Redbirds Sign Four Swimmers for the 2014-15 Season

Nov. 21, 2013

NORMAL, Ill. - The Illinois State swimming and diving program added four new swimmers to their roster for the 2014-15 season, head coach Steve Paska announced Thursday. The new Redbirds are Katie Breger (Waukesha, Wis./ Waukesha North), Rachel Holm (Okawville, Ill./ Okawville Senior High), Karley Licking (Cross Plains, Wis./Middleton High School), and Grace Soltys(Naperville, Ill./ Neuqua Valley) signed their National Letters of Intent to continue their athletic and academic careers at Illinois State University.

"I am very excited about the talented group of student-athletes that have made the decision to join us here at Illinois State," Paska said. "Each one of them have the ability to make an immediate impact on our program and I cannot wait to have a chance to coach them starting in the fall of 2014. They are all extremely good students and understand the commitment and dedication it takes to be successful in the classroom and in the pool."

Katie Breger | Waukesha, Wis. | Waukesha North HS | Backstroke, Butterfly, IM

Hometown: Waukesha, Wis.
High School: Waukesha North
USA Swimming Club: Waukesha Express
Main Events: Backstroke, Butterfly, IM

Four time high school state qualifier ... first-place sectional winner in the 100-yard butterfly junior year ... high school team captain junior and senior year ... current school record holder in the 100-yard backstroke and co-record holder in the 200-yard medley relay ... qualified for NCSA Junior Nationals since freshman year in the 100-yard butterfly and 200-yard backstroke ... scholar athlete and member of high honor roll ... plans on majoring in exercise science.

Top Times:
100-yard Backstroke: (59.12)
200-yard Backstroke: (2:07.77)
100-yard Butterfly: (57.99)
200-yard Butterfly: (2:07.22)
200 IM: (2:14.79)
400 IM: (4:36.06)

Paska on Breger: "We are thrilled to have the native Waukesha, Wis. Swimmer Katie Breger join our team. She comes from a fantastic club background with the Waukesha Express Swim Team and will fit right in with our program.  Katie is versatile and very strong in the butterfly and backstroke events. In addition, she will contribute in 200-yard & 400-yard IM. We are looking forward to seeing her develop over her four years."



Rachel Holm | Okawville, Ill. | Okawville Senior High | Breaststroke, IM


Hometown: Okawville, Ill.
High School: Okawville Senior High
USA Swimming Club: CRCY Cudas
Main Events: Breaststroke, IM

Top Times:
100-yard Breaststroke: (1:05.69)
200-yard Breaststroke: (2:27.45)
100-yard Backstroke: (59.83)
100-yard Butterfly: (59.73)
200-yard IM: (2:11.41)

Two-time state qualifier in the 100-yard breaststroke ... 2008 YMCA National Qualifier ... team captain senior year ... participated in high school basketball and track ... president of National Honor Society senior year ... honor roll student every semester of high school.

Paska on Holm: "Rachel is an excellent addition to our team.  She will contribute significantly next year in the breaststroke events, and the 200 IM. Her versatility will also add quality depth in the sprint butterfly and backstroke events too. Rachel has the potential to do great things for our program and we are really looking forward to her days as an Illinois State Redbird."


Karley Licking | Cross Plains, Wis. | Middleton High School| IM and Backstroke

Hometown: Cross Plains, Wis.
High School: Middleton High School
USA Swimming Club: YMCA of Dane County
Main Events: IM and Backstroke

Team earned third place at the 2013 Division I state meet ... earned eighth place in the 200-yard IM and the 100-yard backstroke at state senior year ... placed fourth at state in 500-yard freestyle junior year ... sectional champion in 500-yard freestyle sophomore and junior year ... earned second in the 200-yard IM at sectionals junior and senior year... all-state Wisconsin swimmer in the 200-yard medley relay and 500-yard freestyle ... holds high school record in the 200-yard medley relay ... team captain... Wisconsin state qualifier since 2006 ... Speedo Sectionals and Speedo Champions Series qualifier... NCSA Junior Nationals qualifier... varsity athlete all four years of high school ... plans on majoring in community health and nursing.

Top Times:
100-yard Freestyle: (53.37)
500-yard Freestyle: (5:03.10)
1000-yard Freestyle: (10:36.09)
100-yard Backstroke: (57.80)
200-yard Backstroke: (2:05.88)
200-yard IM: (2:08.21)

Paska on Licking: "We are excited to have Karley join our team. She is a great fit for our program here at Illinois State coming from Middleton High School and Dane County YMCA swim team, with a great background in middle distance freestyle, backstroke, and I.M.  She is a talented and versatile swimmer and we are eager to see the impact Karley will have on our program next season."


Grace Soltys| Naperville, Ill.| Neuqua | Freestyle, Butterfly

Hometown: Naperville, Ill.
High School: Neuqua Valley
USA Swimming Club: Fox Valley Swim Team
Main Events: Freestyle, Butterfly

Named 2012 all-state and all-American in the 400-yard freestyle relay ... senior captain for Neuqua Valley ... named most improved swimmer sophomore year ... qualified for sectionals and IHSA state as a freshman, sophomore and junior ... part of third-place finish at IHSA state 2012 ... junior nationals qualifier in 100-yard IM and freestyle ... plans on majoring in physical therapy.

Top Times:
50-yard Freestyle: (24.3)
100-yard Freestyle: (53.1)
200-yard Freestyle: (1:53.4)
500-yard Freestyle: (5:06.69)
200-yard Butterfly: (2:14.6)

Paska on Soltys: "Grace is an amazing addition to the Redbird swimming and diving program. She brings enthusiasm, high energy and is a swimmer who truly enjoys competing on relays. All of these qualities will help her make an immediate impact in the Redbird sprint freestyle events next year. Grace is an outstanding 200-yard and 500-yard freestyle swimmer. She will also be another quality middle-distance freestyler to add to our 2014-2015 squad. Her future at Illinois State will be a bright one." Your online source for Illinois State Athletics, tickets, Weisbecker Scholarship Fund gifts, multimedia, Redbird merchandise, photos and more.