Swimming and diving adds two to 2017-18 squad

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas swimming and diving added two members to the 2017-18 team, head coach Clark Campbell announced Monday. The Jayhawks will welcome incoming freshman swimmer Aley Shimel and a transfer from Tulane in diver Caroline McCleary, bringing the total to seven new signees for next season, after Campbell signed five student-athletes in November.
Shimel currently attends Kingwood High School in Kingwood, Texas where she is a four-year letterwinner for the Mustangs. Under the guidance of Kingwood head coach Russell Duin, Shimel helped her team win the district and regional meets all four years she competed. With the help of Shimel, Kingwood placed third at the 2014 Texas High School University Interscholastic League State Championships before taking second in 2015. As a sophomore, she became a state champion as a member of the 200-yard freestyle relay team. The 2016 MVP for the Mustangs, Shimel finished ninth in the 100-yard breaststroke and 11th in the 100 freestyle at the state meet to help her team finish ninth. Shimel is also a member of the Eagle Swim Association, coached by Mike Robinson.
“Aley is really trending the right direction,” Campbell said. “She has improved so much in the last year, we really look forward continuing her progression as an athlete. We see her contributing right off the bat in breaststroke, free and IM.”
McCleary comes to Kansas after competing one season at Tulane in 2015-16, before sitting out the 2016-17 season. In her freshman campaign for the Green Wave, McCleary competed in four meets and finished with the top mark for her team nearly every time she competed. McCleary opened her collegiate career at LSU where she was Tulane’s top finisher in both the one-meter and three-meter springboard, posting scores of 249.83 and 238.13, respectively. In a meet at West Florida, McCleary finished in second on the one-meter board with a score of 227.50 and fourth in the three-meter (216.30), before finishing fourth in both events on the meet’s final day, with scores of 218.45 (1M) and 222.35 (3M). In a home meet against Vanderbilt, McCleary continued her stellar rookie campaign with a third-place finish in the one-meter (228.15) and a second-place mark in the three-meter with a career-high 287.78 points. McCleary concluded the season against SMU with two first-place finishes, recording a career-best 263.62 points in the one-meter, and scoring 268.13 in the three-meter.
Prior to her time at Tulane, McCleary was a four-year letterwinner in diving at McLean High School in McLean, Virginia. She made three Liberty Conference Championship appearances, attended two regional championships and one VMSL State Championship, was named an All-American in 2014 and second team All-Met in 2014 and 2015 and won a state championship her sophomore year. McCleary dove for coaches Stephanie Sutton and Jamie Davidson of the Dominion Dive Club in Vienna, Virginia.
“Caroline is someone we know has had success at the collegiate level,” diving head coach Gabe Downey said. “Not only has she had collegiate success, but she has seen it at the club and high school level as well. We know that she can be successful in the pool, but she is someone who has the leadership characteristics we are looking for out of the pool as well. Caroline is very excited for her opportunity her at Kansas, and we are excited to have her leadership in and out of the pool.”
The pair of new signees will be joined by fellow newcomers Crissie Blomquist (Fairway, Kan.), Ellie Flanagan (Columbia, Mo.), Manon Manning (Netherlands), Lauryn Parrish (Fishers, Ind.) and Caroline Schultz (Carmel, Ind.), who all signed their National Letters of Intent in November.
“We are thrilled adding Aley and Caroline to our team during the spring signing period,” Campbell said. “Adding to our five signees in the fall will give us a very strong incoming class.”
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