Redbird Swimming and Diving Signs Seven for 2013-14

Dec. 11, 2012

NORMAL, Ill. - The Illinois State swimming and diving team signed seven student-athletes to the roster for the 2013-14 season. Head coach Steve Paska announced the addition of six swimmers and one diver, which signed National Letters of Intent to continue their athletic and academic careers at ISU. The new Redbirds are Maddie Farrell (Waukesha, Wis./Waukesha South High School), Brittany Felice (Mokena, Ill./Lincoln-Way East High School), Claire Haggerty (Greyslake, Ill/Greyslake Central), Laura Paskoff (Wildwood, Mis./Lafayette High School), Rachel Root (Monroe, Wis./Monroe High School), Molly Schatz (Naperville, Ill./Naperville Central High School) and Kristin Verkler (Danville, Ill./Danville High School).

“Concluding this fall 2012 signing period, we have signed six swimmers and one diver to join the Redbirds for next year. Our 2012-13 team is losing nine swimmers and two divers. This group of seniors is one of the most gifted classes athletically and academically. When you try to define the term student-athelete the seniors we will be losing embody the term,” ISU head coach Steve Paska said. “This is a class that I am extremely proud to coach and watching the senior class grow and turn into the student-athletes they have become and how they represent Illinois State is an honor. In replacing the 11 seniors, we are not replacing their characters and what they have done in the water and classroom, but we recruited student-athletes that have the ability to succeed just as much as the seniors have.”



Maddie Farrell | Waukesha, Wis. | Waukesha South HS | Freestyle and Distance

Hometown: Waukesha, Wis.
High School: Waukesha South High School
USA Swimming Club: Waukesha Express Swim Team
Main Events: Freestyle and Distance

Wisconsin State Qualifier in short course yard and meters from 2006 to present ... member of the varsity swim team all four-years ... qualified for state two times in the 500-yard freestyle ... co-captain of WIAA state championship high school team her junior year ... member of the honor roll and National Honors Society all four-years ... named a scholar-athlete and academic scholar all four years of high school.

Top Times:
50-yard freestyle: (24.88)
100-yard freestyle: (55.88)
200-yard freestyle: (1:59.46)
500-yard freestyle: (5:12.46)
1000-yard freestyle: (10:52.58)
1650-yard freestyle: (18:19.53)

Paska on Farrell: “Maddie has the ability to swim middle distance and distance freestyle. She is coming off a fabulous senior year, with personal-best times in a few events. More importantly, she is a winner in the classroom as well in the water. The last two seasons she has been a member of the Waukesha South High School team that has won the Wisconsin state title. That winning experience at the championship level and having that experience is only going to help her attend Illinois State and swim with confidence and a championship mindset that she has had during her career. I am looking forward for her to come in with that experience and know what it feels like and spread that throughout the team.”



Brittany Felice | Mokena, Ill. | Lincoln-Way East HS | Distance and Freestyle

Hometown: Mokena, Ill.
High School: Lincoln-Way East High School
USA Swimming Club: Lincoln-Way Swim Association
Main Events: Distance and Freestyle

Four year varsity swimmer at Lincoln-Way East ... two years all sectional ... qualified for ISHA state two years ... three year Central Zone qualifier ... member of the honor roll in high school ... plans on majoring in business

Top times:
50-yard freestyle: (24.72)
100-yard freestyle: (54.48)
200-yard freestyle: (1:56.70)
500-yard freestyle: (5:10.41)
1650-yard freestyle: (18:17.42)

Paska on Felice: “Brittany had a fantastic senior year. She qualified for the state meet and went best times in the 200-free and 500-free. She can swim the 50-free all the way to the mile. She will fill the holes that we are losing in the freestyle. As we look toward the future, Brittany knows she has the opportunity to come here and compete for a spot as a distance swimmer. She is a fast swimmer and has a bright future here, and I am looking forward to being her coach.”


Claire Haggerty | Greyslake, Ill. | Greyslake Central HS | IM and Butterfly

Hometown: Greyslake, Ill.
High School: Greyslake Central High School
USA Swimming Club: Mundelein Mustangs Swim Club
Main Events: IM and Butterfly

Conference champion her sophomore year in the 100-yard freestyle, junior year in the 100-yard IM and 100-yard butterfly ... conference champion senior year in the 200-yard IM ... named most valuable swimmer in the Fox Valley Conference ... qualified for state three years in a row ... qualified for multiple zone, senior championships and Speedo Sectionals meets ... honor roll student every semester of high school.

Top times:
50-yard freestyle: (24.73)
100-yard freestyle: (54.28)
200-yard freestyle: (1:55.44)
100-yard butterfly: (59.24)
200-yard butterfly: (2:14.700
200-yard IM: (2:09.15)

Paska on Haggerty: “A tremendous athlete and versatility is a key component I tried to recruit this year and Claire defines that. She is compassionate and a true competitor. She loves to race and compete. Her character and the passion she has to strive for excellence in her races will contribute to our success. She is multi-talented and a team player.”


Laura Paskoff | Wildwood, Mo. | Lafayette HS | Freestyle

Hometown: Wildwood, Mis.
High School: Lafayette High School
USA Swimming Club: Rockwood Swim Club
Main Events: Freestyle

Member of high school swim team all four-years ... swam in the 2012 Speedo Championship Series, NCSA Jr. National Championships ... qualified for the Missouri Girls High School State Championships ... member of the National Honor Society ... named as a scholar-athlete through Lafayette High School ... attended the same high school as former Redbird swimer Sarah Piechocinski.

Top times:
50-yard freestyle: (25.11)
100-yard freestyle: (54.91)
200-yard freestyle: (1:57.49)
1000-yard freestyle: (10:44.58)
200-yard backstroke: (2:14.49)

Paska on Paskoff: “Several former Redbird swimmers (Katie Finan, Christine Steinbach and Alison Wippermann) swam for Rockwood Swim Club, and it is one of the best swim clubs in St. Louis. Laura is a versatile swimmer and can swim a variety of freestyle events, and also backstroke. She is a student-athlete who is passionate about her academics and swimming. I believe she will be a perfect fit into the Redbird swimming and diving program.”


Rachel Root | Monroe, Wis. | Monroe HS | IM and Backstroke

Hometown: Monroe, Wis.
High School: Monroe High School
USA Swimming Club: Green County Y
Main Events: Backstroke and IM

Qualified for YMCA Nationals from 2010-2012 ... attended Y Nationals for three years ... member of the varsity swim team all four years ... Wisconsin High School Division Two State qualifier all four years ... Received the USA Swimming’s Scholastic All America Team honor in 2012 ... Member of the National Honor Society junior and senior year ... member of high school’s honor roll all four years ... plans on majoring in communication disorders.

Top Times:
100-yard backstroke: (57.78)
200-yard backstroke: (2:06.64)
200-yard IM (2:12.23)
400-yard IM: (4:43.11)
100-yard butterfly (59.49)
100-yard breaststroke: (1:08.89)

Paska on Root: “Rachel is truly dedicated to the sport of swimming and her work ethic has been great throughout her career. Rachel will come here and contribute in the backstroke and IM events. She is coming in with a lot of events that she can swim which makes her a versatile swimmer. I know that she will be able to swim the events that we put her in. She is a gifted student, and we are excited to have her join the Redbirds.”


Molly Schatz | Naperville, Ill. | Naperville Central HS | Diving

Hometown: Naperville, Ill.
High School: Naperville Central
USA Diving Club: Dupage Diving Academy
Main Event: Diving

First diver at Naperville Central to qualify for state four times ... four-year Dupage Valley Conference champion ... qualified for nationals six times ... member of the National Honor Society ... three-time academic all conference ... team captain of Naperville Central and Dupage Diving Academy ... part of high schools honor roll ... plans on majoring in biology/premed.

Diving coach Phil Hoffmann on Schatz: “Molly is what every coach looks for in a recruit. Her learning and progress in diving has come a long way in recent years, but she has careers left to improve and that’s a positive. In diving anytime you can improve is great. I think she’s a fantastic and gifted student. She is a second-generation Redbird athlete, and she has a great future here. We can’t wait to have her be a Redbird.”

Kristin Verkler | Danville, Ill. | Danville HS | IM, Butterfly and Freestyle

Hometown: Danville, Ill.
High School: Danville High School
USA Swimming Club: Champaign County YMCA Heat
Main Events: IM, Butterfly and Freestyle

Four-year letter winner ... holds the school record in the 100-yard butterfly, 200-yard IM, 200-yard freestyle and 500-yard freestyle ... member of the school record 200-yard medley relay, 200-yard freestyle relay and 400-yard freestyle relay teams ... sectional champion both junior and senior year ... ISHA state qualifier three years ... member of the National Honor Society all four years ... represented her high school at the Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership Conference ... plans on majoring in elementary or secondary education.

Top Times:
100-yard butterfly (57.04)
200-yard butterfly (2:09.89)
200-yard IM (2:09.05)
100-yard freestyle (52.75) relay split

Paska on Verkler: “Kristin had an outstanding senior year at Danville High School. She had a number of personal-best swims and a fantastic sectional meet and made it to the IHSA state meet. Losing a couple of our flyers, Kristin has the potential to become a great flyer. She is a passionate student-athlete and someone who truly loves the sport of swimming. She has a tremendous work ethic, and she has all the core values you look for in a student-athlete. Kristin will provide our swimming program with a very competitive student-athlete in the classroom and pool. I am looking forward to working with her for the next four years.”