FAYETTEVILLE — University of Arkansas swimming and diving head coach Jeff Poppell has announced the signing of seven athletes to National Letters of Intent, it was announced Monday. Next year’s newcomers will be diver Shelby Bartlett of Noblesville, Ind., and swimmers Lyndsie Gibson of Southlake, Texas, Rachel Kessler of New Rochelle, New York, Anna Mayfield of Memphis, Tenn., Maddie Monroe of Godfrey, Ill., Rachel Stoehr of Lake Forest, Ill., and Margo Turner of Memphis, Tenn.
"We are extremely excited about our incoming group of student athletes next year," Coach Poppell said. "I think they’ll fit really well with our current team and what we’re looking for in student athletes. In the pool, I think each of them can make large contributions to our program in the future."
Coach Poppell on Margo Turner:
"Margo has wanted to be a Razorback from the day she set foot on our campus. We have enjoyed watching her improve over the last few years and feel that she has some of her best swimming still ahead of her. Margo will have the opportunity to contribute immediately in the butterfly events. She is a terrific young lady with a great deal of enthusiasm that will fit in very well with our team dynamic."
Coach Poppell on Rachel Kessler:
"We are extremely excited to have Rachel joining us next year. She represented the United States at the 2009 World Maccabiah Games in Israel. Over the past few years, she has established herself as one of the top butterfly and individual medley swimmers in the New York area. She is a terrific young lady with a very strong work ethic and commitment to her academics as well as her swimming."
Coach Poppell on Maddie Monroe:
"Maddie is someone that we feel has a great deal of potential in the years to come. She has steadily improved year after year and is developing into a strong middle distance freestyle swimmer. Maddie is a wonderful young lady with a very strong work ethic and I see her being able to make contributions right away in our freestyle relays."
Coach Poppell on Rachel Stoehr:
"Coming from a very strong swimming team in Illinois, we feel that Rachel is a perfect fit for our training program here at Arkansas. She will have the opportunity to train with some of the best middle distance and distance freestylers in the country and we really look forward to great things from her over her time with us. She is a wonderful student as well and embodies what we are looking for in a student-athlete."
Coach Poppell on Lyndsie Gibson
"Lyndsie is truly a diamond in the rough and a swimmer that I feel has her best years ahead of her. She is coming off of a very strong 2010-2011 season, having posted some of the top distance freestyle times in the state of Texas. I look forward to the opportunity of working with Lyndsie as I feel that she can be a very strong contributor to this team in not only the distance freestyle events but the backstroke events as well. Her excellent work ethic and team-first attitude will represent an outstanding addition to our program."
Coach Poppell on Anna Mayfield:
"Anna is one of the top recruits from Texas this year. The 2011 Texas High School State Champion in the 200 free and the 100 Back, she will be able to immediately help us in the freestyle events from 50 free up to the 1,000 free and will also be one of our leaders in the 100 and 200 backstroke events. With her versatility, she can us help us in a number of different places as well as being a major contributor on relays. In addition, Anna is an outstanding student and will also be very successful for us in the classroom."
Diving Coach Dale Schultz on Shelby Bartlett:
"We are extremely excited about Shelby Bartlett and her addition to our Razorback Diving program. Shelby competes on one meter, three meter and platform. Shelby is an athlete very similar to current Razorback Kesha Naylor in ability and strength. This along with our other returning divers will give us a solid diving core for several years."
For more information about Razorback swimming and diving, please log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com.