11 newcomers set to join CSU-Pueblo Swimming & Diving this fall

11 newcomers set to join CSU-Pueblo Swimming & Diving this fall

PUEBLO, Colo. (August 26, 2015) – With the fall semester under way, 11 new student-athletes are set to join the Colorado State University-Pueblo Swimming & Diving program for the upcoming 2015-16 season. The 11 newcomers hail from five different states, including six from Colorado, two from Texas and one each from Idaho, Alaska and Florida. The incoming student-athletes will help provide depth to a young ThunderWolves squad which enters its second season as a program.


Alex Alberici
Year: Freshman
Hometown: Pueblo, Colo.
Previous School: Centennial HS

High School: Attended Centennial High School … Competed on the varsity swim team for four years … Performed well in the classroom, posting a 3.5 GPA in high school.

Personal: Daughter of John Alberici and Christy Orr … Enjoys swimming, riding and hiking … Intends to major in business management … Birthday is Nov. 13.

Head Coach Brian Pearson on Alex Alberici: "Alex is the cousin of fellow incoming freshman Kaila Alberici. Alex will help in our stroke and mid-distance groups."


Kaila Alberici
Year: Freshman
Hometown: Pueblo West, Colo.
Previous School: Pueblo West HS

High School: Swam for Head Coach Diane Petkoff at Pueblo West High School … Swam for four years on the varsity swim team … As a freshman, she helped set a school record in the 4x100 freestyle relay … Competed at the state swimming championships each of her four years of high school in the 4x200 and 4x100 freestyle relays … Swam at the club level for Head Coach Louis Saiz and Steel City Aquatics.

Personal: Daughter of Mario Alberici and Carey Purkey … Has one sibling, Ariana … Enjoys being active in the community, coaching swimming and spending time with family … Intends to major in psychology … Birthday is Oct. 10.

Head Coach Brian Pearson on Kaila Alberici: "Kaila was a high school standout who had to take two years off after shoulder problems. She will strengthen the sprint corps."


Paige Buchanan-Hall
Year: Junior
Hometown: Denver, Colo.
Previous School: East HS

High School: Attended East High School in Denver, Colo. … Swam for Head Coach Dave Quintana … Earned a 3.6 GPA in high school … Competed at the club level for the Dukes and Head Coach Sean Gray.

Personal: Has two siblings, Aryanna and Millie … Attended the University of Colorado before transferring to CSU-Pueblo … Enjoys playing basketball … Intends to major in mass communications … Birthday is May 5.  

Head Coach Brian Pearson on Paige Buchanan-Hall: "Paige is a very athletic Denver East High School product who will add depth across the board."


Kristina Chang
Year: Freshman
Hometown: Missouri City, Texas
Previous School: Elkins HS

High School: Swam at Elkins High School where she was a team captain in the 2014-15 season … Performed well at the district, regional and state level … Placed first in the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke at 5A Districts … Finished first in the 100 butterfly and 400 freestyle relay and tallied a third-place finish in the 200 freestyle relay at 5A Regionals … At the 5A state level, she placed sixth in the 100 butterfly, seventh in the 400 freestyle relay and 11th in the 200 freestyle relay … Swam at the club level for the Southwestern Aquatics Team.

Personal: Daughter of Ken and Linda Chang … Has two siblings, Keli and Kollin … Enjoys listening to music, running and working out … Intends to major in bio medical … Birthday is March 26.

Head Coach Brian Pearson on Kristina Chang: "Kristina is an amazing talent from the Lone Star State. She is right on the heels of Division II national qualifying times in three events and will be an important relay member."


Jade Irick
Year: Freshman
Hometown: Idaho Falls, Idaho
Previous School: Idaho Falls HS

High School: Swam at Idaho Falls High School for Head Coach Casi Pahis … Named MVP in 2015 after earning all-state accolades in the 200 freestyle relay … Owned a 3.3 high school GPA … Competed at the club level for Voltage Aquatics and Head Coach Phoebe Pahis.

Personal: Daughter of Tom and Debi Irick … Has one sibling, Jessica … Enjoys golfing … Intends to major in exercise science … Birthday is April 30.

Head Coach Brian Pearson on Jade Irick: "Jade was one of Idaho's top talents last season. She will help our backstroke, butterfly and individual medley corps. She will also help immensely with depth and relays."


Rachel Leach
Year: Freshman
Hometown: Colorado Springs, Colo.
Previous School: Cheyenne Mountain HS

High School: Swam for Head Coach Kate Doane at Cheyenne Mountain High School … Was a four-year member of the varsity swim team … Named a team captain as a senior … Helped lead Cheyenne Mountain to a second place finish at the 4A State Swimming & Diving Championships … Garnered Honorable Mention All-State honors … Posted a 3.29 high school GPA … At the club level, she swam for the Colorado Springs Swim Team and Head Coach Mike Doane … Was a Western Senior Zones Championship qualifier in 2014.

Personal: Daughter of Jason and Keri Leach … Has two siblings, Kyle and Ryan … Both parents participated in swimming and water polo at CSU Long Beach … Enjoys hiking, camping, boating, writing, photography, being outdoors, traveling, skiing and fishing … Intends to major in psychology … Birthday is Feb. 26.  

Head Coach Brian Pearson on Rachel Leach: "Rachel has a strong family lineage in swimming. Her mother Kari swam at Arizona State and both her father and mother played water polo at Long Beach State. Both of her parents coached for me at Colorado College. Rachel has developed and grown physically into an imminent threat in the backstroke and freestyle. She has been a rising star for my former collegiate coach Mike Doane at Colorado Springs Aquatics and Kate Toole-Doane at Cheyenne Mountain High School."


Bailee Roberson
Year: Freshman
Hometown: Katy, Texas
Previous School: Foster HS

High School: Swam for Head Coach Christopher Slay at Foster High School in Richmond, Texas.

Personal: Intends to major in pre-med … Birthday is Aug. 26.

Head Coach Brian Pearson on Bailee Roberson: "Bailee is another Texas product and accomplished high school swimmer. Like Whitney and Leach, Bailee will thrive in a collegiate program."


Arianna Rohde
Year: Freshman
Hometown: Anchorage, Alaska
Previous School: AJ Dimond HS

High School: Swam at AJ Dimond High School in Anchorage, Alaska for Head Coach Scott O'Brien … Helped lead AJ Dimond to four consecutive top three finishes at the state meet, including three runner-up marks … Recorded a 3.9 GPA … Competed at the club level for Head Coach Cindy Pita and the Aurora Swim Team.

Personal: Daughter of Troy and Annette Rohde … Has two siblings, Aleah and Annika … Mother, Annette, competed in gymnastics at the University of Alaska Anchorage … Intends to major in biochemistry … Birthday is May 30.

Head Coach Brian Pearson on Arianna Rohde: "Arianna is an Anchorage, Alaska Aurora Swim Team member where she swam for Cindi Pitta. I believe that training at altitude will benefit Arianna immensely. Like Chang, Ariana hopefully will be a Division II national qualifier in several events as well as relays."


Lauren Smith
Year: Freshman
Hometown: Apopka, Fla.
Previous School: Wekiva HS

High School: Competed at Wekiva High School under the direction of Head Coach Jeffery Sharpe … Became the first aquatics team member in school history to make it to regionals … Dove at the club level for YCF Diving.

Personal: Daughter of Jerry and Tina Smith … Has a twin sister, Kelly, and a younger sister, Emily … Intends to major in biology … Enjoys tubing, wakeboarding, volunteering and spending time outdoors … Birthday is Feb. 4.

Head Coach Brian Pearson on Lauren Smith: "Lauren is an accomplished diver from the Sunshine State with an impressive 1M and 3M list. She will do well with teammate Stefany Busch under the tutelage of Coach O'Quin."


Mary Whitney
Year: Freshman
Hometown: Wheat Ridge, Colo.
Previous School: Wheat Ridge Senior HS

High School: Swam at Wheat Ridge Senior High School under Head Coach Brent Bergstedt … Named second-team all-conference as a freshman … Earned MVP honors as both a freshman and sophomore … Competed at the club level for the Applewood Knolls for Head Coach Dean Miller … Was named all-state for the Applewood Knolls in 2014.

Personal: Daughter of Steve and Bernadette … Has three siblings, Wes, Susan and Joe … Intends to major in psychology … Enjoys swimming, teaching, coaching and hunting … Birthday is Jan. 13.

Head Coach Brian Pearson on Mary Whitney: "Mary is an accomplished sprinter who swam for Jefferson County's Rocky Mountain Thunder and coach Brent Bergstedt. She is a great addition that will add depth to our roster."


Tracey Williams
Year: Freshman
Hometown: Pueblo, Colo.
Previous School: Pueblo County HS

High School: Competed at Pueblo County High School.

Personal: Intends to major in mass communications.   

Head Coach Brian Pearson on Tracey Williams: "Tracey will add depth to the distance events for our program. She will make huge improvements as a collegiate swimmer."

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As a member of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, Colorado State University – Pueblo competes in 22 varsity sports in NCAA Division II intercollegiate athletics.