Louisville Announces 8 Signees for Class of 2020

The University of Louisville women’s swimming and diving program announced the signing of eight swimmers and two divers for the class of 2020. The signees include Avery Braunecker, Casey Fanz, Molly Fears, Maggie Jahns, Emily LeClair, Grace Oglesby, Michaela Sliney, Sofie Underdahl, Lainey Visscher and Hannah Whiteley.
“We are very excited about this class,” said head coach Arthur Albiero, “Certainly for their abilities in the pool, but also because of simply who they are as young ladies. Our entire staff got to know each and every one of them throughout the recruiting process and their values and aspirations align very well with those of our program. From an athletic view, this is a very well rounded group that will cover many different areas and will greatly impact our program as we continue to grow in the ACC. It’s also a group that we expect to come in and help us achieve our national goals as well.”
Avery Braunecker – Effingham, IL – Effingham High School
Best Times:
50 FR: 22.81
100 FR: 49.83
Braunecker joins the Cardinals from Effingham, Ill. where she attends Effingham High School and represents the Academy Bullets at club meets. She is a three-time IHSA state champion and four-time runner-up. Braunecker is an Olympic Trial qualifier in the 50-Free. Academically, she is a 3-time Academic All-American, a member of the National Honor Society and is a member of Effingham H.S. academic Hall of Fame.
Avery on why she chose Louisville
“No matter where else I went, I always compared it back to Louisville. I felt like I was already part of a family, one that would help me grow as a person, an athlete, a student, and in my faith.”
Coach Albiero on Avery
“We are very excited to welcome Avery as we believe she has only scratched the surface of her potential.”
Casey Fanz – Powhatan, VA – Powhatan High School
Best Times:
50 FR: 22.58
100 FR: 50.56
100 BK: 55.73
Fanz will come to Louisville from ACC country in Powhatan, Vir. where she now attends Powhatan High School and swims for the Poseidon Swimming. She is an Olympic Trials Qualifier in the 50 & 100 Free and was a member of the NCSA All-American Team that traveled and competed in Ireland after winning the 50 free at the 2014 NCSA Nationals. Fanz is the captain of the Poseidon Senior Women’s team and holds 17 club records. She is the 4-time defending state champion in the 50 free having won consecutive state titles and has been named twice to the First Team All-Metro Richmond Times Dispatch. Academically, Fanz is a 2-time Scholastic All-American, a member of NEHS, on the Honor Roll and participates as a Student Ambassador at PHS. She is also the president of the FCA group at PHS and was a keynote speaker at the 2015 VHSL Leadership Conference.
Casey on why she chose Louisville
“I chose Louisville because I will be able to grow as a student and an athlete there. Coach Albiero and his staff are the head of a strong family and are committed to excellence in and out of the pool. I can’t wait to be a part of the Cardinal family and contribute to the team in any way that I can!”
Coach Albiero on Casey
“We were very impressed with Casey’s personality the first time we met her when she first visited Louisville. She comes from a great club background and will bring great speed and spark to our program. Not only has she been successful short course, but she has also already had international experience long course representing Team USA in Ireland.”
Molly Fears – Plainfield, IN – Plainfield High School
Fears will join the diving contingent for the Cardinals from Plainfield, Ind. where she attends Plainfield High School. She is the captain of the PHS diving team and is 3 time state qualifier as well as a zone qualifier. Academically, Fears has maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout high school, is a member of NHS and a part of the athletic leadership council.
Molly on why she chose Louisville
“I chose U of L because of the awesome team comradery. Not having a separation between swimming and diving is everything I wanted in a college and I found it here. Also, the coaching staff was very welcoming and made my visit great. And of course the great academics and the education the school provides. ”
Coach KZ on Molly
“Molly is another talented, working hard and determined athlete. She will be a great addition for the team.”

Maggie Jahns – Fishers, IN – Fishers High School
Best Times:
200 IM: 2:02.66
400 IM: 4:20.29
200 BK: 2:02.66
1650 FR: 16:47.39
Jahns continues the Indiana connection for the Cardinals coming from Fishers, Ind. where she attends Fishers High School and competes for FAST in club. She is a junior and senior national qualifier, 3-time NCSA finalist, 2-time senior state champion a 2-time Team Indiana Select Camp member and USA Swimming Zone Select Camp qualifier. Jahns was named All-State and a Scholastic All-American and is a team captain this season. She also received the Tiger Claw Award for hardest worker in 2015. In the classroom, Jahns is a member of NHS and Honor Roll.
Maggie on why she chose Louisville
“”I chose the University of Louisville because I believe that it is the best place for me to achieve both my academic and swimming dreams. I fell in love with the team atmosphere as well as the coaching staff and their commitment to the sport. I can’t wait to be a part of it! Go Cards!”
Coach Albiero on Maggie
“Maggie will bring great versatility and depth to our program. Her determined work ethic fits perfectly with our ‘Humble and Hungry’ approach.”


Emily Leclair – Louisville, KY – Sacred Heart Academy
Best Times:
100 BK: 55.67
200 BK: 2:01.34
Leclair stays close to home as she joins the Cardinals from right here in Louisville where she attends Sacred Heart Academy and competes for Cardinal Aquatics. She is the second Leclair in two years to join UofL as older sister Ashley is currently a sophomore on the team. Emily has competed and qualified for both Winter Nationals and NCSA’s and has won 3 straight State Championships with Sacred Heart Academy. She is a co-captain for the Valkyries and a first-team Scholastic All-American. Emily has excelled in the classroom and is on the Principal’s List and Honor Roll at SHA.
Emily on why she chose Louisville
“I chose the University of Louisville because of the family atmosphere and the dedicated coaching staff. While on my official visit, I immediately felt at home with this team. They were warm and welcoming and always had me laughing. It was exciting to be around their enthusiasm for the sport and their support of each other. Being from the Louisville area, it has been exciting to watch where the coaching staff has taken this team through the years and I am excited to begin working them. I know that with their guidance and expertise, I will achieve my goals and reach new heights as a collegiate swimmer. I am so blessed to have this opportunity and so incredibly excited to become a Louisville Cardinal.”

Coach Albiero on Emily
“We have been watching Emily swim for a long time here in the Louisville area and we believe that her best performances are in front of her. She has the personality to be a great asset to our team.”
Grace Oglesby – Goshen, KY – North Oldham High School
Best Times:
100 FL: 51.75
200 FL: 1:56.32
50 FR: 22.92
Oglesby picked the hometown Cardinals as she is from nearby Goshen, Ky. where she attends North Oldham High School and competes for Cardinal Aquatics. Oglesby is one of the top recruits in the country after narrowly missing the National Public (and overall) High School Record in the 100 Fly last spring. In 2015 alone, she was named the Kentucky High School Most Outstanding Competitor after winning both the 100 Fly and 50 Free and setting new Kentucky State records in both events. She is a five-time All-American and an 18&U finalist at the Phillips 66 National Championships. Outside of the pool, Oglesby is a two-time Scholastic All-American, a member of NAHS and Beta Club and serves on the NOHS Women’s Leadership Board and as a NOHS Mustang Mentor.
Grace on why she chose Louisville
“Louisville is the best program for me because of the great coaches, awesome teammates, excellent academics and the best FCA program. Coaches Arthur, Chris, Vlad, Stephanie and Kameron have proven they are running one of the best programs in the country and I can’t wait to be a part of it. GO CARDS!”
Coach Albiero on Grace
“Grace I think is a perfect fit for our program and vice versa. Her development over the past few years has been very impressive. We are excited to help her continue to progress.”


Michaela Sliney – Bradford, MA – Haverhill High School
Sliney will leave New England to come to Louisville from Bradford, Mass. where she attends Haverhill High School. She is the 2015 Division 1 State Champion on 1-meter during which she broke the state record. She holds two school records and is a finalist at the AAU Nationals. In addition to diving, Sliney has also competed in indoor and outdoor track and is a MA State Champion in the Pentathlon. Academically, she is a member of NHS, was named an All-Scholastic selection by the Boston Globe, is the secretary of the Interact club and a member of the Model UN Club
Michaela on why she chose Louisville
“I chose the University of Louisville because it checked everything on my college wish list. It has a world class athletics program, strong academics, and an outstanding urban atmosphere. When I walked on campus I immediately felt like I was home. The school is going to bring the best out of me as an athlete and student.”
Coach KZ on Michaela
“Michaela is a strong, talented athlete. She won the HS State Championships in Massachusetts last year. I believe with her great attitude and competitiveness for both athletics and academics and she will have a huge impact for the team and in her diving career.”


Sofie Underdahl – Allen, TX – Allen High School
Best Times:
200 BR: 2:34.87 LCM
200 BK: 2:00.76
100 BK: 55.89
Underdahl will head east to the Ville from Allen, Tex. where she attends Allen High School and competes for Texas Ford Aquatics. She is an Olympic Trials qualifier in the 200 Breast, a Texas 6A All-State First and Second Team selection and the 2015 District Swimmer of the Meet. Underdahl is the captain of the AHS swim team for the second consecutive year and is 2014-15 Scholastic All-American.
Sofie on why she chose Louisville
“I had heard great things about the Louisville swim program and when I visited it was a perfect fit for me both academically and athletically. The coaches and swimmers are awesome and I can’t wait to be a Cardinal!”
Coach Albiero on Sofie
“Sofie had a breakthrough summer and caught our attention with her progression. She’s shown the ability to make adjustments and that will serve her well in the collegiate environment.”


Lainey Visscher – Damascus, OR – Visscher 7 Home School
Best Times:
100 FR: 49.29
100 BK: 54.10
200 BK: 1:57.79
Visscher joins the Cardinals from the west coast as she lives in Damascus, Ore. and is home schooled and competes for Oregon City Swim Team. She is an Olympic Trials qualifier in the 100 back and a two-time high school All-American. Visscher owns two Oregon state records, is a 2015 Oregon State Champion in the 100 back and was the 2015 Women’s High Point at Senior Sectionals in Federal Way, Wash.
Lainey on why she chose Louisville
“After evaluating many universities around the nation, the University of Louisville became my school of choice!  Academically, it had all the opportunities that I desired.  But the coaching staff, Arthur and assistants, were the key draw that led me to visit. Then it was the girls on the team that made my decision. The girls were so welcoming, kind and fun; it just felt so much like home. At the end of my official visit, I was so sad because I would honestly miss them and I only had known them for two days. ”
Coach Albiero on Lainey
“We are very excited about Lainey joining our program as we believe that she has many of the intangibles to be successful as an athlete, a student and as a young lady here at UofL.”


Hannah Whiteley – Springboro, OH – Springboro High School
Best Times:
100 BK: 52.92
200 BK: 1:57.49
Whiteley will cross the Ohio River to join the Cardinals from Springboro, Ohio where she attends Springboro High School and competes for the Mason Manta Rays. She is a two-time Olympic Trials qualifier, a 9-time All-American and represented Team USA at the Irish Open where she won the 50 and 100 back. Whiteley is the reigning Ohio State Champion and state record holder in the 100 Back and was named the 2015 OHSAA Outstanding Female Performer and the GWOC Athlete of the Year. She is a three-time NCSA champion and a three-time Academic All-American.
Hannah on why she chose Louisville
“The University of Louisville is a perfect fit for me both academically and athletically. I felt a genuine friendliness amongst the swimmers and I loved the energy level of the coaching staff.”
Coach Albiero on Hannah
“Hannah’s recent improvement curve in short course yards is very exciting. She has developed her underwaters well which is something we greatly value and feel like we can continue to help her improve. In addition to yards swimming, she will also bring the element of international swimming experience in long course meters after representing the U.S. in Ireland last spring which is a very significant part our program.”

Swimming news courtesy of Louisville Swimming & Diving.

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6 years ago

what is ‘spring free’?

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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