FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – NAU swimming & diving head coach Andy Johns has announced two additions to his program for the 2013-14 season. Jori Lindquist from Kodiak, Alaska and Urte Kazakeviciute from Kaunas, Lithuania will join three swimmers and two divers that signed in November to make up NAU's 2013-14 incoming class.
"We think that overall with these two signees plus the five in the fall we have a solid class coming in," NAU had coach Andy Johns said. "It's virtually impossible to replace people like Kristy Ardavanis and Fi Connell so we've kind of done it by committee. I think it makes us a better team overall, especially in a championship meet."
Lindquist specializes in sprint and mid-distance events as well as the backstroke. She was a four year letter winner at Kodiak high school, where she broke the school records in six different events and was undefeated at the Region III Championships for four years in both the 200 free and 100 back. She also won a pair of state titles in the 200 free and was part of an All-American relay team, and she graduated sixth in her class with a 4.05 GPA.
"Jori comes with a great work ethic and is excited about coming here," Johns said. "She brings in potential in events that we tend to do pretty well in, particularly the 200 free, and can really solidify our mid-distance freestyle."
Kazakeviciute is a breaststroker and comes to NAU as the Lithuanian record holder in the 200 breast, having broken the national record after it stood for 30 years. She placed 25th at the World Aquatics Championships in the 200 breast in 2009 and took first place in the event at the 2011 Baltic Championships. She was also a finalist in the 50, 100, and 200 breast in her first Youth Olympics.
"Urte comes in as one of our top breaststrokes and she's really going to add some quality depth there," Johns said. "She helps in preparation for losing Jordan Burnes and Stirling Smith after next season."
The incoming class will help NAU again compete for a WAC Championship next season while also putting the program in a good position going forward after it will lose a large and talented senior class following the 2013-14 campaign.
"Even though we only lost four seniors we're bringing in seven new people," Johns said, "and its part of looking ahead and knowing what we're going to have to replace next year."