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Shellenberger Signs Four to Swimming Squad

December 4, 2009
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Four student-athletes have signed National Letters of Intent for the 2010-11 academic year.

Four student-athletes have signed National Letters of Intent for the 2010-11 academic year.

Liberty Head Women's Swimming Coach Jake Shellenberger has announced the signing of four athletes to National Letters of Intent for the 2010-11 academic year.

Kirsten Blake, Amber Kerico, Emily Mudd and Bethany Wakeley are among the first athletes to commit to Liberty for the first season of competitive women's swimming as an NCAA sport. They will begin their careers at Liberty next fall.

"Overall we are extremely pleased with this early signing class for 2009," commented Shellenberger. "We are thrilled to have young women of this character here at Liberty and we are excited for them to join the program. We filled some holes in our lineup and put our relays in a good position to score well at our first conference championship meet next year.

"Also of importance, each student-athlete comes into the program scoring top 16 individually and this will help us achieve our team goal of a top eight conference finish in our first varsity season. We will look to add two or three more student-athletes during the spring signing period to round out what is an already stellar class."

Kirsten Blake
Brisbane, Australia
High School: Brisbane State High School
Club: Logan Vikings
Club Coach: Dean Pugh
Intended Major: Biochemistry and molecular biology
Honors and Highlights
• Named Sports Person of the Year at Rivermount High School in 2007
• Holds all individual school records at Rivermount from 2003-2007
• Achieved best Queensland Girls' Schools Sporting Association (QGSSSA) Performance as a member of the 4 x 50-meter Medley Relay in the 16-and-under age group in 2008
• Career best times: 1:00.95 in the 100-meter butterfly (SCM); 59.22 in the 100-meter freestyle (LCM); 1:15.89 in the 100-meter breaststroke (LCM); 27.02 in the 50-meter freestyle (LCM); 2:25.98 in the individual medley (LCM)
Quote from Blake: "Liberty University offered me the best opportunity to complete my academics and swimming career together at a high standard."
Quote from Jake Shellenberger: "Kirsten is extremely versatile and joins the program in the top eight in five different events. She comes to Liberty from Australia, where she swam for coach Dean Pugh and the Logan Vikings. Top-ranked in the butterfly event, Kirsten will be a force for us on relays and will be a cornerstone to build on for years to come."

Amber Kerico
Sterling, Va.
High School: Park View High School
Club: Blue Wave Aquatics
Club Coach: Mike Kraeuter
Intended Major: Pre-med
Honors and Highlights
• Scholar-athlete in swimming, cheerleading and track and field
• Set school records in the 100-yard breaststroke, the 100-yard freestyle and the 200-yard individual medley events
• President of the National Honor Society, member of the Spanish Honor Society and has been named the Velocity Sports Athlete of the Month
• Career best times: 1:08.34 in the 100-yard breaststroke; 2:28.34 in the 200-yard breaststroke
Quote from Kerico: "I selected Liberty to pursue my goals both athletically and academically. I am very excited to help Liberty establish and build the swimming program."
Quote from Jake Shellenberger: "Amber will join the program scoring in both breaststroke events and will help us in the butterfly as well. As a member of Blue Wave Aquatics and a product of coach Mike Kraeuter, she will provide leadership both in the pool and classroom. We are expecting big things from Amber here at Liberty."

Emily Mudd
Fishers, Ind.
High School: Southeastern High School
Club: Southeastern Swim Club
Club Coach: Andy Pederson
Intended Major: Graphic Design
Honors and Highlights
• Career bests: 24.95 in 50-yard freestyle; 55.77 in 100-yard freestyle; 2:02.52 in 200-yard freestyle
• Ranked in the top 10 percent academically as a freshman and sophomore
• Member of the National Honor Society, Spanish Honorary and Student Council
Quote from Mudd: "There were so many things I enjoyed about Liberty when I came to visit, especially the atmosphere on campus. I am very excited to help start the swimming tradition at Liberty."
Quote from Jake Shellenberger: "Emily will help considerably with depth in our freestyle events, and will be a major contributor on relays as well. She was a member of one of the best high school and club programs in Indiana at Hamilton Southeastern under coach Andy Pederson. We are excited to have someone with her experience here at Liberty."

Bethany Wakeley
Galloway, N.J.
High School: Home schooled
Club: Atlantic City Aquatic Club
Club Coach: David Wakeley
Intended Major: Psychology
Honors and highlights
• Career bests: 5:09.29 in 500-yard freestyle; 1:00.56 in 100-yard butterfly; 2:13.76 in 200-yard butterfly; 1:58.86 in 200-yard freestyle; 17:54.60 in 1,650-yard freestyle
Quote from Wakeley: "There is a unique intensity for Christ at Liberty."
Quote from Jake Shellenberger: "Bethany comes to Liberty from the Atlantic City Aquatic Club where she was coached by her father, David Wakeley. She will have an immediate impact in the distance freestyle and butterfly events, and her leadership will prove extremely valuable during her time here at Liberty."