Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.
LAS CRUCES, N.M. - New Mexico State swimming and diving head coach Rick Pratt has signed Kara Schweitzer, Victoria Palombit, Jessica Legge and Aliena Schmidtke to National Letters of Intent to join the Aggies in 2011-12.
“These four signees are going to change our program in many ways,” Pratt said. “We are very excited to have lured such talent to NM State. It is not a huge class, however, it is certainly the most talented group to have ever committed at one time to NM State, and each individual will contribute to NM State in big ways.
“We are graduating five Aggies who have contributed much to our program, we are very please of our recruiting efforts and feel confident this class will continue to help us move forward.”
Schweitzer joins the Aggies from Highlands Ranch, Colo., and swims for the Denver Hilltoppers and coach Shawn Smith. She specializes in the breaststroke, butterfly and individual medley events. Schweitzer’s best times includes 1:07.01 in the 100 breast, 2:21.43 in the 200 breast, 2:08.99 in the 200 fly and 4:32.85 in the 400 IM.
“Kara is a smart, focused and fun individual,” Pratt said. “The team thought she was a great fit for our group, and she has the drive and personality to do great things at NM State. She will make an immediate impact at the WAC level and swims a variety of events, which will make her very helpful in the line-up.”
Palombit is a sprint freestyle specialist from Lubbock, Texas, that swims for coach Trey Hayes and the Lubbock Swim Club. Her personal best times include 23.87 in the 50 free and 51.62 in the 100 free. Next season, Palombit joins her older sister, Gina, who is a junior on the Aggies’ squad, in Las Cruces.
“Victoria is a hard-working individual, who brings great speed to our group and has potential to be a threat on many levels at NM State,” he said. “We had our eye on Victoria since signing her older sister to the team three years ago. She is a charismatic individual who has ambitions at the highest level. We are thrilled about her commitment, and I am excited to see how she does her senior year before arriving to NM State. With her current times she would already have a big impact on our roster.”
Legge, a Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia native, specializes in breaststroke and IM events. Her best times are 1:10.5 in the 100 breast (LCM), 2:31.8 in the 200 breast (LCM), 2:19.1 in the 200 IM (LCM) and 4:53.3 in the 400 IM (LCM).
“Jessica is coming from far away to become an Aggie and is one of the most successful swimmers to ever sign at NM State,” Pratt said. “Jess is a top national recruit and has had international experience already. She is a huge addition to our team and has the potential to qualify for NCAA’s in several events. She is currently ranked in the top 20 in Australia in four events and is going to make an immediate impact on our program. She also has potential in the freestyle events and will be a threat on our relays. Jess is a fun individual looking for a new adventure. We are thrilled to have her be the first Australian to join the swim team and I can’t wait to coach her.”
Schmidtke joins the Crimson and White from Bad Segeberg, Germany and the Magdeburg Swim Club, which is the same team as current Aggie junior Maria Spies. Schmidtke’s personal best times are 25.9 in the 50 free (LCM), 56.4 in the 100 free (LCM), 2:02.2 in the 200 free (LCM) and 1:01.0 in the 100 fly (LCM).
“Aliena is the sixth German swimmer to come to Las Cruces and is going to make a huge and immediate impact on our program,” he said. “She is one of Germany’s young and upcoming swimmers, and has ambitions of not only competing at the NCAA level, but also Olympic. Aliena is the fastest freestyler to ever commit to NM State and has the potential to compete on a national level. She is going to bring great experience and speed to the team, along with helping our relays get to new heights.
“Aliena is a very strong student and a perfectionist. She is looking for a new experience and we are very pleased she has chosen NM State. Her current best times convert to multiple school records already as a 17 year old. She is a great person and a very strong individual. She will contribute in many ways to our team.”