Michigan State Swimming & Diving Signs 23 for 2014-2015 Season

Michigan State swimming and diving head coach Matt Gianiodis has announced the program’s incoming recruiting class. Below is a look at the student-athletes that will be joining the Spartans for the 2014-15 season.


Alex Duffy (Bartlett, Ill.) Six-time age group champion . . . Illinois High School Association state qualifier . . . finished in the top 24 at the 2013 Summer NCSA Junior Nationals . . . owns the St. Charles Swim Team record in the 200 backstroke. Best times: 200 Free: 1:42.01 100 Back: 51.95 200 Back: 1:51.65 100 Fly: 51.37 200 Fly: 1:51.53 200 IM: 1:55.74 400 IM: 4:03.18 On why he chose MSU: “I chose MSU because I loved the atmosphere. They have a great balance of academics and swimming. The team gets along great and is dedicated to becoming great. The campus is beautiful, and I felt like I belonged the minute I arrived in East Lansing!”

Tal Hanani (Bet Leham Hagilit, Israel): Champion in the 200 IM and runner-up in the 400 IM at the 2013 Maccabiah Games . . . fourth-place finisher at the 2011 European Junior Championships in the 200 IM. Best times: 200 IM: 2:03.14 LCM 400 IM: 4:25.94 LCM 100 Breast: 1:02.9 SCM 100 Free: 50.9 SCM On why he chose MSU: “I chose to study at MSU because of the combination of high-level studies and the great swimming program.”

Alexandr Lyle Edward Jirgens (Otsego, Mich.): Michigan Division 3 state champion in the 100 freestyle as a senior in 2014 . . . 11-time conference champion . . . 10-time all-state . . . Academic All-State . . . also earned all-state honors in track . . . three-year honor roll student. Best times: 50 Free: 21.36 100 Free: 46.42 200 Free: 1:44.23 On why he chose MSU: “I chose MSU because I thought it gave me the best opportunity to be a successful swimmer and student. In addition, my love for the school ever since I was a child, along with it being such a prestigious university, made my choice very easy.”

Connor Lamb (Naperville, Ill.): Fifth-place finish in 200 IM at Illinois High School State Championships . . . USA Swimming Junior National competitor. Best times: 200 Free: 1:43.74 500 Free: 4:38.18 200 Back: 1:52.80 200 Breast: 2:06.25 200 IM: 1:51.03 400 IM: 4:03.18 On why he chose MSU: “I chose MSU because of its great reputation academically and athletically. MSU seems like a great fit for me and has a team that truly shares a bond that cannot be broken.”

Nick Leshok (Farmington Hills, Mich.): Michigan Division 2 state champion in the 100 freestyle as a senior in 2014 . . . became the first swimmer from North Farmington High School in win an individual state title since 1998 . . . also placed second in the 50 freestyle at the state championship meet . . . 13-time all-state . . . High School All-American . . . seventh-place finish at 2014 YMCA Short Course Nationals 100 Breast . . . five-time varsity record holder at North Farmington High School. Best times: 50 Free: 20.82 100 Free: 45.91 200 Free: 1:40.98 100 Breast: 56.53 200 IM: 1:53.00 On why he chose MSU: “I loved how the team felt like a family. They are really close and get along very well. In the water, I like that I’m in a position to compete for relay and Big Ten spots. MSU also has a very good engineering program that will help prepare me for the future. East Lansing is an amazing college town with exciting events going on, and I have been a Michigan State fan for my whole life. MSU feels like home for me.”

Lachie Mcleish (Melbourne, Australia): Represented Australia at the 2013 Australian Youth Olympic Festival, earning a bronze medal in the 200 backstroke . . . national medalist in the 50, 100, 200 freestyle and backstroke . . . national medalist in 50 and 100 butterfly . . . multiple high school and club record holder. Best times: 50 Free: 23.74 LCM 100 Free: 51.54 LCM 200 Free: 1:51.39 LCM 200 Back: 1:59.01 SCM On why he chose MSU: “Upon my decision to enter the college system, the swimming and diving coaching staff made me feel extremely welcome. I know that I will be able to grow and develop under the guidance of the MSU staff. Additionally, MSU’s unparalleled educational opportunities made it an easy choice in the end!”

Mitch Strahlman (Chicago, Ill.): Two-time state finalist . . . four-time Illinois High School state qualifier . . . ranked in the top-10 percent academically in high school class. Best times: 200 Breast: 2:06.85 500 Free: 4:36.04 1650 Free: 15:48.45 200 Fly: 1:50.90 200 IM: 1:54.31 400 IM: 4:01.40 On why he chose MSU: “I chose Michigan State because of the well regarded supply chain management program, as well as the family atmosphere of the swim team.”

Joe Szczupakiewicz (Muskego, Wis.): Back-to-back Wisconsin Division I state champion in 500 Free . . . seven-time all-state . . . state qualifier and varsity letterwinner all four years . . . team captain as a senior . . . three-time scholastic All-American . . . six-time Wisconsin state record holder . . . four-time competitor at USA Swimming Open Water Nationals . . . placed 19th at 2013 Open Water Nationals 5K and 42nd at 2014 Open Water Nationals 10K. Best times: 200 Free: 1:42.02 500 Free: 4:29.03 1000 Free: 9:21.31 1650 Free: 15:42.05 5K: 56:21:35 10K: 2:01:19.37 On why he chose MSU: “I chose Michigan State because of the outstanding opportunities available both academically and athletically in the Big Ten, along with great coaches, team chemistry and school pride.”

Alex Trompke (Eagle, Idaho): USA Swimming Scholastic All-American . . . YMCA Swimming All-American . . . four-time all-conference selection and team MVP . . . placed in the top three at the Idaho State Swimming Championship four years in a row . . . seven-time district champion . . . holds every swimming record at Rocky Mountain High School and 21 records at Boise Y Swim Team . . . team captain for both Rocky Mountain and Boise Y Swim Teams . . . student body president at Rocky Mountain High . . . assistant coach for Special Olympics Swim Team . . . winner of the Presidents Volunteer Service Award and the YMCA Civic Engagement Award. Best times: 50 Free: 21.14 100 Back: 49.85 200 Back: 1:49.70 100 Fly: 49.25 200 IM: 1:53.27 On why he chose MSU: “I chose Michigan State for its exceptional reputation academically, as well as its swimming program. When I visited MSU, I really connected with the coaching staff and the swimmers on the team. I knew I found where I was supposed to be, and I feel it’s the best place that I can grow and develop at, both as a swimmer and a student. I am really excited to be a Spartan!”


Mia Baric (Chur, Switzerland): Silver medalist in the 200 IM at 2013 Swiss Nationals . . . also a bronze medalist in the 100 breast, 200 breast, and 400 IM . . . lives in Switzerland, but originally from Croatia. Best times: 100 Breast: 1:13.59 (LC) 200 Breast: 2:36.69 (LC) 200 IM: 2:23.22 (LC) 400 IM: 5:02.75 (LC) On why she chose MSU: “I chose MSU because it was recommended to me, and the positive impression I got from research and interacting with the coaches online.”

Chanel Bonin (Farmington Hills, Mich.): Five-time All-American . . . 15-time all-state . . . Michigan Division 1 state-record holder in the 100 backstroke . . . 2014 Michigan Division 1 state champion in the 100 backstroke (54.16). Best times: 100 Free: 52.30 100 Back: 54.16 200 Back: 2:01.37 100 Fly: 55.04 On why she chose MSU: “I chose MSU because of the pride in people’s eyes, the knowledge in people’s minds, and the passion in people’s hearts that WAS MSU! It truly is the Spartan Family. The education is outstanding, and the campus is gorgeous.”

Racheal Bukowski (Crown Point, Ind.): Multiple All-American . . . four-time individual state finalist . . . 10-time state medalist . . . multiple school, conference, and sectional record holder. Best times: 50 Free: 23.58 100 Free: 51.61 200 Free: 1:57.96 On why she chose MSU: “I chose MSU because of the untouchable mix of athletics and academics. The coaching staff and team fit my personality perfectly. I love the camaraderie of the Big Ten. The facilities, Smith Center, and perks student-athletes get made this the perfect fit for me.”

Kara Dean (Midland, Mich.): Graduated Summa Cum Laude from H.H. Dow High School . . . MSU Distinguished Freshman Scholarship Recipient . . . three-year all-state honoree. Best times: 100 Free: 53.43 200 Free: 1:55.43 500 Free: 5:07.24 200 IM: 2:08.20 400 IM: 4:34.23 On why she chose MSU: “I chose MSU because of the excellent engineering program, the research opportunities, the swim team atmosphere, and the wonderful experiences that I know previous swimmers and family members have had there.”

Alysse Fischer (Birmingham, Mich.): Four-year varsity swimmer . . . four-year state qualifier . . . Birmingham Groves School record holder in 500 Free . . . junior national qualifier in 2012 and 2013. Best times: 200 Free: 1:54.01 500 Free: 5:03.94 1000 Free: 10:25.60 100 Back: 57.88 200 Back: 2:06.19 On why she chose MSU: “I chose MSU because I loved the atmosphere. The girls are great, the coaches are great, and so is the school. I know it will be a perfect fit, and I’m looking forward to being a part of the Spartan Family for the next four years. GO GREEN!”

Britt Forker (Laguna Niguel, Calif.): Finalist at Oklahoma Elite Pro-Am Championships . . . California Division I CIF state qualifier . . . high school team captain . . . top-three conference finisher in both 100 fly and 200 IM . . . four-time Academic Honor Roll. Best times: 100 Fly: 1:00.32 500 Free: 5:15.04 1000 Free: 10:45.45 1650 Free: 17:59.55 200 IM: 2:12.48 On why she chose MSU: “I chose Michigan State because I felt at home on my recruiting trip. I loved the team and how they are all one big family. The coaching staff is phenomenal, and the academics are stellar. I fell in love with the campus and how spirited the school is. I knew MSU was the place for me!”

Rebecca Hannon (Long Grove, Ill.): USA Junior Nationals qualifier in 500 freestyle and 1000 freestyle . . . second-place finisher in the 1000 free at Illinois Senior State Meet . . . National Honor Society member. Best times: 200 Free: 1:54.27 500 Free: 4:59.94 1000 Free: 10:13.28 1650 Free: 17:23.47 On why she chose MSU: “I chose MSU because it had a great balance of academics and sports. I wanted a school that had a lot of spirit and pride, so when I walked around campus I could see all the Green and White.”

Emma Hollowell (Alpharetta, Ga.): Four-time varsity letterwinner at Johns Creek High School . . . four-time scholar-athlete. Best times: 200 Free: 1:56.23 500 Free: 5:08.88 200 Back: 2:08.19 On why she chose MSU: “I am very excited to be part of the Spartan Swim Team in the fall! I chose MSU because it has been my dream school since I was little. I am excited to follow in my Dad’s footsteps at MSU and to be able to swim as a Spartan.”

Haley Kornburger (Oxford, Mich.): Graduated Summa Cum Laude from Oxford High School . . . three-time all-state . . . 2013 Michigan State Champion in 100 butterfly at USA Swimming Open SCY State Championships . . . fourth-place finisher at 2013 Michigan Division 1 State Championships in the 200 Freestyle . . . sixth-place finisher at 2013 Michigan Division 1 State Championships in 100 butterfly . . . team-record holder for all Individual and relay events . . . senior captain and Team MVP. Best times: 100 Free: 52.78 200 Free: 1:52.06 500 Free: 5:06.30 100 Fly: 56.99 200 Fly: 2:06.88 On why she chose MSU: “I felt an immediate connection with the university, and have an enormous amount of pride to be selected as a Spartan student-athlete. I value the Big Ten education, Smith Center resources, and being part of the MSU Family.”

Macy Moore (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.): Junior National qualifier . . . Michigan High School state finalist. Best times: 50 Free: 24.07 100 Free: 53.58 200 Free: 1:56.96 100 Back: 59.39 On why she chose MSU: “I chose MSU because I loved how the team was a family away from home, and that is exactly what I need.”

Cassandra Morse (Grosse Pointe, Mich.): Four-year all-state honoree . . . two-time All-American (400 free relay) . . . named team MVP at Mac Red Conference Meet . . . part of Grosse Pointe South’s top-eight 400 freestyle relay at the 2013 Division 2 Michigan High School State Championships . . . high school team captain. Best times: 50 Free: 24.84 100 Free: 53.74 200 Free: 1:57.09 On why she chose MSU: “I chose Michigan State University because of how incredibly spirited the school is and how loyal the alumni are to their school. Before my recruiting trip I did some research and found that they have a great nursing college. During my trip, I realized that I loved the coaches and team, and I knew it was my school!”

Madison Nowak (Wyckoff, N.J.): All-county champion in the 200 medley relay and 100 freestyle . . . league champion in 100 back and 100 freestyle . . . competed for Wyckoff YMCA at Short Course and Long Course YMCA Nationals. Best times: 50 Free: 24.77 100 Free: 54.37 100 Back: 58.64 200 Back: 2:08.03 On why she chose MSU: “After visiting Michigan State, I knew right away that it was the place I wanted to go for the next four years. It’s a great school with a great swimming program. I was drawn to swimming for MSU because of the competitive yet grounded nature of the swim team. The big campus and school spirit really made me know that swimming for Michigan State was the best decision.”

Beatrix Panitz (Armonk, N.Y.): Three-time New York state section 1 individual champion . . . section 400 free relay record holder . . . three-time New York state high school championship qualifier . . . fourth-place finisher at New York state high school championships in 400 free relay . . . NCSA Junior National qualifier in eight events. Best times: 100 Free: 52.58 200 Free: 1:53.87 500 Free: 5:02.65 200 Back: 2:05.00 100 Breast: 1:04.82 200 Breast: 2:22.47 200 IM: 2:05.64 400 IM: 4:28.26 On why she chose MSU: “I chose Michigan State because of how comfortable I felt the first time I stepped on campus. There is amazing camaraderie within the team, and the coaching staff is extremely supportive.”

Anna Stephens (East Grand Rapids, Mich.): Three-time Michigan Division 2 individual state champion (100 breast twice, 200 IM once) . . . captain of high school swim team . . . first-team all-area all four Years in high school . . . named conference athlete of the year . . . Academic All-American. Best times: 100 Breast: 1:05.05 200 Breast: 2:25.80 200 IM: 2:08.14 On why she chose MSU: “I chose MSU because of the proximity to home, and my love of the Spartan community and family.”

College Swimming News courtesy of Michigan State Swimming and Diving.

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Aunty Rita Revell from Australia

Best Wishes & Lots of Love to Cassandra. Goodonya.


I heard Lachlan McLeish is quite the stud muffin

About Gold Medal Mel Stewart

Gold Medal Mel Stewart

MEL STEWART Jr., aka Gold Medal Mel, won three Olympic medals at the 1992 Olympic Games. Mel's best event was the 200 butterfly. He is a former World, American, and NCAA Record holder in the 200 butterfly. As a writer/producer and sports columnist, Mel has contributed to Yahoo Sports, Universal Sports, …

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