July 9, 2008
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Head coach Gregg Wilson announced the signing of six student-athletes to National Letters of Intent for the 2008-09 academic year. Ethan Bradley (Covina, Calif./Charter Oaks HS), Josh Cannon (Walnut Creek, Calif./Northgate HS), Kevin Ferguson (Sacramento, Calif./Rio Americano HS), and Tyler Hayden (Lake Forest Park, Wash./Shorecrest HS) will be joining the Gaucho men's team while Alex Hilber (San Diego, Calif./Scripps Ranch HS) and Kendall Neely (Oxnard, Calif./Pacifica HS) will join the women in the fall.
"With this group (of signees) and additional walk-ons, we feel we can fill the voids being left by last season's seniors," Wilson said. "You can never replace experience, but the potential of each of these athletes is real. There have not been any elite performances at this time out of this group, but they have the potential to be elite. Each of them is strong academically and they all come from a solid swim programs."
Ethan Bradley hails from Covina, Calif. where he attended Charter Oaks High School and swims club with Brea Aquatics. A distance freestyle and backstroke specialist, Bradley, "will have an enormous impact on the program for the next several years," according to Wilson.
Josh Cannon will come to UCSB out of Walnut Creek, Calif. where he attended Northgate High School and swam with the Walnut Creek AquaBears. Cannon swims sprint freestyle and butterfly.
Another Northern California product is Kevin Ferguson, who is coming from Sacramento, Calif. where he attended Rio Americano High School and swims for Arden Hills. Ferguson specializes in individual medley and backstroke events.
The final men's swimming signee is Tyler Hayden out of Lake Forest Park, Wash. Hayden attended Shorecrest High School and is a member of Cascade Swim Club. Hayden is a sprint freestyle swimmer.
"Josh, Tyler, and Kevin each had very good high school championship meets and finished their high school careers with strong swims. They will need to assimilate to the academics, weight training, and intensity of college athletics, but all have great potential," commented Wilson.
Joining the women's team is Alex Hilber, who hails from San Diego, Calif. where she attended Scripps Ranch High School and swims with the Blue Fins Swim Team. Alex, who is mostly a distance swimmer, is expected to have an immediate effect on the program and will add depth to the Gauchos distance group.
Kendall Neely rounds out the signing class. She will come to UCSB from Oxnard, Calif. where she attended Pacifica High School and swims with Channel Islands Aquatics. Neely is a sprint freestyle and backstroke swimmer, who like several of her male counterparts, had a strong showing at her final high school championship meet.
In addition to the six signees, five additional men and five women will join the 2008-09 freshman class as walk-ons.
Leading the newcomers and the rest of their teams will be the 2008-09 team captains that were recently announced by the coaching staff. Katy Freeman and Nadia Dwidar will lead the women while Brock Roverud and Chris Good will captain the men's team.