July 30, 2013
NEW ORLEANS - The Tulane University women's swimming and diving program stockpiled talent for the future as Jonna Frantz, Joy Jason, Ellie Sills, Ali Talwar and Abby Young become the newest members of the program, first-year head coach Katie Robinson announced Tuesday.
The quintet will enroll for the fall semester as true freshmen and will have their full allotment of eligibility. The five newcomers are slated to join a Tulane program that is scheduled to return 19 letterwinners from the 2012-13 squad, which finished fifth in the 2013 C-USA Championship with 373 points - a total that nearly doubled its score from a year ago and the most by the program since going for 4-2.5 in 2006.
"These five women coming in are going to be a great asset to Tulane swimming and diving," Robinson said. "They each bring a wealth of experience in the pool and will excel in the classroom as well. I've enjoyed my conversations with each of them and know they have the drive to immediately impact our program. We welcome them with open arms to the Tulane family."
Frantz and Jason both join the Green Wave program from Louisiana as Franz hails from Mandeville while Jason is a native of Port Allen. A four-year letterwinner at Mandeville High for coach Robby Fritscher, Frantz won the state championship in the 50 free her final three prep seasons while finishing runner-up as a freshman. She claimed All-Metro honors each year with the Skippers and was named Scholastic All-American as a sophomore, junior and senior.
As a senior, she claimed All-New Orleans Area honors in the 50 free, 100 free, 200 medley relay and 400 free relay. Her time of 23.93 in the 50 free ranked No. 1 among Division 1 teams at the state meet while her 52.82 in the 100 free was second-best. She also helped the 200 medley and 400 free relay teams post respective times of 1:52.87 and 3:38.47 - both the second-fastest in the state.
Jason, meanwhile, competed for Tiger Aquatics where she won the 200 breast (2:22.90), 500 fly (5:10.22) and 100 breast (1:05.87) at the 2011 Louisiana Short Course State Championship. A Junior National Qualifier in the 100 breast, Joy was the state high-point winner, won the Don Cook Memorial Award and was an Academic All-American.
She was part of a 400 medley relay team with set the state record in the event with a mark of 4:37.03 during the 2011 TAZ Summer Classic Invitational. Jason also attended Junior Nationals in Palo Alto, Calif., that season.
In 2012, she won Louisiana Short Course titles in the 100 and 200 breaststrokes as well as the 500, 1000 and 1650 freestyles while finishing third in the 400 IM. At the Long Course Championship, Jason won the 100 breast, finished second in the 800 free, 1500 free and 200 breast, and came in third in the 200 free.
Sills signed with Tulane out of Suwanee, Ga., where she is a four-year letterwinner at Lambert High. She holds school individual records in the 200 IM (2:07.8) and 100 fly (57.5) while helping the 400 free relay team post a school mark (3:34.7) and the 200 medley unit post a state record (1:46.8). As a senior, Sills was voted team captain, helped lead Longhorns to a second-place finish at the state championship and claimed the state title in the 200 medley relay en route to earning All-America honors in the event.
A four-year member of the Swim Atlanta Select Team, Sills was a five-time Georgia All-Star, was a Summer Junior National Qualifier and a Winter National Qualifier. At the 2011 American Short Course Championship, she finished sixth in the 100 fly (56.71) and 20th in the 100 back (59.18).
Away from the pool, Sills was a member of the National Honor Society and DECA, earned academic letters all four years and was named outstanding marketing student as a junior.
Talwar will head to New Orleans from Jacksonville, Fla., where she a USA Swimming Academic All-American at The Bolles School. She helped lead the Bulldogs to four consecutive district titles and finished individually in the Top 16 at the state meet each year. At the 2012 state championship, Talwar finished seventh in the 500 free (5:01.21) and 11th in the 200 free (1:54.90)
As a member of Bolles Swimming, where she helped the club team win the Winter Junior Nationals three times and claimed state titles all four years, Talwar was a Summer Junior National Qualifier and First Coast All-Star. She was also selected for 2010 USA Swimming's Zone Select Camp and 2011 USA Swimming's National Diversity Camp.
Away from the pool, she was a member of the National Honor Society, claimed first and second honors every quarter as a prepster, and won the school science fair while finishing second at the regional level.
Also joining the program for the upcoming school year is Young. A native of Arlington, Va., she attended H.B. Woodlawn Magnet High while swimming for Yorktown High and Arlington Aquatics Club for coaches Claire Decesare and Evan Stiles, respectively.
A second-generation Green Wave swimmer whose father, Bill, was a member of the Tulane men's team from 1983-87, Young finished in the top three in the district each year individually while helping Yorktown win the title each season. In addition, Young also competed in Regions each year and helped Yorktown finish second as a team in 2011. A first-team all-district selection in the last three seasons, Young competed in the state meet earn year and helped Yorktown finish third overall as a senior.
Young posted the 13th-fastest time in the state in the 200 IM with a 2:10.65 at the Virginia North Region Championship and clocked the 17th fastest time in the 100 back with a 59.49 at the AAA State Championship.