JMU Signs Five for 2015-16

HARRISONBURG, Va. – The James Madison swimming and diving team has signed five student-athletes to National Letters of Intent for the 2015-16 season, as announced by Head Coach Dane Pedersen on Thursday afternoon.

Jillian Breeger, Erin Dougherty, Logan Haddock, Kelly Long and Madison Oster will all join the Dukes as swimmers beginning this fall. The new Dukes hail from throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, with representatives heading to JMU from Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania.

“We are really excited about this collection of signees,” Pedersen said. “They will all have immediate impacts on our team in their own ways. Obviously the swimming component is important, but we recruit the whole person and not just the athlete. These girls all share the common trait of being ‘JMU’ through and through, not only athletically but academically, socially and in personality as well. We can’t wait to have these young women on campus in the fall and incorporate them into our swimming and diving family.”

Jillian Breeger
5-7, Sprint Freestyle
Menchville HS/Newport News, Va.
Before JMU:
Breeger will add a sprint flavor to the class of 2019, with her expertise in both freestyle and butterfly events. As senior captain of the Menchville Monarchs, she led her team to the Virginia High School State finals in both individual and relay events, while also holding on to her state title in the 200 Medley Relay. Swimming on the Coast Guard Blue Dolphins Club Swim Team since the age of 8, Breeger has added NCSA Junior National Qualifier, team record holder, and a silver medal in the 50 freestyle State Championship to her repertoire. She was named USA Scholastic All-American her junior and senior years in high school and hopes to put her academic prowess to good use as a kinesiology major at JMU.

Coach Pedersen’s Take:
“Jillian is a versatile swimmer who will impact our team from sprinting to fly to individual medley. In addition to her swimming ability, her energy and JMU pride is incredible. Her personality and energy is infectious, and I am looking forward to seeing her incorporate all that positive energy and emotion into our team. She will be a true asset both in and out of the water.”

Erin Dougherty
5’7″, Distance Freestyle
Broadneck Senior HS/Arnold, MD
Before JMU:
Dougherty comes to the JMU swimming and diving team as a distance freestyler. Her athletic and academic achievements include honor roll, Wendy’s High School Heisman School Winner and state finalist. Dougherty was also captain of the cross country and swim team, regional champion and named to the All-County Swim Team. Erin is not the only Dougherty sibling to be entering the Colonial Athletic Association for swimming, as her brother will be starting his freshman year with the Towson Tigers. With aspirations to become an orthodontist, Erin will enroll into the pre-dentistry Biology major at JMU.

Coach Pedersen’s Take:
“Erin provides immediate talent and depth to our distance lane. Erin visited JMU on our junior recruiting day, and the coaches and team immediately liked her. It seems the feeling was mutual and we were thrilled when Erin committed last fall. Erin is going to grow so much here, both as a swimmer and as a person. I can’t wait to see what she accomplishes once she gets here.”

Logan Haddock
5’10”, Backstroke/Freestyle
Chantilly HS/Chantilly, VA
Before JMU:
Haddock will enter JMU as a sophomore after transferring from Tennessee. While competing for the Volunteers her freshman year, she notched career-best times in the 100 backstroke, 200 backstroke, 100 freestyle, and 200 freestyle. During her high school career, Haddock earned many academic and athletic honors, including All-Met Honorable Mention, All-Conference First Team, All-Region First Team, All American (200 medley relay), team captain, athletic honor roll and Most Valuable Swimmer. Along with a strong background in swimming gained from her club team, the Mason Mako Swim Team, Haddock also has a strong genetic background in swimming and college sports. Heather Haddock, her mother, was a member of the University of Tennessee swim team during her college years. Haddock will be pursuing a degree in communications as she finishes her collegiate career at JMU.

Coach Pedersen’s Take:
“Logan has found a new home at JMU, and we couldn’t be happier to have her join our family. After meeting Logan and her family on her unofficial visit, I could tell JMU was the right place for her. She possesses all the traits to be a good fit both with our team and the JMU community. Logan brings a wealth of talent to our backstroke and mid free groups along with a beaming personality.”

Kelly Long
5’11”, Distance Freestyle
Mount de Sales Academy HS/ Bowie, MD
Before JMU:
Long comes to JMU as a freestyle specialist with experience in many championship settings. During her senior year, she took home the title in the 500 freestyle at the National Catholic Championship, in which she has held her high school’s record since her sophomore year. She also graduates with the school record in the 200 freestyle, 400 freestyle relay, and 200 freestyle relay. Long has competed for her club team, Retriever Aquatic Club in Baltimore, earning accolades in every freestyle distance. She has finished high school with multiple academic honors and hopes to pursue a career as an occupational therapist through JMU’s kinesiology program.

Coach Pedersen’s Take:
“We are not 100% sure of the extent of Kelly’s impact, and I mean that in the greatest way possible. Kelly is a versatile freestyler having potential in the full gambit of freestyle distances, and she is just getting started. We are at the tip of the iceberg of her potential and her upcoming four years are going to be exciting. She is really going to thrive in the JMU setting athletically and personally.”

Madison Oster
5’5″, Distance Freestyle
Octorara Area HS/Cochranville, PA
Before JMU:
Oster joins the JMU swimming and diving team with a wealth of experience in the sport. Swimming since the age of 7, Madison has found her expertise in mid-distance freestyle events. Competing for her high school team, the Octorara Area Braves, and her club team, the Delaware Swim Team, she has appeared in many championship meets. As a senior, she produced top times for the state of Pennsylvania at the State Championships in both the 500 freestyle and 200 freestyle. She was also named to the honor roll and is a member of National Honor Society.

Coach Pedersen’s Take:
“Madison bolsters our distance lane and will make an immediate impact in all of our distance free events. Madison fell in love with JMU early on and we with her. We always use the term ‘good mutual fit’ in the recruiting process and nothing could be truer with Madison. And hey, with a name like Madison was there really any doubt if she belonged here? I am excited to see her improve and help push our distance group to a new level.”


Swimming news courtesy of James Madison University Swimming.

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About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona and the University of Florida. While her college swimming career left a bit to be desired, her Snapchat chin selfies and hot takes on Twitter do not disappoint. She is now coaching for Loggerhead Aquatics in her hometown …

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