Utah Adds 19 For Dykstra’s First Season at Helm

First of all, let’s just throw it out there: Utah SID Mike DeVine might have put together the greatest, most thorough, and most epic recruiting press release in the history of NCAA swimming.

With that, we won’t expand too much on the work he did in terms of nuts-and-bolts (see the full release below), but let’s do some analysis.

First of all, with 19 recruits for the men’s and women’s programs combined, it appears as though not too many were scared off by the turmoil that has surrounded this Utah program for the last few months with the hiring of new head coach Joe Dykstra.

This class, which geographically is as diverse as any (four countries, seven states) is heavy on swimmers coming from the western US. Among them is Brianna Francis, where Utah won a recruiting battle with powerhouse Texas A&M. She is by far the top recruit of the class in the state of Utah, and with a couple of good in-state swimmers coming out of high school the next few years, establishing that report will be big for the long-term health of the Utes. From Logan, Alta High School, and the Devil Ray Aquatic Team, she’s the holder of 19 Utah Swimming State Records, and is the two-time Utah High School Swimmer of the Year.

She brings in a 2:03 in the 200 yard IM and a 1:03.6 in the 100 yard breaststroke. Utah also brings in Kylie Boyce from the Golden West Swim Club and Edison High School, who is another 1:03-mid breaststroker.

Boyce also adds 52.0 in the 100 free, and a 1:49.7 in the 200 free.

Jeanna Griffith and Mary Saiz each add a 56-lows in the 100 yard back, plus a 1:59 from Saiz in the 200 back; and Selin Ozturk from Canada brings in a 51.4 in the 100 yard free. Overall, this is a deep class that should pay dividends for Utah at the Pac-12 championship where, with C-Final scoring, depth plays such a huge role.

Maybe the most interesting addition is Amanda Casillas from El Modena High School and the Mission Viejo Nadadores. She’s a very raw talent that was actually a 2012 Junior National qualifier in synchronized swimming, and has a big gymnastics background. That could be intriguing for the Utah diving program.

The men’s squad picked up Luis Padilla, who is a member of the Mexican National Team and a National Record holder in his home country. He has a best of 2:02.2 in the 200 long course meter fly; he listed Texas A&M as one of the schools that he chose Utah over, which speaks volumes given the level of success that Mexican swimmers have been having at A&M.

They also added Keanu Interone, who was a 55.8 in the 100 yard breaststroke in high school.

Including Boyce of the women’s program, Utah picked up three swimmers from the Golden West Swim Club. That includes Nolan Rogers, who is a 1:52 IM’er, and Alexander Tran, who is a 52.6 100 backstroker and the brother of Cal NCAA champion Cindy Tran.

Utah also picked up two members of Norway’s Junior National Team.

See the full press release below.

University of Utah Head Swimming and Diving Coach Joe Dykstra today announced the addition of 19 student-athletes in the Class of 2017, who will join the Ute program for the 2013-14 season.

Coming from seven different states and four different countries, Utah welcomes 11 women and six men to contribute between the lane lines, while two more women will contribute on the boards.

“I am so excited to welcome these 19 exceptionally talented student-athletes to Utah,” Dykstra said. “It is a group that will help lead us to greater levels of success both in the pool and in the classroom over the next four years. The assistant coaches, led by James Winchester and Jonas Persson, did an amazing job assembling this group. I am so proud of them for their hard work and I’m excited to get to work with such an amazing group of young swimmers this fall.”

Brooke Bedford (Naperville, Ill.), Haley Blount (Novato, Calif.), Kylie Boyce (Huntington Beach, Calif.), Amanda Casillas (Orange, Calif.), Stina Kajsa Colleau (Oslo, Norway), Brianna Francis (Logan, Utah), Jenna Griffith (Colchester, Vt.), Gabriella Hestwood (Jackson, Mich.), Selin Ozturk (Aurora, Ontario, Canada), Erika Nist (Maple Valley, Wash.), Mary Saiz (Pueblo, Colo.), Kenza Salem (Sausalito, Calif.), Maddie Velez (El Dorado Hills, Calif.) will all join the Utah women’s swimming & diving program for 2013-14.

Evan Indahl (Gig Harbor, Wash.), Keanu Interone (Sterling, Ill.), Luis Marcias Padilla (Aguascalientes, Mexico), Nolan Rogers (Huntington Beach, Calif.), Oscar Slaatmo (Hamar, Norway), and Alexander Tran (Westminister, Calif.) will join the Ute men’s swimming & diving program for the 2013-14 campaign.

2013-14 University of Utah Women’s Swimming & Diving Recruiting Class

Brooke Bedford
Hometown: Naperville, Ill.
High School: Neuqua Valley
High School Coach: Brandon King
Club Team: Fox Valley
Club Coach: Dave Krotiak

Accomplishments: Three-time All American … four-time All-State Academic … captain of varsity squad … four-time state qualifier.

Why I chose Utah: With the breath-taking view on campus, combined with the great academics and athletics, the choice was clear.

Best Events: 50 Free 23.8, 100 FL 57.2

Chose Utah over: Purdue

Coach Winchester on Bedford: “Brooke is an excellent student-athlete, who has excelled in the classroom as well as being a multi-sport athlete at Neuqua Valley. She has a tremendous amount of upside, and has a great personality that meshes well with her teammates and coaches. We are excited to tap into Brooke’s potential as she commits to one sport at the college level.”

Haley Blount
Hometown: Novato, Calif.
High School: San Marin
Club Team: Stanford Diving
Club Coach: Oleg Andriuk

Accomplishments: 2012 Summer Junior National Qualifier … 2013 Winter West National Qualifier … 2013 CIF North Coast Section champion and record holder … 2012 Bronze Medalist at Summer Age Group Nationals on 1-meter. Chose Utah over: New Mexico and Arizona State

Head Diving Coach Richard Marschner on Blount: “Haley has great ability in the air and has the raw natural ability to really excel at the sport. She is a hard worker who will benefit greatly being in the team environment we have here at Utah.”

Kylie Boyce
Hometown: Huntington Beach, Calif.
High School: Edison
Club Team: Golden West
Club Coach: Mark Schubert

Accomplishments: Klaus Barth Rock `n Roll Invitational Swimmer of the Meet and meet record holder in the 200 Freestyle … high school record holder 200 freestyle, 100 breaststroke, and 200 medley relay …2011 All American in 200 Free, 100 Breast, 400 Free Relay … 2010 All-American in 200 Medley Relay, 100 Breast … 2009 All-American in 200 Medley Relay, 100 Breast … earned the 2010 Freshman award and Katie Hanes award at EHS … named 2010 MVP-Most Valuable Swimmer at EHS.

Best Events: 100 BR 1.03.52, 200 BR 2.17.46, 100 FR 52.02, 200 FR 1.49.73, 500FR 4.58.90, 400 IM 4.20.72

Why I chose Utah: I chose Utah because it was the closest school to home and we travel to California quite a bit. I also chose Utah because they recently switched conferences to the Pac-12 and it would be great opportunity for me to compete on a team that is part of the Pac-12. Lastly, l really enjoyed my recruiting trip, thought the campus is absolutely beautiful and felt that I could get along very well with the coaches.

Chose Utah over: Michigan, Alabama, Virginia and Wisconsin

Coach Winchester on Boyce: “Kylie is one of our most talented incoming freshmen, and has a wide range of abilities in many different events. Because of this, Kylie will contribute early and often as a freshman at Utah, and will bring a lot to the team with her passion for the sport. She has also been coached by former US Olympic Coach Mark Schubert at Golden West, and joins a number of former Golden West swimmers at Utah. The coaching staff is excited to welcome Kylie on board.”

Amanda Casillas
Hometown: Orange, Calif.
High School: El Modena
High School Coach: Shane Unger
Club Team: Mission Viejo
Club Coach: Derek Starks

Accomplishments: 2012 Junior National Synchro Qualifier … 2013 HS League champion … 2012 Winter West National Qualifier.

Chose Utah over: San Diego State and Arizona State

Coach Marschner on Casillas: “Amanda comes from a gymnastics background and is still new to the sport and has a lot of untapped potential. She knows how to work hard and her work ethic is going to allow her to improve dramatically in the next few years as she develops.”

Stina Kajsa Colleou
Hometown: Oslo, Norway
High School: Lambertseter
Club Team: Lambertseter
Club Coach: Joachim Lilleaasen

Accomplishments: Member of Norwegian National Team … competed at European Junior Championships … Norwegian Junior National champion in 100m and 200m Breaststroke) … Norwegian national record holder in 400 Medley Relay … Bronze Medal from Nordic Junior Championships.

Best Events: 100BR 1.08.90 (SCM), 200 BR 2.27.91 (SCM)

Why I chose Utah: I chose The University of Utah because it’s a perfect fit for me: the academics, the program and Pac-12. In addition, the nature is breathtaking! I can’t wait for a successful career at Utah.”

Chose Utah over: SMU, Bowling Green, Oakland and Florida Gulf Coast

Coach Winchester on Colleou: “Stina is one of the fastest incoming breaststrokers in the nation, and one of the fastest young breaststrokers out of Europe. She will make an immediate impact on the team with her work ethic and desire to succeed, and has the potential to make an impact at the NCAA Championship level. We also excited in continuing her development at the international level as she begins her preparations for the Rio Olympics in 2016. We are excited to have Stina become a part of our family here at Utah.”

Brianna Francis
Hometown: Logan, Utah
High School: Alta
High School Coach: Patrick Thurman
Club Team: Devil Ray Aquatic Team
Club Coach: Lela Hiatt

Accomplishments: Four-time High School All American … national qualifier … 19 Utah State Swimming records … two-time 5A High School Female Swimmer of the Year.

Best Events: 100BR 1.03.63, 200BR 2.17.41, 200IM 2.03.55, 400IM 4.22.28, 100 FR 53.55, 200 BK 2.07.85

Why I chose Utah: I feel it’s a great environment to learn in. I get along well with the coaches and love their team philosophies. I feel like they can and want to take me to the next level with my swimming. A bonus is that it’s close to home and family.”

Chose Utah over: Texas A&M

Coach Winchester on Francis: “When we recruit each year, we want to make sure we recruit the best out of our home state, and Brianna is one of the best our state has seen in a long time. As a local legend, Brianna has a diverse skill set and is ready to take it to the Pac-12 and NCAA Championship level. She is destined to make a big splash as a freshman, and will contribute early and often for the Utes.”

Jenna Griffith
Hometown: Colchester, Vt.
High School: Colchester
Club Team: Green Mountain Aquatics
Club Coach: Laura Matuszak

Accomplishments: USA Swimming National and Junior National qualifier … four-time NCSA Junior National Finalist … three-time USA Swimming Scholastic All-American.

Best Events: 100BK 56.22, 200BK 2.03.68, 100FL 57.20, 200FL 2.06.07, 200IM 2.07.01, 400IM 4.31.82

Why I chose Utah: I chose the University of Utah because the team and coaches have been welcoming from the beginning. As I leave my home to go to college, I wanted to make sure I found a place that felt like family and I believe I’ve found that here. I am very excited to compete in the Pac-12 and reach my potential as an athlete and student.”

Chose Utah over: James Madison, East Carolina and South Carolina

Coach Winchester on Griffith: “Jenna is an exceptionally talented student-athlete, and is also Collegeswimming.com’s No.1 ranked recruit from Vermont. She is a tremendously hard worker, and will be a great asset to our program. Jenna is also an exceptional student, and we look forward to her succeeding here at Utah in the classroom and the pool.”

Gabriella Hestwood
Hometown: Jackson, Mich.
High School: Lumen Christi
High School Coach: Pat Briggs
Club Team: Jackson County Aquatic Club (JCAC)
Club Coach: Pat Briggs

Accomplishments: Five-time high school All-State selection … Scholastic All-American … Sectional Qualifier … class salutatorian … held 10 of the 11 high school varsity records.

Best Events: 100FR 52.79, 200FR 1.53.38, 100FL 57.06

Why I chose Utah: “I look forward to swimming in the best conference in the country while training in one of the most beautiful places on earth. On top of all of this it’s a wonderful school for my intended major.”

Chose Utah over: Oakland, Vermont, Boston College, and Eastern Michigan

Coach Winchester on Hestwood: “The coaching staff is very excited to welcome Gabby to our program as we believe we have only scratched the surface of her potential as a swimmer. Gabby has a lot of upside, and could be a real diamond in the rough. Gabby is also a success in the classroom, and we look forward to seeing her bring those successes from the classroom and the pool to Utah.”

Selin Ozturk
Hometown: Aurora, Ont., Canada
High School: Aurora
Club Team: Newmarket Stingrays
Club Coach: Alan Swanston

Accomplishments: Canadian Olympic Trials qualifier … Senior National Qualifier … Canadian Junior Tour Team Member (Australia 2013) … member of Canadian National Age Group Team (Mexico 2011 and Edmonton 2012).

Why I chose Utah: “Salt Lake City is a beautiful place. I fell in love with it the first morning I was there. The coaches were all so friendly and welcoming and I felt safe there. They are hard workers and have already gone so far for me. I am really looking forward to joining the team and family.”

Best Events: 100FR 51.48, 200FR 1.48.23, 200FR 2.00.08 (SCM), 400FR 4.13.58 (SCM), 500FR 4.49.84, 400IM 4.21.72

Chose Utah over: Iowa, TCU, Hawaii and Connecticut

Coach Winchester on Ozturk: “We are very excited to welcome one of Canada’s best junior freestylers to our family here at Utah. Selin comes from a great background under Coach Swanston at Newmarket, and is destined to leave her mark on the record books during her time at Utah. From the outset of our recruitment of Selin, it seemed that we were destined as a great fit for each other, and we can’t wait to have her here. Selin is going to be a force in the Pac-12 and at the NCAA Championship level, and we look forward to progressing toward her international ambitions as well.”

Erika Nist
Hometown: Maple Valley, Wash.
High School: Tahoma Senior
Club: King Aquatic Club
Club Coach: Tommy Hannan

Accomplishments: Selected for the Western Zone Select Camp … Short Course Junior and National Qualifier.

Why I chose Utah: “They were extremely supportive of my current situation. I loved the coaches, and the school environment.”

Best Events: 100BK 57.05, 200BK 2.02.29, 100FL 57.02, 200IM 2.06.73, 200BR 2.24.42, 200FR 1.53.33

Chose Utah over: Kansas and South Carolina

Coach Winchester on Nist: “Although Erika is recovering from injury, the coaching staff here at Utah was impressed with her commitment to rehabbing and desire to work hard towards getting back to being an elite-level swimmer. Her honesty and integrity really shone through during her recruitment, and Erika will be a tremendous asset to us here at Utah. She is a team player, excellent in the classroom, and a real talent in the pool as well. We can’t wait for Erika to step on to campus here.”

Mary Saiz
Hometown: Pueblo, Colo.
High School: Pueblo South
High School Coach: Susanne Divelbiss
Club Team: Steel City Aquatics
Club Coach: Louis Saiz

Accomplishments: Five-time Colorado 4A state champion … 100 backstroke state record Holder (4A) … national qualifier … junior national finalist.

Why I chose Utah: “Utah gives me an opportunity to compete against the fastest swimmers in the United States and it also makes me feel like I’m at home.”

Best Events: 100BK 56.49. 200BK 1.59.63, 50FR 24.08, 100FR 53.12

Chose Utah over: Colorado State, Indiana, and California State-Bakersfield

Coach Winchester on Saiz: “Although Mary is already an accomplished swimmer and state record holder in Colorado, we believe she has a tremendous amount of potential. Her 200 back best time is already faster than our school record, and we think Mark will shock a lot of people during her first year in the Pac-12. She is a real diamond in the rough with the potential to be a national-level player.”

Kenza Salem
Hometown: Sausalito, Calif.
High School: Redwood
High School Coach: David Winters
Club Team: North Bay Aquatics
Club Coach: Ken DeMont

Accomplishments: Three-time MCAL champion, junior national qualifier,

Best Events: 100BR 1.04.55

Why I chose Utah: “Utah is a genuine college experience filled with amazing people. It’s wholesome, but it has an edge. It’s the perfect place for me.”

Chose Utah over: NYU, Cal Poly, and Fordham

Coach Winchester on Salem: “Kenza is a late comer to our sport, but has progressed significantly over the last couple of years, leading to qualify for junior nationals last year. With her personality and ambition, Kenza will add a lot to our family, while also being a success in the classroom. The sky is the limit for Kenza and her untapped potential.”

Maddie Velez
Hometown: El Dorado Hills, Calif.
High School: Oak Ridge
High School Coach: Pat Foster
Club Team: Sierra Marlins
Club Coach: Jeff Pearson

Accomplishments: Two-time all-league champion … scholar-athlete.

Best Events: 200FR 1.55.93, 500FR 5.05.04, 200FL 2.08.95

Why I chose Utah: “I feel like I will be joining a team that will motivate me to swim beyond my limits and accomplish great things in the process. The campus and academic atmosphere is also just what I wanted.”

Chose Utah over: University of Indianapolis and Seattle University

Coach Winchester on Velez: “Throughout our recruitment and her official visit, the coaching staff was repeatedly impressed with Maddie’s great attitude and personality that will be a great asset for our program here at Utah. Maddie is not afraid of working hard, and will accomplish a lot here at Utah.”

2013-14 University of Utah Men’s Swimming & Diving Recruiting Class

Evan Indahl
Hometown: Gig Harbor, Wash.
High School: Gig Harbor
Club Team: Tacoma Swim Club
Club Coach: Marc Adam Martinez

Best Events: 400 IM: 4:02.47, 200 IM: 1:53.00, 200 back: 1:52.86, 1000 free: 9:39.57, 500 free: 4:37.23

Accomplishments: State champion in 500 freestyle at WIAA 4A State meet … third in the 200IM (All-American consideration).

Why I chose Utah: “I really liked the location and atmosphere of the school. The coaches also stood out to me because they really seemed to know their stuff. I’m really excited to compete in the best swimming conference in the nation as well.”

Chose Utah over: Seattle, Denver and California Baptist

Coach Persson on Indahl: “Evan comes from a great training background and exhibits his talents by competing in many events. Evan is currently right in his biggest development phase and will add much value to the Utes. Evan’s got the size, the talent, family support and motivation to a great contributor for the Utes.”

Keanu Taylor Interone
Hometown: Sterling, Ill.
High School: Sterling
High School Coach: Kyle Ruiz
Club Team: Sterling Stingrays
Club Coach: Kyle Ruiz

Accomplishments: Placed 33rd at junior nationals (100m breaststroke) … placed second (Junior) and fifth (Senior) at the Illinois State Meet in the 100 breaststroke … Academic All American … All American in the 100 and 200 breaststroke … Illinois All-State Team for two years.

Best Events: 100 breast: 55.87, 200 breast: 2:05.19

Why I chose Utah: “I chose the University of Utah because I really liked the coaching style of the program along with all the enjoyable coaches. Utah is a very beautiful place and the school satisfied my academic needs so it was an easy choice to pursue my academic and swimming career with them.”

Chose Utah over: Ohio State

Coach Persson on Persson: “Keanu will add valuable depth to our breaststroke. He is very athletic and will make an immediate impact on our team. He will also be a key player for our future medley relays. Keanu has already demonstrated his ability in the water and with addition training in the water and weight room, he will become very valuable to the Utes at the Pac-12 and at NCAA’s.”

Luis Marcias Padilla
Hometown: Aguascalientes, Mexico
High School: Universidad del Valle de Mexico Campus Aguascalientes
High School Coach: David Beristain
Club Team: Mission Viejo Nadadores
Club Coach: Bill Rose

Accomplishments: Member of Mexican National Team … medalist at North American Challenge Cup … Mexican National record holder … competed at 2011 FINA World Junior Swimming Championships.

Why I chose Utah: “I chose Utah because it’s a great school, has an excellent academic program, excellent facilities, it’s part of the fastest conference, and I am very happy that the swim team is formed of swimmers from all over the world.”

Best Events: 200 fly LCM: 2:02.24, 400 LCM free: 4:04.20, 100 LCM fly: 57.01

Chose Utah over: Texas A&M, Ohio State and Oklahoma Baptist

Coach Persson on Padilla: “Luis is a versatile swimmer who will be scoring at the Pac-12 meet and will be a valuable training partner for the already talented IM and middle-distance training group. Not only is Luis a great swimmer, but he’s got a great perspective on the sport that will add great value to the leadership of the team.”

Nolan Rogers
Hometown: Huntington Beach, Calif.
Club Team: Golden West
Club Coach: Mark Schubert

Accomplishments: Finalist at 2012 Junior Nationals … US Marine Corps Distinguished Athlete award … 2011 Junior Olympic champion in the 200 IM and 400 IM.

Best Events: 200 breast: 2:03.49, 100 breast: 58.16, 200 IM: 1:52.16, 400 IM: 3:59.23

Chose Utah over: Kentucky

Coach Persson on Rogers: “Nolan is a hard worker and very dedicated student-athlete, both in the pool and classroom. The coaching staff is very impressed with his dedication to the sport and his approach to being a successful student-athlete. He is considered a breaststroke and IM specialist. Along with Evan and Luis, Nolan will make a great impact in his training group and scoring at dual meets and the Pac-12 meet.”

Oscar Slaatmo
Hometown: Hamar, Norway
High School: Hamar Katedral Skole
Club Team: Hamer IL
Club Coach: Magnus Lindhjem

Accomplishments: Norwegian National champion (Senior and Junior) … member of the Norwegian Junior National Team … Junior National Nordic Championship Finalist.

Why I chose Utah: “Well I chose Utah because it offered a great swimming program side by side with a great science program. I get the opportunity to accomplish good results in the pool and in the classroom.”

Best Events: 400 Free LCM: 4:06.55, 800 Free SCM: 8:13.86, 1500 Free SCM: 15:42.59

Chose Utah over: Georgia Tech, Brown and University of Bergen

Coach Persson on Oscar: “Oscar’s talent will add depth to the distance-training group, and will score valuable points at dual meets and at the Pac-12 Championships. Oscar also got great experience from international meets in Europe. He will be a great team player both in the pool and the classroom.”

Alexander Tran
Hometown: Westminster, Calif.
High School: Edison
High School Coach: Diggy Riley
Club Team: Golden West Swim Club
Club Coach: Mark Schubert

Accomplishments: Division 1 CIF Qualifier.

Why I chose Utah: “I chose Utah because I felt at home there when I visited. The team was awesome and the place was really pretty. I feel I’ll be able to achieve my goals academically and in the pool.”

Best Events: 100 fly: 52.61, 100 back: 54.17

Chose Utah over: Kenyon, NYU, Boston College, and UC Santa Cruz

Coach Persson on Tran: “Alex is a huge underwater swimmer and specializes in the 100 fly and 100 back. The Utes will benefit from his dedication to being a great student-athlete, wanting to reach success in the pool and the classroom. Tran will add underwater expertise to the sprint group and his dedication to the sport will add great leadership in the locker room. Alex has grown up knowing what success in the pool means observing his older sister, Cindy Tran, having success at Pac-12 rival, Cal.”

Utes by the Numbers

By the States:
California: 7
Illinois: 2
Washington: 2
Colorado: 1
Michigan: 1
Utah: 1
Vermont: 1

Norway: 2
Canada: 1
Mexico: 1

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Excellent women’s class for sure! The men still need another top class freestyle sprinter to shore up the 200 & 400 free relays alongside Soedel and 5th year senior, Ken Tiltges, coming off red-shirt.

Billy Jones

Congrats Coach Joe! Nice job on your first class at Utah!

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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