The first really big mid-major commitment came by way of family connections this morning, as Monica Bottelberghe, younger sister of Boise State junior Jessica Bottelberghe, has verbally committed to swim for the Broncos.
“I chose Boise State University because I believe in Kristin Hill and her program,” Bottelberghe said. “When I went on my visit, I already felt like a part of the Bronco family.”
Monica Bottelberghe is a very good sprinter, with yards bests of 23.7 and 50.91 in the 50 and 100 yard free. That will be an important step in the Broncos’ rebuilding process, as she’ll come in with the program two seasons removed from the 2012 NCAA Championships where the Broncos broke out with their first NCAA-qualifying relays in program history.
In their one year of overlap between the Bottelberghe sisters, with 2013-2014 sophomore Sam Wicks swimming very well, the Broncos could put together some good 200 and 400 free relays, at least, that will be in contention for more NCAA qualifying relays. In addition to Monica and Jessica, the Broncos have four outstanding freshman sprinters this season as well: including 23.11/50.77 out of high school Brittany Aoyama from California.
Monica Bottelberghe’s story out of the pool is actually a fairly interesting one. In August of this year, she had surgery to remove her thyroid after being diagnosed with thyroid cancer. She has been cleared, however, to return to some lighter morning workouts already.
Bottelberghe trains with the Portland Aquatic Club.