CORAL GABLES, Fla. - The University of Miami rowing program is pleased to announce the addition of five signees to the 2012-13 roster, head coach Andrew Carter declared Monday.
The early recruiting class includes Lydia Barber, Frida Carlsson, Alex Gunner, Jaimie Snelgrove and Joanna Unsworth. In addition to excellence athletically, all five have proven themselves in the classroom.
"I'm very pleased to welcome this group of young women to the University of Miami family," Carter said. "Each brings extraordinary talents to our program and we're looking forward to the impact each of them will have. However, it's the impact that they will have as a group that is really exciting, and there is no doubt they will add terrific things to the outstanding roster of students we have here now."
Barber hails from Bethesda, Md., and is the lone coxswain in the UM early signing class. As coxswain for the men's teams at both Walt Whitman High School and Thompson Boat Center (Washington, D.C.), she has steered crews at some of North America's premier regattas, including the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta, the Scholastic Rowing Association of America Championship, US Rowing National Championship and the Head of the Charles. In the past two years, Barber has coxed medal-winning crews on the national stage for both Walt Whitman and TBC.
Carter Quote: "Lydia made perhaps the biggest impression on our team of anyone we've had visit in the past couple of years. It seemed that I had to daily answer the question, 'Is Lydia going to come to UM?' I think this is really important for a coxswain candidate. The fact that, as a recruit, Lydia was able to get the attention of our current students speaks volumes to the presence she will have once she's skippering one of our crews."
From Vänersborg, Sweden, Carlsson has excellent experience in rowing in addition to a diverse background in nordic skiing, cross country running and soccer. An accomplished sculler, Carlsson has brought home medals to her home club at Vanersborgs Roddklubb from regattas throughout the country. As the highlight to her 2012 season, she was selected to represent Sweden at the 2012 Junior World Championship in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
Carter Quote: "Frida has already accomplished some impressive things, including racing at a World Championship, but I know she has set the bar very high for herself in her rowing. Her goals are aggressive and that is going to have a great impact on our program. We have some highly competitive women on our team who are pushing themselves and their teammates every day. Frida is going to swing seamlessly into that culture."
Gunner is a native of Elma, N.Y., and rows for both the Nichols School and the West Side Rowing Club in Buffalo. At Nichols, she has emerged as a leader over the past two years, making multiple finals and earning a medal at the New York State Scholastic Championship. At West Side RC, Gunner has been a fixture in club's top junior crews over the past two summers.
Carter Quote: "Alex was one of the earliest official visit students we welcomed on campus this fall. She made a terrific first impression with me and I know that she did the same with our team. Not only does she have strong athletic credentials, but a fantastic personality and one that fits in with our group perfectly. Alex brings a really good foundation to the table, but I think that when she gets in with our team she's really going to take off - I'm really looking forward to seeing what she does at this next level."
Snelgrove is from Jordan, Ontario, Canada, and rows for both Dennis Morris Secondary School and the St. Catharines Rowing Club. Her high school career at Dennis Morris has been exceptional and includes gold and bronze medals at the Canadian Secondary School Rowing Association Championship in St. Catharines, Ontario. Under the guidance of coach Kathy Boyes at the St. Catharines Rowing Club, Snelgrove has finished second in the U19 Women's 8+ at the prestigious 2012 Royal Canadian Henley Regatta. She capped her 2012 season by winning gold for Canada as the stroke of both the Women's 8+ and Women's 4+ at the annual CanAmMex Regatta in Mexico City.
Carter Quote: "Jaimie is a young woman who has limitless potential. She's been rowing at one of the best clubs in North America with one of the best junior coaches I know, so I have extreme confidence that she's going to be ready on Day 1. I've seen her in action in the boat and I've seen her interact with our team. She's absolutely a Hurricane rower and I know she's going to be great here at UM."
From Henley-on-Thames, England, Unsworth attends Shiplake College and is a member of Henley Rowing Club. She has achieved many outstanding results during her junior career, including three gold medals in the 2011 British Championships in both sweep and sculling events. In 2012, Unsworth was a member of the Henley RC Quad that won the inaugural junior women's event in the prestigious Henley Royal Regatta. To cap off her 2012 season, Unsworth represented Great Britain at the Junior World Championship in the Women's Quad Event.
Carter Quote: "I've gotten to know Joanna through this process and I've been really impressed with her training ethic. Her approach to the sport and how she communicates reminds me a great deal of some great competitors I've not only had the privilege to coach, but row with in my career. What Jo has already done as a rower is special, but I'm convinced that with her outlook on training and her understanding of what that will yield, she's only scratched the surface. I think she's going to do great things at UM."For all the latest information on the Miami Hurricanes, follow the official Twitter feed, @HurricaneSports, or "Like Us" on Facebook at facebook.com/MiamiHurricanes.