Dec. 2, 2009
The University of Northern Iowa swimming and diving team will add three women to the 2010-2011 roster, head coach Stacey Simmer announced today. The team will add two swimmers, Ashlee Graham and Natalie Johnson and one diver, Brittany Murray.
Ashlee Graham (Cedar Falls, Iowa/Cedar Falls HS)
Graham is a four-year state qualifier and four-year letterwinner at Cedar Falls High School. At the state meet in 2008, she placed seventh in the 100 butterfly, fifth in the medley relay and ninth in the 400 freestyle relay. At the state meet in 2009, Graham placed 13th in the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke, seventh in the 200 freestyle relay and third in the 400 freestyle relay. Cedar Falls High School took second in 2008 and fourth in 2009 at the state meet. Graham was a conference and district champion in 2008 and 2009.
Graham is in the top 15 percent of her senior class and currently holds a 3.8 GPA. She has been on the honor roll for four years and has received academic awards all four years. Graham shows leadership throughout the school and city as she participates in class officers, student forum, senior leadership, Mayors Top Teen Award 2009 and Iowa Swimming Inc. Junior and Senior Athlete Representative.
"Another Cedar Falls swimmer - I am keeping that pipeline between Holmes pool and the WRC pool open," Simmer said. "Ashlee is a very talented butterfly swimmer and will fill a hole that I will need filled after senior Maggie Rickert graduates. I believe that her best swimming will come in college and she will only get faster with some specialized training and swimming with the rest of the panther swimmers. I am very excited to have Ashlee join us next year."
Natalie Johnson (Nashotah, Wis./Arrowhead HS)
Johnson is a four year letterwinner at Arrowhead High School in Nashotah, Wis. She is a three-time top-16 finalist in the 100 and 200 backstroke. Her high school team finished first in the Wisconsin State meet in 2006, 2008 and 2009. Johnson is also a member of the Lake Country Swim team. She is a two time Speedo Sectionals Championship Qualifier and took eighth in the 200 backstroke at the Speedo International Age Group Invitational Meet.
Johnson is also active in band, Kiwanis Key Club, Student Senate Delegate and student representative and is on the honor roll.
"Natalie will be adding depth and talent to our backstroke events," Simmer said. "She has high goals she wants to achieve in college and I think within our program of other swimmers with high goals she will really excel.Natalie is also an outstanding student, and she really exemplifies the meaning of a student-athlete. She not only wants to succeed in the pool, but in the classroom as well. UNI is a great place for that. I can't wait to see what all Natalie will bring to our team next year, there is no limit on what she can achieve."
Brittany Murray (Cedar Rapids,Iowa/Xavior HS)
Murray attended Xavier High School in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and was a four-time state qualifier. She was on the All Metro Team for four years and was the district diving champion in 2007 and 2009. Murray holds the 6-dive and the 11-dive record at Xavier. Murray is a four-year Academic Honor Roll student and was nominated to the NCYL (National Council of Youth Leadership). Murray is currently on the yearbook staff at her high school. She is undecided on a major but is considering business.
"I am excited for Brittany to join the swimming and diving team at UNI," UNI diving coach Shelly Pollock said. "I believe she will continue to dive well on 1-meter and her hard work and dedication will help her in learning a strong diving list on 3-meter. Having another diver will help score more points for the Panthers during the swimming and diving season."