BUCKHANNON – The West Virginia Wesleyan men's and women's swimming coaching staff are proud to announce their recruiting class for 2021.
Head coach April Gitzen and assistant coach Katie Squires have brought in a total of 14 new swimmers – eight on the women's side and six on the men's side.
"The coaching staff is excited to announce the newest members of the West Virginia Wesleyan swim team," remarked coach Gitzen. "Coach Squires and I have been working diligently this year to bring in a strong recruiting class that represent the values of West Virginia Wesleyan College. This is one of the deepest recruiting classes our program has seen and we cannot wait to welcome 14 new faces to our team next fall."
Gitzen and Squires will welcome a diverse and international freshman class to Wesleyan this fall.
On the women's side, they recruited Ryann Katz (Fort Mills, S. C.), Kay Luisa Lange (Hannover, Germany), Sarah Noll (Monongahela, Pa.), Anna Puigvert Juan (Banyoles, Spain), Samantha Segrest (Fredericksburg, Va.), Alyssa Serrano (Murrieta, Calif.), Kennedy Stallworth (Lexington, N. C.) and Alayna Thompson (Charleston, W.Va.).
On the men's side, coming to Buckhannon will be Arthur Assfeld (Toul, France), Luke Feldhake (Beaver, W. Va.), Michael McAlpine (Brooklyn, N.Y.), Mikel Mugarza Pascual (Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain), Russ Sutton (Ghent, W. Va.) and Nathan Swalley (Slidell, La.).
"Each of these athletes brings enthusiasm and a hard-work ethic that will fit in well with our program," stated coach Gitzen. "It was such a pleasure to work with each of the incoming freshmen and get to know them through the recruiting process. They and their families will be welcome with open arms to our Bobcat swimming family and we are excited for the future of our program. Next year we look to build upon the incredible season we just had; with our senior leadership, strong underclassmen and now a stellar freshmen class we look to continue representing Wesleyan at the highest level."
Coach Gitzen had this to say about each individual recruit:
"We are extremely excited to have Ryann join our Bobcat family next year! She has so much potential to grow at the collegiate level. She will be a strength to our mid-distance freestyle and butterfly events next season. Ryann brings with her a creative spirit and a wonderful attitude. She fit in very well with our team on her visit with us and we look forward to welcoming her to campus in the fall!"
Kay Luisa Lange
"Kay will make an immediate impact on our women's team next season. She is very versatile and has the ability to contribute in a number of events which will be a great asset to the team. She will also be a key member of many relays. She was so fun to get to know through the recruiting process and we know she is very excited to attend Wesleyan and study in the United States."
"Sarah signed to swim at Wesleyan last fall after visiting us back in September. She will look to contribute to the team in the backstroke and butterfly events along with the possibility of swimming some freestyle or IM throughout her career. She brings with her stellar academic achievements and is excited to study exercise science at Wesleyan!"
Anna Puigvert Juan
"Anna was the first Spanish commit we've had and we couldn't be happier she chose Wesleyan. She is a true sprinter and will help fill the voids left by our graduating senior class. We also expect her to vie for relay spots immediately. Anna is excited about the 3-2 engineering program that Wesleyan offers, Dr. Bert Popson was a great resource for her during the recruiting process and a huge reason she chose Wesleyan."
"Sam also signed with Wesleyan back in the fall and we can't wait to welcome her into our family this fall. She will be a welcome addition to our distance group and has the ability to contribute in any freestyle event 200 and above. She also has the ability to develop into a strong IMer. Sam is an excellent student who looks forward to studying exercise science at Wesleyan."
"We can't wait to have Alyssa join our swimming family next season. From our first phone conversation we could tell that she loved what she learned about Wesleyan and during her visit in January we knew she would be a great addition to our program. Alyssa comes in as a strong IMer and that versatility will be great depth for us."
"Kennedy absolutely fell in love with Wesleyan during the recruiting process and from her first visit here in the fall. Her personality fit in very well with our team and she will be a great addition to our program. She will develop at the collegiate level and add depth to our breaststroke group. We know how excited Kennedy to attend Wesleyan and we are just as excited to welcome her!"
"We are very excited to welcome Alayna to the Wesleyan swimming family. She will join a long line of swimmers from her club team, HYCAT to find success as a student-athlete at Wesleyan. Alayna will add depth to our butterfly events and she has the ability to contribute in any freestyle event which will add strong depth to our women's team. She is a stellar student who will also excel in the classroom."
"We are very excited to welcome Arthur to WVWC! He will be the first swimmer from France to represent Wesleyan and he will look to make an immediate impact on our program. He will add depth to our sprint group and will be a key member of a number of our relays squads. He is an exceptional student as well who looks to major in chemistry or physics."
"If you look at Luke you can tell he's built to be a swimmer. He has endless potential to grow and improve at the collegiate level and we are really excited to have him join our program. We see him growing as a backstroke and butterfly specialist but has the ability to really develop as an IMer as well. "
"Michael fell in love with Wesleyan on his visit in the fall. He expressed to us that he liked the small town and friendliness of the WVWC community. Michael will be a great addition to our swimming family and can contribute in many different events. Primarily we expect him to be a huge asset in butterfly and backstroke events along with challenging for relay spots next season."
Mikel Mugarza Pascual
"We couldn't be happier that Mikel chose Wesleyan, he'll be a key contributor in any distance freestyle events next season. He's also a strong breaststroker and IMer which will add depth across multiple events. Mikel was so wonderful to work with throughout the recruiting process and we can't wait to welcome him to Wesleyan."
"Russ comes from a great West Virginia swimming family as both have his parents have been very involved with the sport in the Mountain State. We are so excited that he chose WVWC to continue his swimming career. Russ has battled a serious shoulder injury in the past few years but has come back very strong and we look for him to continue to excel at the college level."
"It was so great to meet Nathan through the recruiting process. His enthusiasm during his visit was evident and we know how excited he is to attend WVWC, he fit in very well with our team and we can't wait to have him be a Bobcat! Nathan plans to major in engineering and Dr. Bert Popson was a huge reason he felt at home at Wesleyan. We look for Nathan to be a key contributor in butterfly and mid-distance events next season."