Swimming & Diving Lands Seven Additions in Early Signing Period
Associate head coach Dave Collins added seven swimmers to the Bears' initial signing class of 2012-13.
Associate head coach Dave Collins added seven swimmers to the Bears' initial signing class of 2012-13.

Nov. 18, 2011

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – The Missouri State swimming & diving program announced the addition of seven swimmers to its 2012-13 recruiting class on Wednesday (Nov. 16). The Bears addressed specific needs during the early signing period, picking up six women standouts and one male swimmer.

“Our goal going into this first cycle of recruiting was to add some depth swimmers that would be able to come in and score points at the conference meet as freshmen,” associate head coach Dave Collins commented. “We’ve been able to identify and sign some swimmers that we feel have their best swimming still ahead of them. We also were able to secure some local talent that I have had the pleasure of watching compete over the years. It is important for to us to reach out to athletes in our region.”

Signing their National Letters of Intent with the Bears for the 2012-13 academic year are:

Rebecca Amparano • Kearney, Mo. • Kearney High
Amparano is a butterfly/IM swimmer from Kearney, Mo., and swims club for Tsunami Swim Team of Kansas City. As a junior, she achieved junior national cuts in the 100 fly, 200 fly and 400 IM. In addition, Amparano placed sixth in the finals heat at the CSRVIII 2011 Spring Speedo Champions Series meet in the 200-meter butterfly (2:25.54). As a sophomore, she competed at both sections and the Grand Prix meet in Austin, Texas.

“Rebecca trained extremely well and had some great meet results this past summer,” Collins said. “If history repeats itself, the last swimmer at Missouri State from the Tsunami Swim Team was Chris Novak, who graduated last year and will be competing at the Olympic Trials in 2012.”

Kate Gately • Chesterfield, Mo. • Parkway West High
Gately is a sprint freestyle swimmer from Chesterfield, Mo. The Parkway West senior is ranked as the 10th-best recruit in the state of Missouri this year. As a junior, Gately played an important role in Parkway West’s state title. She was crowned the Missouri state champion in the 100 freestyle (52.11) in addition to being a member of the first-place 400 freestyle relay team. Gately was named to the 2011 St. Louis Dispatch All-Metro Girls Swimming First Team, was the recipient of the Westplex/Talk 94.1 “The Sports Mayhem USA” High School Athlete of the Week award and recipient of the KFNS/Army Strong Top Performer Award in April. As a sophomore and junior, she also placed fourth in the 50 free at state. Gately is coached by former Missouri State backstroke standout Allison Zeller.

“Kate has an endless amount of potential and has not even scratched the surface of what she is capable of doing,” Collins commented. “She is going to provide some key depth in the sprint events. She is a proven winner and a racer and that’s what you want out of a sprinter.”

Josephine Paschke • Berlin, Germany • Coubertio Gymnasium
Paschke is a middle-distance/distance freestyle swimmer from Berlin, Germany. In 2011, she competed in the German Long Course Championships and placed third in both the 400- and 800-meter free. Paschke stayed busy in 2010 swimming at the German Championships as well as numerous international events including the European Cup (Turkey), European Cup (Italy), European Cup Openwater and European Junior Championships. At the German Championships, Paschke recorded best times in the 200 free (2:07.71) and 400 free (4:22.40). In 2009, she record three first-place finishes at the Berlin Short Course Championships in the 400, 800 and 1,500 freestyle events.

“Josephine is going to make an immediate impact and will threaten to win events at conference as a freshman,” Collins said. “She is going to bring with her international swimming experience and we are extremely excited to have a swimmer of her caliber joining our program.”

Ibby Simcox • Blue Springs, Mo. • Blue Springs High
Simcox is a butterfly/IM swimmer from Blue Springs, Mo., and swims for Kansas City Blazers. She is ranked as the ninth-best recruit in the state of Missouri this year. As a junior, she finished fifth place in both individual events at the MSHSAA Girls State Swimming Championship the 200 IM (2:09.15) and 100 fly (57.91). In 2011, the junior captain was named The Kansas City Star’s All-Metro Missouri Girls Swimmer of the Year, while earning All-State, All-Metro, All-Conference and All-Area honors. Simcox is a two-time Examiner Swimmer of the Year and also earned All-American honors as a freshman.

“Ibby is a swimmer that has seen a lot of success at the age-group and high school state level,” Collins commented. “It is going to be really exciting to see her adapt to college swimming. Ibby is a great local talent that has a lot of ability in the butterfly, which is an area we had pegged for this recruiting class.”

Heather Snyder • Lee’s Summit, Mo. • Lee's Summit High
Snyder is a distance freestyle swimmer from Lee’s Summit, Mo., and swims for the Kansas City Blazers. At the 2011 Missouri Valley Division I Championships, Snyder earned a Junior National “B”-Cut. She broke multiple school records at Lee’s Summit, while also earning All-Metro first team honors. As a junior, she placed 6th in the 500 free (5:08.69) at the MSHSAA Girls State Swimming Championship. Snyder also took part in the 2011 USA Swimming Open Water National Championships in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., placing 64th in the women’s 5k.

“Heather is going to have the role of replacing the best distance swimmer in [Missouri State] women’s history in Dimi Drakopoulou. She is going to be asked to step up as a freshman in the distance events and she is ready for that challenge. Four years from now, we may be talking about how hard it’s going to be to replace Heather.”

Carly Wright • Round Rock, Texas • Stony Point High
Wright is a middle-distance freestyle swimmer from Round Rock, Texas and swims for Texas Gold Swimming. In the deep talent pool of Texas, the Stony Point senior is ranked the 58th-best recruit in the state of Texas this year. In 2011, Wright logged life-time bests in the 200, 500, and 1,650 freestyle at the 2011 Speedo Sectionals in College Station, Texas.

“We are really excited to pull Carly out of the state of Texas where she has had a lot of success as an age-group and high school swimmer. With a great attitude and a very good work ethic, she is going to be able to provide some key depth in the middle-distance freestyle events.”

Uvis Kalnins • Valmiera, Latvia
Kalnins is a freestyle swimmer from Valmiera, Latvia, and swims for Valmieras BSS. As the top-ranked freestyler in Latvia, he will have a real shot at representing his home country in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. At the European Junior Championships, Kalnins placed third in the 100-meter freestyle (50.18). He has recorded numerous life-time bests in 2011 including swims at the European Junior Championships, International Sprint Festival and the 87th Latvian Swimming Championships.

“Uvis will be joining a very young team and will play an extremely important role in the next four years of men’s swimming here at MSU,” Collins said. “He has a ton of international and big-meet experience and his converted long-course times are very, very special.”



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