SU swim teams: Eight student-athletes recruited

Eight student athletes

Shippensburg University men’s and women’s swimming head coach Tim Verge has confirmed the recruitment of eight student-athletes who have each agreed to attend the university and will suit up for the Raider program when the season begins in September 2021.

“This is a group of young people that are going to do some wonderful things for SHIP swimming over the years,” Verge said. “There is quite a bit of talent and potential in this group. It isn’t the largest group we’ve had, but it is competitive. I believe all of these student-athletes will be scoring at the PSAC Championships at some point in their career.”

Verge also cited the academic success of his incoming class.

“Most important and true to our SHIP swimming traditions, they are outstanding students,” Verge said. “There are several NHS swimmers, a few who will be in our Woods Honor College, and some records out of high school that are tremendous. They are focused on the right reasons for being here. I am looking forward to getting to work with them and proud they have trusted us with their futures.”

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These individuals have signed either national letters of intent (NLIs) or institutional letters expressing their desire to swim at Shippensburg. This year’s recruiting class features five women (four from Pennsylvania, one from Hawaii) and three men (two from Pennsylvania, one from Virginia).

READ: Raiders swim team news

The recruits are as follows (in alphabetical order):

Women’s recruits

Lauren Croll

Freshman, Honolulu, Hi./President Theodore Roosevelt

Top Times:50 Free: 24.22, 100 Free: 53.77, 100 Breast: 1:05.34, 200 Breast: 2:28.47

President Theodore Roosevelt High School:Totaled three varsity letters for the Rough Riders under head coach Susan Nishioka…competed at the club level with Kamehameha Swim Club (KSC) for coaches John and Kevin Flanagan…won an Oahu Interscholastic Association (OIA) championship in the 50-yard freestyle and finished second in the 100-yard breaststroke as a junior…set individual school records in the 50-yard freestyle, 100-yard breaststroke and 200-yard breaststroke…contributed to school records in medley and backstroke relays…achieved six Hawaii Age Group records…cited as her team’s MVP as a freshman and sophomore…was an honor-roll student who received a Career and Technical Education (CTE) honors diploma…also earned three varsity letters in water polo…graduating as a valedictorian of her

class.

About Croll:Full name is Lauren Ke’aala Kahiau Gaspar Croll…is the daughter of Steven and Beatriz Croll…has a brother, Alexander.

Gwen Elsey

Freshman, Hermitage, Pa./Hickory

Top Times:200 Free: 2:00.39, 500 Free: 5:13.49

Hickory High School:Totaled four varsity letters for the Hornets under head coach Mike Basile…completed at the club level with Shenango Valley YMCA for coach Bruce Tomasello…was a two-time PIAA ‘AA’ All-State honoree in the 500-yard freestyle, earning First Team honors as a sophomore with an eighth-place finish and honorable mention as a freshman with a 12th-place finish…finished as a three-time PIAA State Championships qualifier…named three times to the District 10 Region 1 All-Star squad for the 500-yard freestyle, including First Team honors on two occasions…selected two times to the District 10 Region 1 All-Star Second Team for the 200-yard freestyle…was a three-time academic award winner who compiled a 3.9 GPA.

About Elsey:Full name is Gwendolyn Nicole Elsey…is the daughter of Randy and Tracy Elsey…has two brothers: Ryan and Patrick.

Kristin Gebhard

Freshman, Reading, Pa./Twin Valley

Top Times:100 Breast: 1:07.94, 100 Fly: 1:02.30

Twin Valley High School:Totaled four varsity letters for the Raiders under head coach Donna Gebhard…competed at the club level with Boyertown YMCA Navy Seals for coach Raynelle Shirk…won the Central Penn League (CPL) breaststroke championship as a junior…also played field hockey.

About Gebhard:Full name is Kristen Gebhard…is the daughter of David and Denise Gebhard…has a sister, Rachel.

Emily Newton

Freshman, Summit Hill, Pa./Panther Valley

Top Times:100 Breast: 1:07.63, 200 IM: 2:16.59

Panther Valley High School:Totaled four varsity letters for the Panthers under head coach Liz Pinkey…competed at the club level with Tamaqua Blue Waves under Pinkey…was a two-time PIAA State Championships qualifier in the breaststroke…finished as a three-time District Championships runner-up in the 100-yard breaststroke and placed third in the event as a senior…won three Schuylkill

League titles in the 100-yard breaststroke…named three times to the Schuylkill League All-Area Team…was an Eastern zone qualifier as a sophomore…was a member of the distinguished honor roll…also competed in track & field.

About Newton:Full name is Emily Michelle Newton…is the daughter of Brian and Sharon Newton…has a sister, Molly.

Gracie Wetzel

Freshman, Latrobe, Pa./Greater Latrobe

Top Times:100 Breast: 1:11.52, 200 IM: 2:18.44

Greater Latrobe High School:Totaled four varsity letters for the Wildcats under head coach Grey Arrigone…was a Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League (WPIAL) qualifier in the 100-yard breaststroke and the 200-yard individual medley while swimming with her school’s 200 medley relay and 400 freestyle relay…qualified for the WPIALs in each of her four seasons…was a member of the high honor roll…also earned varsity letters in volleyball and track & field.

About Wetzel:Full name is Gracie Nichole Wetzel…is the daughter of Brad and Jennifer Wetzel…has two sisters, Shelby and Sadie, and a brother, John.

Men’s recruits

David Johnson

Freshman, Chesterfield, Va./L.C. Bird

Top Times:500 Free: 4:41.41, 1000 Free: 9:44.60, 1650 Free: 16:22.43, 100 Fly: 52.48

L.C. Bird High School:Totaled four varsity letters for the Skyhawks under head coach Kimberly Billey…competed at the club level with Quest Swimming for coaches Chad Onken and John Smithson…won a 5A regional championship in the 500-yard freestyle and a 5A regional silver medal in the 100-yard butterfly…was a member of the National Honor Society and the Governors School for Engineering Studies…also played lacrosse.

About Johnson:Full name is David Benjamin Johnson…is the son of Robby and Marchel Johnson.

Nathan VanNatter

Freshman, Pottstown, Pa./Owen J. Roberts

Top Times:50 Free: 21.88, 100 Free: 47.93, 200 Free: 1:45.01

Owen J. Roberts High School:Totaled four varsity letters for the Wildcats under head coach Kevin Bott…competed at the club level with TOPS under coach Bill Draves…qualified for the PIAA State Championships as part of his school’s 200 and 400 freestyle relay squads as a junior…finished as a three-time PIAA ‘AAA’ District 1 Championships qualifier…set pool records with his school’s freestyle relay squads…received All-Area honorable mention from thePottstown Mercuryas a sophomore and junior.

About VanNatter:Full name is Nathan VanNatter…is the son of Chuck and Lisa VanNatter…has a sister, Helena.

Zaidian Van Orden

Freshman, Pottsville, Pa./Pottsville Area

Top Times:50 Free: 21.77, 100 Free: 47.14, 200 Free: 1:45.76, 100 Fly: 53.27

Pottsville Area High School:Competed at the varsity level for the Crimson Tide under head coach Ned Hampford…finished as a four-time PIAA State Championships qualifier…won four individual and four relay gold medals at the District

11 Championships and two individual and two relay medals at the PIAA Class ‘AA’ State Championships…finished fourth in the 100-yard freestyle and ninth in the 50-yard freestyle at the 2021 PIAA ‘AA’ Championships…claimed District 11 Championships in the 100 and 200 freestyle as a junior and the 50 and 100 freestyle as a senior…shared the 2021 Dennis McGinley Boys’ Outstanding Swimmer of the Meet Award with Notre Dame-Green Pond’s R.J. Farina…honored as theRepublican HeraldMale Swimmer of the Year as a senior…named to the All-State First Team as a sophomore…won district championships in the 100-yard freestyle and 200-yard freestyle as a junior…set four school records…compiled a 3.9 GPA and was a member of the Spanish National Honor Society.

About Van Orden:Full name is Zaidian Blayne Van Orden…is the son of Glenn and Sheila Van Orden…has a brother, Carmine, and three sisters: Kahmaya, Natalina and Aubree.

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