Wyoming’s Tom Johnson Signs 15 Women, 7 Men For 2015-2016 Season

LARAMIE, Wyo. – The University of Wyoming swimming and diving teams and head coach Tom Johnson announced Wednesday the addition of 22 student-athletes. The Cowgirls signed 15 student-athletes, while the Cowboys added seven. The signees come from 12 different states as well as Venezuela and New Zealand.

Below is a breakdown of each UW signee:

Samantha Burke | Chugiak, Alaska | Chugiak HS | Backstroke/Freestyle

Burke is coming off a successful senior season, as she was a high school state champion in the 100 backstroke and 200 freestyle. She helped her team to a fourth-place finish at the Alaska High School State Championships and was also a team captain. She competes in the freestyle, backstroke and butterfly and will be an excellent addition to the Cowgirls lineup right away. She is a four-time letter winner at Chugiak High School. She swims for KNIK Aquatics in Anchorage, Alaska.

Sam is looking to study pre-medicine at UW. She developed an interest in that field volunteering at the Special Olympics and hopes to work with special needs children in the medicine field. She is the daughter of Shawn and Audrey. Sam has a younger sister named Cheyenne.

“Sam is a swimmer that will only get better in our sport as we look for her to continue improving,” UW associate head coach Matt Leach said. “She was recruited to swim primarily freestyle and backstroke, but with her butterfly emerging we might shift her into other events.”

Shannon Chelsvig | Nashville, Tenn. | Hume-Fogg Academic Magnet HS | Butterfly

Chelsvig returns to the state of Wyoming after living in Cheyenne as a child before moving to Nashville, Tenn. Shannon has improved tremendously in the last year, earning her first USA Swimming Junior National cuts this past fall. Chelsvig swims for Nashville Aquatic Club, where she is coached by John Morse and Doug Wharam. In addition to swimming, Shannon is active in a number of clubs and service organizations at her high school and in her community.

She is the daughter of Carolyn and Michael Chelsvig and has a younger brother, Nicholas, and sister, Kallie. She intends to major in animal sciences at UW with plans of becoming a veterinarian.

“We are very lucky to have Shannon joining the Cowgirls this coming fall,” UW assistant Coach Kirk Ermels said. “She is someone who has improved tremendously over the past year and has shown that she is willing to do the work it takes to continue improving as a Division I athlete. She is very excited about the opportunities that await her in Laramie and we can’t wait to see her get to work.”

Kelsey Crane | Bremerton, Wash. | Klahowya HS | Butterfly/ IM

Crane is from Bremerton, Wash and is a very versatile swimmer who qualified for the Washington State Meet in every event except diving. Her best events are the butterfly and the individual medley. She lettered all four years at Klahowya High School. Her junior and senior year she led her high school team, as a Team captain. Her senior year she place second in the 200 individual medley, and fifth in the 100 butterfly at the state meet.

She is the daughter of Kevin and Kim Crane. She also earned an Olympic League Scholar Athlete award. At Wyoming she hopes to major in business administration.

“Kelsey is a very versatile athlete and she can help us in many areas,” Johnson said. “She has great passion for swimming and we look forward to her contribution to our team.”

Ashleigh Dehls | Frisco, Texas | Frisco HS | Diving

Ashleigh is a four-year letter winner in diving at Frisco High School, a 5A high school in Texas. She has helped her team to at least a top four finish at the state championship since her freshman year. During her junior season, she was First Team All-State with a seventh-place finish. This past season, as a team captain, she came in third place with a score of 457.80, also earning an All-State title.

Ashleigh is the daughter of Carl and Deidre Dehls and has one older brother, Kyle Turner, and a twin sister, Lauren.

“Ashleigh is someone who will help us greatly right away,” UW diving coach Chelsea Popplewell said.  “Her experience and competitiveness will be a great asset to the team.  Not only is she experienced in the 1-meter event, but she has competed for years on 3-meter and that is something that we’re really excited to keep working on. We can’t wait to have her join this Cowgirl team next year.”

Marcela Gramcko | Caracas, Venezuela | U.E Colegio | Backstroke

Gramcko is from Caracas, Venezuela and is currently a member of the Venezuelan National team. She has International swimming experience as well as experience racing here in the United States. She represented Venezuela at the South American Junior Championships. She has also competed at the Orland Grand Prix and the Mesa Grand Prix here in the United States. Marcela is very versatile and has good range in the 200 and 400 freestyles and the 100 and 200 Backstrokes.

She is an outstanding student and intends to be a pharmacy major at UW. She is the daughter of Carlos Gramcko and Gabriella Weitstruck.

“Marcela is a talented athlete and has had tremendous racing experience in South America and here in the US,” Johnson said. “She will a great asset to our backstroke events and will be able to help us on our relays as well.”

Peyton GrandPre | Cheyenne, Wyo. | Cheyenne East HS | Diving

GrandPre comes to UW from right down the road in Cheyenne, Wyoming. She has continually improved and has shown a great desire to gain experience on all boards.  Her freshman year, she earned a ninth-place finish at the Wyoming State Meet.  From there, she put in the work to make her way from ninth to third her sophomore year, second her junior year and finished her high school career with a first-place finish.

She is the daughter of Bob and Julie GrandPre and has two brothers, Parker and Stephen.  She plans to major in elementary education.

“Peyton is a great kid that will make a big contribution to this team,” Popplewell said.  “We’re very lucky that she decided to stay close to home and continue her diving career here at Wyoming.  Her positive attitude will definitely help to keep our championship culture thriving.”

CeeJay Harris | Gillette, Wyo. | Campbell County HS | Diving

Harris is a diver from Gillette, Wyoming with a very extensive gymnastic background.  She is fairly new to the sport of diving, but her gymnastic skills (awareness, flipping, will come in transition to the water. The first year that she attended the Wyoming State Meet, she placed fourth, right behind fellow UW signee Chynna Randall.

She is the daughter of Brad and Delight Harris and has one younger brother, Joseph.  She plans to major in pre-vet studies.

“CeeJay will bring a very positive attitude and excellent work ethic to the Cowgirls,” Popplewell said. “I’m excited to get her here and start working on improving what she already has and gaining a lot of experience with her. She should be a great addition to this team.”

Madalyn McGuire | Littleton, Colo. | Heritage HS | Breaststroke/Freestyle

McGuire is a native of Littleton, Colo. Her best events are the 50 and 100 freestyle and the 100 breaststroke. She is a versatile athlete who lettered in swimming all four years at Heritage High School and also lettered in volleyball twice and track twice. Her freshman fear she was an All-American in the 200 medley relay at the Colorado State Meet. Her junior year she helped her 200 freestyle relay place sixth. Her Senior year she lead her team as a team captain, and again contributed on relays at her at both the conference and state meets.

She excels in the classroom as a member of National Honor Society her junior and senior year. She is the daughter of Patrick and Cheryl McGuire.

“Maddie is a versatile athlete and has exceptional room for growth,” Johnson said. “I really enjoyed getting to know her and look forward to her contributions to our team.”

Katelyn Olson | Baggs, Wyo. | Little Snake River HS | Butterfly/Freestyle

Olson is a real versatile athlete who competed and lettered in swimming, basketball and track at Little Snake River High School. Olson has been a Wyoming All-State performer all four years. Over her High school swimming career she has been a state champion her sophomore year in the 500 freestyle and last year in the 100 butterfly.

She has been an Honor Roll or High Honor Roll student all four years and is a member of her school’s National Honor Society. She is the daughter of Kurt and Kim Olson.

“We have had Katelyn and her sister in camp the last couple of year,” Johnson said. “She is a strong athlete and this will be a big learning curve for her. But I feel Katelyn has so much room for improvement.”

Chynna Randall — Rock Springs, Wyo. | Rock Springs HS | Diving

Randall is a four-year state finalist from Rock Springs, Wyoming.  She has consistently improved during her career jumping from seventh place at the Wyoming State Meet her junior year to finishing third this past year.  She is relatively new to the sport, only diving a few months out of the year.

Kayden is the daughter of Cassie Jensen and Jason Randall.  She has an older brother, Kayson, and a younger brother, Hudson.  She plans to major in physical education.

“We are really looking forward to having another Wyoming kid join the Cowgirls,” Popplewell said. “Chynna is a very hard worker and someone that I feel we can really develop into a very good diver.”

Isobel Ryan | Oamaru, New Zealand | St. Kevin’s College | Backstroke/Freestyle

Ryan is the third New Zealand native to attend the University of Wyoming. She received the 2014 junior Women of the Year award for her showing at the Short Course Meter National Age Group Open winning the 100 Freestyle, 100 Backstroke and 50 Freestyle. She has broken many different records including 15 high school records, for her effort of breaking multiple records she was awarded the “Most Records Broken Award” five consecutive years. Ryan has broken multiple regional and district records pushing 50 plus. She swims for Oamaru Swim Club. She is part of the Podium Programme for the next three years, as she has been labeled on the pathway to represent New Zealand in the Olympics.

Ryan received top marks in school at St. Kevin’s College. Ryan was awarded the Class Act award by the Prime Minister of New Zealand. She is the daughter of Nicky and Kerry Ryan and she has two older sisters, Caitlin and Maeve.

“Isobel has been great to get to know and is an outstanding person and a tough competitor,” Leach said. “While we try to find the best athletes not only around the country but the world, we have found a gem and we look for her to be an instant contender on our team, at conference and beyond.”

Aslin Ruiz | Vernon Hills, Ill. | Stevenson HS | Butterfly/Freestyle

Ruiz is a native of Vernon Hills, Ill. Her best events are the 200 freestyle, 500 freestyle and the 100 and 200 butterfly. She was named team captain at Stevenson High School. She helped her team to three conference championships and two sectional championships. She competed at USA Swimming’s Junior National Championships on relays.

She is the daughter of Orlando and Ana Ruiz.

“Ashlin has a wide range of events and we will look to her to contribute in the 200 Butterfly right away,” Johnson said.” “We look forward to have Ashlin in our program.”

Mandy Schatz | Yorba Linda, Calif. | Esperanza HS | Distance Freestyle/Butterfly

Mandy is a two-time Swimmer of the Year award winner and was a member of a CIF Championship team during her freshman season at Esperanza High School. She swims for Brian Pajer with the Aquazots Swim Club. Mandy also excels in the classroom, having been named to the Principal’s Honor Roll all four years of high school. Mandy’s uncle, Gene Schatz, was on the rodeo team at the University of Wyoming.

Mandy is the daughter of Rob Schatz and Jennifer Lamarra and has one older sister, Jen. She plans on majoring in Business.

“Mandy was our first commit of this recruiting year and we are very excited to have her joining us this fall,” Ermels said. “She is someone who is committed to improving and we think she will do some amazing things in our program.”

Claire Sebald | Shorewood, Minn. | Minnetonka HS | Backstroke/Butterfly

Sebald specializes in the 100 Backstroke and the 100 Butterfly. She was a strong contributor at Minnetonka High School winning a sectional title in 2013. She is a strong student who wants to study math and the sciences at UW.

She is the daughter of Christopher and Gretchen Sebald.

“Claire will provide depth in the butterfly and backstroke events,” Johnson said. “We look forward to having her at UW this fall.”

Abby Urban | Cheyenne, Wyo. | East HS | IM/Butterfly

Urban was a four-time letterwinner at Cheyenne East High School. Urban was the state champion in the 100 freestyle during her senior season She earned All-State honors in every season of her varsity career. She led Cheyenne East to a state team title during her sophomore season. She was also a two-time East High School Athlete of the Year. She owns four school records at East High School.

Urban excels in the classroom as a member of National Honor Society. She earned Honor Roll honors all four years of High School.

She plans on majoring in nursing at UW. She is the daughter of Jeff and Barbra Horton and has four sibling in Hunter, Zach, Charlyne and Michelle.

“I have known Abby for a long time as she has been coming to Wyoming Swim Camp over the last few years,” Johnson said. “She is a great worker who has tons of potential.”

Kayden Harbison | Rock Springs, Wyo. | Rock Springs HS | Distance Freestyle

Harbison is a four time state champion in swimming and two-time All-American selection at Rock springs High School. He helped lead Rock Springs High to a second-place finish at this year’s state meet. Kayden is also a multiple time USA Swimming Junior National qualifier for Rock Springs Swim Club. He is coached by former University of Wyoming swimmer Ron DeFauw.

Kayden is the son of Stacy and Jennifer Harbison and has a younger sister, Sierra. He plans to major in Elementary Education.

“We are very excited to have another Wyoming kid joining our program this fall and are looking forward to great things to come,” Ermels said. ” Kayden is a great kid and I think he will be a great fit for our program. He is someone who has made a tremendous amount of improvement in a pretty short period of time and will continue to do so during his time as a cowboy.”

Jack Herron | Grass Valley, Calif. | Bear River HS | Butterfly/Freestyle

Jack Herron hails from Grass Valley, Calif. Jack is a talented swimmer who specializes in the butterfly and middle distance freestyle events. Herron was a Junior National qualifier in the 100, 200 and 500 freestyle and the 100 and 200 butterfly.

Jack is a strong student who hopes to study engineering at UW. He is the son of Gary and Betsy Herron.

“Jack has terrific range and will help us immediately in the Butterfly and middle distance Freestyle events,” Johnson said. “He has great goals and we look forward to having him her at UW this fall.”

Liam Holt | Carl Junction, Mo. | Carl Junction HS | Breaststroke/IM

Liam Holt is a native of Carl Junction, Mo. Holt is a very versatile athlete who competes in the Breaststroke and the individual medley. Liam is a Junior National qualifier in the 200 individual medley and 200 breaststroke and is a national qualifier in the 100 and 200.

Liam is an outstanding student who wants to major in petroleum engineering. Liam is a two-time USA Swimming Academic All-American and has been on Carl Junction High School Honor roll both his sophomore and junior year.

“We have really enjoyed getting to know Liam and his family,” Johnson said. “He is a tremendous athlete who ambitions include competing at the 2016 US Olympic Team Trials. He is a versatile swimmer and we look forward to having him here at UW soon.”

Laine Johansen | College Station, Texas | A&M Consolidated | Breaststroke/IM

Joshansen is a breasstroker and individual medley swimmer from College Station, texas. This past season he was a First Team All-State performer. He competed this past spring at the NCSA Junior Nationals in the 100 and 200 breaststrokes and the 200 individual medley.

He is the son of Siguard and Cynthia Johansen. He is a three-time USA Swimming Academic All-American, as well as a two-time Texas All –State Academic honoree He also has been on the National Honor Society the past two years.

“At 6’3″ Laine has tremendous size,” Johnson said. “He is a really bright young man who I believe has great growth for improvement. We really look forward to having Laine in our program.”

Liam Metzsch | Hillsboro, Ore. | Century HS | Freestyle

Metzsch continues the Oregon, Wyoming connection, as he joins the team hailing from Hillsboro, Oregon. Liam swims for Tualatin Hill Swim Club in Beaverton, Oregon. He had a great senior year winning state championships in the 50 freestyle and 100 freestyle at the 2015 Oregon High School State Championships for Century High School. As a team, Metzsch helped Century High School finish tied for 13th. He was a member of National Honor Society and is a Scholastic All-American.

Liam plans on studying kinesiology/pre-med, as he would like to be a physical therapist. Liam’s parents are Jane and Pete, Liam has a younger sister Sara and an older brother Scott.

“Liam is a big strong person that primarily swims the freestyle events,” Leach said. “We are looking for him to fill big shoes as we graduate some fast sprint/middle distance swimmers. It has been a pleasure to get to know Liam and his family.   We are excited to start working with Liam!”

Kyle Moore | Carlsbad, Calif. | Carlsbad HS | Distance Freestyle

Kyle is relatively new to the sport of swimming and shown a great amount of improvement qualifying for USA Swimming Junior Nationals this past summer.  He has helped lead Carlsbad High School to back-to-back section championships during sophomore and junior seasons.  On the club side, he swims for North Coast Aquatics and coach Jeff Pease, where he also trains with Cowgirl junior Lauren McClure.

Kyle is the son of Gene and Sharon Moore and has one younger sister, Danielle.  He plans to major in secondary education at UW.

“Kyle is someone who we are going to see a lot of improvement out of in his time as a Cowboy,” Ermels said.  “He has a tremendous work-ethic and a great desire to improve himself every day.  We feel like he is going to be a very positive addition to the Cowboy program.”

David Murphy | Ellaville, Ga. | Southland Academy | Breaststroke/Freestyle/IM

David swims for Americus Blue Tide Aquatics. He was a four-time letter winner and three-time captain at Southland High School. During his junior season, he was a state champion in the 100 freestyle, 200 freestyle, 100 breaststroke, along with relay champions in the 200 medley relay and 200 freestyle relay. On top of that, during his junior year his team won the Georgia Independent School Association team title. Along the way he set state records in the 100 freestyle and 100 breaststroke and with his teammates he set a relay record in the 200 freestyle relay. During his senior season he also re-broke his own records in the 50 freestyle, 100 freestyle and 100 breaststroke leading his team to their second consecutive state title.

He was a four-time Honor Roll member, a USA Swimming Scholastic All American, Beta Club member during his junior and senior year and also the winner of the Biology award and Geography award. He is the son of David and Laura Murphy and has one younger sister Allie.

“David will be a perfect fit for Wyoming, as he enjoys the area, the town, the climate and university,” Leach said. “David is a person that will be a great addition to our team culture. He is an emerging leader and will help our sprint group grow and will add some toughness to the group.”


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Go Pokes!

I can’t thank Coach Matt Leach, Coach Kirk Ermels, Coach Caitlin Hamilton and Coach Chelsea Popplewell enough. The tremendous amount of time effort and energy they put into his class is unbelievable. I also want to recognize our team as well as they do a terrific job hosting he recruits, making them feel welcome and at home. Go Pokes!

About Tony Carroll

Tony Carroll

The writer formerly known as "Troy Gennaro", better known as Tony Carroll, has been working with SwimSwam since April of 2013. Tony grew up in northern Indiana and started swimming in 2003 when his dad forced him to join the local swim team. Reluctantly, he joined on the condition that …

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