The Minnesota women’s swimming and diving team signed 10 swimmers to National Letters of Intent during the fall signing period.
Katie Anton (Cedar Rapids, Iowa)
Heidi Busack (Fergus Falls, Minn.)
Clare Chamberlain (Shorewood, Wis.)
Christie Clark (East Brunswick, N.J.)
Kiera Janzen (White Bear Lake, Minn.)
Jessica Plant (Winnipeg, Canada)
Chloe Portela (Lawrence, Kans.)
Tori Simenec (Salem, Ore.)
Becca Weiland (Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.)
Blake Zeiger (Cumberland, R.I.)
Katie Anton, the daughter of Alex and Pegi Anton, is currently training with T2 Aquatics in Naples, Fla. She has already posted a national qualifying time in the 200 back. Anton clocked a time of 2:00.94 to win the consolation final at the US Swimming Minnesota Grand Prix and a time of 57.14 to win the “C” final in the 100 back.
“Katie has national level experience and a competitive drive that will add energy to the entire team,” said co-head coach Terry Nieszner. “She brings maturity and an enthusiasm for the sport that is contagious.”
A senior at Fergus Falls High School, Heidi Busack will compete in sprint freestyle and breaststroke events for the Gophers. She defended her 100 free title at the 2010 Minnesota State Championships. Heidi is the daughter of Dave and Julie Busack and the younger sister of Gopher All-American alumnae Stacy Busack.
“It’s always great to keep the best Minnesota athletes in state,” said Nieszner. “Heidi is definitely one of the best sprinters coming out of Minnesota and she will strengthen and add depth to the sprint freestyles.”
A senior at Shorewood High Schhool, Clare Chamberlain is an Academic All-American who won the 2008 Wisconsin Division 2 state title in the 200 individual medley. The daughter of Chet and Colleen Chamberlain, Clare is also a member of the Shorewood Swim Club.
“Clare is a fierce competitor,” said Nieszner. “She brings the attitude and personality of a champion. Her career at Minnesota will be one to watch.”
Christie Clark is a senior at East Brunswick High School. She swims for the Scarlet Swim Club under the direction of Coach Tom Speedling. Clark has posted a Junior National time standard in the 400-meter freestyle and U.S. Open time standards in the 100- and 200-meter butterfly. She is the daughter of Tim and Julie Clarke.
“Christie developed under Tom Speedling at Scarlet. Because of this, we know she has a tireless work ethic,” said co-head coach Kelly Kremer. “We expect Christie to have an immediate impact for us in the fly and freestyle events.”
Kiera Janzen, a senior at Cretin Durham High School, is a multiple state champion, including 2009 titles in the 200 and 500 freestyle. She holds a 2012 U.S. Olympic Trial time standard in the 400-meter freestyle, the event she won the gold medal in at the 2010 World Youth Games. A 2008-09 U.S. National Junior Team member, Janzen swims for the STAR Swim Club coached by Paul Lundsten. Kiera is the daughter of Peter and Lisa Janzen.
“Kiera has been such a dominant swimmer in the state of Minnesota for many years,” said Kremer. “Now she will be representing the Golden Gophers! She loves to race; she loves to compete, and we are looking forward to having her in Maroon and Gold!”
Jessica Plant swims for the Manta Swim Club under the direction of Coach Tom Hainey. Plant captured four medals, including one gold, at the 2010 Speedo Western Canadian Championships. She won six gold and two silver medals at the 2010 North American Challenge Cup. Plant holds several 2012 Canadian Olympic Trials time standards and is currently ranked in the top-20 nationally in the 100- and 200-meter backstroke events. She is the daughter of David Plant and Janice Winiarz.
“Jessica is one of the most versatile swimmers we have signed at Minnesota in a long time,” said Kremer. “She does everything well. Jessica will have a major impact for us, not only during the college season, but on the international stage as well.”
Chloe Portela is a butterfly specialist who swims for the Lawrence AquaHawks in Lawrence, Kans. She is a Junior National qualifier who competed in the Central American Games in Puerto Rico last summer. Chloe is the daughter of Antonio and Dorian Portela. Her older brother Anthony was an All-American in the butterfly for the Gophers.
“Chloe is an outstanding sprint butterflyer,” said Nieszner. “She brings international experience and a mature competitive attitude. We are very excited about her future as a Golden Gopher.”
A senior at Sprague High School, Simenec swims for the Bearcat Swim Club under the direction of Craig Charlson. Simenec was a member of the U.S. National Junior Team (2007-08) and has earned multiple U.S. Junior and U.S. National Championships finals appearances. She holds 2012 Olympic Trial time standards in both the 100-meter butterfly and the 200-meter freestyle. Tori is the daughter of Todd and Sue Simenec.
“Tori is such an accomplished swimmer, yet she is a humble and down-to-earth person,” said Kremer. “What a perfect Golden Gopher! We are looking forward to continuing our climb up the NCAA ladder, and Tori will have a major impact in our team’s progression over the next four years.”
Becca Weiland is a senior at Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln High School and swims for the Stevens Point YMCA under the direction of Coach Eric Demrow. Weiland holds the YMCA national record for the 50-meter butterfly with a time of 27.27 seconds. She swam a leg of YMCA national champion 200 free relay. Weiland was honored as the 2010 Wisconsin Valley Conference Swimmer of the Year. She is the daughter of John and Linda Weiland.
“We are graduating a very strong group of sprint butterfliers and freestylers and Becca will step in immediately to help fill this void,” said Kremer. “We anticipate Becca developing into a mainstay on our sprint and medley relays, and having a major impact on our Big Ten and NCAA efforts.”
Blake Zeiger swims for the Bluefish Swim Club under the direction of Coach Chuck Batchelor. Zeiger is a sprint and middle-distance freestyler with National Team standards in the 50 and 100 freestyle events. She is the daughter of Peter and Whitney Zeiger.
“It was fun to watch Blake go life-time bests this past summer,” said Kremer. “Blake and Coach Batchelor have her improvement curve going straight up and we could not be more excited about her decision to join our program as she continues to develop her potential. She has the opportunity to impact the Big Ten and NCAA meets, both individually and as a member of Gopher relays.”