Southern Illinois Swimming & Diving Announces 2020 Recruiting Class

by SwimSwam 1

August 09th, 2020 College Recruiting

CARBONDALE, Ill. —Southern Illinois University swimming and diving head coach Geoff Hanson announced the addition of 35 student-athletes for the 2020-21 season on Tuesday.

The Salukis added 35 student-athletes from 13 different states and six different countries, of which six are transfers.

“I am extremely pleased to announce our Saluki Swimming & Diving fall 2020 incoming class,” Hanson said. “With 22 seniors going into the 2019-20 season, we knew it was imperative that we work hard to bring in a large and talented class to keep the program moving forward.  I’m very proud of my staff and my team for all of their work in doing just that and signing 35 new Salukis (20 women and 15 men) from all over the country, as well as several from abroad.  This incoming class has a lot of top-end talent who will compete for individual conference titles and NCAA Championship invitations in their first season at SIU.  Along with those individuals, we have tremendous depth and many who we know will develop into impact swimmers and divers during their careers.  This is really a special group who fits our team character and chemistry, and will uphold our tradition of academic excellence as well.  We can’t wait to get everyone to campus and build on the past year’s success. Go Dawgs!”

Men’s
Nick Appelbaum
Chesterfield, Mo.
Parkway West

Personal Bests
1 meter – 207.05/434.60

A one-meter diver from Chesterfield, Mo., Appelbaum qualified for the state meet in three of his four seasons at Parkway West High School. As a sophomore, Applebaum earned All-State honors with a sixth-place finish on the one-meter board. Appelbaum was less than 30 points shy of winning the event as a senior, as he scored a personal-best 434.60 points to place fourth and earn All-State honors for the second time in his prep career.


Marc Avery
Plainfield, Ill.
Plainfield East

Personal Bests
50 Free – 20.24
100 Free – 45.71
200 Free – 1:42.47
100 Fly – 51.44

Hailing from Plainfield, Ill., Avery is a 10-time state qualifier who reached the podium three times at state meets. Avery, who swam for Plainfield Co-op, had a terrific senior campaign that culminated with three top-10 finishes at the IHSA State Championships. Avery earned All-State honors with a fifth-place finish in the 50-yard free and added a sixth-place performance in the 100-yard free. He also helped Plainfield to a 10th place finish in the 400-yard free relay and a 13th-place showing in the 200-yard free relay. Avery qualified for the state meet in three of his four seasons at Plainfield and also tallied a seventh-place finish in the 50-yard free as a junior in 2019.

Avery will become the second member of his family to swim at SIU. His older sister, McKenna, swam for the Salukis from 2015-18 and was a four-time All-MVC finisher.


John Cameron
Brownstown, Mich.
Oscar A. Carlson H.S.

Personal Bests
200 Free – 1:44.44
500 Free – 4:41.76
100 Back – 52.52
200 Back – 1:52.45

John Cameron arrives in Carbondale from Oscar A. Carlson High School in Brownstown, Mich., where he was a nine-time state qualifier. Despite having his senior season cut short due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, Cameron notched four top-10 finishes at the state meet, which included a fifth-place finish in the 400 free relay and a sixth place showing in the 500 free in 2019. The distance freestyler advanced to the state meet in the 500 free in each of his three seasons and tallied back-to-back top-10 finishes in the event in 2018 and 2019.


Will Chavez
Littleton, Colo. 
Mullen High School

Personal Bests
50 Free – 20.96
100 Free – 45.99
200 Free – 1:39.53
100 Back – 53.77

A standout sprint freestyler from Littleton, Colo., Will Chavez was ranked as the No. 6 senior swimmer in Colorado by CollegeSwimming.com’s Recruit Rankings. Chavez qualified for the state meet in each of his four seasons at Mullen High School. He burst onto the scene as a freshman, as he helped Mullen to a ninth-place finish in the 200 free relay and qualified individually in both the 50 and 100 free. The following season, Chavez tallied four top-five finishes at the state meet, which included a state title in the 400 free relay. He also added a runner-up finish in the 200 free relay and fifth place finishes in both the 50- and 100 free. As a junior, Chavez finished third in both the 50 and 100 free.


Donat Csuvarszki
Bekescsaba, Hungary
Békéscsabai Elore Úszó Klub

Personal Bests
50 Free – 23.82 LCM/20.70
100 Free – 51.86 LCM/45.27

An accomplished swimmer from Bekescsaba, Hungary, Csuvarszki took a unique route to SIU. Growing up, Csuvarszki trained for both swimming and water polo and went on to compete for Hungary’s junior national team. At the 2019 Hungarian Junior National Championships, Csuvarszki finished sixth in the 50 free and added a 13th place finish in the 100 free. Csuvarszki comes from an athletic family, as his father was a professional handball player in Hungary’s top league.


Spencer Hoffman
Friendswood, Texas
Friendswood H.S.

Personal Bests
200 Free – 1:43.77
100 Fly – 50.15
200 Fly – 1:52.11

Spencer Hoffman comes to Carbondale by way of Friendswood, Texas. The Friendswood High School product had one of his best prep meets last December at the TWST Southern Senior Championships. Hoffman set a PR in the 200 fly with a time of 1:52.11. Last spring, he just missed out on qualifying for the 100 fly finals at the Champions Series in College Station, as he clocked a near personal-best of 50.22.


Austin Kinsler 
Hendersonville, Tenn.
John Paul II High School

Personal Bests
500 Free – 4:43.03
1650 Free – 16:11.51
100 Breast – 58.16
200 Breast – 2:04.78
400 IM – 4:06.25

Kinsler arrives in Carbondale by way of Hendersonville, Tenn., where he was a six-time state qualifier at Pope John Paul II High School. As a freshman, Kinsler qualified for the state meet in both the 200 and 500 yard free. As a senior, Kinsler advanced to state in four events (100 breast, 200 IM, 200 medley relay, 200 free relay) and earned All-Region second team honors after he placed ninth in the 200 IM and 10th in the 100 breast at the state meet. Kinsler swam club for Excel Aquatics and competed at several Southern Zone Open Water Championships, which included a third-place finish in the 3K relay at the U14 level.


Dalton Lawver 
Georgetown, Ind. 
Floyd Central

Personal Bests 
100 Back – 49.02
200 Back – 1:55.29
100 Fly – 50.62

Dalton Lawver was an eight-time state qualifier during his four seasons at Floyd Central High School and brings with him experience competing in the back, fly and freestyle. This past season, Lawver became the first Highlander to earn All-State honors since 2015 after he finished seventh in the 100 back. It was one of four events that Lawver competed in at the 2020 state meet, as he also placed in the 200 medley relay (14th), 100 fly (14th) and 400 free relay (16th). It marked the third-straight season in which Lawver qualified for the state meet as part of Floyd Central’s 200 medley relay team.


Kyle Lehr 
Cameron Park, Calif.
Ponderosa H.S.

Personal Bests
100 Free – 46.72
200 Free – 1:40.79
500 Free – 4:35.91
100 Back – 52.92

Kyle Lehr is from Ponderosa High School in Cameron Park, Calif. Lehr excelled in the freestyle and backstroke while competing for Aquasol Swim Club, where he was able to partake in several noteworthy championship events. In 2019, he competed in three events at the 2019 USA Swimming Futures Championships, and that same year, took part in the Futures Championships at Mount Hood, where he finished 15th in the 100 free. As a junior at Ponderosa, Lehr finished fourth in the 500 free and sixth in the 200 free at the California CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Championships.


Zander Minano 
Santa Clarita, Calif.
Saugus // Colorado Mesa University

Personal Bests
50 Free – 19.87
100 Free – 45.02
100 Fly – 49.22

A junior transfer by way of Colorado Mesa University, Minano will reunite with his former head coach, Geoff Hanson, at SIU. Minano had his best season at Colorado Mesa under Hanson’s tutelage, as he earned CSCAA Honorable Mention All-America honors as a freshman as part of CMU’s 200 medley relay team. He also set school records in both the 50 free and the 400 free relay that season and tallied four All-Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference finishes- which included a RMAC title in the 50 free to advance to the national meet. As a sophomore, Minano was selected as a CSCAA Honorable Mention Scholar All-American after he helped the Mavs set school-records in both the 200 free relay and the 200 medley relay.


Gustav Persson
Helsingborg, Sweden

Personal Bests
100 Breast- 1:03.20 LCM/55.13
200 Breast- 2:17.21 LCM/2:00.00

Gustav Persson arrives in Carbondale by way of Helsingborg, Sweden, where the sprint breaststroker rose through the youth rankings. Persson broke out in 2017 after he won the 200 breast at the Nordic Swimming Championships with a time of 2:13.97. The following year, Persson was one of 16 athletes chosen to compete for Sweden at the 2018 European Junior Championships. In 2019, he competed in three events at the 2019 FINA (International Swimming Federation) World Championships with his best finish coming in the 200 breast with a 13th place finish at 2:23.72.


Ben Rutledge
Normal, Ill. 
Normal West

Personal Bests
200 Free – 1:45.58
500 Free – 4:43.99
1000 Free – 9:52.87
1650 Free – 16:38.04

Ben Rutledge is a long-distance freestyler who was a team captain for Normal West in Normal, Ill. Rutledge had a senior season to remember for the Wildcats, as he set a PR of 1:45.58 in the 200 free and helped Normal West take home the gold in the 400 free relay at the 2020 sectional meet. He went on to compete at the 2020 IHSA State Championships for the first time in his career in the 500 free.


Alex Schlueter
South Elgin, IL
South Elgin H.S.

Personal Bests
50 Free – 21.06
100 Free – 45.72
200 Free – 1:43.64
100 Back – 53.04

A native of South Elgin, Ill., Schlueter qualified for the IHSA state meet in each of his two final seasons at South Elgin High School. As a senior, Schlueter clocked a personal-best 100 free time of 45.72 to win the event at the sectional meet and punch his ticket to the state finals. Once there, he placed eighth in the 100 free and was edged out by .06 by his future teammate, Marc Avery for sixth place. He also added a 16th place showing in the 50-yard free.


Trey Smith
Mission, Kan.
Shawnee Mission North

Personal Bests
100 Free – 47.96
200 Free – 1:44.93
100 Fly – 51.89

Trey Smith joins the Saluki swimming and diving program after he qualified for the Kansas state meet in each of his four seasons at Shawnee Mission North High School. Smith’s signature event was the 100 fly, as he was a four-time state qualifier in the event, which included a runner-up finish with a personal-best time of 51.89 in 2019. In total, Smith was an eight-time state qualifier and racked up four top-five finishes and two additional top-eight performances.


Terry Yang
Chandler, Ariz.
Chandler High School // U.C. Santa Barbara

Personal Bests
50 Free – 20.84
100 Free – 46.48
200 Free – 1:39.82
500 Free – 4:30.28
1000 Free – 9:23.35
1650 Free – 15:52.67
100 Back – 51.25
200 Back – 1:49.64

Yang comes to SIU by way of UC Santa Barbara, where he competed in 10 meets as a freshman. An accomplished long-distance swimmer, Yang had a stellar prep career at Chandler High School in Chandler, Ariz. A National Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association (NISCA) All-America selection, Yang was a 17-time state qualifier, which included nine top-five finishes. As a senior in 2017, Yang won a state championship in the 200 free to go along with a second-place finish in the 500 free, a third-place finish in the 400 free relay and a fourth place showing in the 200-medley relay. As a junior, Yang tallied runner-up finishes in both the 200 and 500 free. An accomplished long-distance swimmer at the club level, Yang won the 400 free at the Arizona Long Course Senior Open Championships with a time of 4:07.67.


Women’s
Diana Araque
Mount Juliet, Tenn. 
Mount Juliet H.S.

Personal-Bests
100 Breast – 1:09.11
200 Breast – 2:26.11
200 IM – 2:13.12
400 IM – 4:45.80

Hailing from Mount Juliet, Tenn., Diana Araque was a 10-time state qualifier at Mount Juliet High School where she tallied five top-20 finishes at the TISCA state meet during her prep career. As a senior, Araque set a PR at 2:13.12 in the 200 IM to place 19th. She followed that up with another personal-best in the 100 breast at the same meet. Araque was a four-time qualifier in the 200 IM and a three-time qualifier in the 100 breast.


Valerie Bates
Brentwood, Tenn.
Ravenwood H.S.

Personal-Bests
100 Back – 58.79
200 Back – 2:07.38
100 Fly – 59.18
200 Fly – 2:11.07
200 IM – 2:13.53
400 IM – 4:37.82

Valerie Bates is a 16-time state qualifier from Ravenwood High School in Brentwood, Tenn. Bates advanced to the TISCA state meet in four events in each of her four seasons. She made an immediate impact as a freshman, as she advanced to the state meet in four events which included a fifth-place finish in the 200-medley relay. The following season, she again qualified in four events and helped Ravenwood place sixth in the 200-medley relay. Bates was a four-time qualifier in the 100 back and a three-time qualifier in the 200 IM.


Hailey Bellian
Greenwood, Ind.
Center Grove H.S.

Personal-Bests
50 Free- 26.16
100 Free- 56.67

Hailey Bellian is a sprint freestyler from Greenwood, Ind. She helped Center Grove’s 400 free relay team advance to the state meet in 2019, where they finished 22nd. As a senior, Bellian won the B final of the 50 free at the sectional meet with a time of 26.37 and helped the Trojans place fourth in the 200 free relay.


Ally Brown
Brighton, Colo.
Denver School of the Arts

Personal Bests
1m – 214.50

A one-meter diver from Brighton, Colo., Brown earned all-state honors in three of her four seasons competing for Horizon High School. As a sophomore, Brown took home All-State laurels with a fourth-place finish on the one-meter board. The following season, she again placed fourth at the state meet with 466.65 points. As a senior, Brown was the runner-up in the event with 487.40 points – just 10.5 points shy of a state title.


Taylor Collins 
Mount Vernon, Ind.
Mount Vernon H.S.

Personal-Bests
100 Back – 1:01.72
200 Back – 2:12.10
100 Fly – 1:00.65
200 Fly – 2:14.77

Taylor Collins is from Mount Vernon High School in Mount Vernon, Ind., where she excelled in the backstroke and butterfly. As a freshman, Collins helped Mount Vernon’s 200 free relay team advance to the state meet. As a senior, Collins tallied three top-three performances at sectionals, which included runner-up finishes in the 100 back and 200 medley relay. She also set a PR in the 100 fly to finish fifth and added a third-place finish in the 200 free relay.


Alyssa Cyrus
Ossian, Ind.
Norwell High School

Personal-Bests
100 back – 57.39
200 back – 2:04.04
200 IM – 2:10.77

Alyssa Cyrus comes to Carbondale by way of Ossian, Ind. The Norwell High School product was an 11-time state qualifier and reached the state meet in each of her four seasons. As a senior, Cyrus racked up three first place finishes and a runner-up performance at the Jay County Sectional meet to advance to the state meet in three events. Two years earlier, Cyrus swam a personal-best 2:10.77 in the 200 IM to place 25th at the state meet.


Abbey Desmet
Shelby Township, Mich.
Eisenhower H.S. // Colorado Mesa University

Personal Bests 
50 Free – 23.99
100 Free – 52.50
200 Free – 1:56.55

A junior transfer from Colorado Mesa University, Desmet reunites with her former coach, Geoff Hanson, at SIU. Desmet had her most productive season as a Maverick under the tutledge of Hanson, as she competed in eight meets as a freshman and tallied a trio of top-10 performances at the 2019 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Championships. A 15-time state qualifier while at Eisenhower High School in Shelby Township, Mich., Desmet placed in the top-13 in at least two events in each of her four prep seasons. In 2016, she just missed All-State honors when she took ninth in the 50 free with a personal-best of 23.99. Desmet will be the second member of her family to swim at the D1 level- her older brother, PJ, is a senior at Denison University.


Annika Gally
Kutztown, Pa. 
Kutztown Area H.S.

Personal-Bests
100 Fly – 59.28
200 Fly – 2:13.68

Annika Gally comes to Carbondale by way of Kutztown, Pa., where she competed for Kutztown’s swim team in one of the toughest districts in Pennsylvania. Gally was a three-time medalist at the PIAA District 3 Class AA Championships. As a freshman, Gally earned a spot on the district podium with a fifth-place finish in the 100 fly. The following year, she again reached the podium in the event with an eighth-place showing. In 2019, she advanced to the state meet in the 100 fly for the first time in her career and placed 26th. As a senior, she again reached the podium at the district meet with a sixth-place finish in the 100-fly before the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic brought an end to her season.


Nicole Horton
Scottsdale, Ariz.
Horizon High School

Personal-Bests
100 Free – 54.77
200 Free – 1:54.46
500 Free – 5:04.65
200 Fly – 2:09.07

A standout freestyler from Scottsdale, Ariz., Nicole Horton qualified for the state meet in each of her four seasons at Horizon High School. She burst onto the scene as a freshman, as she helped Horizon to a 13th place finish in the 400 free relay and qualified individually in both the 50 free and 100 breast. The following season, Horton tallied four top-15 finishes at the state meet, which included a sixth-place finish in the 200 IM. As a junior, she helped Horizon reach the podium with a fourth-place showing in the 200-medley relay. In total, Horton was a 14-time state qualifier and finished in the top-10 six times.


Madi Jager
New Lenox, Ill.
Lincoln-Way Central

Personal-Bests
50 Free – 24.37
100 Free – 52.80
100 Breast – 1:07.73

A six-time state qualifier at Lincoln-Way Central in New Lenox, Ill., Madi Jager competed primarily in the freestyle and breaststroke during her prep career. She helped Lincoln-Way Central’s 200 free relay team place 18th at back-to-back state meets in 2018 and 2019. Jager also competed for the Knights water polo team and helped Lincoln-Way Central qualify for the state tournament in two of her three seasons, which included a trip to the elite eight of the 2019 state championship.


Gaby Jenkins 
Little Rock, Ark.
Central High School

Personal-Bests
50 Free – 24.01
100 Free – 53.18
100 Back – 58.10
200 Back – 2:05.21
100 Fly – 58.26
200 IM – 2:10.93
400 IM – 4:37.37

Gaby Jenkins comes to Carbondale after a successful prep career at Central High School in Little Rock, Ark. A seven-time state champion, Jenkins was a 16-time state qualifier and never finished worse than fourth in any event at the state meet. As a senior, she won two state titles, which included her first individual state title in the 100 fly, to go along with a pair of runner-up performances in the 100 back and 400 free relay. It marked the third-straight season in which Jenkins took home multiple state titles and she claimed at least one at each of the four state meets that she competed at.


Mia Kubiuk 
Burlington, Ill.
Burlington Central

Personal-Bests
100 Fly – 59.77
200 Fly – 2:15.71
100 Free – 55.99

Hailing from Burlington, Ill., Mia Kubiuk swam primarily the butterfly and freestyle at Burlington Central. Kubiuk competed at three St. Charles North Sectional meets, which included a sixth-place finish in the 100 fly in 2019. That same year, she placed 11th in the 50 free.


Maggie Miller 
Pendleton, Ind. 
Pendleton Heights

Personal-Bests
50 Free- 27.17
100 Free – 56.08
200 Free – 2:04.43

Maggie Miller is from Pendleton Heights High School in Pendleton, Ind., where she excelled in the freestyle and was a team captain. As a senior, Miller won the B final of the 100 free at the 2020 Hamilton Southeastern Sectional meet with a personal-best time of 56.08. She also added a third-place finish in the 200 free relay and a 13th place performance in the 200 free.


Lauren Moeller
Rock Falls, Ill. 
Rock Falls H.S.

Personal-Bests
50 Free – 25.51
100 Free – 56.27
200 Free – 2:00.50
100 Back – 1:00.06

Moeller comes to Carbondale by way of Rock Falls High School in Rock Falls, Ill. where she was a two-sport athlete, competing in both track and swimming. Moeller swam competitively for Sterling High School through a co-op and qualified for the state meet in the 200 free as a freshman. As a senior, Moeller won a Big 6 conference title in the 50 free and added a runner-up finish in the 100 back. She swam club for the Sterling Stingrays, where she placed fourth in the 100 free at the 2019 Illinois Senior Long Course Championships. She will be the second member of her family to compete collegiately, as her brother, Nolan, is a pitcher on Cornell College’s baseball team.


Fernanda Sanchez
Guanajuato, Mexico

Personal Bests
200 Free – 2:06.00LCM/1:51.38
400/500 Free – 4:23.89LCM/4:53.41
1500/1650 Free – 17:15.19LCM/16:59.66
200 IM – 2:25.37LCM/2:07.40
400 IM – 5:06.54LCM/4:28.52

Hailing from Guanajuato, Mexico, Sanchez brings extensive national team experience with her to the Salukis. In 2017, she won the 15-16 division of the 400 free at the North American Challenge Cup. Two years later, she took home multiple medals at the Olimpiada Nacional and in doing so, qualified in the 1500 free for the World Youth Championships in Budapest, Hungary. She went on to place 22nd in the event. She later represented Mexico at the 2020 UANA Swimming Cup in six events and finished as high as fifth in the 400 free.


Melanie Scheiblein
Downers Grove, Ill.
Downers Grove South

Personal-Bests
100 Breast – 1:04.34
200 Breast – 2:21.18
200 IM – 2:10.34
50 Free – 24.83

Melanie Scheiblein arrives in Carbondale from Downers Grove South in Downers Grove, Ill., where she was a 10-time state qualifier. Scheiblein was a three-time all-state honoree, which included a sixth-place finish in the 200 free relay and an 11th place showing in the 200 medley relay as a senior. She advanced to the state meet in each of her four seasons and her three all-state medals are tied for the most by a Mustang since 2016. Scheiblein will be the second member of her family to swim collegiately as her older sister, Makaila, competes for Milwaukee.


Anna Stephan
San Diego, Calif.
Scripps Ranch H.S. // Eastern Michigan

Personal-Bests
500 Free 4:59.21
100 Fly 56.60
200 Fly 2:04.88

A sophomore transfer by way of Eastern Michigan, Anna Stephan competed in the 100 and 200 fly and the 500 and 1000 free at 10 meets during her freshman campaign. She tallied six top-10 finishes during the season and competed in three events at the 2019 Mid-American Conference Championships. The San Diego, Calif., native was a four-year letterwinner at Scripps Ranch High School.


Imogen Watson
Brisbane, Australia
University of Nevada 

Personal Bests
100 Back – 53.85
200 Back – 1:59.00
100 Fly – 55:08

Imogen Watson is a senior transfer from the University of Nevada. The Brisbane, Australia native was a three-year letter winner for the Pack, where she earned a pair of all-conference honors as part of Nevada’s 200 medley relay team. Prior to her time at Nevada, Watson was a multiple time finalist in the butterfly and backstroke at the Australian Age Championships, which acts as the Australian Junior Championships. In 2014, she took home bronze in the 100 back at the 2014 Australian Age Championships and, the following year, was the runner-up in the 100 back.


Sarah Walker
Knoxville, Tenn.
Farragut H.S.

Personal-Bests
100 Back – 58.48
200 Back – 2:16.44
100 Fly – 59.27
200 Fly – 2:11.17

A native of Knoxville, Tenn., Walker qualified for the TISCA state meet in each of her four seasons at Farragut High School. As a senior, Walker helped Farragut’s 200 medley relay team take fourth and added a 10th place finish in the 200 free relay. As a junior, Walker notched three top-15 finishes at the state meet, which included 13th place performances in the 200 medley relay and the 200 free relay.


Miroslava Zaborska
Martin, Slovakia

Personal Bests
100 Breast – 1:09.73 SCM/1:02.15
200 Breast – 2:27.69 SCM/2:12.43
400 IM – 4:54.60 SCM/4:25.09

Zaborska arrives in Carbondale from Martin, Slovakia, where she gained valuable experience as part of Slovakia’s national team. She burst on to the national scene in 2015 at the Winter Slovak Championships when she broke the U14 national record in the 200-meter breaststroke with a time of 2:33.25. Two years later, she was named the Slovakian junior female swimmer of the year after she tallied a pair of top-five finishes in the 50 and 200 breast at the FINA Swimming World Cup. In 2018, Zaborska represented Slovakia at the 2018 Summer Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires, Argentina and later took fourth in the 200 breast at the FINA Swimming World Cup. She originally committed to East Carolina University but the Pirates shuttered their program on May 21, 2020.

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malleemas
1 month ago

Congrats to all new signees. Special congrats to Lauren as I am a RFHS grad myself (ha).