Head coach Scott Lemley announced the women’s swimming program has signed Kaitlyn Louthan (Kenai, Alaska) and Kathryn Pound (Pahiatua, New Zealand) to National Letters of Intent and both swimmers will enter in the Fall with four years of athletic eligibility.
Louthan, out of Kenai, Alaska, is a four-year letter winner and state qualifier for the Kenai Central High School swim team. She swam the 50-yard freestyle at the state meet in under 26 seconds and now has a best of 25.22 seconds, which would rank ninth all-time for the Nanooks. She currently holds three school records as she was an anchor for the 200-yard free relay, swam the opening leg on the 400-yard free relay and also was part of the 200-yard medley relay as the butterfly leg.
In 2009-10, she was runner-up on the girls relay at the District III region meet and also placed eighth in the 50 free at the Junior Olympics in 2008. Louthan was named Kenai Central’s Most Valuable Athlete in 2012 and was honored by the State Swimming and Diving for the best cumulative grade-point average in 2011. She has also participated in club swimming for 11 years for the Peninsula Piranhas.
A dual-sport athlete, she also was a cross country skier in 2010. Aside from sports, she is a member of the National Honor Society since 2010 and secretary since 2008 for the Bishop’s Attic Board. Louthan plans to major in nursing.
“I was able to watch Kaitlyn swim last weekend at a major meet in Anchorage,” Lemley said. “She was very impressive. At 6 feet in height next year we’ll have four girls on the team who could be mistaken for centers on most women’s basketball teams.”
He continued, “Kaitlyn was very strong in the first part of her races and with the kind of emphasis we put on conditioning, I know a month or two after swimming double practices she’ll be able to maintain a fast pace from start to finish. She’ll be a nice addition to our sprint group.”
Pound will have the longest trip to Fairbanks of any swimmer in program history as she becomes the first New Zealander to sign on to swim for Alaska. She swam for Kiwi West Aquatics and made her mark in her tenure. This year, she was crowned club champion for girls aged 16 and over and also won the award for best performance at the New Zealand Open Champs by a club member.
She holds several records in the Manawatu region in both short-course and long-course meter pools. Her records include: 800-meter free (SCM) for 16 year olds, 400-meter free (LCM) for 17 year olds and the 400, 800 and 1500 frees (LCM) as well as the 200 free (SCM) in the 18-year old age group.
Academically, she was named the Best All-Round Student at Tararua College in 2012 and was the runner-up for the Best Academic Student award in the same year. Aside from swimming she also competed in four other sports, including cricket, netball, basketball and cross country. Pound intends to major in business administration next semester.
“We’re really excited to welcome our first recruit from New Zealand,” Lemley said. “We’re bringing Kathryn in specifically to lead our distance group which trains for three events: the 500, 1000 and 1650 freestyles. Her best time in the 1000 is as fast as our current varsity record.”
He continued, “From what we’ve been able to glean in conversations with Kathryn, with our pool kept at 79 degrees she’ll be in a far superior training environment compared to what she’s used to now. She feels she has the ability to break several varsity records in her freshman year. We like that kind of confidence.”