Wyoming Swimming And Diving Announces The Signing Of Eight Student-Athletes

May 24, 2011

LARAMIE, Wyo. - Wyoming Swimming and Diving and head coach Tom Johnson are proud to announce the signing of seven high school seniors and one transfer to join the 2011-12 roster.

Halie Lacey and Stephanie Young will join Cowgirl Swimming and Diving. Ryan O' Leary, John Dowd, Joey Ferreri, Daniel Bradford, Christopher "CT" Robinson and Dalton Haas will join Cowboy Swimming and Diving.

The following is a summary of the new swimming and diving signees:

Halie Lacey, Breaststroke and Individual Medley, Orlando, Fla.

Lacey signed with the Cowgirls to carry on a tradition of great breaststrokers at the University of Wyoming. She is a Florida High School State finalist in the 100 breaststroke and 200 individual medley. Lacey helped lead her team to a Florida State Championship in the 200 medley relay. She is also a strong 200 breaststroke and 400 IM swimmer. She has been a National YMCA finalist in the breaststroke events. Lacey is an excellent student as she is involved in the Advanced Center for International Studies program at Dr. Phillips High School. Almost of her classes she has taken are Advanced Placement classes. She plans to study biology at UW.

"Halie comes to us from Swim Orlando Club and is coached by former Texas A&M head coach, Mel Nash," UW head coach Tom Johnson said. "Halie has a terrific background and will join us ready for Division I swimming. She has a terrific work ethic and is a tough, strong swimmer. We look forward to seeing Halie become an elite breaststroker in the conference."

Stephanie Young, Breaststroke and Individual Medley, South Dakota State University

Young comes to Wyoming as a transfer from South Dakota State University. She is the sister of Cowgirl school record holder and Mountain West Conference Champion, Lesley Young. She had a superb year at SDSU, where she had significant improvement in the 100 and the 200 breaststroke. Young placed fifth in the 100 and 200 breaststrokes at the 2011 Summit League Championships and she also placed 14th in the 200 IM. Young was her high school team captain and the team's MVP at John Pittman HS and was the conference champion in the 200 IM, 200 freestyle and 100 breaststroke. She is a four-time NISCA scholar-athlete as well as a USA Swimming Academic All-America athlete.

"I promised Stephanie I would never compare her to Lesley," Johnson added. "I will treat Stephanie as Stephanie. Stephanie is already here on campus training with the team. She has had daily and significant improvement already. Stephanie has been playing catch-up since she got to Laramie. She is working harder than she has ever worked before, and I know that it is going to pay off big time."

Daniel Bradford, Backstroke and Middle-Distance Freestyle, Colorado Springs, Colo.

Bradford graduated in 2010, but sat out the year to attend a community college to get more swimming experience. Bradford had a breakout meet at this spring's USA Swimming's Speedo Sectional Championships in Federal Way, Wash. He posted a junior national qualifying time in the 200 backstroke and had a very strong 100 back as well. He will also provide depth in the middle-distance freestyle events for the Pokes. He hopes to be in Air Force ROTC and follow in his father's footsteps of military service. His father is a graduate of West Point.

"I was very impressed with Daniel's rate of improvement and his size as he is 6-foot-3," Johnson said. "Daniel has a tremendous amount of potential, as he has not been in a serious strength and conditioning program and has not trained at as a Division I level swimmer. Daniel has a tremendous amount to learn and we look forward to his contributions in the future."

Joey Ferreri, Distance Freestyle and Individual Medley, Mission Viejo, Calif.

Ferreri is the fourth Southern Californian signed by the Cowboys and Cowgirls this year. He is a terrific distance freestyle and IM swimmer out of Mission Viejo Natadores. He is on the cusp of qualifying for junior nationals in the 1000 freestyle, the 200 butterfly and the 400 IM. Joey placed second in the 2010 Gold Summer Sectionals 5K open water race. He helped lead his high school to the 2010 California High School State Boys Swimming Championship. Ferreri also helped win consecutive CIF Southern Section Division I Championships in 2009 and 2010. He is an excellent student and he was on his school's Superintendent Honor Roll this past year. He also made the Principal's Honor Roll four times in high school (2008- 2010).

"Joey comes from a world-class club swimming team that has a history of world-class distance swimmers," Johnson said. "Joey is a versatile and tough competitor and will help strengthen our distance program. Joey is no stranger to hard work and we look forward to him to get Cowboy tough and contribute to the team in a way we know he can."

Ryan O'Leary, Sprint Freestyle, Seward, Alaska

O'Leary continues the Alaska pipeline coming to Wyoming. O'Leary will assist in the strength and development of the sprint core while at UW. His swimming career while a senior at Seward High School saw him become a two-time state champion in the 50 and 100 freestyle. He earned the 2010 Alaska State Swimmer of the Year award. He is also a Junior National qualifier in the 50 free, 100 free and the 100 butterfly.

"Ryan is going to be a great asset to the sprint group," Assistant and sprint coach Matt Leach said. "Ryan has tremendous size and wing span. We look to continue our strong recruiting base in Alaska. He will fit right in and contribute right away."

John Dowd, Sprint Freestyle, Mesa, Ariz.

Dowd, will also join the Cowboy sprint group. While Dowd was at Red Mountain High School the swimming and diving team finished second at high school championships. He was a runner-up at high school state in the 400 freestyle relay and 50 free (20.94). He was a state champion in the 200 free relay and the 100 free (45.75). He will be a great asset to the sprint group. He will help right away, and his enthusiasm will facilitate faster training in the pool. Dowd was an outstanding student, while at Red Mountain he received academic honor roll and is a part of the NJHS.

"John is an outstanding addition to the team," Leach added. "His strong relay performances and individual times will come in handy as we continue to ascend to the top of the swimming mountain."

Dalton Haas, Diving, Anchorage, Alaska

Haas is a two-time Alaska State Champion in 1-meter springboard diving. With the Arctic Dive Club he recorded a top-10 finish at the 2011 USA Diving Spring Regionals in Beaverton, Ore., on 3-meter. While at UW, Hass plans to study business and would like to attend culinary school after college.

"Dalton is an incredible athlete with an elite gymnastics background," Wyoming diving coach Pat Bukowski said. "He is relatively new to diving and already has an impressive record. I look forward to working with him this fall. "

Christopher "CT" Robinson, Diving, Longmont, Colo.

Robinson is new to the sport of diving and has already progressed rapidly breaking his high school diving records in the six-and 11-dive contests. At the 2011 Colorado High School State Championships Robinson placed second in diving. He was also named Class 4A Diver of the Year by the Colorado High School Swim Coaches Association. While at Wyoming Robinson is planning to study English education with hopes of becoming a teacher.

"CT is a great kid and I am really looking forward to working with him in the fall," Bukowski added. "He has the natural athletic ability now we just need to get him ready to compete at the college level."

The spring signees to the Wyoming Swimming and Diving program join earlier signees Nicole Boyce, Jordan Denny, Karen Hendrick, Holly Heussner, Aliyah Mikulski, Melanie McDonough, Sarah Moss, Mitch Colby, Mike McCormick, Logan Parker and Jordan Turner.