Nov. 26, 2012
FORT WORTH – TCU’s swimming and diving program announced the addition of six outstanding student-athletes that signed National Letters of Intent during the recent signing period. All will join the Horned Frogs at the start of the 2013-14 season.
The TCU men’s program will welcome Garrett Hills, a state record holder in South Carolina. The TCU women’s team welcomes Hannah Briant of Manaspuan, N.J., Ashley Dyke of Charlotte, N.C., Julia-Grace Sanders of Battle Ground, Wash., Hannelore Strash of San Antonio and Meagan Thompson of Mansfield.
“We were looking for speed,” TCU head coach Richard Sybesma said. “Every swimmer we signed can help us get faster in our relays and our sprint program. We were looking for quality and depth for our sprint program, and we have signed a very strong class for the early signing period.”
Hills just wrapped up his high school career at Clover High School, where he won three state championships as a senior. A native of Lake Wylie, S.C. Hills broke the South Carolina state record in the 100 free at the state championships in October, becoming the first swimmer in state history to go below 46 seconds in the event. A five-time state champion, he has also had success in long course racing, earning YMCA All-American honors the past two years. Hills is a Junior Nationals qualifier and a Scholastic All-American.
“We are very excited to have Garrett,” Sybesma noted. “We wanted to improve in the sprints and Garrett bring a lot of experience and talent to the sprints program.”
Briant is one of the top sprinters in the Northeast, winning multiple regional and conference titles in the 50 free and as a state champion in the 50-meter freestyle. Briant has also shown her versatility in the relays, holding county and conference records as part of 200 and 400 free relay teams.
“Hannah has great potential coming into our sprint program,” Sybesma stated. “She will be on our relays and we are looking to develop her in several events. She will be a great addition to our relays.”
Dyke brings versatility to the Frogs. Dyke won a 2012 North Carolina Class 3A title in the 400 free relay, finished second in the 200 breast and third in the 200 IM and 200 medley relay for Charlotte Latin. A team captain, Dyke has earned all-conference in the 100 breast the first three years of her high school career.
“Ashley Dyke is solid in several events,” Sybesma noted. “She brings a lot of depth to the team in the breaststroke as well as the 200 IM and 200 free. We are very excited about her.”
Sanders is another versatile swimmer joining the TCU ranks, earning 10 state titles, eight individual including four 100 fly titles, in her high school career. She is a three-time Washington Class 2A Swimmer of the Year and a junior and senior nationals qualifier. Sanders is also strong in the classroom, earning Scholastic All-America honors.
“We are thrilled to have her in our sprint program,” Sybesma said. “She can swim a great 50 and 100 free, and she will be one of our top 100 fliers. She will be an integral part of all our relays and our team.”
Strash won the 2012 Texas Class 4A title in the 100 fly for Alamo Heights. A USA Swimming high school All-American, Strash also is also a national and junior nationals qualifier. She is a team captain at Alamo Heights.
“Hannelore will be a top sprint butterflier for us,” Sybesma said. “She will also vie to be in our top relay positions. We are excited to have her speed on our team.”
Thompson has become one of the top sprinters in Texas for Mansfield. She is a regional and district champion in the 50 and 100 free and has qualified for the state meet all three years of her career. She was Mansfield’s Swimmer of the Year the past two seasons. Thompson holds eight Mansfield ISD records and is a Scholastic All-American.
“Meagan can swim anything from the 50 to the mile,” Sybesma stated. “She will be a huge part of our relays.”