Photos (L-R): Ellie Morrissey and Kendall Brown on NLI day
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – A pair of swimmers from Orange County in southern California have signed national letters of intent to swim at NAU at next year, head coach Andy Johns announced. Kendall Brown (Aliso Viejo, Calif./Laguna Hills HS) and Ellie Morrissey (Huntington Beach, Calif./Edison HS) both signed as early commitments to enroll at Northern Arizona next fall.
"We still have some work to do for the spring signing period but these two swimmers will really be great additions for our program," said Johns. "Southern California is a great place to be recruiting from and it's been a while since we've had any girls from there on the team, so to get two from quality programs is huge for us."
Brown was a three-year team captain at Laguna Hills HS and also swam for the Aquazot club team. She was a CIF finalist in two events and league champion in two events in 2011 and was also a CIF qualifier in 2009 and 2010. She led her team to a second place finish in the Sunset League, falling just short of Edison high school, Ellie Morrissey's team. She was a CIF master's 2011 All-Star team selection, was selected for the North American Challenge Cup (NACC) team to represent southern California against Mexico and Canada, and placed 23rd in the 1500 free at the 2011 USA Swimming Junior Nationals.
"Kendall is a great distance swimmer and had a breakout summer during the long-course season," said Johns. "I'm really glad we have her committed before she records even better short course times. She can also swim some other events well, but she will really shore up the distance side of things for us with the loss of (graduating seniors) Krista Maier and Kristin Jones."
Morrissey's Edison HS won Sunset League championships in each of her four seasons and was the 2009 CIF state champion and 2010 and 11 state runner-up. She broke her high school records in the 100 free and 200 IM and was on the 400 free relay team that set a CIF Championship record. She also swam in the NAAC meet and made national cuts in the 100 and 200 back while earning three All-County selections.
"Ellie is a very versatile swimmer and will help us out in a variety of events," added Johns. "We think she can contribute top times at the conference meet even in her freshman year. She's excited about coming to school here and I think it's a great fit for her and our team."