By Melissa Maykut

OXFORD, Ohio – The Miami University men’s swimming and diving team will add 12 incoming recruits to its roster for the 2013-14 season. The freshman cohort coming in will be the biggest class on the team’s roster and will replace the five senior swimmers and divers that graduated last May.

With an experienced group of sprint and long distance swimmers closing the door on their RedHawk careers, Head Coach Pete Lindsay said he was looking for athletes who could bring some talent and depth to the team in all competitive events.

“In terms of the long term recruiting cycle, we had two guys here who had senior national cuts, and that was one of our standards this year – to go after some bigger guns.”

Lindsay reached his recruitment goal, signing two swimmers with senior national cuts and five athletes who have reached junior national times. The 12 recruits who will make their RedHawk debut in the fall include:

Steven Russo – A native from Mason, Ohio, Russo is coming out of St. Xavier High School with a senior national time in the 100 breaststroke. He also finished fifth in the 100 breast at the OHSAA State Championship Meet.

Grant Stafford – Stafford has senior national times in the 200 freestyle and 200 butterfly. He is a member of Excel Aquatics, and will graduate from Ravenwood High School this spring.

Colin Rowe – A native of Lake Forest, Ill., Rowe has earned junior national times in the 100 and 200 free, and placed fourth in the 100 free final at the IHSAA State meet.

Matthew Rigali – Rigali is coming to Miami out of Charlotte Catholic High School in Charlotte, N.C. He holds a junior national cut in the 100 breaststroke.

Bryan McNamara – McNamara is a graduate of Lakota West High School in West Chester, Ohio. He placed sixth in the 200 and 500 free finals at the OHSAA State Championships, and holds a junior national time in the 500 free.

Lucas Brock – Brock is a native of Pullman, Wash. and a member of the Gold Medal Swim Club. He was a junior national qualifier in the 500 free, and holds team records in both the 200 and 500 free events.

Jared Higdon – A native of Westerville, Ohio, Higdon is coming to Miami from the Westerville Aquatic Club. He was a state qualifier in the 100 fly, finishing seventh in the event at the OHSAA State Meet.

Jelen Maximilian – Maximilian will join the RedHawks after graduating from Upper Arlington High School last month. He is a member of the Upper Arlington Swim Club, and placed fifth in both the 100 backstroke and 100 fly finals at the OHSAA State Meet.

John “Jack” Strauss – Strauss is a sprint freestyler from Barrington, Ill. He is a member of the Patriot Aquatic Club, and finished ninth in the 100 free final at the IHSAA State Meet.

Connor Cashman – Cashman is a freestyle swimmer from Plain City, Ohio. The graduate of Dublin Jerome High School is a member of the Ohio State Swim Club. He was a state qualifier in the 50 free, 200 free relay and 400 free relay, and was a consolation finalist in the 50 free at the OHSAA State Championships.

Brian Donohue – Donohue is a diver from Burien, Wash., and a product of John F. Kennedy Memorial Catholic High School. He was the 2013 WIAA 3A State Champion in the one-meter diving final and competed at Junior West National Championships last April.

Sean Sargent – Sargent will join the RedHawks from Mason High School in Mason, Ohio. He took sixth in the Division 1 one-meter diving final at the OHSAA State Meet. Sargent will compete in the AAU Diving National Championships this summer.

Overall, Lindsay says he is confident in the team he has put together for the ’13-’14 season.  

“I think we have replaced what we’re losing,” Lindsay said, “and I think we will be a stronger team next year than we were this year because of what’s coming in.”

The RedHawks finished last season with an overall 4-4-1 dual meet record. The team placed fourth at the 2012 Miami Invitational, then battled to another fourth-place finish at the 2013 MAC Championships.