Dec. 12, 2012
Two swimmers with experience from the club and high school ranks have signed with Rice and will join the Owls in the fall of 2013, head swim coach Seth Huston announced on Wednesday (Dec. 12).
The Owls' new signees are Lauren FitzGerald of Folsom, Calif., and Marita Sailor of Portland, Ore. Both have elite competitive credentials while meeting the University's challenging academic entrance requirements. The signees' first semester at Rice begins in August of 2013. Coach Huston had high praise for the Owls' latest class, his eleventh at Rice since taking the helm of the program.
"We started off our freshmen class of 2013 with a couple of quality recruits," said coach Huston. "Marita and Lauren will be great additions to the Rice Owl family. We look forward to building upon this class in the spring."
More detailed highlights on each Owl signee is provided below. The Rice swim team next returns to action at the Incarnate Word University Invitational, a multi-team/multi-day meet in San Antonio on Dec. 15-17.
2012-2013 Rice Swimming Signee Highlights
Lauren FitzGerald * backstroke/IM
Folsom, Calif. (Granite Bay HS / Sierra Marlins Swim Team - the same school and club team as current Rice Owl and two-time C-USA individual champion Quincy Christian)
* 100 backstroke 56.48;
* 200 backstroke 2:01.04;
* 200 IM 2:04.40;
* 400 IM 4:25.38;
* 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials Qualifier
* Granite Bay HS record holder in the 200-back (LCM)
* Coached by John Sherman (HS)
* Coached by Adam Schmidt (club)
* USA Swimming scholastic All-American; Granite Bay Academic Honor Roll
* Sierra Marlin of the Year
Coach Huston said: "Lauren is coming off an awesome year, in which she qualified for U.S. Olympic Trials in the 200 backstroke. Even better is that Lauren can swim great IM's and some mid-distance freestyle. She knows what it takes to commit to lofty goals and achieve them. We look forward to Lauren being a Rice Owl. She will make instant contributions to the personality of the team as well as in her athletic performance."
Lauren FitzGerald said: "I loved everything Rice had to offer: the team, the coaches, the academics, and the campus. It was such a great fit and I am so happy to be a part of it."
Marita Sailor * freestyle/backstroke/butterfly
Portland, Ore. (Sunset HS / Tualatin Hills Swim Club.)
* 200 freestyle 1:51.29;
* 100 backstroke 57.42;
* 200 Backstroke 2:04.79;
* 2012 U.S. Winter Nationals Qualifier
* Member of three age-group state record-setting relays
* Led Sunset HS to a third-place finish at the state championships
* Selected to compete in USA Swimming Diversity-Select Camp
* Coached by Linck Bergen (club)
* Coached by Adam Farber (HS)
* Two-time USA Swimming scholastic All-American
* Two-time member of the National Honor Society;
Coach Huston said: "Marita is a versatile athlete. We really look for multi-talented athletes and Marita fits the bill. She can swim IM and excels in free, back and butterfly. We are very high on Marita's upside for swimming in college. I think she will really make our team better and she fit in so well with the team."
Marita Sailor said: "I chose Rice for its academic excellence, faculty-to-student ratio, and because of the wonderful girls on the swim team. I felt like it was the perfect place for me."