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Women’s Swimming & Diving Announces 2019-20 Signing Class

Texas A&M Swimming and Diving
Texas A&M Swimming and Diving(KBTX)
Published: Aug. 10, 2020 at 11:59 AM CDT
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COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The Texas A&M women’s swimming & diving program and head coach Steve Bultman have announced the addition of 13 student-athletes that will make up this year’s freshman class. Swimmers Abigail Ahrens, Evelyn Bruner, JoJo Daspit, Jade Hallum, Bobbi Kennett, Charlotte Longbottom, Desirae Mangaoang, Emme Nelson, Alaya Smith, Chloe Stepanek, Sarah Szklaruk Traipe and Olivia Theall, and diver Payton Props will join the Aggies as the Class of 2024.

Abigail Ahrens – Back/IM - Kingwood, Texas

Ahrens was a four-year letterwinner at Kingwood High School, coached by Mike Robinson. She served as team captain and helped her team to a second-place finish at the state championship meet as a senior. During her final state championship meet, she finished third in the 100 back and fourth in the 200 IM, while also helping the 200 medley relay team to a third-place finish. Ahrens logged personal-best times of 54.45 in the 100 back and 2:02.50 in the 200 IM during her career. She also spent nine seasons swimming for the Blue Tide Aquatics club and was the Gulf Athlete Representative for LSC. Away from the pool, Ahrens also lettered in orchestra and was a member of the National Honor Society.

Evelyn Bruner – Free/Fly – Cibolo, Texas

Bruner was a four-year letterwinner at Steele High School, coached by Angie Fain. She holds at least one school record in every swimming event, including the 50 free (23.89), 100 free (50.47), 200 free (1:48.11), 500 free (5:00.29), 100 back (59.93), 100 breast (1:12.17), 100 fly (57.70) and 200 IM (2:09.38). She helped her team to four consecutive district titles, as well as three straight first-place finishes at regionals and a top-five finish at the state championship meet. Bruner also spent 10 years swimming for the Alamo Area Aquatics Association.

JoJo Daspit – Free – Montgomery, Texas

Daspit was a four-year letterwinner at Montgomery High School, coached by Dale Villamez. As a junior, Daspit helped her team win the UIL 5A State Championship. She was the 5A State Champion in the 100 free, while also earning gold at the state meet as part of the 200 medley relay and 400 free relay teams.

She has set four school records in her career, including the 50 free (23.48), 100 free (50.41), 200 medley relay (1:47.39) and 400 free relay (3:29.57). Daspit spent three years swimming for the Magnolia Aquatic Club. At the 2018 Winter Juniors she helped her 800 free relay team to a first-place finish. Away from the pool, Daspit was a member of her school’s Leadership Council.

Jade Hallum – Free/Fly – Round Rock, Texas

Hallum won three letters at St. Dominic Savio Catholic High School, helping her team to back-to-back district, regional and state titles in 2017 and 2018. Hallum earned State Swimmer of the Meet honors following both seasons. She took first at the state meet in the 50 free and 200 free as a sophomore, as well as the 100 fly and 200 free as a freshman. Hallum holds the school record in the 50 free (24.3), 100 free (53.1), 200 free (1:53.9), 500 free (5:11.4), 100 fly (55.9) and 200 IM (2:12.7). She spent six years swimming for the Austin Trinity Aquatic Club before moving to the Western Hills Aquatic Club in 2019. Away from the pool, Hallum was a member of the Chinese National Honor Society.

Bobbi Kennett – Free/Breast – Missouri City, Texas

Kennett was a four-year letterwinner at Ridge Pointe High School, coached by Ashleigh Glover. At the state championship meet, Kennett finished fourth in the 50 free as a sophomore and junior, also adding a fourth-place finish in the 100 free as a junior. She finished first in both the 50 free and 100 free at three straight district championship meets and back-to-back regionals. Kennett holds the school record in the 50 free (22.96) and 100 free (50.70). Kennett also spent eight years swimming for Sienna Plantation Aquatics.

Charlotte Longbottom – Breast/IM – Spring, Texas

Longbottom earned four letters at Klein High School and was coached by Jim Svoboda. She helped her team to four straight district championships and a pair of top-six finishes at the state championship meet. Longbottom recorded a pair of fourth-place finishes in the 100 breast at the state championships before winning the event as a junior. She was a member of the school-record holding 200 medley relay (1:44.88), 200 free relay (1:34.46) and 400 free relay (3:27.97) teams, while also holding the individual record in the 100 breast (1:01.48). Longbottom spent a year swimming for Premier Aquatics Club of Klein and was a Winter and Summer Juniors Qualifier in the 100 breast. She holds the Southern Senior Zones record in the 100 breast.

Desirae Mangaoang – Free/Breast – Mooresville, North Carolina

Mangaoang was a four-year letterwinner at Lake Norman High School, coached by Ryan Pegarsch. A three-time Team MVP, Mongaoang was named conference swimmer of the year as a junior. She holds the school record in the 200 IM (2:04.52) and 100 breast (1:02.42), and was also a member of the school record 200 medley relay (1:47.29) and 200 free relay (1:37.68) teams. Mangaoang was a member of the Swim MAC Carolina club team for five years and teammates with fellow signee Emme Nelson. She was also a member of the Philippines National Team. Mangaoang was a scholastic All-American and was also a member of the National Honor Society.

Emme Nelson – Breast/IM – Huntersville, North Carolina

Nelson won four letters at Community School of Davidson, where she was coached by Jeff Patterson. Nelson, who served as team captain in her final season, was the three-time state champion in both the 200 IM and 100 breast. She holds eight schools records, logging top times individually in the 200 IM (2:00.70), 100 breast (1:02.28), 100 free (54.77), 100 back (57.83), 100 fly (24.37) and 50 free (24.37), while also helping the 200 medley relay (1:53.20) and 200 free relay (1:42.62) teams set school marks. She earned the Women's Swimming and Diving 1A/2A State Championship Most Outstanding Swimmer Award, as well as the Most Outstanding Swimmer for the PAC-7 Conference Meet as a freshman, sophomore and junior. Nelson competed for 11 years for Swim MAC Carolina with fellow signee Desirae Mangaoang. She was also a member of the National Honor Society and garnered Scholastic All-America honors in her final two years.

Payton Props – Diving – Lubbock, Texas

Props was a four-year letterwinner at Lubbock High School and was coached by Penny DiPomazio. She helped her team to a third-place finish at the Texas 5A State Championships as a sophomore and fifth-place finish as a junior. Individually, Props finished first on the 1-meter board at the state championship meet as both a sophomore and junior. In each of her first three seasons, Props claimed gold in the 1-meter at both the district and regional meets. She holds three school records, including the six dives (272.40) and 11 dives (449.45) records on the 1-meter, and the 3-meter record for six dives (240.4). Props spent three years competing for the Lubbock Dive Club, where she was an AAU All-American in each of those three years. Props was also a member of the National Honor Society.

Alaya Smith – Free/Breast – Rockwall, Texas

Smith earned four letters at Rockwall-Heath High School and was coached by Matt Bird. She helped her team to top-three finishes at both the district and regional meets in her first two seasons. Smith improved her 100 breast time in her sophomore season to earn a third-place finish at the state championship meet. She holds the school record in the 100 breast (1:03.53) and was also a member of the school-record setting 200 medley relay (1:45.40) and the 200 free relay (1:36.34) teams. Smith also spent four years competing for the Rockwall Aquatics Center for Excellence. She earned the club’s Most Improved Award in 2019. Smith notched a 2020 Olympic Trials qualifier time in the 100 breast. Smith was recognized for her work outside of the pool, earning USA Swimming Scholastic All-America honors in 2019. 

Chloe Stepanek – Free – Northport, N.Y.

Stepanek earned five letters at Northport High School, competing for coach Drew Modrov. Stepanek was a two-time state champion in the 100 free and 200 free in 2017 and 2018, while helping her team to League 1 championships in each of the season as well as in 2019. Stepanek holds six school records, including the 50 free (23.25), 100 free (49.64), 200 free (1:46.73), 500 free (4:48.64), 100 fly (55.45) and 100 back (56.18). Stepanek spent seven years swimming for the Long Island Aquatic Club. She recorded a 2020 Olympic Trial cut time in the 200 free. Stepanek was named a USA Swimming Scholastic All-American in 2018 and 2019 and was also a member of the National Honor Society.

Sarah Szklaruk Traipe – Free/Back – Pearland, Texas

Szklaruk Traipe won four letters at Glenda Dawson High School and was coached by Natasha Prybil. She served as team captain in her final two seasons and was named the team MVP, while also tallying the most points scored in 2019. Szklaruk Traipe holds the school record in the 100 free (51.60) and 200 free (1:51.97), and was also a part of the record-setting 200 medley relay (1:47.39), 200 free relay (1:44.89) and 400 free relay (3:43.44) teams. She spent seven years competing for the Sharks Swim Club, earning the Outstanding Performer Award six years in a row. She holds the Southern Zone record in the 100-meter back. Outside of the pool, Szklaruk Traipe was a Commended National Merit Scholar, National Hispanic Scholar and AP Scholar with Honor. She was also a member of the National Honor Society, National Spanish Honor Society, National English Honor Society and National Society of High School Scholars.

Olivia Theall – Free/Fly – Friendswood, Texas

Theall was a four-year letterwinner at Friendswood High School where she was coached by Craig Sikkema. Theall won the 50 free and 100 fly at both the district and regional meets as a junior. She took second in the 100 fly at the state championship meet later that year, and added a fifth-place finish in the 50 free. Theall holds the school records in the 50 free (23.15) and the 100 fly (53.94). She spent 10 years competing for the Aquastar club. She earned Short Course and Long Course MVP honors, and was a Summer Juniors National Qualifier.

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