Swimming: Riggs Adds Six to Women’s Team

  • By Grant Dovey
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  • November 18, 2011 02:24 PM
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Coach Vic Riggs of the West Virginia swimming and diving team has announced the addition of five swimmers and one diver to the women’s squad during the first signing period.

“This men’s and women’s class is one of the most talented and diverse we have had in the fall signing period,” Riggs says. “I feel this class is filled with great potential and each of these individuals contain the character and determination we have come to expect of student-athletes here at WVU. I am proud to have them join our family.”

Joining the women’s squad in 2012-13 by way of National Letters of Intent include Morgan Emter (Mason, Ohio), Kelsey Frantz (Englewood, Fla.), Natalie Johnsen (Upper St. Clair, Pa.), Courtney Miller (Buckhannon, W.Va.), Lucy Sanderson (Plymouth, England) and diver Lindsay Schmidt (Warrington, Pa.).

Emter joins the Mountaineers as a three-time Ohio state championships qualifier for Mason High, as well as a member of the Cincinnati Marlins. The three-time first team all-Greater Miami Conference member has been named an NISCA All-American in the 100 breast twice after finishing fourth (1:05.46) in 2010 and fifth (1:05.39) in 2011 at the state championships. While with the Marlins, Emter has qualified for the NCSA Junior National Swimming Championships, where she finished 20th (2:19.55) in the 100 breast in 2011.

“Morgan almost jumped through the phone when she told me she was going to be a Mountaineer,” Riggs says. “I look forward to her bringing that excitement along with her breaststroke talent to our program.”

Frantz attends Charlotte High and swims for Steve Brown of the Sarasota YMCA Sharks. As a sophomore, her only swimming season at Charlotte, Frantz took sixth at states in the 500 free (4:58) and she currently holds the 200 free (1:53.08) school record. For the Sharks in 2011, Frantz had a successful appearance at the YMCA Long Course Championships by finishing 11th in the 200 fly (2:20.37), 11th in the 400 free (4:31.02), 17th in the 200 free (2:09.52) and 23rd in the 100 free (1:00.18). In 2010, she swam in the Southern Zone Long Course Championships, placing second in the 400 free and 800 free, fifth in the 200 free and seventh in the 50 free. She also made appearances in 2008 and 2009. Frantz was selected to attend the Southern Zone Select Camp in Kentucky.

“Kelsey continues our streak of recruiting strong freestylers from Sarasota and Coach Brown,” Riggs says. “Along with her freestyle, she has a very strong butterfly. She is a very dedicated individual who I believe is going to thrive in the college environment and our program.”

Johnsen swims for Tom Donati with Upper St. Clair High and Upper St. Clair Swim Club. At the 2011 Pennsylvania state championships meet, Johnsen was a member of the 200 medley relay that finished in ninth place, while finishing fifth individually in the 100 fly (56.87). At the 2011 WPIAL Championships, Johnsen finished first in the 100 fly (57.22) and 15th in the 100 free (54.22).

“Natalie comes from a strong program coached by Tom Donati at Upper St. Clair,” Riggs says. “She is a very talented butterflier who we both feel will only get better in the future as she develops here at WVU.”

Arguably one of the top swimmers in West Virginia, Miller is in her fourth season swimming for Buckhannon Upshur High, while also swimming for her father, Dennis Miller, with the Randolph Area Y Swim Team. Miller is a three-year qualifier and two-time state champion in the 100 back, finishing with a state record time of 57.97 last season. Miller is a three-time West Virginia state high school All-Tournament team member and was named Big 10 Conference Swimmer of the Year last season. As a four-time YMCA All-American, Miller was also recently named a USA Swimming Scholastic All-American. At the 2011 YMCA Short Course Championships, Miller placed second in the 50 back (30.56) and eighth in the 100 back (1:06.76). She also finished first in the 100 back at the West Virginia Long Course Championships and the West Virginia Short Course Championships in 2011.

“Courtney is a Mountaineer. She is from West Virginia and will bring those characteristics to our program,” Riggs says. “Being the state’s flagship university it is always important to me to have the states swimmers and divers keep their talent in the state. I'm glad she chose to do so. She is a talented backstroker who will come in and be a strong addition to our program.”

Schmidt will be following footsteps as her mother, Tami, was a Mountaineer diving in the 1980s. Schmidt is a two-time state diving qualifier for Central Bucks High, finishing third (442.35 points) on the 1-meter in 2011 and ninth (379.10 points) in 2010. Schmidt has also been a member of Blue Dolphin Diving for Candace Gottlieb and finished 19th on the 3-meter board (325.05 points) at the 2011 USA Diving Summer Junior A Championships.

“Lindsay’s background and experience in diving will help make WVU a strong contender in diving as she was born a Mountaineer,” diving coach Michael Grapner says. “She has high expectations of being admitted into the Honors College and fulfilling her duties as a Mountaineer diver in the classroom and on the boards. We are very lucky to have Lindsay join our team in the fall.”

Sanderson swims for Kelly College, the top ranked United Kingdom high school for swimming. She holds the London area record in the 100 fly and won the Edinburg International Championships in the 100 fly (1:03.22) and 200 fly (2:19.13). At the 2011 British Gas ASA National Youth Championships, Sanderson finished 23rd in the 100 fly and 63rd in the 200 fly.

“Lucy is coming to WVU with a wealth of international experience and will join a strong butterfly group,” Riggs says. “I’m looking for her to contribute immediately at both the dual meet and championship level.”

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