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Texas A&M announces nine women’s S&D signees

June 05, 2014
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Courtesy: Texas A&M Athletics
(photo: Texas A&M Athletics)

COLLEGE STATION, Texas --- Nine swimming and diving standouts have signed with the Texas A&M women’s team and will join the Aggies for the 2014-15 season, head coach Steve Bultman announced.

Joining the Aggies, who have eight straight top 10 team finishes at the NCAA Championships, were eight swimmers and one diver: Lisa Bratton (Richland, Wash.), diver Lauren Crown (Southlake, Texas), Bethany Galat (Mishawaka, Ind.), Esther Gonzalez (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada), Kristin Malone (Shorewood, Wisc.), Caitlynn Moon (DeKalb, Ill.), Laura Norman (Keller, Texas), Nancy Schuchhardt (Berlin, Germany) and Jessica Sloan (Magnolia, Texas).

”We’re really excited about this group of swimmers and divers.” Bultman said. “They come in as a very versatile group that can help us in a lot of events. I’m particularly excited about the way they have improved in the last year, which is what you want to see. They will definitely be capable of contributing to our success, including some that can help immediately. They are all fired up to be coming here, which is fun to see.”

2014 Texas A&M Women’s Swimming & Diving Signees

Swimmer/Diver

Ht.

Class

Hometown (High School)

Club Team

Lisa Bratton

5-9

Fr-HS

Richland, Wash. (Delta HS)

Tri-City Channel Cats

+Lauren Crown

5-7

Fr-HS

Southlake, Texas (Carroll HS)

GC Divers

Bethany Galat

5-8

Fr-HS

Mishawaka, Ind. (Penn HS)

South Bend Swim Club

Esther Gonzalez

5-6

Fr-HS

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada (Ross Sheppard HS)

Olympian Swim Club

Kristin Malone

5-4

Fr-HS

Shorewood, Wisc. (Shorewood HS)

Shorewood Swim Club

Caitlynn Moon

5-9

Fr-HS

DeKalb, Ill. (Home School)

DeKalb County Swim Team

Laura Norman

5-5

Fr-HS

Keller, Texas (Keller HS)

North Texas Nadadores

Nancy Schuchhardt

6-0

Fr-HS

Berlin, Germany (Coubertin Gymnasium)

SSC Berlin Reinickendorf

Jessica Sloan

5-6

Fr-HS

Magnolia, Texas (West HS)

Magnolia Aquatic Club

+ -- Denotes diver

2014 Signee Sketches

 

Lisa Bratton

5-9

Fr-HS

Richland, Wash. (Delta HS)

Tri-City Channel Cats

Bratton was the Class 4A Swimmer of the Year in the state of Washington as a junior and senior, and was a four-time state meet qualifier under coach Kathy Piper at Delta High School. A four-time state champion, Bratton won the 200 IM three times and also posted a victory in the 100 backstroke. She finished her high school career with school records in the 50 free, 100 free, 100 back, 100 breast and the 200 IM. Competing for the Tri-City Channel Cats and coach Todd Stafik, Bratton was named the Inland Empire Swimmer of the Year in 2012-13. Bratton was a member of USA National Junior Team for the 200 backstroke.  At the 2014 NASA Junior Nationals in Clearwater, Fla. Bratton was the top finisher in the 50 backstroke, the 100 IM the 200 backstroke. Her winning time in the 200 back would have placed 12th at the 2014 Women’s NCAA Championships.

“It provided me with a strong academic school for engineering and the swim program is very competitive,” said Bratton, whose grandfather is a Texas A&M Former Student and whose father was a swimmer at Texas Tech. “I have family in Texas, so it made going to school far from home easier.”

Lauren Crown

5-7

Fr-HS

Southlake, Texas (Carroll HS)

GC Divers

Crown was a four-time All-American diver under coach Carolyn Hryorchuk at Southlake Carroll High School, and she competed at the Texas Class 5A state meet three times (freshman through junior seasons), but was injured as a senior. A three-time all-state diver, she was the state runner-up in 2011 and 2013 and sixth in 2012. Crown also competed for GC Divers and coach Jeff Bro for 11 years.

“I chose Texas A&M for the engineering school and the feeling of being at home during my recruiting trip,” Crown said. “The friendly and positive atmosphere at A&M is unlike any other and I cannot wait to be a part of it.”

Bethany Galat

5-8

Fr-HS

Mishawaka, Ind. (Penn HS)

South Bend Swim Club

Galat was a five-time Indiana state champion with three wins in the 200 IM and two in the 100 breaststroke while competing for coach Jess Preston at Penn High School. She also set the state record of 59.66 in the 100 breaststroke, and she broke three-time Olympic gold medalist Lindsay Benko’s 100 freestyle PHS pool record from 1993 with a time of 50.66 in a December dual meet. She was her team’s MVP all four years, and she also posted two individual wins at the district and regional meet from 2011-14. Competing for the South Bend Swim Club and coach John VanDriessche, Galat was a member of the USA National Junior Team in the 100 breaststroke, and she won the 100 breaststroke and was fifth in the 200 IM at the 2013 Junior Nationals.

“When I visited Texas A&M, I was so impressed by how willing everyone was to help me and my mom to find out whatever we needed to know about the school, and they made us feel so welcome,” Galat said. “The way everyone talked about their experience, it was so clear to me how much of an impact the school had on them.”

Esther Gonzalez

5-6

Fr-HS

Edmonton, ALB, Canada (Ross Sheppard HS)

Olympian Swim Club

Gonzalez has won Mexican National Championship in the long course 100- and 200-meter breaststroke and short course 50-, 100- and 200-meter breaststroke, the 100 butterfly and 200 IM. Competing for coach Dave McDonald and the Olympian Swim Club in Canada, Gonzalez was named the Most Improved Swimmer in 2011-12 and the Club MVP in 2012-13. She also represented Mexico (200 breaststroke) at the 2013 FINA World Championships along with current and former A&M swimmers Erica Dittmer, Lili Ibáñez and Rita Medrano.

“The team, staff and school environment are amazing,” Gonzalez said.  “I felt at home when I went on my visit and couldn´t picture myself going anywhere else.”

Kristin Malone

5-4

Fr-HS

Shorewood, Wisc. (Shorewood HS)

Shorewood Swim Club

Malone set the Wisconsin Div. 2 state record in the 100- and 200-yard freestyles and won four state titles while competing for coach Robby McCabe and Shorewood High School. She was named the Wisconsin Div. 2 Swimmer of the Year in 2012 and was the Woodland Conference Swimmer of the Year from 2011-13. Competing for the Shorewood Swim Club and coaches Dave Westphal and Nick Rudich, Malone was a seven-time club Swimmer of the Year and set the state age group record in the 100 free for ages 15-16 and 17-18.

“I loved the team and the swimming history at Texas A&M,” Malone said. “I loved the work and training ethic that Steve (Bultman) and Tanica (Jamison) created. I wanted to be a part of a program that I felt could get me to be the best I could be, while giving me a great education. Texas A&M had all that and great history and tradition. I can see good things in Texas A&M’s future and I wanted to be a part of it.”

Caitlynn Moon

5-9

Fr-HS

DeKalb, Ill. (Home School)

DeKalb County Swim Team

Moon was a 21-time YMCA National All-American from 2011-14 while breaking eight SCY and LCM club records. Competing for the DeKalb County Swim Team and the Kishwaukee YMCA, Moon, who was coached by Brian Bickner, set SCY records in the 200 free, 500 free, 1,000 free and 1,650 free and LCM records in the 50 free, 200 free, 400 free, 800 free and 1,500 free. At the 2013 YMCA Long Course Nationals, Moon won the 200-, 400- and 800-meter freestyles.

Moon said she chose Texas A&M “for the swim program, the vet school and the Newman Center. I loved the team, coaches and the traditions at A&M.”

Laura Norman

5-5

Fr-HS

Keller, Texas (Keller HS)

North Texas Nadadores

Norman was a four-time Class 5A all-state selection and two-time regional Athlete of the Meet at Keller High School. Coached by Linda Shults, Norman swept the 100 backstroke and the 200 IM as a junior and senior and finished her prep career with school records in the 50 free, 100 free, 100 fly, 100 backstroke and 200 IM. Competing for the North Texas Natadores and coach Bill Christensen, Norman was a four-time Scholastic All-American and received a national age group award in the 100 backstroke.

“The team and the coaches are amazing and the tradition here surpasses all the other schools,” Norman said of her choice of Texas A&M.

Nancy Schuchhardt

6-0

Fr-HS

Berlin, Germany (Coubertin Gymnasium)

SSC Berlin Reinickendorf

Schuchhardt was the German junior national champion in the 400 IM in 2011 and has competed at a variety of international swimming events. Schuchhardt reached the final of the 200 butterfly at the 2012 FINA World Cup and she trains at the German Olympic Training Center with coach Harald Gampe. She trained with SSC Berlin Reinickendorf and was coached by Steffi Schneider.

She said she chose A&M “because I like the team, the team’s spirit, the friendly people, the campus and the business and management school.”

Jessica Sloan

5-6

Fr-HS

Magnolia, Texas (West HS)

Magnolia Aquatic Club

Sloan was a two-time state champion in the 500-yard freestyle and four-time all-state honoree in the race while competing for coach Jeremy Wade at Magnolia West High School. She posted seven top eight finishes at the state meet, including five medalist efforts, in three different races – the 500 free, 200 IM and 200 free. On her way to four straight trips to the state meet, Sloan posted 10 individual wins at the district and regional level. She also competed for the Magnolia Aquatic Club for seven years and was coached by Terry Jones and Scott McFarland.

“It is a fantastic school with amazing school spirit,” said Sloan, whose older brother also attends Texas A&M. “The swim team is great and the girls on the team really drew me in. I also felt like the coaches cared about me.”

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