BALTIMORE—UMBC swimming and diving head coach Chad Cradock announced recently that 16 student-athletes will join the Retrievers for the 2010-11 season. The class of eight men and eight women, features five international students and three Maryland natives.
“We’re really excited about the level of talent coming in this year,” Cradock said. “As the year progresses, we will see a lot of success
A trio of international student-athletes will look to help lead the women’s side back to their first America East Championship since 2008. Sophomore Claire Barron (Lowestoft, England/Benjamin Britten/New Orleans) was a bronze medalist on the 200 medley relay team for New Orleans at the 2010 Sun Belt Conference Championships, while Klara Palelkova (Prague, Czech Republic/Gymnasium Pripotocni) finished fourth in the 50-meter backstroke at the 2009 Czech Republic Championships. Sarah Delvaux (Donceel, Belgium/Centre Scolaire St. Benoit - St. Servais) finished second at the 2009 Belgian Senior Championships in the 800-meter freestyle.
The threesome will be joined by Erika Ronning (Western Springs, Ill./Lyons Township), who was a USA Swimming national qualifier, Talor Tadena (Orangevale, Calif./Bella Vista), who earned All-American citations in three events by the National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association, Patty Hallberg (Severna Park, Md./Broadneck), who was on the 2008-09 USA Swimming Scholastic All-America team, and Kali Dean (Ithaca, N.Y./Lansing), who was a two-time New York All-State honoree.
Charlotte Wright (Frederick, Md./Tuscarora), who qualified for the AAU National Diving Championships in 2010, will add depth on the diving boards.
On the men’s side, sophomore Pierre De Waal (Pretoria, South Africa/Tuks Sport/Cleveland State) comes to Baltimore as a transfer from Cleveland State, where he finished fifth in the 200 fly and sixth in the 500 free at the 2010 Horizon League Championships. He’ll be joined in the mid-distance free ranks by Reed Neuendorf (Blauvelt, N.Y./Tappan Zee), who will also add depth in the distance events, and Kevin Stang (Allentown, Pa./Parkland), who will also swim fly.
Brian Keane (Boston, Mass./Boston College High School/Arizona), who was a three-time Massachusetts State Champion, and Evan Carey (Grand Island, N.Y./Grand Island), who was a two-time New York State Sectional Champions will compete in the sprint and mid-distance free events.
Johan Rohtla (Tallinn, Estonia/Tallinn Secondary Science School), a five-time Estonian National Champion, should compete immediately for a top spot in the backstroke events, while Jesse Lohrer (Dix Hills/N.Y./Half Hollow Hills West) will look to fill the void left by graduated Matt Mattingly, who broke both school records in the breaststroke events last year. Both Rohtla and Lohrer can compete in the mid free and IM events as well.
Rounding out the men’s squad is Tim Perkins (Frederick, Md./Tuscorora), who will add depth to an ever-improving diving corps.
The Retrievers open the 2010-11 season with a non-scoring meet against Bucknell on Oct. 8 at 6 p.m. The first official meet comes eight days later, as UMBC hosts Rider at 2 p.m.