Redbird Swimming and Diving Signs Two for 2008-09 Season
Stoeppelman and Coghlin signed NLI's to join ISU's swimming and diving program.
Stoeppelman and Coghlin signed NLI's to join ISU's swimming and diving program.

Nov. 20, 2007

NORMAL, Ill. - Looking to continue the successful tradition of the Illinois State swimming and diving program, head coach Steve Paska added two members to the 2008 squad. Sarah Coghlin and Michelle Stoeppelman have officially signed their National Letters of Intent to continue their swimming and educational careers at ISU, and will begin their eligibility in the 2008-09 school year.

Paska was excited about the two additions to the team.

"This is a great start of the recruiting class of 2012," said Paska. "We are graduating nine student-athletes after this season, and we are trying to figure out what spots we need to fill. Both Sarah and Michele bring so much passion and love for the sport that I look for in all recruits. They have a tremendous amount of character and values that I am looking for, and have the dedication and commitment it takes to continue their careers at the collegiate level. They bring a tremendous amount of swimming and club experience to the table.

"They will be fine additions to the university in the pool, as well as to the academic program. They both have their priorities in order and know what they want to study while pursuing their degrees. Illinois State was able to offer the majors they were interested in, and it was a great tool for enabling them to attend school here in the fall."

Coghlin joins the Redbirds from Rosary High School in Aurora, Ill., where she and the team recently won their second-consecutive state championship. She was named All-State and All-American following her senior season. Paska is looking forward to working with a swimmer from such a talented program.

"Sarah is one of the most versatile swimmers I have had the pleasure of recruiting in my time here at Illinois State," Paska said. "I am very excited to have her join our swimming and diving program as she will contribute to our success next year and in the future. She will swim so many different events for us, and is a tremendous addition to our team.



"The experience she has gained from being on winning teams is irreplaceable and she will never forget that. Not many student-athletes can say that they have been part of a state championship team. I have heard wonderful things from her coaches and she is highly recommended."

Stoeppelman is a native of Shrewsbury, Mo., and spent the last four years swimming freestyle distance events for Webster Groves High School. Paska is excited for her addition to the distance events.

"Michele clearly defines the term distance freestyler," said Paska. "She is passionate about distance and knows the role she will be playing throughout her career here at ISU. She will be swimming the 200, 500, 1000- and 1650-yard freestyles at ISU. I believe her career will blossom in the collegiate level with several opportunities to compete in distance events.

"She is majoring in nutrition and dietetics and one of the main reasons she decided on our program is because what the university has to offer her. She will be a great addition to our team and I am looking forward to her years here at ISU."

2008-2009 Illinois State Swimming and Diving Signees

Sarah Coghlin / Aurora, Ill. / Rosary High School / Butterfly / Freestyle / Individual Medley
Team was state champions her junior and senior years ... broke the school record in the 400 freestyle relay her senior year, setting a personal-best split time ... earning 12th place in the 500 and third place in the 400 freestyle relay, earning her All-State and All American honors as a senior ... received the Ideal Bead and the Carol Schalz Swimmer of the Year award her senior year ... named Academic All-Conference her freshman, sophomore and junior years ... scholar- athlete her sophomore and junior seasons ... metro Catholic Conference varsity champions her junior year ... was a state qualifier in the 200 and 500 freestyle her junior year ... team was Sectional and State champions her junior season ... named Ideal Swimmer of the Year as a junior ... team was Metro Catholic Conference Champions her freshman and sophomore years ... 400 freestyle relay conference champions in freshman and sophomore seasons ... named the Metro Catholic Conference Sophomore Swimmer of the Year ... honor roll member all four years in high school ... member of the National Honor Society ... plans to major in apparel design.

Michele Stoeppelman / Shrewsbury, Mo. / Webster Groves High School / Distance Freestyle
Holds the school record in the 200 medley relay, which she set in 2005 ... earned All-Metro Honorable Mention plaudits and was team MVP as a senior ... earned varsity letters three years in a row ... team captain her junior and senior years ... Speedo Sectionals Championships qualifier from 2003-2007 ... three- time Speedo Sectional top-eight qualifier in the 1650-yard freestyle ... placed first in the 5000-yard freestyle at the National Postal Distance Challenge in 2005 and 2006, and second in 2007 ... two-time USA Swimming Scholastic All-America ... honor roll member all four years of high school ... plans to major in nutrition and dietetics.