Courtesy: Pitt Athletics
PITTSBURGH – University of Pittsburgh swimming and diving has received 14 national letters of intent from Sydney Atkins, Jill Berger, Cam Cash, Claire Hartley, Beaux Hoffman, Sophie Knepper, Austin Lane, Avery McFaddin, Tess Mock, Krzysztof Radziszewski, Trent Russano, Janelle Schulz, Mia Sunseri and Jess Vega, head coach John Hargis announced Tuesday.
Hartley is a freshman transfer from Iowa. She didn’t compete this fall with the Hawkeyes and is eligible immediately to dive for the Panthers. The 13 other newcomers join the program for the 2021-22 season.
“Signing day is always an exciting day when we can welcome our new Panthers to the family officially,” Hargis said. “This class is talent laden and will provide immediate impact into the program. These Panthers are focused and determined to help us continue to move the program forward. Hail to Pitt!”
Sydney Atkins| Back | Huntingtown, Md.| Huntingtown HS
High School/Club: Holds five school records … Won the 100 Back at the Southern Maryland Athletic Conference (SMAC) Meet the last three years and the state championships meets in 2018 … Took first place in the event and 100 Free also at the state regional in 2018 … Part of school’s relay teams that won the 200 medley in 2019 and 2020 and the 400 free at the SMAC Meet … Helped the team win the SMAC Championship the last two years and a third-place finish in 2018 … Currently swims for Naval Academy Aquatic Club … Took first-place in the 200 back and second in the 100 back at the Maryland LSC 14&U State Championships in 2018 … helped the team second at the meet and also third in 2019 and fourth last year.
Why Pitt: “I chose Pitt for the amazing academics, athletics, and community. I’m so excited to be a part of a community that values and supports all of their students.”
Jill Berger | 100 Free, 200 Free, 500 Free, 100 Fly, 200 Fly | Bethesda, Md. | Bethesda-Chevy Chase HS
High School/Club: Holds five school records … Named team MVP for three consecutive seasons … Named a NISCA All American last year in the 200 free … Won the State Championship in the 100 fly … Was the regional champion in the 200 free (2017-2018), 100 free (2017-2018, 2018-2019) and 100 fly (2019-2020) … Helped the school win last year’s state championship and also three Division 1 and two Regional Championships … Currently swims for Nation’s Capital Swim Club … took home the 2018 Futures Championship in the 400 free … Named to the USA Swimming Club Excellence Program 2020 at No. 1 overall.
Why Pitt: “I knew that the Pitt swim team was the right fit for me after my official visit. I really liked the whole team dynamic, the amazing coaches, and the overall positive environment. I loved the campus, the facilities and the city. I am super excited to become a Pitt Panther!”
Cameron Cash | 1-Meter, 3-Meter, Platform | Boulder, Colo. | The Woodlands HS
High School/Club: Won the individual 6A State Championship and helped Woodlands finish second last year … Assisted Woodlands Diving Academy to place sixth in the 2019 USA Junior Nationals … Finished seventh in the 3-meter and seventh in the 10-meter at the 2019 junior nationals … Started his diving career at Duke Diving Club.
Why Pitt: “Pittsburgh has a fantastic community and great pre-med education. I’m very excited and thankful on continuing diving and my academic studies at Pitt.”
Claire Hartley | 1-Meter, 3-Meter, Platform | Omaha, Neb. | Iowa | Marian HS
High School/Club: Named All-American as a senior … Helped Marian win a state championship last year … Dove for Nebraska Diving Club.
Why Pitt: “I chose Pitt because of the amazing team atmosphere and all of the great academic and athletic opportunities the school has to offer.”
Beaux Hoffman | Fly/IM | Sugar Land, Texas | Dulles HS
High School/Club: Placed four in the state championship meet for the 100 fly … Helped the team to win the district championship … Currently swims for Swim Houston Aquatic Center … Was a part of 100 fly and 200 fly winter junior cut … Made team relay finals for girls 400 freestyle relay at Pro AM meet.
Why Pitt: “I chose the University of Pittsburgh because of its welcoming atmosphere as well as its amazing academic and athletic record. I’m beyond thrilled to begin my career at Pitt and wish I was already there!
Sophie Knepper | 100 Back, 200 Back, 100 Free | Chesapeake, Va. | Great Bridge HS
High School/Club: Holds four school records … Named the Chesapeake Sports Club Female Athlete/Swimmer of the Year in the last two seasons … Reached finals in events six times with four runner-ups … Was part of relay teams that advanced to state championships each year … Currently swims with Tide Swimming … Helped the team win the 2019 TYR ISCA Jr. Championship and receive the National Club Excellence Program Award in 2019 and the US Masters Swimming Gold Club … Qualified for the 2018, 2019 and 2020 USA Futures and ISCA …
Why Pitt: “I chose Pitt because the academics are outstanding with a wide variety of healthcare majors and I felt the swim team was a great fit for me. Everything with Pitt just felt right. I can’t wait to start my journey in the city!! It is very different from where I live now.”
Austin Lane| Back/Fly | Fresno, Calif. | Clovis West HS
High School/Club: Holds five school records … Part of a High School All-American relay team and the No. 15 ranked high school team by NISCA … Won the team MVP … Currently swims for the Fresno Dolphins Swim Team … Was a four-time All-American … Named LSC swimmer of the year … LSC section record holder … Is second in the 11-12 national age group rankings (2015, 50 free) … Competed in Junior nationals … US Open qualifier.
Why Pitt: “The University of Pittsburgh provides me with a family to grow alongside with for the entirety of my college career. I am fully confident that my decision will help me achieve my greatest heights, and bring me countless unforgettable experiences. I am beyond excited to begin this chapter of my life, and contribute to the greatest family in the swimming world.”
Avery McFaddin | 100 Fly, 50 Free, 100 Free | Peachtree City, Ga. | Starr’s Mill HS
High School/Club: Won the Georgia High School Association (GHSA) Championship in the 200 free relay (2019) and the 200 Medley Relay (2018) … Was third in both 200 relays and fourth in the 100 fly last year … Took second in the 200 medley relay and third in 100 fly in 2019 … Placed second in the 200 free relay and third in the 100 fly in 2018 … Received the team’s MVP (2019-20) and captains’ (2017-18) awards … Named Femald’s highest point scorer in the 2018-19 season … Currently swims for Southern Crescent Aquatic Team … Placed first in the 50 fly and fourth in the 100 fly at the 2019 Georgia Short Course Senior State … Was third in 100 fly and fourth in the women’s 200 medley relay in 2018.
Why Pitt: “I chose Pitt because of the amazing coaching staff, the academic programs, and the opportunity that the city of Pittsburgh provides. I am looking forward to my experience as a part of the Pitt Swim and Dive family!”
Tess Mock | 500 Free, 1000 Free, 1650 Free | Marion, Mass. | Tabor Academy
High School/Club: Currently swims with Cape Cod Swim Club … Was first place in the 1500 meter free at Eastern Zones in 2017 … Placed fifth in the 1500 meter freestyle at the futures championships in 2018 and 2019 … Was 13th in the 1650 freestyle at winter junior nationals… Recorded a top-three finish in 1650 at New England Seniors in 2017, 2018 and 2019 … Helped CCSC win the Buffalo Sectionals in 2017.
Why Pitt: “I chose Pitt because of the dedication that the swimmers and coaches have and the wonderful energy. Everyone at Pitt wants to swim, learn and grow into better people. I am very excited to start my career here, and I know I am going to have a wonderful experience with the team and on campus.”
Krzysztof Radziszewski | 100 Back, 200 Back | Warsaw, Poland
High School/Club: Finalist at the 2019 Junior World Championships in the 50-meter back … Serves as the captain of the Polish Junior National Team.
Trent Russano | Back/Free/Fly | Bridgewater, N.J. | Bridgewater-Raritan HS
High School/Club: Holds five school records … Selected a NISCA All-American and first team all-state last year … Named the NJ.com Men’s Swimmer of the Year in 2020… Helped Bridgewater-Raritan to win the the 2018 state championship … Currently swims with Greater Somerset County YMCA … Was part of the Somerset Hills YMCA Men’s Team-YMCA National Champions in 2019 … Qualified for the US Open.
Why Pitt: “I chose Pitt because it’s a perfect mix of strong academics and strong athletics combined with a great coaching staff to take me to the next level.”
Janelle Schulz | 50 Free, 100 Free, 200 IM, 200 Breast | Sun Prairie, Wisc. |Sun Prairie HS
High School/Club: Holds four school records … Was part of the state championship-winning 400 free relay in 2018 and 2019 … Helped Sun Prairie to placed third at state in 2019 and 2018 … Currently swims for Badger Aquatic Club … Finished in the Top-10 in six events at the Wisconsin Short Course State 2020 finishing, including third in the 50 free … Assisted the team to a second-place finish at the meet.
Why Pitt: “I choose Pitt because the team and coaches were very welcoming and the amazing academics they have. I am so excited to join the Pitt family and cannot wait to start the next chapter of my life.”
Mia Sunseri | Breast/IM| Wheeling, W.Va. | Wheeling Park HS
High School/Club: Currently swims for Wheeling YMCA … Was the YMCA National Champion in the 200 Breast … Is a three-time USA Swimming Scholastic All-American … U.S. Open and Junior Nationals Qualifier … Was 1st YMCA National Champion in 40 years as a team … Joins the Sunseri family-Pitt legacy, which includes her father Tony (1996), a member of the swimming 1994 BIG EAST Champion team and a team captain, former All-American in football Sal (1981), All-East gymnast Roxanne (1982) and starting quarterback Tino (2012).
Why Pitt: “I chose the University of Pittsburgh because I truly felt at home. I have swam at Pitt since I was eight years old and have attended several Nike Swim Camps there. Pitt has an outstanding combination of academics and athletics. I knew I wanted to be part of the swim team due to their unmatched team culture, family environment, and coaches who are personable and strive to make the swimmers better individuals every day. I am also able to carry on the tradition of my family attending Pitt. Overall, I am very excited on starting my collegiate swimming career at Pitt and to be part of a team in the ACC. I cannot wait and am looking forward to practicing, racing and training with everyone on the team!”
Jess Vega | 1-Meter, 3-Meter, Platform| Sheffield, England | Sheffield Diving
High School/Club: Has been with Sheffield Diving for the last eight years … Was a two-time national finalist in platform … Qualified 13 times in national for springboard and platform … Competed in the Senior British National Cup as a junior … Earned silver in the 2019 British Junior Elites 3m Synchro and also finished third over nine dives … Garnered two gold and one silver medals at the Bulgaria International … Participated in four international diving competitions.
Why Pitt: “Pitt was a clear and easy choice of me to make. The US offers opportunities which the UK does not compare to; such as sport scholarship opportunities, competing and training at universities and access to so many facilities. This was an opportunity I could not pass down! But the reason Pitt was the US school of choice was due to the success rate of students and the lovely, friendly atmosphere which was shown when I visited the University.”