Women's Swimming and Diving signs eight student-athletes to National Letters of Intent
AUSTIN, Texas -- University of Texas head women's swimming and diving coach Kim Brackin announced Wednesday the signings of eight prep standouts to National Letters of Intent for the 2007-08 academic year. Brackin's first recruiting class at UT includes the following: Brie Powers (Kalamazoo, Mich./Kalamazoo Central H.S.); Adrienne Woods (Dexter, Mich./Dexter H.S.); Carlye Ellis (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer HS); Maddie Crum (Coppell, Texas/Coppell H.S.); Natalie Sacco (Dallas, Texas/Highland Park H.S.); Marisa Rodriguez (Chesterfield, Mo./Lafayette H.S.); Katie Hamilton (Melbourne Beach, Fla./Holy Trinity Episcopal H.S.); Alyssa Luckenbach (Johnson City, Texas/Johnson City H.S.).
"I would describe this group of eight women in two words: talented and eager," noted Brackin. "Everyone who visited Texas on recruiting visits heard the message of us wanting to build upon the current program. We knew this class would be the foundation, and all eight of them expressed a strong desire to be a part of that. They want to leave their mark on the program. Their enthusiasm for the sport will bring an energy to this team that is contagious. (Assistant coach) Jim Henry and I are both extremely excited to work with all of them."
Brie Powers (Kalamazoo, Mich./Kalamazoo Central HS/Great Lakes Aquatics)
Powers captured state titles and clinched All-America honors in the 50 freestyle (23.14) and the 100 freestyle (50.21) at the Michigan Division I High School State Championships on Nov. 19. She owns 12 pool and school records at Kalamazoo Central High School. Powers swims for Vince Gallant at Great Lakes Aquatics Club and Ty Parker at Kalamazoo Central High School.
"Brie has just scratched the surface of her talent!" Brackin said. "She is long, lean and races aggressively! She is a workhorse and will immediately be the 'go-to' swimmer for most of our sprint events. Brie is one of the nation's top sprinters, and the fact that she comes from a middle-distance background is so exciting. She will bring a passion for racing to the Forty Acres."
Adrienne Woods (Dexter, Mich./Dexter HS/Club Wolverine)
Woods, who co-owns two national relay records in the 400- and 800-meter freestyle as a member of Club Wolverine, placed 14th in the 100-meter freestyle, 31st in the 200 backstroke and 36th in the 200 freestyle at the 2006 Speedo Junior National Championships. Woods swims for coach Cory Bergen at Dexter High School and competes for Club Wolverine.
"Adrienne, like Brie, has tons of talent," Brackin said. "She is a positive leader who enjoys racing. This was evident as she led her high school team from a fifth-place seed to a second-place team finish at the 2006 state meet. She has an incredible swimmer's physique, awesome skills and loves to train! We believe that all she is lacking is strength. Needless to say, we are very excited to begin working with her."
Carlye Ellis (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer HS/Club Wolverine)
"Carlye is a powerful swimmer who comes from a program with a tradition of a strong aerobic background," Brackin said. "Her best days of swimming are surely ahead of her. I am confident that when she maximizes her athletic background with strength and conditioning that she will find a new level of racing. Carlye will add depth in our individual medley and work to become our top swimmer in the shorter breaststroke events."
Maddie Crum (Coppell, Texas/Coppell HS/Academy of Texas Aquatic Champions)
"Maddie is one of the most talented backstrokers in this graduating class," Brackin stated. "I believe when she is pushed daily in practice by her teammates that she is going to become a major factor in both backstrokes for us. I absolutely love her stroke and, if she works hard, she will do some pretty special things! Additionally, what many people don't realize is that Maddie is extremely versatile; she will also give us depth in the individual medley and the butterfly."
Natalie Sacco (Dallas, Texas/Highland Park HS/City of Plano Swim Club)
"Natalie has had some impressive swims throughout her career," Brackin said. "Her decision to swim for Texas indicates she is ready to commit to a high level of expectation and workload. She will bring depth to our 200's of strokes and the 400 individual medley. This Texan will bring enthusiasm and spirit to the team. I always think it is special when an entire family is loyal to the same university; it will be fun to look back in five years and know that all three (Thomas, Brittany and Natalie) Saccos competed as Longhorns."
Marisa Rodriguez (Chesterfield, Mo./Lafayette HS/Rockwood Swim Club)
"Marisa has a frame built for swimming fast," Brackin said. "She comes from a very strong club background, so I am confident she understands the demands of training. I expect when she puts more emphasis on power and strength that she will be a contributor for us in the shorter events. She is a former UT swimming camper and is the self-proclaimed, 'No. 1 Texas Fan'. She bleeds burnt orange...she is a Texas Longhorn!"
Katie Hamilton (Melbourne Beach, Fla./Holy Trinity Episcopal HS/Space Coast Swimming)
"Katie is known for her work ethic," Brackin commented. "I am looking for her to be 'that girl' in practice; the one who gets in the pool first, gets out last and yells the loudest. I think with a great training environment she can be an immediate-impact performer."
Alyssa Luckenbach (Johnson City, Texas/Johnson City)
"Alyssa has a long but inconsistent background of training," Brackin said. "She has always had to travel very far to train and, therefore, has not been able to commit to it like the average swimmer. Jim and I believe if she has the opportunity to train consistently, get stronger and work some technique that she very well could be our diamond in the rough."