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Rhianna Hensler has announced her commitment to swim at the University of Notre Dame as part of the Irish’s recruiting class of 2020. Hensler is a butterfly specialist from Clarkston, Michigan and a junior at Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy in Pontiac, Michigan. She currently swims for Club Wolverine in the Michigan LSC and will be adding to a large Notre Dame 2020 class already consisting of Allison Kopac, Kallie Chelsvig, Megan Deuel, Peyton D’Emanuele, and Sydney Whiting.
Notably, Hensler claimed the Michigan High School Division 3 (D3) 100 butterfly in both her sophomore and junior years and holds the division record in the event. She won the D3 50 freestyle her sophomore and earned 2nd this past year posting a career best time. She earned her first Winter Juniors cut this past season in the 200 butterfly (2:01.47) and shows strong versatility in the sprint freestyles and backstroke as well as the individual medley.
“I am incredibly honored and excited to announce my verbal commitment to swim and study at the University of Notre Dame!! The combination of amazing academics and athletics in addition to the strong Catholic tradition of the school provide a unique opportunity to grow in my education, swimming, and faith. Endless thanks to God, my family, my coaches, my teammates, and everyone else who helped make this dream come true. Go Irish!”
Recently, Hensler had a huge showing at the 2019 Speedo Sectionals Championships Series meet at College Station, Texas. She earned five best times at the meet placing 13th in the 200 butterfly, 8th in the 100 butterfly, and 23rd in the 200 IM. She has seen significant improvement from her freshman season in the 200 butterfly dropping 15 seconds in the event in the past two years and seeing a six second improvement in the 200 IM in the same span.
Best Times (SCY):
- 50 Freestyle: 23.74 (Futures)
- 100 Freestyle: 52.25
- 200 Freestyle: 1:53.46
- 100 Backstroke: 57.72 (Futures)
- 100 Butterfly: 54.27 (Futures)
- 200 Butterfly: 2:01.47 (Winter Juniors)
- 200 IM: 2:06.11 (Futures)
Among current Irish, Hensler would be the 2nd-fastest 100 butterflyer when she hits campus with the graduation of senior Nikki Smith and junior Erin Sheehan. Rising junior Cailey Grunhard returns a 52.21 from last season and was the only other Notre Dame butterfly appearance at Nationals in the event. Similarly in the 200, Hensler would be 2nd on the current (returning) squad behind freshman Luciana Thomas.
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