June 14, 2002
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
Florida State University’s head swimming and diving coach, Neil Harper, announced the signing of three junior transfers for the 2002-2003 women’s squad. Katie Byrnes (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.), Rachel Dong (Paramount, Calif.) and Andree-Anne LeRoy (Nanaimo, BC, Canada) will all transfer to FSU from Washington State for their junior seasons.
Byrnes comes to the Tribe after a successful sophomore season at WSU. She leaves the Cougars with top 10 times in the 100-backstroke (56.74), 200-back (2:01.23) and 400 individual medley (4:32.15). Her time in the 200-back surpassed NCAA B-cut standards. A native of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., Byrnes competed during her prep career at Cardinal Gibbons High School and swam for the Ft. Lauderdale Swim Club.
“Katie has really improved in the last couple of years,” stated Harper. “She can really help us out in conference and dual meets. The NCAA Championships are something we look for her to qualify for”
As a sophomore at WSU, Rachel Dong competed at the 2002 NCAA championships in the 100-butterfly and 100-breaststroke. Her time of 54.75 in the 100-fly set a Cougar record. Dong comes to the Seminoles with best times of e 50-freestyle (23.70), 100-breast (1:03.54), 200-breast (2:20.09), 200-IM (2:06.55) and 100-free (52.09). She also competed on the sprint relays. Dong graduated from Valley Christian High School in Paramount, Calif., in 2000. She also competed at the Lakewood Swim Club as a prep.
“She’s multi-talented and very versatile,” remarked Harper on Dong. “She’s an NCAA qualifier, so she’ll obviously help us in the 100-fly and 100-breast. In addition, she’s a great freestyle relay swimmer. That’s the missing leg that could help our relays get to NCAA’s.”
LeRoy leaves WSU after turning in the top times of 2002 season in the 100- and 200-back as well as the 200- and 400-IM. LeRoy competed in the 200 backstroke and the 200- and 400-IM events at the 2002 NCAA championships, all events in which she held WSU records. Those school-record times are 1:59.64 in the 200 back, 2:01.73 (200-IM) and 4:21.67 (400-IM). The Nanaimo, British Columbia native also holds the school record in the 100-back (56.34), and has personal bests of 51.16 in the 100-free and 1:51.27 in the 200 freestyle. LeRoy competed for the Nanaimo Riptides Swim Team as a prep and graduated from the Nanaimo District Secondary School.
“Andree-Anne is a great IM’er and doesn’t have a weak stroke,” stated Harper. “She’s versatile and will help FSU by swimming the 100 and 200 back, the 200 and 400 IM, the 200-free as well as most relays! We’re excited about her future here as a Seminole. I think she can really establish herself here.”