Mesa State men’s swimming team signs 14 in inaugural class
A few months ago, Mesa State College added three sports to its intercollegiate programs.
One of them, men’s swimming & diving, will have an opportunity to get off to a much quicker start than the women’s program, which had a handful of swimmers when it started five years ago.
Mesa State swimming & diving coach Brian Pearson lured in 14 student-athletes in its first men’s recruiting class in preparation for the inaugural season. He has verbal commitments from another nine, and all of them are coming without getting any athletic scholarship money.
“It’s a pretty salty group of guys,” Pearson said. “They are young, but we got a couple transfers coming in with (Division I) talent. We’re looking forward to next season.”
The group includes six sprinters, three middle distance swimmers and high school state finalists Scott Strehlow of Ames, Iowa and Dylan Fabrizius of Colorado Springs.
Strehlow’s high school times would place in the top five in all his freestyle events at last year’s RMAC Championships. Fabrizius is a middle distance swimmer and was a sectional qualifier.
Ten of the 14 recruits are from in-state, including Grand Junction’s Patrick Sullivan, who Pearson said is a promising breaststroker.
Returning club swimmers include Marshal Thurman, who is originally from Cairo, Egypt, and Randy Fred (Colorado Springs).
Along with the verbal commitments, Pearson believes the Mavericks will be competitive immediately in their first season.
“The numbers show there is a need for men’s programs out there,” Pearson said. “Our depth will help us out immensely. As far as finishing in RMAC, I think we’ll be fighting for third or fourth place with Texas -Permian Basin. We have a lot of promising potential there. With those guys coming in, I think we’ll turn some heads. ”
The Mavericks are scheduled to host two meets in their new facility on campus, which is currently under construction, on Jan. 16 and 17 against the University of Northern Colorado, Colorado School of Mines, New Mexico, Adams State and the University of Colorado club team.
The season begins Oct. 9 with a dual at the Colorado School of Mines.
Pearson added five swimmers to the women’s team and only lost two, neither of whom posted top times on the team.
Rebecca Reed of Sugar Land, Texas, was a high school All-American. She competes in middle distance events, freestyle and backstroke.
Kelly Hogan of Crystal Lake, Ill., has posted times that would put her in national qualifying contention and Rachel Bailey of Broken Arrow, Okla., should place high in the RMAC, Pearson said.