HOUSTON -- Seven swimmers with experience from the club and high school ranks have signed with Rice and will join the Owls in the fall of 2017, head swim coach Seth Huston announced on Wednesday (Nov. 23).
The Owls' new signees are Brittany Bui of Houston, Kelsey Evans of Cypress, Texas, Nicole Limberg of Mill Creek, Wash., Lindsay Mathys of Downers Grove, Ill., Ellery Parish of San Antonio, Texas, Cailey Renken of Alpharetta, Ga., and Hannah Sumbera of Houston.
All have elite competitive credentials and have met the University's challenging academic entrance requirements. The signees' first semester at Rice begins in August of 2017 and the group would compete at the C-USA Swim Championships for the first time in 2018.
Coach Huston had high praise for the Owls' latest class, his 15th at Rice since taking the helm of the program. Under Huston's direction the Owl swimmers have won three Conference USA team championships and qualified individually for both the U.S. Olympic Trials and NCAA Championships.
"I am super excited with the addition of this class,” coach Huston said. “Our assistant coach, Amanda Caldwell really cultivated a great group of prospects to go after and I feel like we found seven girls that are the right fit for Rice University and will be great additions to our swimming program. Finding students that want and can give their all to earning a great education and striving for excellence as an athlete and as a teammate are difficult to find. I believe we nailed it this fall."
Rice Swimming Signee Highlights
Brittany Bui * Butterfly/IM
Houston, Texas (Kempner HS / First Colony club);
Winter Juniors National Qualifier
Senior Zone Champion in 200 Breast, 400 I.M.
Texas 6A State Qualifier in 200 I.M.
Scholastic All American 2016
200 Fly 2:02.84 scy
200 Breast 2:18.77 scy
400 I.M. 4:25.74 scy
200 I.M. 2:05.60 scy
100 Fly 56.60 scy
Coached by Katie Anselmo & Jerome Muniz (HS)
Coached by Peter Wright (Club)
Coach Huston said: " Brittany had Rice University pegged as her top choice very early on. She is local and understands the value of a Rice education. What I love about Brittany is that she is so versatile as an athlete; we can insert her in so many different places in a lineup. I know Brittany will be on top of school and training every day."
Brittany Bui said: " I chose Rice because of the academic and athletic opportunities. I believe that I would be able to thrive both in the classroom and in the pool at Rice University. The bond between the swimmers is genuine, and I couldn’t be happier to join a team with such close companionship.”
Kelsey Evans * Breaststroke/IM/Free
Cypress, Texas (Cy Woods HS / Fleet SC);
Summer Junior National and 2017 U.S. Open qualifier
100 scy breast: 1:03.66
200 scy breast: 2:18.11
100 scy free: 52.48
Coached by Jim Bocci (HS)
Coached by Dustin Myers (Club)
Coach Huston said: "We had our eye on Kelsey since last year and I think she has an incredible upside as a future collegiate athlete. This is Kelsey's first year to focus exclusively on swimming after dropping cross country and she will be well prepared to be a NCAA Division I student-athlete. Kelsey brings an awesome work ethic and passion for swimming to our team."
Kelsey Evans said: "I chose Rice because it is a phenomenal combination of academics and athletics. I am sure that the uniqueness of the school, the close-knit bond of the swim team and the wonderful coaches will all help create a supportive atmosphere where I can grow as a student, athlete, and as a person. I can’t wait to be an Owl!
Nicole Limberg * Breaststroke/IM
Mill Creek, Wash. (Henry Jackson HS / WEST Coast Aquatics);
High School Most Valuable Swimmer (2013-2016)
4A High School Swimmer of the Meet (2014 & 2016)
5x 4A Individual State Champion (2014, 2015, 2016)
National Honor Society
AP Scholar with Distinction
100 scy breast: 1:02.23
200 scy breast: 2:15.67
200 scy IM: 2:02.28
Coached by Drew Whorley (HS)
Coached by Nick Chevalier (Club)
Coach Huston said: "Nicole is the top ranked female swimmer in Washington and we are excited to have her on board. Nicole is a great racer and while breaststroke is her premiere stroke, she is very versatile and really has no weak stroke. I think Nicole is going to bring a real competitive spirit to the team."
Nicole Limberg said: " I chose Rice University because of the great combination of excellent academics and athletics, the residential colleges, and phenomenal medical educational opportunities. I absolutely loved the team and coaches. They know how to have fun and work hard at the same time. I am so excited to spend my next four years as an Owl!
Lindsay Mathys * Freestyle/Fly/IM
Downers Grove, Ill. (Downers Grove North HS / Wheaton SC);
All American in four relays
Illinois State Champion 400 Free relay (2013) and 200 Free relay (2014)
National Merit Commended Student, 4.0 Honor Roll
100 Free SCY 50.49
200 Free SCY 1:48.98
500 Free SCY 4:55.11
200 Fly SCY 2:03.84
200 IM SCY 2:06.37
400 IM SCY 4:23.54
Coached by Bob Strube (Club)
Coach Huston said: "Lindsay will be an instant contributor. I just don't know where because she is so strong in so many events. Lindsay visited campus as a junior and we knew right away she was someone that we really wanted to be a part of our team. I think Lindsay will bring a great attitude and spirit to the team and will elevate those around her."
Lindsay Mathys said: " I chose Rice not only because of its amazing academic, but also because of the people at Rice. Everyone was so friendly and welcoming to me and the other recruits, even students in the residential colleges or those just passing by. Also, the team’s attitude and approach towards training was something that I found compelling, and ultimately made my decision crystal-clear: Rice is the place for me!
Ellery Parish * Free/Back
San Antonio, Texas (Alamo Heights HS/ Streamline Aquatics);
Six-time NISCA All-America
2016 medalist in the 200-free
Helped set school record at state relay
National Honor Society
200 Free – 1:48.81
500 Free – 4:53.05
200 Back – 2:02.55
Coached by Don Walker (HS)
Coached by Rachel Woodard (Club)
Coach Huston said: "Ellery is our Texas sleeper. She has a real passion for excellence in everything she that she is involved in. Athletically Ellery has really elevated her swimming this past year. She is the real deal in the backstroke and freestyle events. I can't wait to work with her every day next year. I know she will bring her A game day in and day out."
Ellery Parish said: "I felt at home on campus and with a the team and coaches. I feel at Rice I can be both a student and a swimmer at an elite level. I can’t wait to call Rice home the next four years.”
Cailey Renken * Breaststroke
Alpharetta, GA (Adolfo Camarillo HS / Swim Atlanta);
2 time NISCA All-American (2015 and 2016)
3 time Swim MVP at Adolfo Camarillo High School
Currently hold 7 school records at Adolfo Camarillo High School
CIF-SS Division III Individual Champion in the 100 yard breaststroke (2016)
2 time Scholastic All-American (2015 and 2016)
Class Rank: 2/461 (Alpharetta High School)
National Honors Society Member (2015-Present)
100 breast (SCY) 1:02.06
200 breast (SCY) 2:15.62
200 free (SCY) 1:51.56
Coached by Shane Kearney (HS)
Coached by Jeff Hike (Club)
Coach Huston said: "Cailey is exactly what we look for as a student and athlete here at Rice. Cailey is an incredible student and loved the culture of Rice University. We have watched Caitlin race over the last year and I think she will be an incredible collegiate swimmer. I think Rice is the right place to challenge Caitlin which is exactly what she needs."
Cailey Renken said: " I chose Rice University because of the combination of phenomenal academics and athletics offered at the university as well as the amazing instant connection I had with the coaches and team. Rice feels like home and I can’t wait to spend my next four years here!
Hannah Sumbera * IM/Breaststroke/Fly
Houston (Bellaire HS / Houston);
National Championship Qualifier
Speedo Junior National Qualifier
200 IM – 2:20.99 lcm
200-Breaststroke – 2:37.65 lcm
200-Butterfly – 2:01.81 scy
Coached by Gilbert Legaspi (club)
Coach Huston said: "We have watched Hannah swim the last couple of years because she is a local. We were excited to have Hannah as our first commit. Hannah knew Rice was the right place for her to pursue a great education and her swimming career. She is so positive and excited to be a part of our program. I can't wait to have her on campus and make our team better. Hannah fits our profile athletically; she has four strong strokes and can swim just about anything."
Hannah Sumbera said: "I chose Rice University because of the outstanding academics and swim program. The people at Rice are phenomenal and the bond between the students and the University is unbelievable. I love the fact that I am close to home and can see my family frequently. Lastly, I love all the girls on the team and the wonderful coaching staff. Go Owls!