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Dartmouth Swimming and Diving Announces Class of 2016

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By John and Matt Risley
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HANOVER, N.H.- Fresh off its most successful season in recent program history, the Dartmouth swimming and diving team has announced the addition of 17 members for the Class of 2016. The diverse class includes four international student-athletes and talent from across the U.S.

Head coach Jim Wilson is very excited to welcome these student-athletes to the squad and to the Dartmouth community.

 "With a strong up-and-coming team returning next season, the newcomers will be a tremendous addition," said Wilson.  "The class is very talented and balanced, providing much more firepower to an already deep and accomplished lineup.  We believe that these freshmen will blend with our upperclassmen perfectly.  Their goals are consistent with our vision for the future of the program, and we expect this group to enable us to achieve new heights of success within the Ivy League and on the national level."

Laura Hayes (Reno, Nev.) is Reno Aquatic Club's Swimmer of the Year and a three-time USA Swimming All-American.  As a sprint and mid-distance freestyler, she has been the captain and MVP of Sage Ridge High School Team three consecutive years.  She is also the Nevada 100 freestyle state champion and Pacific LSC record holder in the 400- medley relay.  Dartmouth provides the perfect environment for Laura to explore her passions beyond the pool of hiking and mountaineering.

Emily Holt (Louisville, K.Y.) of the Lakeside Seahawks is a versatile swimmer, specializing in sprint backstroke and butterfly.  She is an Academic All-American and Scholastic All-American, and team captain at duPont Manual High School.  Emily has the potential to be among the Ivy League's top sprinters in both of her primary strokes and will provide a great deal of scoring potential for the Dartmouth women.

Charlotte Kamai (Corte Madera, Calif.) will continue the Kamai legacy of great sprinting for the Big Green, following older twin siblings Elizabeth and Alex to Dartmouth.  She enters Dartmouth with some of the fastest sprint times in the Ivy League and will help to make the Dartmouth relays tough to beat.  She is currently the two-time team captain of Marin Academy and North Bay Aquatics. She is also a three-time Scholastic All-American, and a National Merit Finalist.  Charlotte plans to study international relations and public policy while taking advantage of Dartmouth students' unique ability to study abroad through the D-Plan

Laura McCulloch (Durban, South Africa) captains the Westville Swimming Club and    Durban Girls' College swimming teams as a strong butterfly and sprint freestyler.  She is the winner of the South African Science Award and the National Young Entrepreneur of the Year honor.  Laura's international swimming resume is extensive. She is a FINA World Cup finalist, runner up in the 100 fly at South African Junior Nationals and has been a senior national finalist multiple times for South Africa. In addition to swimming, she also competes in track and field, cross country and surf lifesaving.

Kendese Nangle (Kingston, Jamaica) swims for the Peddie School in Hightstown, N. J., where she is the team captain and Eastern runner-up in the 100 backstroke.  As captain of the Jamaican National junior team, Kendese is the owner of four Jamaican national records in the 50, 100, and 200 back and 400-medley relay and will be a great addition to Dartmouth's already competitive backstroke and sprint freestyle squads.

Katie Papa (Califon, N.J.), is valedictorian of West Morris Central High School where she was named MVP and team captain. Papa holds three varsity records and swims for the Sea Dragons Swim Club. Despite receiving the Princeton Book Award, Katie chose to attend Dartmouth. 

Olivia Samson (Clifton Park, N.Y.) swims for the Albany Starfish Swim Club and is a Scholastic All-American and Academic All-American.  She also claimed Shenendehowa High School's top female student-athlete award.  As an outstanding middle and distance freestyler, she is a Junior National qualifier and was the New York sectionals most outstanding swimmer of 2011.

Koryn Ternes (Austin, Texas) is a highly versatile swimmer competing for Longhorn Aquatics, where she is a senior national qualifier and junior national finalist.  In high school, she was a five-time All-American and was named to the highly competitive Texas All-State team.  She is also a ten-time national age group award winner and is prepared to compete for the Big Green among the best swimmers in the Ivy League in distance free, IM and breaststroke.

Maddie Wall (St. Louis, Mo.) swims for the CSP Tideriders and Ladue High School. She is a Scholastic All-American and Junior National qualifier. A High School All-American, she serves the swimming community as a USA Swimming National Athlete Representative.  Maddie is a highly versatile swimmer with the ability to impact the Dartmouth Team in sprint and mid-distance free, butterfly and IM.

Aaron Athanas (Beverly, Mass.) swims for the YMCA of the North Shore and was named the 2011 Boston Globe Swimmer of the Year. He is a two-time State Champion in the 100 backstroke and was a member of the undefeated four-time State Championship team at St. John's Prep.  Aaron is a High School All-American, three-time YMCA All-American, and a USA Swimming Scholastic All-American.  His strength as a backstroker and in mid-distance freestyle events will have an immediate impact for Dartmouth. He also enjoys playing golf and returns to the pool for water polo season as well. 

Logan Briggs (Issaquah, Wash.) is a two-time high school All-American and was named MVP of Issaquah Swim Team four consecutive years.  He will be immediately competitive for Dartmouth and in the Ivy League in mid-distance free, backstroke, and IM.  Logan's passion for backpacking and hunting drew him to Dartmouth's beautiful Upper Valley.

Daniel Chen (Lake Oswego, Ore.) swam for former Dartmouth assistant coach and Arizona swimming star, Coley Stickles, at Lake Oswego Swim Club, developing into a strong sprint freestyler and backstroker, at the junior national level. He will add depth to both groups at Dartmouth.   Daniel's interest in journalism will serve the Dartmouth community well, possibly covering the Big Green in "The D", Dartmouth's campus newspaper.

Brett Gillis (Kitchener,Ontario, Canada) is an outstanding diver from KW Diving Club with versatility to compete at the National level within Canada or the U.S. in both springboard and platform events.  He is a member of the Canadian National Junior Team, a Canadian Olympic Trial qualifier, and a three-time synchronized diving National finalist. 

Jake Lee (Jacksonville Beach, Fla.), a 2011 graduate of the Bolles School will join the Big Green breaststrokers after a year of travel and training in Madrid, Spain.  Lee is a Junior National qualifier who led Bolles to a high school national championship in 2010 and captained the team in his senior year.  Despite his Florida roots, Lee is an avid outdoorsman, climbing and skiing first descents on a glacier in Alaska for the final month of his senior year.

Jun Oh (Andover, Mass.) swims for Crimson Aquatics and attended Phillips Academy Andover, where his teams have been undefeated for three years running.  He is one of the most versatile swimmers to come out of New England Swimming in the past few years and will be immediately competitive within the Ivy League in a variety of events, including mid and distance free, back and IM.  In addition to his swimming schedule, Jun plays guitar, is a songwriter, and plays lacrosse, golf, football, and soccer.

James Verhagen (Randburg, South Africa) is from Waterborn Swim Club and St. John's College in South Africa. Verhagen was third in the 200-meter backstroke at the South African Nationals and will be an outstanding and versatile swimmer for Dartmouth in sprint and mid backstroke and butterfly events.  In South Africa, he has also played field hockey and keeps a keen eye on soccer and cricket internationally as well.

Daniel Whitcomb (Winnetka, Ill.) is a talented sprinter from New Trier High School, with tremendous potential to improve in college.  He has a great deal of experience with success winning multiple Illinois State championships and as the 2011 NCSA Junior National Champion in 400-freestyle relay. He was also a finalist in many other events and relays at the Junior National level.