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Recruiting Class Earns Honor, Monahan Competes at Senior Nationals
By: UCLA Athletics

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UCLA swimming and diving has earned the #9 spot in Swim Swam's recruiting class of 2013 rankings. 

In the article, it states:

"For the second-straight year, UCLA has managed to fight off the California powerhouses at USC, Cal, and Stanford to grab one of the really big-name in-state recruits. This year, not only did they get one, but they took two of the top five recruits in the state.

One is Linnea Mack, who despite going a bit under the radar is an elite-level sprinter. She won California’s Central Coast title in the 50 yard free in 22.6 (she’s been as fast at 22.5), and also has a 49.1 in the 100 yard free.

Her 53.0 in the 100 fly makes her an especially good fit at UCLA, where butterfliers have probably been the strongest group year-in and year-out. The Bruins had three 100 butterfliers go 53.1 or better last year, including two underclassmen. That should allow Mack to focus on the sprint freestyles her freshman year and really help UCLA in those races at both the conference and NCAA levels.

The other star addition is Madison White, who in 2010 at just 16 years old swam at the FINA Short Course World Championships representing the U.S. in the 200 back. She has hit a bit of a wall in her progression over the last two years, but comes to Westwood with bests of 53.7 and 1:55.0 in the 100 and 200 yard backstrokes, plus a 4:17.9 in the 400 yard IM. She should take over as the program’s #1 backstroker from the graduated Andrea Reigel. Having a great backstroke leg on medley relays has become a necessity to compete in the Pac 12, where a dozen swimmers were 53.0 or better.

Ashley Tse and Emily Hammond add depth to that group with bests of 55.8 (Tse – 100 back) and 2:02.2 (Hammond – 200 back), respectively.

Burton is not quite at the level of those two, but she also fills a big need for the Bruins since their top breaststroker left NCAA swimming after her freshman season two years ago. She is the three-time champion in the 100 yard breaststroke in California’s Southern Section Division I, with her best time coming with a 1:01.69 as a sophomore. As a junior, she was 2:16 in the 200 yard breaststroke. She didn’t have a great senior season, though.

Merlihan is a promising middle-distance freestyler from Irvine who has yards bests of 1:49.5 and 4:47.9 in the 200 and 500, and maybe most importantly in this class kept improving as a senior.

The two diving signees really should add some quality to that group, especially Lenz, who was  an Olympic Trials semifinalist in 2012 on the platform. Head diving coach Tom Stebbins called her “the most accomplished diving athlete UCLA has ever signed.”"

In other Bruin news, diver Montana Monahan competed at the 2013 USA Diving AT&T Senior National Diving Championships in Iowa City on Wednesday. She finished 21st in the Platform event.

Said UCLA head diving coach Tom Stebbins on Twitter:

"Congrats to Montana Monahan on a great summer! Though today wasn't her day, lots of great progress. 8clap#moretodo"

After a busy summer for UCLA swimming and diving, the start of the 2013-2014 season is almost here. The annual Blue and Gold Scrimmage is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 27 at 6 p.m. at Spieker Aquatics Center.

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