TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – The Indiana State Women's Swimming & Diving program has released its 2020 signing class, Head Coach Josh Christensen announced Thursday afternoon.
What Coach Christensen is Saying:
"We're really excited about this group of women and what they will bring to our program. Our diving squad gains a lot of depth with the three we've added here. On the swimming side, we've got some ladies that will be able to make an immediate impact within the Missouri Valley Conference. There are some very strong high school and club programs represented in this class, which says a lot about the type of student-athletes we are recruiting. While their academic and athletic credentials are strong, we're also confident they fit our team culture and will be future leaders for our program."
Eva Amado Valero - Barcelona, Spain
Eva joins the Sycamores all the way from Barcelona, Spain. She primarily swims in the breaststroke and IM events. Valero holds Long Course (LCM) times of 4:58.24 in the 400 IM, 2:23.83 in the 200 IM, 2:38.25 in the 200 breast, and a 9:03.34 in the 800 free. "Eva will make an immediate impact in the IM events, as well as the 200 breaststroke," said Christensen. "She's very versatile and will challenge the whole team in training, as well as competition. Through the first four years of the program, we've started to develop a tradition of having high impact international student-athletes and Eva will continue that. I know she is very excited to get here and be part of the team. It's been fun getting to know her over the last several months."
Brooke Bernhardt - Plainfield, Ind. – Plainfield HS
Brooke Bernhardt is diver and a native of the Hoosier state coming from Plainfield High School. Bernhardt has scores of 231 for six dives and 401 for eleven dives. "Brooke comes from a strong high school and club background," said Diving Coach Theresa Hall. "She has grace and elegance along with a good degree of difficulty on both boards, which makes her a serious contender in the diving events at dual and conference meets. She's also carrying on the family Sycamore legacy, as her dad played baseball her at ISU."
Bailey Betzer – Osceola, Ind. – Penn HS
Bailey Betzer is also joining the diving squad out of Indiana from Penn High School. Betzer has scores of 315.85 for six dives and 509.50 for eleven dives. "Bailey almost quit diving her freshman year of high school. But she carried on and qualified for three Indiana State championships," said coach Hall. "She holds the 6-dive and 11-dive school records at Penn High School. Bailey already has higher degree of difficulty dives on both boards, which will make her one of the top competitors at dual and conference meets."
Sierra Bowman – Martinsville, Ind. – Indian Creek HS
Sierra is the third and final diver joining the Sycamores this year. She has scores of 250 for six dives and 426.10 for eleven dives. "Sierra is excited to be part of the ISU diving squad. She has the necessary 3M experience, which will help her make an immediate impact in that event. Sierra will bring a lot of energy to practices and meets" said Coach Hall.
Parker Biley – Englewood, Co. – Regis Jesuit HS – Denver Swim Academy
Parker Biley comes to Indiana State from Englewood, Colorado. Biley swims in the backstroke, freestyle, and IM. She has times of 56.03 in the 100 back, a 52.54 in the 100 free, and a 2:07.84 in the 200 IM. "We got in touch with Parker a bit later in the Fall," said Coach Christensen. "but everything clicked really quickly, through our conversations and on her visit. She's got a lot of raw backstroke speed, but also the potential to develop into a really versatile athlete. She's a racer and coming from a high school program with a lot of tradition. Definitely looking forward to her bringing that competitive edge to our team. I know she's excited about our team focus and culture."
Ellen Fero – Fishers, Ind. – Fishers HS – Fishers Area Swim Team
Ellen Fero is also an Indiana native and is primarily a sprinter. She has a time of 23.47 in the 50 free and a time of 51.97 in the 100 free. "Ellen was our first commitment in this class, and it was so fun to watch her have an awesome senior year," said Coach Christensen. "While she's definitely going to be an impact sprinter for us, we're equally as excited about her commitment to leadership and helping us continue to build the cultural foundation of our program. She understands what we're building and is excited to play a big role in it."
Jordan Gruce – Fresno, Cal. – Clovis West HS – Clovis Swim Club
Jordan Gruce will be joining the Sycamores all the way from Fresno, California. Gruce has a time of 1:51.96 in the 200 free and a time of 4:58.18 in the 500 free. "Jordan is coming from a really strong high school and club background. She knows how to work hard and has been part of a team focused culture," said coach Christensen. "Academically, she's very strong and I believe she's going to develop into a leader for us, in and out of the pool. She was having a tremendous senior year, before her high school season was canceled, so I'm really looking forward to seeing her continue that trend."
Sarah Higgins – Ballwin, Mo. – Lafayette HS – Rockwood Swim Club
Sarah Higgins is a backstroke swimmer from Ballwin, Missouri. Higgins has a time of 57.9 in the 100 back and a time of 2:09.4 in the 200 back. "Sarah is coming from a strong club background and following in the footsteps of some older teammates, in coming to ISU," said coach Christensen. "The backstroke events have been one of our strengths, early on, and I know she's excited to be part of continuing that tradition. I expect her to make some big strides, quickly."
Madie Rutan – Roseville, Cali – Woodcreek HS – Sierra Marlins
Madie Rutan is another backstroke swimmer and is coming to Indiana State from Roseville, California. She has a time of 56.01 in the 100 back and a time of 2:02.09 in the 200 back. "Madie came along a little bit later in the recruiting process for us," said coach Christensen. "But we're really glad everything worked out! She has a multi sport background, having played water polo through most of high school. While she unfortunately did not get a high school season, she did make some big strides in the 200 back during the late winter. We're excited to get her to Terre Haute and see her thrive during her college career."
Makayla Sura – Carmel, Ind. – Carmel HS
Makayla Sura in another Indiana native coming the Terre Haute from Carmel High School. Sura primarily swims the breaststroke and the IM. She has a time of 2:23.63 in the 200 breast and a time of 4:34.70 in the 400 IM. "Makayla is very committed and hungry to keep improving. I really believe she's going to thrive within our program culture and atmosphere," said coach Christensen. "As a new program, getting Indiana student-athletes bought into our vision for ISU Swimming & Diving is very important. It was clear through our conversations that Makayla was excited about the direction we are headed. I know she'll put in the work and I'm very confident her best swimming is ahead of her."