Milligan University Women Add Nine Newcomers For 2022-23 Season

by SwimSwam 0

August 02nd, 2022 College, College Recruiting, NAIA

Courtesy: Milligan Athletics

MILLIGAN, Tenn. (July 27, 2022) – Milligan University swim coach Spencer Scarth announced the addition of 9 new women who will join his program as commits for the upcoming 2022-2023 season.

Scarth’s squad graduated just three women this past year, but their impact will be missed starting with two-time CoSIDA Academic All-American and most decorated swimmer in program history, Maggie Blazo. Milligan also graduated school record holder Bre Coley and AAC finalist Marlie Henegar. This new group will look to quickly fill those gaps and build off last year’s AAC championship, the first in program history and the team’s top finish at the NAIA National Championships (5th).

“This is the deepest talent pool we have ever had here,” said Scarth. “It’s very challenging to find a weak spot with the group we have coming in, and all of them have top-eight potential at conference in multiple events. More importantly, this is an incredibly well-rounded group outside of the pool that will continue to build off of our well established foundation for this team for years to come. I could not be happier for the opportunity to work with each and every one of them and I’m very excited to see where this group helps lead us in the future.”

Below is the full list of Scarth’s class for the upcoming swim season.

Mary Grace Bitting | Mecklenberg Swim Association | Waxhaw, NC

“MG is extremely versatile and is going to be able to help us in a lot of different areas, with scoring potential at nationals,” said Scarth. “She’s also a great fit for our school, and will be joining one of her club teammates from MSA, Michael Cellucci.”

Top Events: 200 Free (1:56.81) 200 IM (2:10.82) 200 Fly (2:09.03)
Why Milligan: “I was welcomed warmly upon visiting and felt as if I was already at home. I could not have done this without the guidance of God and the support of my family, teammates, coaches, and friends. Go Buffs!”

Apolina Burton | York and York County YMCA | Camp Hill, PA

“Apple had a bit of a rough spring, but has bounced back since then and we are looking forward to what she’ll be bringing to our team,” said Scarth. “She knew pretty early on in the process that she wanted to be here, and will be bringing national scoring potential in a few areas that we still need some depth in.”

Top Events: 400 IM (5:17.76 L) 500 Free (5:13.07) 200 Free (1:58.41)
Why Milligan: “I chose Milligan because when I came to campus, I had already felt so at home and felt like I was in the perfect place for me. Coach Scarth and the other swimmers were super nice and welcoming. Thank God for small blessings always. Go Buffs!”

Zoey Delaney | Pocono Family YMCA | East Stroudsburg, PA

“Another Pennsylvania connection, Zoey knew the moment she visited campus that she wanted to be here and we’re very excited to add her enthusiasm and energy,” said Scarth. “She can swim in a variety of different events, and will provide great depth for our back and IM groups.”

Top Events: 100 Back (1:02.97) 200 IM (2:20.94) 1650 Free (19:28.08)
Why Milligan: “I fell in love with the team, the coaches, and the school as soon as I arrived on campus and can’t wait to be a part of this great team. Go Buffs!”

Kaelin Forscutt | University of Manitoba Swim Club | Winnipeg, Manitoba, Can

“Although she is a very good swimmer already, Kaelin has an incredible amount of potential to improve,” said Scarth. “We’ll need to work on some technique work, but given her height and athleticism, she has the potential to drop some serious time this year. She, and her family, are also very strong in their faith, and we look forward to adding that into our team.”

Top Events: 50 Free (29.27 L) 100 Free (1:03.88 L) 200 Free (2:19.63)
Why Milligan: “I chose Milligan because it’s a place where I can grow in my faith, pursue an academic career and continue my passion for swimming. I am very excited about the work that Coach Scarth is doing at Milligan and I can’t wait to be a part of the team!”

Alex Hayashi | Patriot Aquatic Club | Barrington, IL

“Alex is the first Jeanes Scholar in our program’s history, so in some ways that speaks for itself,” said Scarth. “We are very proud of her for accomplishing that, and she is an outstanding fit for Milligan. Alex is right on the edge of qualifying for nationals, and it will be a lot of fun adding her to our strong fly group this year.”

Why Milligan: “A liberal arts education, especially within a Christian community, is something that I have always valued. I fell in love with Milligan and excited for the opportunity grow academically, spiritually and athletically.”

Sammy MacPherson | Riverside Aquatics Association | Corona, CA

“Sammy will be the third MacPherson to come to Milligan, so we have a pretty good idea of what we are getting with her and couldn’t be happier,” said Scarth. “She, like her sister Gabby, is pretty versatile, but will add national scoring abilities in back and fly, along with mid-distance free.

Top Events: 200 Back (2:10.10) 100 Fly (59.04) 500 Free (5:12.98)
Why Milligan: “I am so excited to announce my commitment to study and swim at Milligan! I would like to thank my family, coaches and friends for helping me get to where I am today.”

Virginia Rainer | TNT Swimming | Fairhope, AL

“Virginia has been incredibly consistent in improving every year, which is not something you see from every prospective recruit,” said Scarth. “We are really looking forward to continuing that trend for her as she will be adding multiple conference scoring abilities to our team. She’s also going to be a great asset to our growing nursing major contingent on our team.”

Top Events: 200 Free (2:03.21) 100 Breast (1:11.99) 50 Free (26.57)
Why Milligan: “I chose Milligan because of their amazing swim team and swim coach, along with their outstanding nursing program and their nurturing Christian environment. Go Buffs!”

Riley Renaud | Riverside Aquatics Association | Winchester, CA

“Riley is going to be a game changer in a number of different events, with top-eight national scoring abilities,” said Scarth. “She’ll be joining her teammates Gabby and Sammy MacPherson here, and we’re excited to continue bringing in strong student-athletes from Southern California. This will almost feel like home for her!”

Top Events: 1650 Free (17:29.28) 500 Free (5:07.28) 100 Fly (58.77)
Why Milligan: “It felt like the right fit for me, go Buffs!”


Samantha van Vuure | Indian River Community College | Willemstad, Curaçao

“Sammy will bring a lot of needed experience to our somewhat younger-heavy team,” said Scarth. “She comes to us from perennial junior college powerhouse, Indian River, and has experience on the international stage, having recently swam at the World Championships this summer. She will be an immediate top-eight national threat in multiple events, and we’re excited to see what she can do here.”

Top Events: 200 Back (2:04.92) 400 IM (4:33.33) 500 Free (5:09.01)
Why Milligan: “The team was very welcoming to me on my visit and I immediately felt at home. I’m very excited to be a Buff!”

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