Swimmng & Diving Team Signs Five During Early Period
Nov. 24, 2006
GREENVILLE, N.C. -- The East Carolina men and women's swimming and diving teams signed five high school swimmers during the early signing period announced head coach Rick Kobe, who is in his 25th year as head coach.
Lauren DuFault (Fairport, N.Y.), Stephanie Harper (Newark, Del.), Mercedes Minney (Lancaster, Pa.) and Jenna Stewart (Winter Park, Fla.) signed to swim for the Lady Pirates, while Scott English (Severna Park, Md.) will swim with the men's team in 2007-08.
Jenna Stewart attends Winter Park High School and placed in the top eight in both the 50 and 100-yard freestyle at the 2006 Florida High School Swimming Championships. Stewart also swims for Trinity Prep Aquatics under coach Rocco Aceto, where she has registered U.S. Open and Senior National qualifying times.
"We are excited about Jenna," said Kobe. "Her sprint freestyle times will have an immediate impact in our conference and help create some very fast relays for the Lady Pirates next fall."
As a swimmer for Team Delaware Harper, Harper is a U.S. Open and Junior National qualifier in the breaststroke events under coach Dan Sullivan. She currently attends Newark High School.
"Stephanie is a talented breaststroker whose current times would top the Pirate depth chart this season," stated Kobe.
Dufault swims the sprint freestyle and IM events for the Fairport Area Swim Team, coached by Marci Callan. Swimming for Fairport High School at the 2006 N.Y. State High School Swimming Championships, she was a finalist in both of her events recording personal best times.
"Lauren brings some versatility in her events," Kobe explained. "She is good in both the IM and sprint events and will be a real asset during the dual meet season."
Minney swims for coach Peter Clark on the Trident Swim Club, and is a high school All-American at Manheim Township High School, and all-state athlete in the sprint events.
"Mercedes will add great depth to our freestyle and butterfly events," explained Kobe. "We are really looking forward to her contributions throughout the dual meet season."
English, the lone male to sign during the early period, competes for the Naval Academy Aquatic Club under coach Tom Slear. English is a three-event Eastern Sectional Finalist and an all-county performer in the distance freestyle events at Severna Park High School.
"Scott has a large up side," said Kobe. "He is a big kid who will continue to improve and will add depth to a young group of distance swimmers."
As for the current Pirate swimmers and divers, both men,s and women,s teams have put together an outstanding performances during the fall semester. The teams have combined for two NCAA provisional cuts, 17 U.S. Open qualifying times, and set three school records.
The Lady Pirates have a dual meet record of 7-1. Leading the way has been senior captain Kate Gordon, juniors Rebecca Perry and Megan Pulaski, and freshmen Jacquelynn Jones and Rachel Blue. Junior Christie Icenhower has lead the Lady Pirate divers finishing the first half of the dual meet season undefeated on both one-meter and three-meter boards, while also qualifying for her third straight NCAA regional meet.
The men's team has posted a 5-1 dual meet record and have set themselves up for a memorable season. With one more dual meet victory the Pirates will have tied the record for the most consecutive non-losing seasons (24) of any athletic team at ECU. Captain Geoff Handsfield, senior Matt Donohue, and freshman Kristian Ramkvist have helped lead the Pirates to a great start of the season. Junior diver Ryan Hunt has been a major contributor to the team,s success as well. He is undefeated on the boards this season and looks for continued success heading into the spring semester.