U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- The Air Force women's swimming team is proud to welcome 14 members of the Class of 2021, as announced today by head coach Colleen Murphy. The class arrived at the Academy on June 29 for in-processing.
"We are starting a new era of swimming here at USAFA," Murphy said as she enters her sixth season at the Academy and first as head coach. "These ladies are dedicated to the mission of the Air Force Academy and to competing at the highest levels in the pool, we are so excited to welcome them to our team. This class is very deep and will contribute to our goals immediately."
Following in-processing, the Academy's Basic Cadet Training (BCT) is divided into two phases. The first session takes place in the Cadet Area and focuses on military orientation, physical conditioning and the understanding of teamwork through sport. During the second phase, the Basics will march out to Jack's Valley, where they will focus on field training activities, while developing their mental and physical confidence.
Ali Andros -- Riverview High School, Sarasota, FL
- Swims Backstroke/IM -- Best times: 100 Back 58.65, 200 Back 2:05.37, 400 IM 4:33.15
- TISCA All-State Team Sophomore Year, Two-Year Texas High School State Championships qualifier, Two-year Florida High School State Championships qualifier, YMCA National qualifier
- National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta (Math Honor Society), JROTC Member
- Family members who served in Armed Forces: Dad (Army), Grandfather (Air Force), Great Grandfather (Navy)
- "I chose USAFA because it was the perfect for me both academically and athletically. The team and coaching staff are phenomenal and the opportunities are endless at the Academy. I look forward to becoming a part of the cadet wing!
Mollie Bushelman -- Beechwood High School, Fort Mitchell, KY
- Swims Breast/IM -- Best times: 100 breast 1:03.38, 200 breast 2:20.91, 200 IM 2:06.95
- USA Swimming Junior National Qualifier
- Four time Kentucky State HS Qualifier, placed 4th in the 100 Breast in 2017 and 5th in 2016
- ""I've always wanted to serve my country and I believe the academy is the best way to do so. The academy is a community. Everyone works to help you succeed and achieve your goals and I'm excited to be a part of that!"
Winnie Chen -- San Pasqual High School, Escondido, CA
- Swims Sprint Free/Breast -- Best Times: 50 free 24.23, 100 free 52.41, 100 breast 1:05.82
- CIF Central Section finalist in the 100 free and 100 back
- USA Swimming Sectional Qualifier
- Drum major of high school marching band
- "I chose USAFA because I connected with the people (athletes as well as non-athletes) the moment I stepped on campus. The opportunity to be able to go to such a prestigious and unique place was hard to look away from and the positive energy was overwhelmingly inviting. I'm very excited to be able to come here next year and be a part of the Falcon swim program. Go Falcons!!"
Alexandra Duchene -- Tremper High School, Kenosha, WI
- Swims Back/IM -- Best times: 100 back 56.12, 200 back 2:01.03, 200 IM 2:04.05, 400 IM 4:19.35
- NCSA Junior National Finalist,USA Swimming Junior National Qualifier
- Holds six school records at her high school and was a three-year team captain
- Four-time high school MVP, WIAA all-state 100 back and 200 IM, three-time scholastic All-American
- Earned the Mayor Youth Commission Award
- Grandfather served in Army
- Brother, Collin, swims for UW-Green Bay
- "The United States Air Force Academy provides opportunities to receive a superior education and develop leadership skills, along with allowing me to compete with a swim and dive team that is top-notch. I look forward to eventually serving my nation as an Air Force officer."
Morgan Hicks -- Yorktown High School, Muncie, IN
- Swims Breast/Fly -- Best times: 100 breast 1:04.70, 100 fly 56.72
- High School All-American, Indiana High School All-State
- Academic All-American and graduated Summa Cum Laude
- NHS President, Yorktown Academic Award of Excellence
- Family in the military -- Father (Army), Grandfathers (both in Navy), Aunt and Uncle (Air Force)
- "I've always dreamed of serving my country, and when I first looked at the Air Force Academy, I knew it was the perfect fit for me. The Academy has challenging and rigorous academics, many career opportunities, and a top notch swimming program. I am humbled and incredibly blessed to be a part of the Class of 2021"
Rheagan Horne -- Riverbend High School, Fredericksburg, VA
- Swims Free/Breast -- Best times: 100 free 52.07, 200 free 1:53.66, 200 breast 2:21.82
- Five-time school record holder, Virginia All-State, Academic All-American
- NHS President, AP Scholar with Distinction
- Virginia Girls All-State Delegate
- Family in military -- Father graduated from USMA, grandfather (Air Force)
- "I am looking forward to this opportunity to serve my country. I am excited to embark on this new chapter of my life where I will be challenged academically, physically, and mentally at one of the most prestigious colleges in the country. I am extremely blessed to continue to compete in the sport I love with a swim team and coaches who made me feel so welcomed."
Muriah Murray -- USAFA Prep School/Franklin High School, Portland, OR
- Swims Breastroke -- Best times: 100 breast 1:05.62, 200 breast 2:23.90
- Graduated from the USAFA Prep School in May
- Oregon High School all-state in the 100 breast
- USA Swimming Sectional Qualifier
- "I choose USAFA for the amazing opportunity and supportive environment it offers. It seemed like the only school that made sense for me."
Alexandra Puskar-Beckett -- West Potomac High School, Alexandria, VA
- Swims Free/Back -- Best times: 100 free 51.57, 200 free 1:53.00, 100 back 57.65, 200 back 2:04.69
- NCSA Junior National Qualifier, USA Swimming Sectional Qualifier
- Virginia High School All-State, finished fourth in the 100 free in 2017
- "I chose the Air Force Academy because I felt right at home there. Growing up military, it was very easy seeing me at the Academy. Everyone there was so nice and friendly, and I loved how everyone was willing to help you get to where you want to be. Go Falcons!"
Alexis Shirley -- North Oconee High School, Watkinsville, GA
- Swims Free/Fly -- Best times: 100 free 52.78, 200 free 1:54.32, 100 fly 58.20
- Four-time Georgia State Championship Finalist
- USA Swimming athlete representative for ABSC
- NHS President, AP Scholar
- "The Air Force Academy offers everything I have wanted in a college and career. From a top-notch education to an amazing sports program, the Air Force Academy has it all. Not only does the Air Force Academy offer these critical components, it promotes a lifestyle that exemplifies how I want to live."
Kylie Stronko -- Osbourn Park Senior High School, Woodbridge, VA
- Swims Backstroke -- Best Times: 100 back 54.90, 200 back 1:58.22
- NCSA junior national finalist, 2017 VHSL state runner-up, three-time scholastic All-American, two-time All-American Consideration
- AP Scholar with distinction, National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society
- Family members in military: Grandfather (Air Force), Brother, Sam Stronko (2017 USAFA grad)
- "I decided to come to the Academy because of the unbeatable opportunities and experience that the military offers. The Academy is full of motivated students that made me feel at home, and the swim team was extremely welcoming. I can't wait to be a Falcon!"
Jessica Wierzbicki -- Wenatchee High School, Wenatchee, WA
- Swims Butterfly/IM -- Best times: 100 fly 54.42, 200 fly 2:01.32, 200 IM 2:07.59
- USA Swimming Junior National finalist
- Two-Time Washington State champion in the 100 butterfly, All-American in the 100 fly
- High School Valedictorian, Academic All-American, Washington State Honors Award (top 10 percent in state)
- Family members in military: Great-Grandfather (Navy)
- "I decided to come to the Air Force Academy because I wanted something different in my life. I didn't just want the normal life experience. I took a trip to USAFA in October and I just loved the experience, I knew that was where I wanted to go."
Sadie Ellen Wilson -- Friendswood High School, Friendswood, TX
- Swims Free/Fly -- Best times: 50 free 24.18, 100 free 52.22, 100 fly 57.85
- Lettered four years in varsity swimming, 200 medley relay state bronze medalist (2013-2014), NCSA Junior National Qualifier
- Academic All American, Academic All State, National Honors Society
- Family in the military: Grandfather (Marine), Grandfather (Air Force)
- "I chose the Air Force Academy because it is unlike any other university, and was the perfect fit. It offers countless opportunities for extreme growth that are not possible to get anywhere else. I crave challenges and want to serve others before myself. I want to be challenged to the point of failure, because that experience is the greatest way to grow. I want the opportunity to grow as a team with others, to become stronger mentally, to be faced with all sorts of challenging academic courses, and to be a part of something far greater than myself."
The Falcons are also proud to welcome two walk-ons to the team:
Abigail Aristides - Chaminade Julienne High School, Beavercreek, OH
- Swims Sprint Free -- Best time: 50 free 24.89
- Ohio High School Athletic Association Scholar Athlete award
- Two-time Ohio high school state qualifier
- President's Award for Educational Excellence, completed the PLTW Biomedical program, and elected an NHS Officer.
Grace Whiston -- St. Paul's Episcopal School, Mobile, AL
- Swims Fly -- Best time: 100 fly 59.09
- Member of the high school state championship team, team captain 2017
- National Merit Commended Scholar, AP Scholar Award
- Family in military -- Father is currently a captain in the Navy Reserves, Grandfather (Marines), Grandfather (Navy)