STORRS, Conn. - University of Connecticut swimming coach Bob Goldberg announced the signing of four future student-athletes for the 2015-16 season on Thursday. UConn will welcome Jacklyn Van Lew, Julie Hu, Madeline Blair and Annika Grewal to Connecticut in the fall of 2015.
All four swimmers are set to join a Connecticut squad that sent two swimmers to the AT&T Winter Nationals this month. Below is more information on each of the new Huskies as well as coach Goldberg’s thoughts on them.
Jacklyn Van Lew | Tinton Falls, N.J. | 200-yard freestyle/200-yard backstroke
Jacklyn will arrive in Storrs after swimming for the Red Bank Aquarockets in New Jersey. She was a YMCA National Finalist while competing for her club, and she boasts impressive times in the 100-yard backstroke (55.8) and the 200-yard backstroke (1:59.0). She has also posted marks of 23.6 seconds in the 50-yard freestyle, 51.0 in the 100-yard freestyle and 1:48.5 in the 200-yard freestyle. Her best time in the 500-yard freestyle currently stands at 4:53.8.
“We were really excited to get Jackie. Her times are right at the level of some of our top swimmers, and she’s going to have an immediate impact in all the freestyle events and the two backstroke events. She will have a big impact at our conference meet.” – Goldberg
Julie Hu | Cary, N.C. | 100/200-yard breaststroke
Julie has posted several impressive times while swimming for the North Carolina Aquatic Club in Durham, N.C. She sports a time of 1:04 in the 100-yard breaststroke, and her personal-best in the 200-yard breaststroke is 2:19. She competed in the 2014 Speedo Champions Series and the 2013-14 North Carolina State Championships.
“She is putting up very competitive times, and the great thing about Julie is that she’s on a huge academic scholarship. Her arrival to UConn will give us a great swimming and academic boost. We’re going to be very strong in breaststroke next year with her coming in and adding to our other breaststrokers.” - Goldberg
Madeline Blair | Bethlehem, Pa. | Sprint
Madeline has excelled in multiple freestyle events throughout her time at the Parkland Aquatic Club in Breinigsville, Pa. She currently boasts times of 23.90 in the 50-yard freestyle and 51.54 in the 100-yard freestyle, which she raced in at the 2013-14 Pennsylvania State Championships. In the 200-yard freestyle, Blair has tallied a time of 1:51.93.
“Madeline is also on a big academic scholarship and she has terrific times in the sprint events. We will need her with Chinyere Pigot graduating after this season. She has the potential to be right at the level we need.” - Goldberg
Annika Grewal | Oakville, Ontario | Mid-distance freestyle/backstroke
Annika saw great success in the backstroke events while as a member of the Oakville Aquatic Club in Ontario. She will come to UConn with a converted time of 54 seconds in the 100-yard backstroke, and she has completed the 200-yard in 1:58 (converted).
“We seem to have a lot of luck recruiting some of the best swimmers from Canada. She was probably our number one recruit all year and she was somebody that we really wanted. I’m sure she’ll be in our record books in no time.” – Goldberg