New Mexico Signs Four to NLI
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  12/04/2013

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Second year swimming and diving Head Coach Kunio Kono and his staff are pleased to announce the signing of four athletes to National Letters of Intent.

Celine Bertrand, Morgan Ginnis, Madison Burns and Rachel Colman will be joining the Lobos for the 2014-2015 season.

“We are excited for our signing class,” said Kono. “They are athletes that will not only add depth to our team, but they will make an immediate impact both in the water and in the classroom.”

Ginnis, Burns and Colman are domestic signees for Kono hailing from Arlington, Wash., Alamogordo, N.M. and Allen, Texas. Bertrand, a native of Tibro, Vastra Gotalands, Sweden, continues Kono’s trend of signing international athletes.

Bertrand is the fourth international swimmer Kono has signed since taking over the program. Freshmen Lucile Chevalier, Fanni Pataki and Anna Lengyel signed with the Lobos last year and joined the team from France and Hungary, respectively. The 2013 Lobo roster currently boasts six athletes from outside the US.

“The international swimmers really bring positive energy to the team,” Kono said. “Many of them have experience at some of the highest levels of competition and everyone can really benefit from that.”

Colman, a diver from Allen, Texas, is diving coach Julie Weddle’s first signee.  

“Rachel is a very strong diver,” said Weddle. “She has a great background and is a hard worker with a big heart. She is someone who will definitely hold up the high standard of New Mexico diving.”

2013 Lobo Signees

Morgan Ginnis

Morgan Ginnis will come to UNM next fall following graduation from Arlington High School in Arlington, Wash. Despite not having a team to swim on in high school, Ginnis made an impact as a member of the King Aquatics Club Team in Federal Way, Wash. The team is coached by Doug Djang. Her relay team set a National Age Group (NAG) record in the Girls 17-18 Age Group 200 meter medley relay during the Pacific Northwest Swimming Long Course Championship at their home pool in Federal Way. Ginnis was the anchor leg on the relay. Ginnis is also a Speedo Junior National Qualifier. 

“Morgan comes from a great team,” said Kono. “She knows the sport; she’s a top ranked swimmer from the state of Washington who will have an immediate impact on the team. She has to commute over an hour daily for practice and that alone shows a tremendous amount of dedication. She never missed school or practice, that tells us that she’ll come here and she’ll be ready to go.”

Short course 25-yard pool Top Times: 

200-yard freestyle -1:51.88

100-yard freestyle -51.11

50-yard freestyle -23.36

Madison Burns

Madison Burns will join the Lobos following graduation from Alamogordo High School in Alamogordo, N.M. Burns swims for Coach Luke Egnaczak and the Wild West Aquatic Club. As a junior Burns placed third and fourth in 50- and 100-yard freestyle, respectively at the New Mexico High School State Championships. She also holds the record for both the 50- and 100-yard freestyle for the Wild West Aquatic Club in the 15-16 year old age group.

“Madison is somewhat of a local kid being from the state of New Mexico, she’s a true sprinter and she has a lot of potential,” Kono said. “There are still things that she has to learn, but she has good speed and she’ll be able to help us right off the bat. She a great student as well, with a 4.0 GPA, and that’s something that we always look for.”

Short course 25-yard pool Top Times:

50-yard freestyle- 23.93

100-yard freestyle- 52.35

Celine Bertrand

Celine Bertrand will be the second swimmer in four years to join the Lobos from Sweden. The native of Tibro, Vastra Gotalands swam for club team Skövde Simsällskap and Coach Tamas Fekete. A member of the Swedish National Team, she competed in the 2013 Swedish Short Course Nationals, where she finished first in the 800-meter freestyle with a time of 8:45.21 and second in the 200-meter individual medley in 2:11.71 to qualify for the European Short Course Championships in December.

“Celine is a great swimmer,” said Kono. “She just competed in the Swedish Short Course Nationals, and she’ll be competing in the European Short Course Championships which is great, but we think that that is just a stepping stone for her. She can swim all the events, and we think that the best is yet to come with her.”

Long course 50-meter pool Top Times:

50-meter freestyle- 27.02      

100-meter freestyle- 57.47

100-meter butterfly- 1:01.69

200-meter individual medley- 2:19.24

400-meter individual medley- 4:54.96

Rachel Colman

Rachel Colman is Diving Coach Julie Weddle’s first signee since joining the Lobo staff. The diver will join the team from Allen High School in Allen, Texas. Colman dives with the Mustangs in the Sun Diving Club and coach Serie Andrews. Colman is the first diver in the history of Allen High School to qualify as an All-American and to qualify and compete at the Texas State Championships were she placed seventh. She was received Diver of the Year honors from Allen high school in 2012 and 2013 as well as receiving All-State Honors in 2013.