Aug. 24, 2010
STORRS, Conn. - Janelle Atkinson Wignall has been named as an assistant men's and women's swimming coach at the University of Connecticut after spending the previous four seasons at Wright State.
The 1999-2000 National High School Swimmer of the Year, Atkinson Wignall earned 10 All-America honors while competing at the University of Florida. She also received three First Team All-Southeastern Conference accolades and had three top-three finishes in three years at the NCAA Championships. Atkinson Wignall was part of three SEC championships and was on the SEC Academic Honor Roll four times.
A native of Kingston, Jamaica, Atkinson Wignall finished fourth in the 400 freestyle at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia, placing ninth in the 800 freestyle as well, and competed in the 2004 games in Athens, Greece. In 2002, the Jamaica native won a pair of bronze medals at the Commonwealth Games held in Manchester, England. She reached the podium in both the 400 and 800 freestyle events.
In 2001, Atkinson Wignall claimed a silver medal in the 800 freestyle and a bronze medal in the 400 freestyle event at the Goodwill Games in Brisbane, Australia. She was a triple silver medalist at the 1999 Pan-American Games in Winnipeg, Canada, and took part in the 2003 games in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. She was also a seven-time recipient of the Jamaican Swimmer-of-the-Year award and a six-time nominee for the Jamaican Sportswoman of the Year.
Before coming to Wright State in August 2006, Atkinson Wignall worked a year as a community relations officer for the Jamaica Information Services in Washington, D.C., and was an assistant coach at Western Kentucky University before that. On the international scene, Atkinson Wignall was selected as the head coach for the Jamaican National Team at the 2009 Swimming World Championships in Rome, Italy.
Atkinson Wignall earned a bachelor's degree in tourism and hospitality management from Florida in 2005.