Utah Swimming and Diving head coach Michael Litzinger announced the signing of three student-athletes to national letters of intent.
Nov. 22, 2005
SALT LAKE CITY - Utah Swimming and Diving head coach Michael Litzinger announced the signing of three student-athletes to national letters of intent. Two junior college transfers and one high school senior will join the Utes for the 2006-07 season.
Beth Gunderson, from Portland, Ore., is currently a senior at Central Catholic High School where she was named the 2005 Mt. Hood Conference Female Athlete of the Year. Gunderson will swim the backstroke and individual medley events for the Utes.
Gunderson also qualified for the U.S. Nationals in 2005 and was a finalist at the 2005 Speedo Sectional in the 100 and 200 backstrokes. She placed 12th at the Summer U.S. Junior Nationals in the 200 back. Gunderson's best times are: 58.23 seconds in the 100 back, 2 minutes, 04.07 seconds in the 200 back and 58.88 seconds in the 100 butterfly.
"Beth is an outstanding individual and a great athlete," said Litzinger. "I am truly looking forward to working with her, as she will help Utah continue its climb to excellence in the MWC and the NCAA."
Melissa Helmers joins the Utes from Indian River Community College where she helped the Pioneers claim their 27th NJCAA swimming title in 2005. Helmers, a Pennington, N.J. native, will swim the distance freestyle and IM events. She was a member of the 2005 National Junior College Champion 400 and 800 freestyle relays and the runner-up in the 1650 free.
Helmers is a three-time U.S. National qualifier in the 400 and 800 free relays and was the New Jersey high school runner-up in the 500 free in 2002-03. Some of Helmers' top times are: 5 minutes, 02:05 seconds in the 500 free, 10 minutes, 25.15 seconds in the 1000 free and 17 minutes, 20.12 seconds in the 1650 free.
"I am pleased that Missy has signed with Utah," said Litzinger. "She will bring championship level experience to our team, and continue a great tradition of distance swimming for the Utes."
Kelly McIntyre, a Park City, Utah native, will also join the Utes from Indian River Community College and swim the butterfly events for Utah. McIntyre helped the Pioneers claim their 27th NJCAA swimming title in 2005.
McIntyre was the 2005 National Junior College Champion in the 200 butterfly and the 100 back. McIntyre's best times include: 59.60 seconds in the 100 fly, 2 minutes, 09.27 seconds in the 200 fly and 1 minute, 08.10 seconds in the 100 breastroke.
"Kelly is really coming into her own at the college level," said Litzinger. "I am excited about her potential to help us, and of course her championship experience is invaluable. Kelly will be a great Utah Ute."