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Swimming adds 24 new team members

The Aquatic and Fitness Center pool will be a little more crowded this year.

The Virginia swimming and diving team continues to build on its success as 24 incoming students have declared their intentions of competing for the squad.

"I believe this large and versatile class puts the Virginia swimming and diving programs in capable hands," Cavalier coach Mark Bernardino said in a press release. "This class should be heard from in a positive sense for the next four years."

Five women and seven men have signed national letters of intent to attend the University. Eight women and four men have accepted offers of admission and will participate as walk on members of the team.

"Some of these individuals will be great contributors in the immediate future, while others will make their greatest impact a year or so down the road," Bernardino said.

The swimmers who signed letters of intent follow. Their hometowns are in parentheses. The women are Mirjana Bosevska (Skopjle, Macedonia), Katey Danforth (Severn, Md.), Kristen Knudson (Estes Park, Colo.), Cara Lane (Charlotte, N.C.) and diver Alison Sharp (Newton, Pa.).

On the men's side, Jonathan Baird (Nashville, Tenn.), Brian Best (Columbia, Md.), Shaun Crossman (Maitland, Fla.), Evan Taylor (Issaquah, Wash.), Mike Wheeler (Lisbon, Md.), Guy Yimsomruay (Bangkok, Thailand) and Daniel Zurowski (Woodbridge, Va.) join the squad.

Incoming women team members who will walk on are Danielle Bertrand (Lakeville, Conn.), Lindsey Crane (Fairport, N.Y.), Jessica Collins (Wise, Va.), Lisa Favreau (Alamo, Calif.) Annie Gill (Chester, Va.), Abby Parker (Akron, Ohio), Alexandria Rubert (Garden City, N.Y.) and Mia Wood (Villanova, Pa.)

The men who will walk on for the Cavs are Jack Carrig (Richmond, Va.), Dan DeMarco (Great Neck, N.Y.), Gary Sharp (Virginia Beach, Va.) and Tommy Whanger (Newport News, Va.).

"We have a good class of first-year men," Bernardino said. "They will be battling each other for traveling spots plus they will have a shot at transplanting some of last year's traveling squad members."

The women's recruiting class includes a 1996 Olympian and a 1999 World University Games gold medalist. Bosevska competed for Macedonia in Atlanta. At the 1998 World Championships, she finished 14th in the 800-meter freestyle and 15th in the 400-meter individual medley.

Lane captured the gold medal in Spain recently when she won the 800-meter freestyle. Lane also defeated the NCAA champion in the mile.

"Cara Lane just won the gold medal at the World University Games in Spain in the 800-meter freestyle," Bernardino said. "So she's a player and will make an immediate impact for us."

The addition of the 24 members should help Virginia continue to rise on the national swimming scene. Last year, the women finished 10th at the NCAA Championships and the men claimed 14th place.

The incoming class should also help the Cavs maintain their ACC prowess. Both the men's and women's teams captured the Conference title last season.

The men's and women's squads each added depth with the large class. Many of the incoming competitors swim in several events.

"We have filled depth concerns in areas of weakness and strengthened our men's and women's teams across the spectrum of events," Bernardino said.