Swimming & Diving Announces National Letter-of-Intent Signees

Dec. 16, 2010

Cyndi Gallagher and Tom Stebbins have announced the signing of seven talented student-athletes to National Letter-of-Intent. The will join the swimming and diving team in the fall of 2011.

Signing with the Bruins are Katherine (Kate) Bassett, Taylor Carlson, Monica Dornick, Allison Gargalikis, Emma Ivory-Ganja, Kacey Milligan, Noelle Tarazona and Courtney Wilde.

Tarazona (Claremont, CA/Claremont), one of the top recruits in the country, is coming off of a big international win in the 200 fly at the Junior Pan Pac's in Maui over the summer where she was a member of the USA Swimming National Youth Team. Tarazona also competed for Team USA in the 2010 Mare Nostrum meet in Barcelona, Spain. She is a versatile swimmer that will immediately impact the Bruins, especially with the graduation of All-American Lauren Hall after this season. Noelle's primary event is the 200 fly and will be able to train with an NCAA All-American, Bianca Casciari, as well as NCAA competitor Yasi Jahanshahi. Tarazona is also a national scorer in the 200 IM, 400 IM, 200 back and 200 breast. Her top times include 54.80 in the 100 fly (1:01.41 lcm), 1:57.09 in the 200 fly (2:10.66 lcm), 2:01.32 in the 200 IM (2:18.27 lcm) and 4:13.92 in the 400 IM (4:47.02 lcm).

"We are very excited to get such an outstanding local talent from a well established club team, The Claremont Club. Noelle is hard working in the classroom and in the pool and will fit right into the UCLA philosophy."

Gargalikis (Pittsburg, CA/Carondelet) competes for well renowned club team Terrapins. She is a national junior team swimmer with international experience. In 2009, Allison competed for the USA Swimming National Youth Team in World Cup meets in Stockholm, Sweden and Berlin, Germany. She also competed at the Mare Nostrum meet in Barcelona, Spain. She has top times of 1:00.84 in the 100 breast (1:09.84 lcm), 2:18.32 in the 200 breast (2:32.82 lcm) and 55.86 in the 100 fly.

"I am really excited to have another incoming freshman with international experience. Allison looks forward to upholding our great breaststroke tradition that has most recently been highlighted by senior All-American Brittany Beauchan and Olympians Nicolette Teo and Amanda Beard."

Dornick (Carlsbad, CA/Carlsbad) is a standout student-athlete who comes from a hard working program in North Coast, coached by Jeff Pease. Her top times include 1:48.12 in the 200 free, 4:49.13 in the 500 free and 10:05.69 in the 1000 free.

"Monica has the work ethic to succeed and can swim in the 100 free up to the 1000 free and will have an impact immediately at UCLA."

Milligan (Scottsdale, AZ/Pinnacle) is the sister of current senior Dani. She is a versatile swimmer that will compete in fly, IM and middle distance freestyle. Her top times include 2:01.45 in the 200 fly (2:16.14, lcm), 4:21.82 in the 400 IM (5:01.15 lcm), 4:54.50 in the 500 free and 10:04.96 in the 1000 free.

"I believe Kacie's best event is the 200 fly, but I also think she could also make an impact in the distance freestyle events as well," said Gallagher. "It's been great having Kacey's sister Dani on the team these last few years and we are excited to have another Milligan for the next four."

Wilde (Laguna Hills, CA/Laguna Hills) is a true sprinter and a true Bruin. Her father is also a Bruin, so blue and gold runs in her family. She has top times of 23.22 in the 50 free and 50.87 in the 100 free.

"Courtney is a Bruin through-and-through and we are excited to make it official. She loves relays, loves to race and loves swimming, which is a great combination to have for our program."

Bassett (Richmond, VA/St. Catherine) comes from a swimming family as her father was a nationally ranked swimmer at Tennessee. She also comes from another strong club program in NOVA of Virginia. She had a major leg injury last year which required surgery and it kept her out of the pool for a number of months. Her top times include 23.37 in the 50 free and 1:04.22 in the 100 breast.

"Kate is back in the pool, training and racing, and I know she will continue to improve with every event."

Carlson (Walnut Creek, CA/Las Lomas) is from a family of swimmers as her mother competed at Florida State and San Luis Obispo and her sister is competing across town at USC. Taylor also hails from one of the top club programs around, Terrapins. Her top times include 24.87 in the 50 free (27.36 lcm), 53.37 in the 100 free (58.46 lcm) and 1:05.55 in the 100 breast.

"I believe Taylor has tons of talent and will blossom in college," noted Gallagher. "Taylor, along with Kate and Courtney are three sprinters that I think will really surprise people next year."

Diver Ivory-Ganja (The Woodlands, TX/The Woodlands) comes from the best age group program in the country. She is a complete diver that will be a threat in all three diving events.

"We couldn't be happier she will be a Bruin next fall," said Stebbins. "While platform is her best discipline right now, Emma fills a huge void with the upcoming graduation of Laura Winn and Karina Silva."

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