Dec. 3, 2012
PITTSBURGH – Head swimming and diving coach Chuck Knoles has announced the addition of eight student-athletes to join the University of Pittsburgh in the fall of 2013.
As one of the top signing classes in program history, the Panthers will welcome five males and three females in the fall of 2013. Joining the Panthers are Haden Calegan, Anthony Galante, Gabriel Larson, Zach Lierley and Seth Wenner on the men’s side. On the women’s side, Pitt has added Kinga Cichowska, Rachel Saunders and Athena Summa.
“With the stature of Zack Lierley and the four other male student-athletes we have signed, we can consider this as one of the top classes we have ever signed here at Pitt,” Knoles said. “On the women’s side, Kinga Cichowska is one of the top athletes we’ve ever signed, so we are well on our way to having a phenomenally talented recruiting class on the women’s side as well.”
Haden Calegan – Muscatine, Iowa – Breaststroke, IM:
As a sophomore, Calegan won the Iowa State Championship in the 200IM and was a part of the winning 200 Medley Relay team. Last year as a junior, Calegan placed third in the 50 Meter Breaststroke at the NCSA Junior National Championships. He is planning to major in astronomy and physics.
Anthony Galante – Cary, N.C. – Diver:
Gabriel Larson – Pittsburgh, Pa. – IM, Breast, Free:
Galante had a standout junior year on the boards for Athens Drive HS, placing second at the NCHSAA 4A State Meet. He was the NCHSAA 4A Regional Champion and the Tri-Nine Conference Champion one season ago. A member of the American School for Diving, Galante participated in the 2012 Junior National Diving Championships and the Junior Zone B Championships. He plans to major in engineering.
A local talent, Larson will join the Panthers with a resume which includes an eighth place finish in the 100 Breast and a ninth place finish in the 200 Free at the 2012 PIAA State Championship meet. He was also a top-10 finisher in the 200IM at the 2011 PIAA State meet. Larson plans to major in applied exercise science.
Zach Lierley – Mt. Pleasant, S.C. – IM, Backstroke, Breaststroke:
The younger brother of current sophomore Jon Lierley, Zach is one of the highest touted recruits in the country. Lierley is the two-time reigning South Carolina State Swimmer of the Year and he owns multiple state records. Lierley has helped his high school capture four-consecutive South Carolina AAAA State Championships titles, and he has won the 200IM State Championship every year since he was a sophomore. On a national level, Lierley qualified for Junior Nationals in 2009-10 and was then named to the 2011-12 USA Junior National Team, while also qualifying for the 2011 Senior Nationals. This past year, Lierley qualified for the USA Olympic Trials and finished in the top-35 in the 400IM and the 200 Meter Backstroke. He plans to major in business.
Seth Wenner – Carlisle, Pa. – Free, Fly
Like Larson, Wenner is an in-state talent who has had tremendous success on the state level. He placed 12th at the 2012 PIAA State Championship meet in the 50 Free. Wenner is also an all-state water polo player who led his team to a state runner-up finish. He plans to major in business.
Kinga Cichowska – Poland – Breaststroke:
Pitt welcomes the Polish National Champion to their team in 2013. Cichowska just captured the 100 and 200 Breaststroke title at Poland’s Summer National Championships in May of 2012, and also won the 2012 Winter National Championships in the same events. In 2010, she finished ninth at the European Junior Championships in the 200 Breast and 10th in the 100 Breast. In long course, she has a lifetime best of 1:10.95 in the 100 Breast and 2:30.39 in the 200 Breast.
Rachel Saunders – Doylestown, Pa. – Diver:
A converted gymnast, Saunders has been a PIAA State Championship participant every year since she was a freshman. In her sophomore campaign, Saunders took fourth place at states, and as a junior she finished third. Saunders participated in the 2011 and the 2012 USA Diving Junior Zone A Championships, and also made the 2012 Junior East National Championships, finished 28th in the 1M competition. She is an intended business major.
Athena Summa – Poquoson, Va. – Butterfly/IM:
A four-year Virginia State Championship qualifier, Summa brings a top time of 56.43 in the 100 Fly and a 2:04.60 in the 200 Fly with her to Pittsburgh. She participated in last year’s Winter Nationals and she plans to major in science.
The Panthers will host their Christmas Meet on Dec. 13-16, and then will resume action in the pool with the Backyard Brawl against West Virginia on Jan. 12, 2013 at Trees Pool.