Panthers Add Class Of Five To Women's Swimming & Diving
April 29, 2011
MILWAUKEE - Karen Illg of Omaha, Neb., Diandra Prutton of Pleasant Hill, Calif., Kelly Theis of Germantown, Wis., Sierra Townsend of Sturgeon Bay, Wis., and Anna Yontz of Canton, Ill., have all signed National Letters of Intent with the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee women's swimming & diving team and are set to compete this fall, head coach Kyle Clements announced today.
Illg swam at Millard West High School and was part of a team that won four consecutive state titles during her career. She earned numerous All-American honors, including as a senior when she was part of the winning 200 medley and 400 freestyle relay teams. She also placed second in the 200 IM and third in the 100 breaststroke her final season at the state meet and was honored by the Greater Omaha Sports Committee as a scholar-athlete.
"Karen is an amazing addition to this program," Clements said. "She comes from a great high school and club program and I feel that the sky is the limit for this young swimmer. She has an arsenal of events that she can swim and can score very high in our conference meet in almost all of them. She is one of those swimmers that will turn some heads in her freshman campaign. She is also an outstanding student with a 4.0 GPA."
Prutton swam at College Park High School and for the Terrapin Aquatics program and is a transfer to UWM from Diablo Valley College after originally signing to swim at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. At Diablo, she has earned All-American honors in the 50 and 100 back as well as the 200 and 400 medley relays. She placed third in the 100 back as a freshman at the 2010 California Community College Athletics Association Meet. She held her high school record in the 100 back and in the 200 medley relay.
"Diandra is one of the student-athletes that you can not wait to get onto campus," Clements said. "She already has college swimming experience and has shown what she can do for this program. She will help round out a very strong backstroke and add depth in the fly events."
Theis swam for Germantown High School and was her team's lone representative at the state meet as a senior. Her finishes in her two swims were good enough to help Germantown to a 25th-place finish overall. Theis was 12th in the 200 freestyle and just missed a state championship in the 500 freestyle, placing second by just nine-hundredths of a second. As a junior, she was one of just two swimmers from her school to qualify for state, placing 21st in the 500 free. The four-year state qualifier also swam for the Elmbrook Swim Club.
"We are very excited to have Kelly joining us next year," Clements said. "She will have the opportunity to immediately score points in the distance events. She is everything a coach could ask for in an athlete - not only is she successful both in the classroom and pool, but she also has that wonderful personality that no coach could ever pass up. She will do great here at UWM."
Townsend and Rabas were teammates for the Sturgeon Bay/Sevastopol team in high school, so she also finished as WIAA Division 2 State Champions her junior year and runner-up as a senior. Townsend, the Green Bay Press-Gazette Girls Swimmer of the Year, claimed the individual state crown in the 100 freestyle as a senior, adding to the title in the 50 free she won as a freshman. She also placed second in the 50 free and fourth in the 200 IM her final season at state. A WISCA All-State swimmer, she placed fourth in the 100 free and eighth in the 100 back as a junior and was part of the champion, state-record 200 free relay as well.
"I am so happy to have Sierra joining us here at UWM," Clements said. "She is the type of student-athlete that we have been building this program around over the past few years. She just came off a great high school state meet where she put up some lifetime-best times. She is also a 4.0 student and Valedictorian of her high school. She will make an immediate impact on this team, not only in her individual events, but in the relays as well."
Yontz is a member of the swim team at Canton High School, winning sectional and conference titles in the 200 freestyle, 100 freestyle and as a member of the 200 freestyle relay team. She was also the sectional champ in the 100 free her junior year. She also swims for the Can-Y-Cuda YMCA swim team, where she has set six team records over her career and qualified for the National Championship swim meet her sophomore, junior and senior years. Yontz qualified for the state meet her junior and senior seasons and is an Illinois State Scholar and member of the National Honor Society.
"We cannot wait to get Anna on campus," Clements said. "She has all the physical and mental attributes to be a very successful college athlete. After having her on campus, she was someone that I knew I wanted to be a part of this team and we were fortunate to get her. I feel that once she gets into the collegiate environment that she is going to blossom into an amazing athlete and become a pillar of our freestyle group. She is also the Valedictorian of her high school with a 4.0 GPA."