Kentucky Adds 13 to Signing Class of 2017

LEXINGTON, Ky. – With the closing of the early signing period, the Kentucky swimming and diving teams have added 13 athletes to the recruiting class of 2017, head coach Lars Jorgensen announced Thursday morning.

The Wildcats’ signing class features five athletes that rank among’s top-100 high school seniors, including Josh McDonald, Bailey Bonnett, Hank Siefert, Lauren Edelman and Jackie Hill.

“It was really a team effort from our whole staff in putting together a tremendous recruiting class,” said Jorgensen. “Overall I’m really pleased with our additions on both the women’s and the men’s sides. This signing class will definitely fill some of the holes within our rosters. We’re looking forward to having these new Wildcats here and know they will make an immediate impact for us.”

Bailey Bonnett (No. 42 recruit by

Fox Chapel Killer Whales/Highlands High School – Natrona Heights, Pa.


- Olympic Trial Qualifier in the 200 breaststroke and 400 IM

- No. 4 recruit in Pennsylvania

- 2015 and 2016 Pennsylvania State Champion in 500 freestyle

Jorgensen on Bonnett: “Bailey is extremely versatile, which is something we look for in all of our athletes. I think she has an extremely bright future ahead, and we will look for her to really make an impact right away.” 

Lauren Denham 

Kentucky Aquatics/Paul Laurence Dunbar High School – Lexington, Ky.


- Kentucky High School State Championship Finalist

- Kentucky High School Region Five Champion and Record Holder

Jorgensen on Denham: “It’s great to have another Lexington native on our team. Lauren has a lot of potential, and we think she’ll continue to improve and be a great addition for Kentucky. It’s great to have our second consecutive prospect in a row from Dunbar, after adding Madison Winstead this season.”

Lauren Edelman (No. 94 recruit by

Fishers Area Swim Team/Fishers High School – Fishers, Ind.


- No. 4 recruit in Indiana

- Olympic Trials Qualifier in 200 breaststroke and 200 IM

- 2016 Junior National Champion in 400 IM

Jorgensen on Edelman: “Lauren is another very versatile swimmer. I think she has the capabilities and the potential to be an NCAA qualifier in her freshman year, so we’ll really look to her to be a big addition next season.”

Nora Fullenkamp

Dayton Raiders/Centerville High School – Centerville, Ohio 


- No. 4 recruit in Ohio

- Olympic Trials Qualifier in 50 free

- Multi-time medalist at OHSAA Division I State Championships

- Winter Juniors qualifier in the 100 free

Jorgensen on Fullenkamp: “Nora has a great competitive spirit. We believe she’ll definitely help fill a need for us with some of our relay teams. We hope she’ll come in the door and contend for those relay spots, and we’re looking forward to having her here in Lexington.”

Hayley Griesser

Academy Bullets Swim Club – Lake in the Hills, Ill.


- Improved her personal bests in every event during her junior season

- Butterfly and Backstroke specialist

Jorgensen on Griesser: “I think Hayley a developing talent with the potential to contribute for the team throughout her career.”

Jackie Hill (No. 96 recruit by

Chattahoochee Gold Swim Club – Canton, Ga.


- No. 3 recruit from Georgia

- Chattahoochee Gold Swim Club

- Junior National Finalist

Jorgensen on Hill: “Jackie is a great breaststroker and a top-100 recruit which is awesome. She really has a great chance to be an NCAA qualifier for us next season.”

Olivia Huffman

Crawfish Aquatics – Baton Rouge, La.


- No. 1 recruit from Louisiana

- Louisiana State Champion in multiple events

- USA Swimming Scholastic All-American Team Selection

Jorgensen on Huffman: “I really like Olivia’s work ethic and her attitude. She’s the top recruit from Louisiana, which is great. She definitely has the potential to come in and contribute right away.”

Chase Lane 

Lawton Chiles High School – Tallahassee, Fla.


- Three-time Florida High School diving state champion

- Top-ten finalist on 1-meter and platform at 2016 USA Diving National Championships

Jorgensen on Lane: “Chase is one of the best diving recruits in the country. Our men’s diving program, I think, will be one of the best in the country next year. Chase will be a very impactful athlete for us next year.”

Joshua McDonald (No. 41 recruit by

Cincinnati Marlins/Lakota East High School – Liberty Township, Ohio 


- No. 2 recruit in Ohio

- Ohio State Champion in 500 free

Jorgensen on McDonald: “Josh is a very highly-ranked prospect who is very hard working. If he does what he’s capable of in his four years at Kentucky, I think he could really be one of the best swimmers in the history of our school.”

Payton Neff

Magnolia Aquatic Club/The Woodlands High School – The Woodlands, Texas


- Texas Class 6A State Finalist

- USA Swimming Scholastic All-American Team

Jorgensen on Neff: “Payton is a really good up-and-coming distance swimmer. We couldn’t be more excited to have her join our team next year. We tried to fill the class with some freestylers, and she’ll be a huge add for our distance group next season.”

Daniel Orcutt

Fort Walton Beach High School – Ft. Walton Beach, Fla.


- Wendy’s High School Heisman finalist

- 2016 Florida 2A State Champion in the 100 backstroke

- 2015 Florida 2A State Champion in the 200 IM

Jorgensen on Orcutt: “Daniel is going to be a really great leader with a lot of upside. He’s a very hard-worker, and we’ll look for him to come in and make a difference immediately. He’s an IM’er, backstroker and freestyler… He can do a lot of things for us.”

Hank Siefert (No. 49 recruit by

Coffman YMCA/Xenia High School – Exenia, Ohio


- No. 3 recruit in Ohio

- Olympic Trial Qualifier in 400 free

- YMCA National Record Holder

- Two-time YMCA Long Couse National Champion

Jorgensen on Siefert: “Hank is really a very good middle-distance freestyle swimmer and he’s a top-50 recruit. He’s also very versatile. I think he’ll be able to do a lot of things well. Hank will have a very bright future at Kentucky, and again has the potential to be an NCAA qualifier in his freshman campaign.”

Nicholas Smith

Northern Kentucky Clippers/Covington Catholic High School – Covington, Ky.


- No. 3 recruit in Kentucky

- USA Junior National Qualifier 

Jorgensen on Smith: “With Drew Aviotti and Jamie Stevenson graduating, Nick has a lot of potential as a middle-distance and distance freestyler to come in and keep our distance group competitive next year. We love having the Kentucky swimmers, so it will be great to add Nick to our team.”

For the latest on the Kentucky swimming and diving program, follow @UKSwimDive on Twitter, on Facebook at, and on the web at