May 8, 2007
HUNTINGTON - Marshall women's swimming and diving head coach Leonard Kraus unveiled one of his six-year-old program's largest signing classes, as eight student-athletes signed National Letters of Intent Tuesday.
Meghan Robinson (Sugarland, Texas/Stephen F. Austin), a sprinter, becomes the first student-athlete in program history from the state of Texas.
"Meghan is a capable sprinter with a good upside," Kraus said. "She is a wonderful girl who will bring a lot to the team."
Breaststroker Kelli Novak (Nashville, Tenn./Heritage Christian Academy) is the fourth Tennessee product to join Kraus' program.
"Kelli comes in with a top-eight time in the 100-yard breaststroke," Kraus said. "She has a great upside and could be a multiple finalist as a freshman."
Jenaé Moreno (Rio Vista, Calif./Charis Christian School) is the first California native for Kraus, as she joins the program in the sprint and middle distance events.
During her senior season, Moreno was named to the All-Scholastic, North All-Section and All-Conference teams. She placed first in the 200- and 500-yard freestyle at the North Section Conference Championship meet.
"Jenaé is a talented 100- to 500-yard swimmer," Kraus said. "She will be a big help in those events as well as helping in our free relays.
"I look for her to make the same impact her freshman season that (team captain) Renee Lambert did. If she does, we will be a much better team."
For the second consecutive season, Kraus reeled in a South Carolina product. Lauren Fairbanks (Greer, S.C./Southside Christian School) will be added to the Herd lineup in sprints, middle distance and the butterfly.
"Lauren is a good talent from the 100- to the 500," Kraus said. "She will make us a stronger dual meet team and help out with both the free and medley relays. I believe she has good upside."
Kraus didn't limit his recruiting to the one part of the Carolinas, as he inked the program's first North Carolinian in Susan Velte (Mooresville, N.C./Mooresville). Velte will be added in the backstroke and butterfly disciplines.
"Susan could push for the number one spot in both the backstroke and butterfly events," Kraus said. "She has a passion to improve."
College transfer Jenny Johnsson (Osby, Sweden/Ashland University) is the only non-freshman addition for the Herd in 2007-08. Johnsson, who participates in the IM, backstroke and freestyle distance, competed for Ashland University as a freshman last season.
"Jenny is a tremendously versatile swimmer," Kraus said. "By the end of the year, she should push for the top spot in no less than nine events.
"She is the most versatile swimmer we've had since Milla (Kuurto) graduated."
Two divers, Jordan Weber (St. Petersburg, Fla./Northeast) and Haley Holmquist (Coral Springs, Fla./Coral Glades), complete Kraus' recruiting class. Weber is the Northeast High School record holder in the one-meter event. She placed fifth at the Florida State High School Class 2A Championships.
"I am really excited that Jordan is coming to Marshall," Marshall diving coach Lori Meierbachtol said. "She has a great deal of potential. Her solid fundamentals and great attitude are going to take her far."
Holmquist placed first in the district and regional meet in both her junior and senior years. She was also a four-time state qualifier.
"Haley is really going to be a great asset to our diving team," Meierbachtol said. "She has a great work ethic and will be coming in with a very competitive list of dives on both the one- and three-meter.
"She already has a lot of experience, but I really think she has her best diving ahead of her."
2007-2008 Marshall Thundering Herd Women's Swimming & Diving Signing Class
Lauren Fairbanks, Sprints/Mid /Butterfly (Greer, S.C./Southside Christian School)
Haley Holmquist, Diving (Coral Springs, Fla./Coral Glades HS)
Kelli Novak, Breaststroke (Nashville, Tenn./Heritage Christian Academy)
Jenny Johnsson, IM/Backstroke/Distance (Osby, Sweden/Ashland University)
Jenaé Moreno, Sprints/Middle Distance (Rio Vista, Calif./Charis Christian School)
Meghan Robinson, Sprints (Sugarland, Texas/Stephen F. Austin HS)
Susan Velte, Backstroke/Butterfly (Mooresville, N.C./Mooresville HS)
Jordan Weber, Diving (St. Petersburg, Fla./Northeast HS)