Press Release courtesy: Vanderbilt Athletics
May 10, 2018
NASHVILLE – Vanderbilt swimming has signed seven swimmers to the program’s 2018 recruiting class, head coach Jeremy Organ announced Thursday.
Incoming freshmen Whitney Brown, Abby Burke, Lizzy Cowell, Tonner DeBeer, Mallory “Birch” Ely, Krislyn Porter, and Lauren Thomas have all signed their NLIs and will join the Commodore swim team this fall.
Brown, from Newburgh, Ind. will add to the backstroke and freestyle sprints. Burke hails from Winter Park, Fla. and competes in the freestyle, backstroke, and butterfly sprints.
“[Brown] has grown a lot since her senior year; she is really powerful in the water,” assistant coach Jennifer Cahill said. “We can put [Burke] in a lot of places, and she is going to be a big part of our relays.”
Cowell, from New Canaan, Conn. will be a big addition to the relays and compete in the 200 and 400 individual medleys and breaststroke events. DeBeer, from Louisville, Ky. will join the backstroke, freestyle, and butterfly events. She will also add to the 200 medley relay team. Ely, from Birmingham, Ala. will compete in the breaststroke events.
“Lizzy will be a big part of the breaststroke puzzle,” Cahill said. “She’ll be able to come in and make the breaststroke core stronger. [Mallory] will help the breaststroke be more competitive, she’s got an electric personality that we love. Tonner is coming in already set up to make a lot of big moves; we’re really excited to see her speed.”
Porter, also from Newburgh, Ind. is a breaststroker who will also compete in the short-distance freestyle events. Thomas, from Mason, Ohio, will fill spots in most every event, with an emphasis on backstroke.
“Porter is a really hard worker, and we are excited to have her be a part of the team,” Cahill said. Lauren will be a big utility player for us, we can use her in a lot of different places.”
While the incoming class enhances the team’s breaststroke and backstroke events, Organ feels the group of freshmen helps balance the roster and bolsters the Dores across the board.
“We tried to get as balanced of a class as possible,” Organ said. “Our goal was to stay balanced but add some depth to some certain areas. We saw an opportunity to check both of those boxes with this class.”
Organ said the incoming class will also be a big part of the Commodore relay teams. The relay events – some of VU’s best events in 2017-18 – lost key pieces in the form of departing seniors.
“The pieces are there to fill the relay spots,” Organ said. “These girls can fill whatever holes were left by the seniors.”
The new team members won’t arrive on campus until the fall, but Organ says the new swimmers already feel like a part of the team.
“The chemistry is already there,” Organ said. “It’s a huge positive for us to have these girls come in already bonded. It helps the transition as they come to campus. We’re really happy to have such a strong class come in and join a good group of leaders in the other classes. It’s going to help this class mature.”