congrats and welcome to the Trojan Family! Will be Best. Four. Years. Ever!

8 years ago

Looks like USC is now 10 recruits deep into the verbal commitments. If I’m correct: Dubroff, Leach, Lofquist, Ontjes, Santoyo, Scott, Stinson, Vose, Wooden, and Wright. USC and Arizona now both have big rosters to add when Fall 2015 rolls around. Congrats to the new Trojan W Swimmers for having made their decisions…

Still waiting to see where Bilquist, Weitzeil and even McCullagh decide to go…

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. 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 »