Dec. 2, 2015
– By Lizzie Mikes
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame women’s swimming and diving team has signed seven swimmers and one diver to the class of 2020. The eight incoming freshmen boast several state high school titles to their names and U.S. Olympic Trial Qualifiers.
Reilly Lanigan (Lake Forest, IL / Lake Forest / Patriot Aquatic Club), Katie Smith (Rochester, NY / Pittsford Sutherland / Pack Swim Team), Lauren Heller (Stow, OH / Hawken / Lake Erie Silver Dolphins), Abbie Dolan (Sunfish Lake, MN / Visitation / Blackline Aquatics), Katie Rentz (Aurora, IL / Rosary / Academy Bullets Swim Club), Kelly Jacob (Oconomowoc, WI / Arrowhead / Lake Country Phoenix Swim Team), Carolyn Kammeyer (Charlotte, NC / Ardrey Kell / SwimMac Carolina) and Claire Andrews (Conroe, TX / The Woodlands College Park / The Woodlands Diving Academy) have all made their official commitments to Notre Dame by submitting National Letters of Intent during the fall early signing period.
“I am very pleased that these eight women will be joining us at the University of Notre Dame next fall,” head coach Mike Litzinger says. “These ladies are not only talented in the pool, they also excel in the classroom, and have the desire to explore their potential to the fullest at our University. Coach April Woo and I had an opportunity to get to know each of our incoming athletes and their families on a personal level, and the fit we felt with each of them was the right one for our program, our recruits, their families, and Notre Dame. The additions in this class will compliment our returning athletes, make an impact in the ACC and help our team continue on its path to being great.”
Below is a summary of all seven swimmers:
Reilly Lanigan, 5’6″, Free/IM/Fly (Lake Forest, IL / Lake Forest / Patriot Aquatic Club)
– 50 Free, 23.69 (2014 ILOB Girls IHSA State Meet, SCY)
– 100 Free, 50.60 (2014 FL AP NCSA Spring Championship, SCY)
– 200 Free, 1:47.41 (2014 FL AP NCSA Spring Championship, SCY)
– 500 Free, 4:47.9 (2015 IHSA Championships, SCY)
– 100 Fly 55.27 (2013 ILOB Girls IHSA State Meet, SCY)
– 200 Fly, 2:03.99 (2015 FL NCSA Spring Championships, SCY)
– 200 IM, 2:02.16 (2015 IL Illinois Senior SCY Championship, SCY)
– 400 IM, 4:18.46 (2014 FL AP NCSA Spring Championship, SCY)
Awards/Honors/Rankings: Three time state finalist in 200 IM and 100 fly, two-time finalist in the 200 and 400 free relay events … set Illinois state age group records in the 200 IM (13-14 age group) and 50 Fly (11-12 age group) … finalist in the 200 free and 500 free at the 2014 Winter Junior Nationals.
Prep & Personal: Swam at Lake Forest High School and with Patriot Aquatic Club all four years … earned four varsity letters in swimming and also played junior varsity women’s lacrosse as a freshman and sophomore … in freshman season, was a state finalist in the 200 IM and 100 fly … earned All American honors and was voted high school team MVP … swam in winning 800 free relay lineup with club team in 2013 and 2014 at the Winter Junior National Championships, setting a meet record … in sophomore and junior seasons, was state finalist in 200 IM, 100 fly and 200 and 400 free relays … set school record as a sophomore in all four events … repeated as All American and team MVP both seasons … named team captain at start of senior year … with club team, qualified for 2015 NCSA All Star team and competed at the Irish Long Course Championships in Dublin, Ireland, representing the United States … also won at the 2015 Illinois Senior State High Point meet.
Outside the Pool: Member of the Cum Laude society and National Honor Society … volunteers as a swim instructor at the Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association … also works with Swim America in a similar role … hails from same area of Illinois as former football quarterback Tommy Rees, men’s soccer players Harrison and Michael Shipp and women’s soccer player Ginny McGowan … is sixth member of her family to attend Notre Dame … middle child of Patrick and Kelly Lanigan … mother Kelly (Quinn) Lanigan swam for the Irish under former head coach Tim Welsh and was a captain her senior year (1988-89) … has one younger brother, Luke, and one sister, Caitlin, who currently attends Notre Dame … intends to major in business at the University.
Litzinger on Lanigan: “Reilly is a tremendous addition to our program. Her event range and tenacity is a perfect fit for us. From the beginning, I was impressed with the way she handled the recruiting process. She is very sharp academically, and has a deep family connection with the University of Notre Dame. Her mother was a captain of our women’s team, her father is a graduate and her sister is currently attending Notre Dame. Without a doubt Reilly will be a factor in the future of Notre Dame women’s swimming.”
Katie Smith, 5’8″, Free (Rochester, NY / Pittsford Sutherland / Pack Swim Team)
– 50 Free, 22.72 (2015 NI – Ob – NYS Federation Girls Swimming Championship, SCY)
– 100 Free, 50.91 (2015 Ni – Ob – NYS Federation Girls Swimming Championship, SCY)
-50 Meter Free, 25.97 (2015 March Speedo Champions Series LCM)
Awards/Honors/Rankings: 2016 US Olympic Trial Qualifier in the 50 Meter freestyle … holds a myriad of New York State, Section V and school records in the 50 free, 100 free, 200 free relay and 400 free relay … twice named to Democrat & Chronicle All Greater Rochester women’s swimming list … as a freshman, achieved Athletic All-American women’s swimming award in the 50 free … as a sophomore, repeated winning the Athletic All-American women’s swimming award in the 50 free, adding honors in the 100 free and 200 free relay … in junior year, achieved Athletic All-America honors in women’s swimming in the 50 free and 200 and 400 free relays, and earned consideration in the 100 free as well … prep team won New York state title in junior campaign … to date in senior year, has been awarded Athletic All-America honors in 50 free, 200 free relay and 400 free relay.
Prep & Personal: Swam with both Pittsford Sutherland prep team and Pack Swim Team of Pittsford club throughout prep career … made varsity team at Pittsford Sutherland as an eighth grader … qualified for Olympic Trials in 50m free and won the spring eastern zone sectional meet in the 50m free in spring of 2015 with club team … biggest athletic thrills to date are breaking her own state record in New York in the 50 free, and being the first girl in New York state to break 23 seconds for the 50 free … as a freshman, finished second in the New York state high school women’s 50 free event … New York state Section V sectional champion in the 50 free, 100 free and 200 and 400 free relays … set New York state high school women’s 50 free record (23.05), finishing second at state meet … was state champion in the 200 free relay … also placed second in the 100 free … repeated as New York state Section V sectional champion in 50 free, 100 free, and 200 and 400 free relays … won New York state title in 50 free, 200 free relay and 400 free relay … came in second in 100 free … holds New York state high school 200 free relay state record … crowned section V sectional champion in the 100 free, 200 free relay and 400 free relay … holds New York state Section V record in the 50 free and 200 free relay … broke her own record in the New York state high school meet in the 50 free, becoming the first women’s swimmer to break the 23-second mark (22.78) … re-set state record in 200 free relay … repeated as Section V sectional champion in 50 free, 100 free, 200 and 400 free relays … also set Section V record in 50 free and 200 free relay.
Outside the Pool: Involved in Deca Business Club and the National Honor Society … awarded AP Scholar Award in 2015 … named a Scholastic All-American in 2014 and 2015 … won the Notre Dame Club of Rochester Junior of the Year Award in spring 2015 … one of six children to J. Theodore and Anne-Marie Smith … has one brother, James, and four sisters, Olivia (age 22), Maggie (age 19), Sarah (age 15) and Caroline (age 10) … hails from same area of New York as women’s lacrosse player Abi Culllinan … intends to major in business at the University.
Litzinger on Smith: “Katie verbally committed to Notre Dame very early in the process and is Fighting Irish through and through. She recently broke her own New York state high school record in the 50 free, and has had tremendous improvement in the 100 free. Katie will bring her speed to South Bend, and add to our relay power. Our staff couldn’t be more thrilled to have Katie join us.”
Lauren Heller, 5’8″, Free (Stow, OH / Hawken / Lake Erie Silver Dolphins)
– 50 Free, 23.18 (2014 LE Senior Championships, SCY)
– 100 Free, 49.95 (2014 LE Senior Championships, SCY)
– 200 Free, 1:47.82 (2015 LE Northeast Ohio HS Districts, SCY)
– 50 Meter Free, 26.05 (2015 Speedo Junior Nationals, LCM)
– 100 Meter Free, 56.39 (2015 Speedo Junior Nationals, LCM)
Awards/Honors/Rankings: 2016 US Olympic Trials Qualifier in the 50 and 100 meter free … won two varsity letters at Hawken, one for swimming and one for track … voted Lake Erie Swimming Senior Swimmer of the Year … as a sophomore, swam with sister Alyssa on 200 medley relay All-American team.
Prep & Personal: Swam with both prep team and Lake Erie Silver Dolphins club team … as a freshman, set school records in 50 free, 100 free, 200 free, 100 fly, 100 back and 200 IM … was a state finalist and All-American … as a sophomore, broke all her school records and repeated as a state finalist and All-American … also named a Scholastic All-American … as a junior, broke school records in 50, 100 and 200 free … team was crowned Division II State Champions … finished season as a state runner up, All-American and Scholastic All-American.
Outside the Pool: Hails from same area of Ohio as current Irish swimmers Katie Miller and Danielle Margheret … middle child of Steve and Kristan Heller … has one brother, Michael, and one sister, Alyssa … intends to major in psychology at the University.
Litzinger on Heller: “Lauren’s commitment to Notre Dame is game changing. She is a very talented and powerful freestyler, who has a great future in college swimming. I enjoyed getting to know Lauren and her family during the summer and fall. Family is important to us at Notre Dame, and Lauren has great support from hers as she begins her career here.”
Abbie Dolan, 5-7, Free (Sunfish Lake, Minnesota / Visitation / Blackline Aquatics)
– 50 Free, 23.39 (2013 MN MSHSL Girls Class A Meet, SCY)
– 100 Free, 49.49 (2014 Speedo Winter Junior Championship, SCY)
– 200 Free, 1:47.72 (2015 MN MSHSL Class A, SCY)
Prep & Personal: Two-time Minnesota State Champion in the 100 and 200 free … swam on high school team since seventh grade, earning varsity letters from eighth grade through senior year … also participated in track and field freshman, sophomore and juniors years, earning two varsity letters … swam with Blackline Aquatics club team as well … with Blackline, came in ninth place in 100 and 200 free at the 2014 Junior Nationals meet in Federal Way, Washington … with prep team, as a freshman named sectional swimmer of the year and garnered all-conference and all-state accolades … placed third in the 100 free and fourth in the 200 free at the Minnesota High School State meet … named team MVP and most improved swimmer … as a sophomore, won school’s Excellence in Athletics Award, as the student whose performance distinguishes them as an outstanding athlete within the high school … earned all-conference and all-state honors … took first place in the 100 free and second in the 200 IM at state meet … swam with 400 free relay team that not only won, but also set a Class A state record … swam with runner-up 200 free relay … again voted team MVP … in junior year, won school’s Excellence in Athletics award for a second time, and repeated as All-Conference, All-state swimmer … set Class A state record with first-place finish in the 100 free … came in second in the 200 IM … swam with champion 200 free and 400 free relay teams … named Scholastic All-American.
Outside the Pool: Volunteers at Crocus Hill Preschool, and is a Eucharistic minister at Visitation High School … has been on high honor roll since freshman year … hails from same area of Minnesota as Irish hockey player Tony Bretzman … middle child of Christopher and Laura Dolan … has two brothers, Jack and Quinn, and one sister, Shea … intends to enroll in the First Year of Studies program at the University.
Litzinger on Dolan: “Abbie is the Minnesota State Champion in the 100 and 200 freestyle and will be bringing her speed to Notre Dame. I am excited for Abbie as her expertise will help fortify our relays, and individually she will see great success. A great fit for the ACC, Abbie will be a go-to athlete for us. She is a great student, and will bring much to our program.”
Katie Rentz, 5’5″, Fly (Aurora, IL / Rosary / Academy Bullets Swim Club)
– 100 Fly, 54.94(2015 IHSA Championships, SCY)
– 200 Fly, 2:01.22 (2015 FL NCSA Spring Championships, SCY)
– 200 IM, 2:05.35 (2015 FL NCSA Spring Championships, SCY)
– 100 Meter Fly 1:02.96 (2015 NCSA Summer Championships LCM)
– 200 Meter Fly 2:16.76 (2015 NCSA Summer Championships LCM)
Awards/Honors/Rankings: Earned four varsity letters at Rosary … twice named a U.S.A. Swimming Scholastic All-American … qualified for Summer Junior Nationals and Winter Nationals with club team … twice received an Illinois Swimming Recognition Award as a junior and senior… voted Senior Swimmer of the Year in the Metro Catholic Aquatic Conference … earned Rosary High School’s Carol Schalz Most Outstanding Swimmer Award … four-time scholar-athlete.
Prep & Personal: Swam with both Rosary High School and Academy Bullets Swim club teams throughout prep career … with club team, was a finalist at NCSA meets, earning a berth in the finals in the 100 fly, 200 fly, 50 fly, 200 IM, 200 breast, 400 medley relay and 200 medley relay between March and August … took fourth place in the 200 fly … qualified for national meet in the 200 fly … qualified for Speedo Junior Nationals meet in the 200 fly, 100 fly and 200 IM … club team has won 18 of the last 19 Age Group state meets during her time competing … is first team from Illinois to win the Junior National meet … women’s team has been the runners-up at summer NCSAs for past two seasons … with prep team, qualified for state championship in 200 medley relay, 100 fly and 100 breast as a freshman … as a sophomore, qualified in the 100 fly and 100 breast … team placed in the top 10 at state championship … during junior campaign, team was crowned sectional champions and were runners-up at state championship … individually, won sectional title in 100 fly … was a finalist in the 500 free and 100 fly in high school state meet … as a senior, crowned conference champion in 100 fly (56.4 time) … came in second at state championship meet in the 100 fly (54.95) … named varsity captain of the Rosary Beads … team posted an undefeated record and won both the conference championship and state championship.
Outside the Pool: Serves as a member of the teen advisory board at the Aurora Public Library … is a student reader panelist for the Abraham Lincoln Award … member of the National Honor Society and Foreign Language Honors Society … president of debate club … volunteered as a senior retreat team leader … is a member of the W.Y.S.E. (Worldwide Youth in Science and Engineering) team … was honored with an academic award for having a 4.0 GPA for two consecutive semesters (four total) … three-time member of the honor roll … two-time silver medalist in the national Spanish exam … is a national merit commended scholar … with W.Y.S.E., team took first place in the Regionals and Sectionals competition, and fifth at State … individually, took third in the physics competition at the sectional round … eldest child of Joseph and Jennifer Rentz … has one brother, Adam, and one sister, Rebecca … both parents, aunt and uncle all attended Notre Dame … mother, Jennifer (Kipp) Rentz and aunt Karen (Kipp) Gibbons dove with the Irish, while father Joseph and uncle Matthew swam … intends to enroll in First Year of Studies program at the University.
Litzinger on Rentz: “I am very pleased that Katie will be joining our program. She is a fast-improving butterflier and will contribute in the IM’s. She is very dedicated, and is willing to work hard in exploring her potential. Also a great student, she is very team-oriented and we are looking forward to seeing great things from her. Her mother dove for Notre Dame and her father was a captain of our men’s team. Her Notre Dame roots are deep!”
Kelly Jacob, 5’10”, Free (Oconomowoc, WI / Arrowhead / Lake Country Phoenix Swim Team)
– 50 Free, 22.84(2015 WI WIAA State Championship, SCY)
– 100 Free, 50.51 (2015 WI WIAA State Championship, SCY)
– 200 Free, 1:51.53 (2014 WI 13& Over SC State Championship, SCY)
Club Team Achievements: Swimming with Lake Country Phoenix Swim Team, was state champion at 2010 Wisconsin 12 and under long course championship meet in the 11-12 age group in 50 fly (30.01) … ranked 10th in 2010 in national age group for 12-year olds in 50 fly … national age group all star female in 11-12 age group in 200 medley relay, holds record in the Wisconsin Central Zones in the event (2:04.82) … won Lake Country Swim Team Female Coaches Award in 2010 for 11-12 age group, and in 2011-12 for 13-14 age group … also won award in 2012-13 with senior age group … qualified for Speedo, Grand Prix, Junior Nationals and NCSA meets … took eighth place in 200 medley relay swimming the freestyle leg at 2014 NCSA Long Course junior national meet … state champion in 2014 Wisconsin 13 and over short course state championship meet in the 50 free (15-16 age group) and 200 free relay, 200 medley relay and 400 medley relay races (senior age group) … third place High Point winner at 2013 and 2014 Wisconsin 13 and over long course state championship meet (15-16 age group) … took first place High Point at 2014 Florida International Invitational (15-16 age group) … state champion in senior age group in 50 free at 2015 Wisconsin 13 and over short course state championship … finished ninth in the 50 free at 2015 NCSA summer championship meet … named USA Swimming Scholastic All-American in 2014 and 2015 … holds two state records, one in the 15-16 age group 400 medley relay (3:44.76) and the other in the 17-18 age group 400 medley relay (1:59.28), swimming the freestyle leg of both relay teams … holds no less than 16 club team records, across varying age groups.
Prep & Personal: Swam with Arrowhead team in addition to club team throughout high school career … as a freshman, team finished second at the Wisconsin state championships … individually, came in fourth in 50 free (23.94) and fifth in 100 free (52.46) and swam with title-winning 200 free relay team (1:35.35) and seventh-place 400 free relay team … achieved all-state honors in 50 free and 200 free relay, earned honorable mention in 100 free … selected to Milwaukee Journal Sentinel All Area first team in 200 free relay, made the honorable mention team in 50 free, 100 free and 400 free relay … as a sophomore, team again finished second at Wisconsin state championships … individually, finished third in 50 free (23.49), second in 100 free (51.03), and came in second with 200 free relay (1:34.12) and 400 free relay (3:23.77) … earned All State All American consideration in 50 and 100 free, achieved All State All American accolades with both 200 and 400 free relay teams … selected to Milwaukee Journal Sentinel All Area First team (200 free relay), the Second team (400 free relay) and earned honorable mention in 50 and 100 free … as a junior, named the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Swimmer to Watch … crowned swimmer of the meet at Classic 8 Conference championship … prep team won state title … individually, won 50 free (23.13) and 100 free (50.73), and swam with champion 400 free relay (3:23.67) before finishing second in 200 free relay (1:34.91) … at the time, in the All Time State top performances list, her 50 free time stood fourth, her 100 free time, ninth, the 200 free relay, sixth, and the 400 free relay was the second-fastest performance in state meet history … swam pool record time in 200 free relay (1:36.74) and set school records in 50 free (23.13), 100 free (50.73) and 200 and 400 free relays (1:34.91 and 3:23.67 respectively) … named All State All American in 50 free, 200 free relay and 400 free relay, and earned consideration in the 100 free … selected to Milwaukee Journal Sentinel All Area first team in 50 free, 100 free, 200 and 400 free relays … named to Waukesha Freeman Newspaper All Area high school team … as a senior, again earned Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Swimmer to Watch honors … named team captain at Arrowhead … team crowned champions of the Minnesota Maroon & Gold Invitational (Gold division) meet, Classic 8 Conference championship meet, sectional meet and repeated as state champions at Wisconsin state swimming and diving championship meet … won the 50 free event with time of 22.84 … for one hour during the meet, that time stood as the state record and was fastest time on the all time state top performance list before moving to second all-time … also came in fourth in 100 free (50.51, eighth in all time state top performance list), second with 200 free relay (1:34.70, sixth in all time state top performance list) and runner-up in the 400 free relay (3:25.37, seventh in all time state top performance list) … holds pool record in the 50 free (23.93) and school records in the 50 free (22.84) and 100 free (50.51) … achieved All State All American honors in 50 free, 100 free, and 200 and 400 free relays.
Outside the Pool: Is a well-known community volunteer, serving as a Salvation Army bell ringer, a senior home bingo helper, and a canned goods collector for local food pantries in addition to volunteering with the Great Strides Walk, Special Olympics Swim Meet, and Joe’s Friends Family Night … was involved with Girl Scouts from 2003-2010, and is a member of the National Honor Society and Key Club … twice received the Character Award at Brookfield Academy … made the honor roll from 2012 through 2015 … hails from same area of Wisconsin as women’s basketball player Heidi (Bunek) Hamilton and current women’s cross country/track and field NCAA Champion Molly Seidel … eldest child of Jeff and Ginny Jacob … has one brother, Brian … father, Jeff, played basketball in college, and cousins Dave (football) and Emma (swimming) also compete collegiately … intends to major in marketing at the University.
Litzinger on Jacob: “Kelly is a speedster coming to us from Arrowhead High School in Wisconsin. She is physically gifted and will add to the speed of our program. I met Kelly during my first week at Notre Dame, and during her unofficial visit, I felt a great connection. She will do well in our program, helping our relays excel, while developing her individual events. Kelly’s college swimming future is very bright at Notre Dame.”
Carolyn Kammeyer, 5’6″, Fly, (Charlotte, NC / Ardrey Kell / SwimMac Carolina)
– 100 fly, 55.02 (2014 OZ MSHSAA Girls HS State meet, SCY)
– 200 fly, 2:01.19 (2013 Speedo Winter Junior Nationals, SCY)
– 200 IM, 2:07.28 (2015 NC Speedo Champions Series, SCY)
– 100 Meter Fly 1:01.74 (2014 NC GSA Speedo Champs LCM)
– 200 Meter Fly 2:16.25 (2014 NC GSA Speedo Champs LCM)
Prep & Personal: Swam at Parkway West High School in Missouri, and Ardrey Kell in North Carolina, in addition to Parkway Swim Club (Missouri) and SwimMac Carolina club (North Carolina) … with SwimMac, was a summer junior national qualifier and winter junior national finalist in 200 fly … team crowned women’s 2015 summer junior national champions … as a freshman in Missouri, crowned state champion in 200 medley relay and came in second in 400 free relay … team came in second overall … as a sophomore, won Missouri State championship in 100 fly … as a junior, came in second at North Carolina State championship meet in 100 fly.
Outside the Pool: Member of Mu Alpha Theta honor society … named to school honor roll … twice named Scholastic All American … hails from same area of North Carolina as football players Romeo Okwara and Prince Shembo and cross country runner Sydney Foreman … has a twin brother, Grant … only daughter of Darrel and Susann Kammeyer … intends to major in political science at the University.
Litzinger on Kammeyer: “Having Carolyn join us in South Bend will be something very special. She is a very accomplished butterflier and headed for great things in the college arena. I have enjoyed the recruiting process with her and her family, they are Notre Dame people. Carolyn’s club experience at SwimMac Carolinia will set her up for success in the future.”
* – All times listed are from usaswimming.org swims database, and are current as of Nov. 25, 2015.
— ND —
Lizzie Mikes serves as Media Services Coordinator at the University of Notre Dame. A 2013 graduate of Johnson & Wales University, she oversees credential management and is the athletic communications director for Fighting Irish men’s and women’s swimming and diving. She has assisted with numerous NCAA postseason events hosted by Notre Dame, and is heavily involved in the day-to-day tasks of the athletic communications office.