Pitt Signs 13 Newcomers for 2016

PITTSBURGH – The University of Pittsburgh swimming and diving program has announced the signing of 13 student-athletes from seven states across the country, as well as one internationally, to join the Panthers in the fall of 2016.

Pitt Swimming and Diving 2016 Recruiting Class:

Name Event HT Hometown/Previous School
Walker Brooks FR/FLY 6’2” Kissimmee, Fla./Gateway
Hannah Bumgarner FREE 5’6” Mt. Lebanon, Pa./Mt. Lebanon
Cameryn Cook FLY/FR 5’5” New Cumberland, Pa./Cedar Cliff
Colleen Daday FREE 5’9” Allentown, Pa./Allentown Central Catholic
Valerie Daigneault BACK 5’8” Mont Royal, Quebec/Kuper Academy
Sarah Giamber FR/IM 5’6” Raleigh, N.C./Middle Creek
Jacqueline Hendrix FLY 5’5” Savannah, Ga./Savannah Country Day School
Shannon Hochkeppel BACK 5’4” Ellicott, City, Md./Howard
Krista Jones DIVE 5’8” Greenwood, Ind./Greenwood Community
Brian Ramsey BREAST 6’0” Mt. Lebanon, Pa./Mt. Lebanon
Madelyn Shaffer FLY/FR 5’9” Springfield, Ohio/Springfield
Luke Smutny FR/FLY 5’11” Cutler Bay, Fla./South Florida HEAT (Club)
Cortnee Williams DIVE 5’3” Fishers, Ind./Fishers


Walker Brooks | FR/FLY

Kissimmee, Fla./Gateway

Brooks was an All-Orange Belt Conference selection and the Osceola News Gazette’s Swimmer of the Year in each year of high school competition. He set 19 county records and broke his school’s single-year scoring record with 1,099 points in his senior campaign. That same year, he placed third in the 100 fly and 100 back at State Championships after qualifying in four different events. Brooks notched numerous school records as a result, including 21 his sophomore season alone. He also competed with Coach Crystal Tavares’ Kissimmee Swim Association for 12 years and under Alan Pfau with YMCA Central Florida.

Hannah Bumgarner | FREE

Mt. Lebanon, Pa./Mt. Lebanon

Bumgarner has been a WPIAL qualifier in each of her three seasons to date, and a PIAA qualifier as a sophomore and a junior. Last season, she became her school’s record holder in the 200 free and both the school and pool record holder in the 200 free relay. Bumgarner has competed with the Mount Lebanon Aqua Club since 2011, and finished as high as second in the 400 and 800 free relays at the 2015 Futures Championships in Christiansburg, Va.

Cameryn (Cami) Cook | FLY/FR

New Cumberland, Pa./Cedar Cliff

Cook is in her senior season this year following three campaigns that saw her make a lasting impact on her high school program. She is a two-time First Team All-State selection following a Second Team nod her freshman year. Cook has set school records in the 50, 100, and 200 free, as well as in the 100 back. She also competes for Michael Brooks and John Nelson with the York YMCA team, and has qualified for YMCA Nationals every year since 2011.

Colleen Daday | FREE

Allentown, Pa./Allentown Central Catholic

Daday’s focus is primarily on distance events, leading to her qualification for Winter Junior Nationals in the 1650 free and fourth place finishes in the 500 and 200 free at Pennsylvania State Championships. If her fitness and endurance were any question, she also competed with her high school’s cross country team, where she was a two-time District 11 champion. Daday has also been a member of the Parkland Aquatic Club team since 2005. Her sister, Caitlin, swims at Villanova.

Valerie Daigneault | BACK

Mont Royal, Quebec/Kuper Academy

Daigneault competes with the Pointe Claire Swim Club – an elite program in Montreal – under head coach Martin Gingras. She qualified for the Canadian Olympic Trials in the backstroke and placed in the top 30 in both the 100-meter and 200-meter back at the 2015 Canadian Team Trials. She was also a silver medalist in the 400 free relay at Canadian Senior Nationals. Her ties to Pittsburgh start with her father, Jean-Jacques Daigneault, whose 10 NHL stops included the Penguins during his playing career. Her sister, Gabrielle, is a sophomore swimmer at Villanova.

Sarah Giamber | FR/IM

Raleigh, N.C./Middle Creek

Giamber brings a strong distance background to the Panthers, already having placed near the top of the field in such events at North Carolina State Championships and most recently the 2015 Futures Championships. With her school team, she finished third overall in both the 500 free and 400 free relay last season at State Championships, as well as 10th overall in the 200 free. Competing with her club team, the Marlins of Raleigh, she won the 800 free relay and finished third in the 400 IM to help propel the Marlins to a team victory at the Futures Championships.

Jacqueline Hendrix | FLY

Savannah, Ga./Savannah Country Day School

Hendrix was recognized with the 2015 Scholastic All-American Award by the USA Swimming Academy and has demonstrated talent on a national stage. She was a 2015 and ’16 Junior Nationals qualifier and placed 10th in the 50 fly in that meet as a junior. After helping reestablish the school’s swimming program, Hendrix claimed school records in the 100 fly and 100 breast to be named team MVP. She was also a 1-5A GHSA State Championship finalist in those events.

Shannon Hochkeppel | BACK

Ellicott, City, Md./Howard

Without an official swim team at her high school, Hochkeppel created and captains a swim club which hosts an annual county-wide meet. She has also competed for Coach Scott Ward since 2013 on his Eagle Swim Team, posting Junior National cuts in the 100 and 200 backstroke this summer. Hochkeppel also knocked off an 11 year old team record in the 100 back (56.80) at 2015 Junior Nationals. She has her eyes set on posting Olympic Trials qualifying times.

Krista Jones | DIVE

Greenwood, Ind./Greenwood Community

Jones comes to Pitt by way of the Indiana International School of Diving under Coach Sean McCarthy, the same central Indiana club team for which current Panther Meme Sharp once competed. Already a well-established diver entering her senior year, Jones has twice broken her high school’s six dive record and set a new 11 dive best last season. She placed 18th at State Championships as a sophomore and 10th in her junior campaign, along with earning the distinction of Mid-State Champion. She was also a major contributor to her school’s track and field team in the high jump and pole vault.

Brian Ramsey | BREAST

Mt. Lebanon, Pa./Mt. Lebanon

Through his junior season of competition, Ramsey has already left his mark on his high school program. He owns school records in the 100 breast and 200 medley relay, and was a Junior Nationals qualifier in both events last season. Ramsey was the 2015 USA Futures Championships winner of the 200 breast and finished second in the 100. He helped guide his team to a Section 4 Championship last year, propelling his 200 medley relay team to a third place finish at States and fifth in the 100 breast. His strength in that stroke led to national recognition as one of the country’s premier breastrokers.

Maddie Shaffer | FLY/FR

Springfield, Ohio./Springfield

An All-State selection in each of her first three high school seasons, Shaffer has improved every year she’s competed. Last season, she was an NCSA finalist and member of the Summer Junior National Team. She qualified for State Championships in both her sophomore and junior seasons, and looks to build on that success heading into her final high school campaign after placing as a state finalist in the 200 IM last year and the 100 fly the year before. She also owns club records in the 100 LCM fly, 200 LCM fly, and 100 fly with the elite Dayton Raiders.

Luke Smutny | FR/FLY

Cutler Bay, Fla./Homeschooled

Smutny is a Junior Nationals qualifier in both the 100 and 200 butterfly. In lieu of a high school team, he competed for the South Florida HEAT athletic team comprised of homeschooled athletes. With the HEAT, Smutny was a State Championship qualifier from 2012-15. He placed as high as third in the 100 fly, improving in each appearance. Smutny also competed with the AK Sharks under Lou Manganiello, where he set club records in multiple strokes. With the Sharks, he was a gold medalist in the 200 fly in 2013 and was a three-time top five finisher. From 2011-14, he was a three-time Florida Gold Coast All-Star selection.

Cortnee Williams | DIVE

Fishers, Ind./Fishers

Joining Meme Sharp as another Indianapolis area diver on the squad, Williams is a national caliber diver and decorated competitor. She pulled down Sectional and Regional Championships in her freshman and sophomore season, finishing as high as third at State Championships in 2014. She is both the six and 11 dive record holder for Fishers. Last year, she turned her focus to Zone Championships, finishing in the top 20 in 3M at both the 2015 Junior and Senior National Zones, and placed fifth on 1M at the 2015 Junior Zones. She currently competes for David McKown and the Indiana International School of Diving along with fellow signee Krista Jones.

Swimming news courtesy of Pitt Swimming & Diving.

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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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