Illinois Swimming & Diving Inks Nine Newcomers

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – Fighting Illini swimming and diving head coach Sue Novitsky has received National Letters of Intent from nine student-athletes in the class of 2016. The signees include Kristin Anderson, Mary Margaret Fry, Monica Guyett, Jamie Kolar, Kathryn Kosinski, Emily Martin, Haley Nelson, Lauren LaPeter and Katie Rourke.

Kristin Anderson

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Notes: Three-time Illinois High School State qualifier … NSCA Junior National qualifier … Four-time swimming letter winner … Three-time water polo letter winner … Unbeaten in the MSL Conference in the 50 freestyle race during senior season … 2015 IHSA All-State swimming selection … Finished 13th in the 50 freestyle at the 2015 short course YMCA Nationals … Personal-best 50 freestyle time of :23.63 … Lifetime-best mark of :51.37 in the 100 freestyle.

Coach Novitsky on Anderson: “Kristin is going to be able to have an immediate impact in the sprint freestyle events and on relays. She has continued to improve throughout her high school career and we expect that trend to continue through her college career. Kristin has a great personality, strong values, strong academics and a strong work ethic; those are four big attributes that we look for in our student-athletes. We are excited to add Kristin to the team.”

Mary Margaret Fry

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Notes: NSCA Junior National Qualifier … Four-time swimming letter winner … 2015 SW Ohio Sectional Champion in the 100 freestyle … Named GMC All-Conference … Personal-best 50 freestyle time of :24.19 … Lifetime-best mark of :52.78 in the 100 freestyle.

Coach Novitsky on Fry: “Mary Margaret is coming off a terrific summer and starting strong in her last high school season. We are looking forward to helping her develop and be a big contributor to our sprint group and relays. Mary Margaret has a fantastic personality to go along with her strong academics and athletics. Her family has some history at Illinois, with both of her parents having graduated from the College of Engineering. We feel that Mary Margaret will add to that legacy and be another great representative to wear the orange and blue.”

Monica Guyett

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Notes: US Open qualifier … USA Swimming Junior National qualifier … NCSA Junior National qualifier … Four-year varsity letter winner in swimming and water polo … Four-time UEC All-Conference honoree … IHSA Senior Swimmer of the Year nominee … Member of 2015 IHSA third place finishing team … Personal-best time of 1:49.94 in the 200 freestyle … Lifetime-best of 4:49.24 in the 500 freestyle … Top time of 10:08.89 in the 1000 freestyle … Top mark of 16.38.72 in the 1650 freestyle.

Coach Novitsky on Guyett: “Monica is coming off of a tremendous senior year finishing with an outstanding state meet. She is a strong addition to our freestyle ranks with her great range from the 200 freestyle through the 1650 freestyle. Her times in the 500, 1000 and 1650 rank her in our top-10 all-time. Monica has a fantastic personality and will bring strong academics, strong leadership and a strong work ethic to the team. She is a tough competitor and has the motivation to keep getting better. We are thrilled to add Monica to the Illinois family.”

Jamie Kolar

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Notes: US Open qualifier … USA Swimming Junior National qualifier … NCSA Junior National qualifier … Three-year varsity letter winner in swimming … Three-time CCL All-Conference selection … Member of the 2014 IHSA state champion team … Personal-best 50 backstroke time of :27.01 … Lifetime-best time of :56.11 in the 100 backstroke … Top mark of 2:01.50 in the 200 backstroke.

Coach Novitsky on Kolar: “Jamie is a terrific addition to the team and will be able to come in and help our backstroke events right away. In addition, we expect her to be competing for relay spots. Jamie has competed at the national level and we feel that experience will help her to compete in the Big Ten Conference. She is right off her Olympic Trials cut in the 100 backstroke and we are looking forward to helping her continue to improve and work towards those high level events. Jamie is an outstanding student with a terrific personality and she will be a great representative for the Fighting Illini.”

Kathryn Kosinski

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Notes: NCSA Junior National qualifier … 2015 Region champion in 200 medley relay, 50 freestyle, 100 freestyle, 400 freestyle relay … 2015 Second-Team All-State in four events … Personal-best 50 freestyle time of :23.93 … Lifetime-best 100 freestyle time of :51.49 … Top mark of :26.76 in the 50 butterfly … Top time of :58.64 in the 100 butterfly.

Coach Novitsky on Kosinski: “Kathryn is a fantastic addition to our sprint group. We expect her to be able to come in and immediately help out the team. Kathryn has all the tools to be able to continue to develop and aim to compete at the highest levels. She is a strong student with great character and fits the mold of what we are looking for in our student-athletes.”

Emily Martin

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Notes: USA Swimming Junior National qualifier … NCSA Junior National qualifier … Four-year letter winner … Three-time IHSA State qualifier … Mesa Grand Prix qualifier …  Personal-best 200 freestyle time of 1:53.66 … Lifetime-best time of 4:56.17 in the 500 freestyle … Top mark of 10:03.29 in the 1000 freestyle … Best 1650 freestyle time of 16:38.50 … Personal-best 200 butterfly time of 2:04.96 … Top 400 individual medley time of 4:27.01.

Coach Novitsky on Martin: “We are excited to add Emily to the team; her parents are graduates of Illinois and she has grown up a Fighting Illini fan. The thing that stood out when I watched Emily compete was her passion and fight for each race. Her current times in the 1000 freestyle and 1650 freestyle would rank her in our top-10 all-time. She has gained national level experience and is hungry to keep developing. Emily is a strong student with a terrific personality and has the toughness, motivation and outstanding character that we want in our student-athletes.”

Haley Nelson

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Notes: USA Swimming Junior National qualifier … NCSA Junior National qualifier … Four-time swimming varsity letter winner … Winter Speedo Junior Nationals qualifier … Junior Nationals 800 freestyle relay champion … Finished eighth in the 100 backstroke at the 2015 IHSA State Finals … Member of the Illinois state record-breaking 400 free relay team … Personal-best time of :24.33 in the 50 freestyle … Lifetime best of :52.31 in the 100 freestyle … Top mark of 1:50.83 achieved in the 200 freestyle … 500 freestyle top time of 5:00.07 … Top 100 backstroke time of :55.83 … Personal best of 2:02.33 in the 200 backstroke.

Coach Novitsky on Nelson: “We are excited to add Haley to the team, she will have an immediate impact in our backstroke and freestyle groups and competing for relay spots as well. She is a strong competitor, hard worker and has a good range of events that will help us in many different races. Haley has competed at the national level and gained valuable experience swimming for her high school team that was fighting for the state championship this fall. Haley definitely fits the mold of the type of student-athlete and team player that we want on our team.”

Lauren LaPeter

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Notes: Joins the Illinois squad from St. Petersburg, Florida … Three-year varsity letter winner … Two-time Florida State qualifier … St. Petersburg High School six-dive record holder … Level 5 and 6 gymnastics State champion.

Coach Waters on LaPeter: “Lauren is fairly new to the sport but enjoys challenging herself and has laid a solid foundation of diving fundamentals with Coach Walker in St. Petersburg the past couple years. She is a very aesthetic diver who will only get stronger through her college career. She made a great fit with our Illini team during her visit and I’m looking forward to her joining the Orange and Blue in the fall.”

Katie Rourke

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Notes: Transfer from University of Florida … Two-time AAU National Platform champion … MCAC Diver of the Year her senior year of high school … AAU three-meter Synchronized Diving national champion … U.S. National qualifier … Recipient of Ralph Lynch Youth Appreciation Award for Sportsmanship in 2014.

Coach Waters on Rourke: “I was very surprised when I learned Katie was looking to transfer, but incredibly excited upon hearing that we were her number one choice. Now, I’m just very very happy to be welcoming Katie to our Illini family. She makes a terrific fit with the other divers on the team, has a very strong background in the sport and can compete in all three diving events. I couldn’t ask for more.”

Swimming news courtesy of Illinois 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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