Courtesy: LIU Brooklyn Athletics
BROOKLYN, N.Y. — LIU Brooklyn women’s swimming head coach Matt Donovan announced the six new student-athletes who joined the Blackbirds in downtown Brooklyn for this coming season. Along with the six new swimmers, Donovan has added Helina Simsek to the staff as the team’s assistant coach.
Simsek comes to downtown Brooklyn after a swimming career at Division II Limestone College, where she competed for three seasons. Simsek was a distance swimmer, and held the school record in the 200 butterfly. A native of Germany, she also coached high school students on the swim team in Recklinghausen, Germany.
Six newcomers will join the 11 upperclassmen Donovan has returning.
“We could not be more excited about this incoming class,” said Donovan. “So much so that we have dubbed them ‘The Super Six.’ They are everything that we need. They will be amazing for us in the pool and in the classroom, but most important of all, these are six of the kindest young women anyone could hope to ever meet. I cannot wait to work with each of them. Our university is very lucky to have them”.
Lydia Amon | Missoula, Montana | Hellgate
A sprint specialist at Hellgate and the Missoula Aquatic Club, which is coached by Olympian and former world record holder, David Berkoff, Amon will bolster the team individually and in relays. She is a two-time Montana state high school champion and swam on a 400 freestyle relay that earned All-America consideration and beat the cut time for Junior Nationals.
Mackenzie Burnett | Tecumseh, Ontario | St. Anne
A four-time Ontario Provincial champion and Time Eastern Canadian Open Qualifier, while swimming for Windsor Aquatic Club, Burnett will add depth in backstroke events and medley relays. Burnett qualified twice for Junior National Championships in Canada and won a silver medal when she represented Canada at the International Children’s Games in 2015.
Chelsie Denton | Atlanta, Georgia | Woodward Academy
A two-time sectional qualifier and three time Georgia State qualifier, Denton finished her pre-NCAA club career with the Douglas County Stingrays. Denton has a solid background in mid-distance freestyle and backstroke, and will compete in both disciplines at 100 and 200 distances.
Jacqueline Grabowski | Brey, Germany | Karthause Gymnasium
The daughter of a pair of swim coaches, Grabowski has spent her entire career swimming for SG EWR Rheinhessen Mainz in Germany. A backstroke and butterfly specialist, she has been a Rhineland-Palatinate state champion in each of her primary events every year since 2015. She also swam at the German National Championships in 2017.
Macie Madden | Shaker Heights, Ohio | Shaker Heights
Madden was a four-time all-district swimmer in Shaker Heights, a two-time team captain and Greater Cleveland conference award winner. She earned all-state academic honors her senior year. Madden also swam extensively for the Shaker Sharks. A distance specialist, she will contribute immediately for the Blackbirds’ efforts in the 200 and 500 freestyle.
Amanda San Juan | Jersey City, N.J. | Hudson County Prep
San Juan is listed on several New Jersey swimming top ten all-time lists, as she swam for national power Scarlet Aquatic Club. Her best time in the 1650 freestyle of 17:22.73 would have placed her fourth in the 2018 NEC Championships. She has swam for USA Junior Nationals and the TYR Pro series, and will focus on the 200 butterfly and distance freestyle events at LIU.