April 8, 2008
PULLMAN, Wash. -- Brianna Atkins, an accomplished quartermiler from Claremont, Calif., and Shawn Swartz, an outstanding high jumper from Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, have signed National Letters of Intent to attend and compete for Washington State University, Cougar track and field head coach Rick Sloan announced Tuesday.
Atkins was the runner-up in the 400m dash in the 2007 California state championships with a personal-best time of 54.28 seconds. She also has reached lifetime-best times of 11.67 seconds in the 100m and 23.96 seconds in the 200m. Atkins also ran on relay teams at her previous high school, Rancho Cucamonga.
"Brianna is one of the top sprinters in the country and her range from 100m through 400m is what sprint coaches dream about," WSU assistant coach Mark Macdonald said. "She is a great kid and her interest in WSU's top-rated communication program made Washington State University a perfect fit. Brianna, along with Brianne Brown and Morgan Clem, make this the most exciting group of incoming sprinters in the 14 years I've been coaching at Washington State."
Swartz high jumped a personal-best height of 6-feet, 9 inches (2.06m) and was the number one-ranked junior male high jumper in British Columbia last year. He was the 2007 British Columbia high school champion, was the B.C. junior champion with his PR height, finished fifth in the Canadian Senior Championships and third in the Canadian Junior Nationals meet. A 2007 graduate of Terry Fox Secondary school, Swartz has spent this past year working and training for Canada's World Junior Team trials. He competes for the Coquitlam Cheetahs club team.
"Shawn is someone that I first began to recruit last year but he was a young graduate and decided not to enroll this year but to work and train with the goal of competing for Canada at the world junior championships in Poland this July," Cougar assistant coach and jumps coach Matt McGee said. "Shawn has a new training program this season and is working in the same group as Canada's top high jumper this year Michael Mason. He has shown great progress to this point, reaching a new indoor best of 6-11 (2.11m). I look forward to seeing him go over 7-feet this outdoor season, coming in next fall and adding to our strong high jump group."
Atkins and Swartz join 11 previously signed recruits for the 2008-09 Washington State University track and field teams:
Anna Albrecht, a thrower from Pullman, Wash. Brianne Brown, a 400m runner from Shadle Park High, Spokane, Wash., Morgan Clem, a hurdler from East Wenatchee, Wash. Michelly Foley, a distance runner from Crook County High, Prineville, Ore. Ashley Kenney, a discus thrower from Spokane Valley, Wash. Courtney Kirkwood, a heptathlete from Othello, Wash. Jono Lafler, a distance runner from Tahoma High, Maple Valley, Wash. Alex Ringe, a middle distance runner from Hermiston, Ore. Chris Selvar, an 800m runner from Kent, Wash. Mietra Smollack, a distance runner from Oak Harbor, Wash. Jessica Yates, a triple jumper from Snohomish, Wash.