Lincoln - Nebraska swimming and diving coach Pablo Morales recently announced the signing of Maria “Masha” Astashkina, Gabby Baratta, Madison Coughlen, Autumn Haebig, Sutton Marvin, Izzy Murray, Allison Kopas, Jessica Pentlarge, Rachel Powers and Clara Walstad for the 2017-18 season.
Astashkina comes to Nebraska from Moscow, Russia where she is a member of the Russian National swimming team. At the 2015 European Games in Baku, Azerbaijan, Masha swept all three breaststroke events winning the 50, 100 and 200 long course breaststrokes. Astashkina is the 2015 Russian short course champion in the 200 breaststroke and placed second in the 100 breaststroke and third in the 50 breaststroke. Astashkina was also the European Championship runner-up in the 200 breaststroke.
Baratta joins the Huskers after competing for the Scarlet Aquatics and Northern Valley Regional High School in New Jersey. The USA Swimming Scholastic All-American finished fifth in the 100-yard breaststroke at the 2016 NJSIAA Girls Swimming Meet of Champions. Baratta was a finalist in both the 100 and 200-meter breaststroke at the Southern Zone Sectional Meet.
Coughlen joins the Big Red after swimming for Fort Mill High School in South Carolina, Texas Ford Aquatics and Frisco High School. In the 2014 SCHSL Swimming 4A Championships, Coughlen was runner-up in the 200 free and placed third in the 500 free. Coughlen now lives in Frisco, Texas. She is a Junior Nationals qualifier in the 400 IM and 200 fly.
Haebig will come to Nebraska after competing for the Ozaukee Aquatics Swim Team and Grafton High School in Wisconsin. Haebig competed in the 2016 USA Olympic Trials in Omaha swimming the 100 meter backstroke. The 2016 Wisconsin Division 2 champion in the 500 free and the 100 back, Haebig set records in both events. She is the Wisconsin D2 record holder in the 100 fly and the 400 free relay with both of those swims coming during the 2014 season.
Another USA Swimming Scholastic All-American, Kopas joins the Huskers after competing for Swim Fort Lauderdale and the University School at NSU. Kopas is a Junior Nationals-level qualifier in back and IM. Swimming at the 2016 FHSAA Class 1A Championships, Kopas placed fifth in the 200 IM and fourth in the 100 back. Kopas had two outstanding meets at the Florida Gulf Coast Senior Championships in March (short course) and July (long course), reaching A finals in back, breast and fly and improving her personal-bests.
Marvin competed for Nitro Swimming and McNeil High School in Austin, Texas, where she was the team captain. Marvin competed at 2015 Speedo Winter Junior Nationals West as a member of the Nitro Swimming 4×200 free relay. At the USA Swimming Sectional Championships in College Station, Marvin competed in the 50, 200 and 500-yard freestyles, the 100 and 200-yard backstrokes, the 100-yard butterfly, and the 200-yard IM. Marvin is a USA Swimming Sectional Championships finalist in the 200-meter freestyle and 400-meter freestyle. At Austin Futures, she swam the 50, 200 and 400-meter freestyle and 200-meter IM.
Murray will come to Nebraska after competing for Cincinnati Marlins and Taylor High School. She is a national-level backstroke and butterfly specialist who competed at 2016 Speedo Summer Juniors in the 100-meter back, 100-meter fly, and 200-meter fly. The North Bend, Ohio native finished as the runner-up in the 100 fly at the 2016 Ohio State High School Division 2 Championships. She also took sixth in the 100 back. She competed in the 100 and 200 backstroke and 100 and 200 butterfly at 2015 Speedo Winter Juniors East.
Pentlarge joins Nebraska after competing for North Coast Aquatics and Cathedral Catholic High School in San Diego. Pentlarge is the 2016 CIF-San Diego Section Division II champion in the 100 free and placed second in the 100 back. A member of the All-CIF team, Pentlarge holds the San Diego Imperial County record in the 200 backstroke.
Powers will join fellow Wisconsin native Haebig at Nebraska after competing for the Madison Aquatic Club and Sun Prairie High School. Powers won the 500 free and placed third in the 200 free at the 2016 Wisconsin Division 1 Championships.
The lone in-state signee in the Husker class, Walstad competed for Heartland Aquatics and Lincoln Southwest High School. The Midwestern Swimming LSC First-Team All-American was the runner-up in the 100 back and claimed third in the 50 free at the 2016 NSAA Swimming and Diving State Championships. Walstad is a Winter Junior National Qualifier in both events as well. During prelims, Walstad broke the NSAA state record in the 100 backstroke. She is a member of the champion and third-fastest 200 medley relay in the nation and a member of the champion and No. 20 freestyle relay in the nation. Walstad also set the Midwestern Swimming 15-16 girls 100 backstroke LSC record in March.