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3 NA Swimmer sign national letter of Intent with UAF

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FAIRBANKS — Head coach Scott Lemley made an extremely short trip to get this year’s first recruits for the Alaska Nanooks swim team. Lemley announced on Thursday the signings of Brooke Underwood and Madison Franz from West Valley High School and Kyle Perkins from North Pole High School.

Underwood and Franz each competed for four seasons for the Wolfpack, helping them capture the Region VI team titles in 2008 and last year.

Underwood’s teammates voted her the Wolfpack’s Most Inspirational Swimmer last season, and she is scheduled to be a sprint freestyler for the Nanooks.

In a University of Alaska Fairbanks press release, Lemley said he has followed Underwood’s entire prep career.

“From her freshman year until now, she’s made great strides, especially in the sprint freestyle,” he said. “Her best time in the 50 free would have made our varsity top 10 last year.”

Underwood has competed for the Stingrays and Midnight Sun club programs for eight years, and she plans to major in psychology and possibly minor in photography at UAF.

Franz aided West Valley’s region title run in 2009 with a third-place finish of 5 minutes, 58.25 seconds in the 500 free. The time would be sixth on the Nanooks’ depth chart.

“Maddy has shown steady improvement over the course of her high school career,” Lemley said. “From her 12th place finish in the 500 free in 7:02.08 as a freshman to her third-place finish this season, she’s dropped over a minute in that event.”

Franz, who also swims locally for Midnight Sun, aspires to be a nurse or a physical therapist.

Perkins spent four seasons as a backstroker and freestyler for North Pole, helping the Patriots take the region team trophy in 2007 and winning an individual title and qualifying for the state meet as a junior in 2008.

Her best 100 backstroke time of 1:08.90 puts her fifth on the Nanooks depth chart.

Lemley said Perkins seemed to fit in well with the Nanooks when she made her campus visit.

“We think that chemistry is so important in terms of everyone working well together,” Lemley said. “We’re thrilled to have her on our team next year and look forward to adding more depth to our backstrokers.”

Perkins also competes for the Patriots’ track and field team, and she swam for Midnight Sun for 12 years.