Wyoming Swimming and Diving Adds 11 Student-Athletes

Nov. 27, 2013


The University of Wyoming swimming and diving teams and head coach Tom Johnson announced Wednesday the addition of 11 student-athletes. The Cowboys signed six student-athletes, while the Cowgirls added five.

Below is a breakdown of each UW signee:

Ryan Ball, Loveland, Colo., Loveland High School, Individual Medley/Backstroke

Ball participated in the 2012 US Olympic Trials where he competed in the 200 backstroke placing 68th. Later that year, he finished fourth in 200backstroke at the USA Swimming Junior Nationals. At Loveland High School, he was named NISCA High School All-America in the 100 backstroke, 100 butterfly and 200 individual medley. This past summer, Ball placed 24th in 400 individual medley at the US Open Championships in Irvine, Calif.  Ryan competes for the Loveland Swim Club under head coach Jim Nickell.

Ryan Ball is a native of Loveland, Colo., and the son of Todd and Susan Ball. He has an older brother, Kevin.

 “Ryan is not only a terrific competitor, but also a great person with a fantastic family.” UW assistant coach Manny Noguchi said.  “He is very versatile and will be an amazing addition in our program.  I truly look forward to working with him.”

Sam Loescher, Columbus, Ind., Columbus North High School, Sprint Freestyle  

While at Columbus North High School, Loescher was named Co-MVP in 2013. During his first three seasons at North, he earned All-America honors in 400 free relay (2012), 100 freestyle (2013), 200 free relay (2013) and 400 free relay (2013). Along with his All-America accomplishments, Sam also helped set an Indiana State record in the 200 freestyle relay.  He also helped lead his team to a second-place team finish at the Indiana state championships.  Loescher is a staple in the record books with multiple times in the top-five at the Indiana state championships in the 50 freestyle, 100 freestyle and 200 freestyle. Sam is coached by Jim Sheridan, who coaches both his club and high school teams.

He also excels in the classroom as the Spanish Club Co-President. He is a part of the National Honor Society and is in the Stained Glass Choir at St. Bartholomew Church. He is an AP Scholar with distinction and was an academic letter winner in 2012 and in 2013.

Sam Loescher is a native Columbus, Ind., and is the son of Dr. Rolf and Dr. Donna Loescher.  Sam has three brothers, Justin, Corey and Tim.    

“Sam is going to come in and help our sprint freestyle core right away and we look forward to him making big steps forward in his training, at our conference level and one day at the NCAA level,” UW associate head coach Matt Leach said.

Wade Nelson, Huntington Beach, Calif., Edison High School, Butterfly/Breaststroke/Individual Medley

Nelson competes for the Great West Swim Club and is coached by former US National Team Director Mark Schubert.  Last summer, he competed in USA Swimming’s Junior National Championships in the 200 Butterfly, the 200 Breaststroke and in the 400 individual medley.  

Wade is the son of Tim and Irva Nelson.  Wade has an older brother, Ryan who is currently a sophomore at Wyoming and is the school record holder in three events.  He also has two young brothers, Zach and Dylan.

 “We are very excited to have Wade join us here at Wyoming,” Johnson said.  “He is a super young man and it has been a pleasure to get to know him through his many trips to Wyoming and through the recruiting process.”

Eric Oleson, Westfield, Ind., Westfield High School, Middle Distance/Distance Freestyle

Oleson competes for Viper Aquatics and has been coached by Kyle Messmore. Under Messmore’s direction, Eric has had a great success in the water. Oleson was a junior national qualifier in the 500 freestyle and 200 freestyle. He was an Indiana High School state finalist in 200 and 500 freestyle.  He earned Westfield High School Swimming MVP honors as team captain.

Eric Oleson is native Westfield, Ind., and the son of Dan and Karen Oleson. Eric has one younger sister, Emma and one older brother, Evan, who is currently a sophomore on the Wyoming swimming and diving team.

“Eric will be very successful athletically and academically as he comes from a great family,” Noguchi said. “His improvement over the last nine months has been amazing as he continues to improve and turn into a tremendous swimmer.”

Ryan Russi, Murrieta, Calif., Vista Murrieta High School, Diving

Ryan is the reigning CIF DII champion and has consistently finished strong at the USA Diving Age Group Nationals the past two years.  He also earned AAU All-American at the AAU National Championships in 2011, 2012 and 2013. Russi is the captain of Turn’n’Burn Diving club, as well as his high school team.

He also excels in the classroom with a 3.8 GPA at Vista Murrieta High School. Ryan is a former USA Gymnastics High School Academic All-America, as well as a Life Scout for the Boy Scouts of America.

 “We cannot be happier to have Ryan joining our family,” UW diving coach Yahya Radman said.  “The fact that he is an outstanding diver is also a bonus to his great academics. He picked us over two outstanding schools because he feels that this is the best program to help him succeed athletically and academically.”

Kyle White, Cheyenne, Wyo., Central High School, Freestyle

White was coached by former Wyoming All-American and UW Athletics Hall of Fame inductee, Mark Miller.  While at Central High School he was a part of multiple state records, conference records and state championships, both individually and as a team. 

He was named the Athlete of the Meet at the 2013 Wyoming High School State Swimming and Diving Championships. Kyle won a state championship in 50 freestyle, 100 freestyle and 400 freestyle relay.  He was named NISCA All-American in the 50 freestyle, 100 freestyle, 50 freestyle. He is the current the state record holder in the 100 freestyle. He also holds Cheyenne Central records in the 50 freestyle, 100 butterfly, 100 breaststroke, 100 freestyle, and the 200 individual medley. 

Kyle is a native of Cheyenne, Wyo. He is the son of Cathy and Andy White.  Kyle has a younger brother, Ian. 

“Not only is Kyle one of the fastest male swimmers to ever come out of the State of Wyoming, he is also a down to earth team player that will be an important part of the Wyoming Swimming and Diving sprinting events,” Leach said. “He has the talent to make an instant impact as an important part of our relays and he will flirt with current Wyoming school records along with helping the Cowboys in the WAC Conference and on the National Level.”

Alanna Dassoff, Oak Park, Ill., Oak Park High School, Backstroke/Freestyle

Dassoff swims at Oak Park High School for head coach Clyde Lundgren and swims with the Oak Park Swimmers with coach George Adcock. Alanna has recorded US Junior National qualifying times in the 200 backstroke.  She will also add to the depth of the Cowgirls in the backstroke and freestyle events. She excels in the classroom as a member of the Spanish Honor Society.

 “We are very excited to have Alanna as a part of our program. She is a bright and talented young lady,” Johnson said.  “She will add significant strength to our backstroke and middle distance freestyle events.”

Alanna is the daughter of Dennis and Nancy Dassoff.

Kara Guenther , Flower Mound, Texas, Marcus High School, Freestyle

Guenther trains at Lakeside Aquatic Club and is coached by Clayton Cagle, who also coached Cowgirl swimmer Aliyah Mikulski.  She competed at 2013 US Sectionals, where she clocked a 2:07.48 in 200 freestyle, as well as 4:26.67 in 400 freestyle. She competed at 2013 US Summer Junior Nationals in Irvine, California.

Kara Guenther is a native Flower Mound, Texas. She is the daughter of Michael and Jackie and has two older siblings, Jessica and Drew.

 “I witnessed her potential at the 2013 Summer Junior Nationals and I really look forward to having her as a part of Wyoming program,” Noguchi said.  “She will be such a tremendous addition to our program.”

Lily Salzer, Columbia, Mo., Rockbridge High School, Freestyle/Backstroke

Salzer swims for Columbia Swim Club and coach Philip Garverick. She competed at USA Swimming’s Junior National Championships this past summer helping her team in the relay events. 

Lily is the daughter of Dr. William and Susan Salzer. She has three older siblings John, Hallie, and Max. 

“Lily is a versatile freestyle and backstroke swimmer and has tremendous range in her events and will add tremendous depth in those events in our program,” Johnson said.  “Lily is a terrific student and a terrific person and has been a pleasure to recruit; she is a terrific addition to our team.”

Kelly Sheldon, Loveland, Colo., Thompson Valley High School, Backstroke/Freestyle/Butterfly

Kelly had a terrific summer qualifying for USA Swimming’s Winter Nationals in the 200 backstroke.  At the 2013 Colorado state championships, Kelly finished second in the 100 back, fourth in the 100 butterfly and helped her team finish second in the 400 free relay.  Kelly also helped lead her team win the 2013 Colorado 4A state championship.

Kelly is the daughter of Lonnie and Andrea Sheldon.  She has an older brother Jon and a younger sister, Gwen.  Kelly swims for coach Jim Nickel with fellow signee Ryan Ball at the Loveland Swim Club.

“Kelly is a terrific athlete and leader and we feel like she will continue to have significant improvement and will help us with her versatility and range of her events,” Johnson said.  “Kelly is a strong student and a terrific young lady and we look forward to her contributions to our team.”

Connor Tarver, Jackson, Wyo., Jackson High School, Backstroke/Freestyle

Tarver swims for Jackson High School for coach Jim Jenkins and Jackson Hole Stingrays with coaches Cindy and Sinead O’Dwyer.  Connor is a six-time Wyoming state champion.  Last month at the Wyoming state championships, Connor won the 200 Individual medley and the 100 backstroke. She also helped her team win the 200 medley relay and the 400 freestyle relay.  Connor helped Jackson High School win three of the last four Wyoming state championships.

Connor excels in the classroom as a member of the Junior National Young Leadership Conference, National Honors Society and Principals Honor Role.

Connor is the daughter of Michael and Wendy Tarver.  She has one brother, Michael.

“Connor has a terrific work ethic and is dedicated to her academics as much as her athletics,” Johnson said. “She has had terrific improvements over the past couple of years and has been a joy to get to know and we look forward to her contributions to our team.”