The University of Louisville Women's Swimming and Diving Team has announced the signing of seven athletes for the 2012 early signing period. The new additions to the 2012-13 roster will include: Andrea Acquista (Gahanna, Oh), Mackenzie Buss (Shawano, Wisc.), Andrea Cottrell (Reynoldsburg, Ohio), Lauren Herich (Hebron, Ky.), Abigail Houck (Superiour, Colo.), Alexandra Sellers (Flower Mound, Texas), and Kristina Steins (Ontario, Canada).
"We are very excited about the potential of this group of young ladies. They are a great addition to our program as we continue to elevate our profile nationally. They are certainly talented athletically, but they are also a phenomenal group of women." said U of L Head Coach Arthur Albiero.
Diver Andrea Acquista comes to the University of Louisville from The Ohio State Diving Academy, where she was coached by Justin Sochor and Eric Barnes. This summer, Andrea qualified for the Olympic Trials in the Synchro Tower event, as she added to her multiple years of national level experience. In 2010, she competed in the Winter Senior Nationals and in 2011 she earned a bronze medal at the East Nationals. Andrea is an honor student with a 4.0 GPA at St. Francis DeSales High School and is president of Nellie's Club, where she volunteers her time to help children with cancer.
Mackenzie Buss, a two-time Olympic Trial qualifier, joins the Cardinals by way of the Shawano Community Swim Club. Mackenzie's many swimming accomplishments include a State Championship title and the state record in the 100-back. She has also received All-State and All-American awards all four years of her high school career. Recently, she continued improving her times with a personal best at the Wisconsin State meet in the 100-back (54.52) and the 100-butterfly (56.48).
Head Coach Arthur Albiero said, "Mackenzie's improvement and self-motivation during her high school career have been very impressive. We are very excited to work with Kenzie and see her excel in the Louisville program."
Andrea Cottrell, a 2012 Olympic Trial qualifier, will add strength to the breaststroke and IM events next year for the Cardinals. Andrea joins the Louisville team from Coach Steve Nye and the Greater Columbus Swim Team, where she achieved twelve All-Ohio and four All-American honors. She is the 2012 Ohio High School State Champion in the 100-breast with a time of 1:02.91 and continues to lead her team as captain. Outside the pool, Andrea is a leader for the Bishop Hartley High School House system's mentor group and is very involved with her church youth group.
Lauren Herich will make an impact for the Louisville Cardinals in distance events. She comes to Louisville from the Northern Kentucky Clippers, where she was mentored by Jason Roberts. Lauren finished 4th in the 1650 with a time of 16:32.72 at the 2012 Junior Nationals and participated in the National 10K Open Water Championships. Lauren also volunteers with the children's ministry at her church and spent part of her summer working at the Bowery Mission in New York City.
"Lauren is a well-rounded individual. Her work ethic in the pool and persistence for academic success are exactly what we look for in a student-athlete. Our commitment to recruit the very best in the state is fulfilled with Lauren joining us." said Albiero.
Abigail Houck comes to Louisville from the North Jeffco Swim Team, where she qualified for the 2012 Olympic trials in the 400-free with a time of 4:16.94. She is a five-time All-American and the Colorado State Champion in the 500-free (4:49.75). In addition to her many swimming achievements, Abbie is an Academic All-American and maintains a 3.8 GPA.
"Abbie has a competitive drive and determination that compels her to excellence in and out of the pool," stated Arthur Albiero. "I look forward to having her on the Cardinal team."
Alexandra Sellers joins the Louisville Cardinals from Lakeside Aquatic Club in Texas, where she is coached by Jason Walters. This summer Alex made the finals in the 100-freestyle (57.23) and the 200-individual medley (2:21.28) at the Junior National Championships. Outside the pool, she maintains a 3.9 GPA and has earned Scholastic All-American status for the last two years.
"This was a breakout summer for Alex. Her enthusiasm and love for the sport have given her the drive to reach her goals and the desire to want more. It will be fun to watch Alex develop and excel in our program" said Albiero.
Kristina Steins, a Junior Pan Pac qualifier, joins the Cardinals from Ontario, Canada. Recently, Kristina was named to the Ontario Canada Games ID team for 2013 for ranking nationally in her age group. Her best times are in the backstroke events, posting top long course meter efforts of 1:02.64 in the 100 and 2:18.14 in the 200. Her time in the 100-back also broke the Ontario OFSSA high school record.
"Kristina is a multi-talented individual, whose expertise in the backstroke will add depth to the Cardinal line-up," said Albiero. "Her national and international experience will contribute to her success as she moves into the intense competition of college swimming."
"Led by our women's recruiting coordinator Rachel Komisarz Baugh, our entire coaching staff deserves great recognition for assembling this special class," said Albiero.