San Jose State Athletics
Coach Hopkins Welcomes New Recruiting Class
With a commitment from a high school All-American, the San Josè State Spartans swimming and diving head coach Sage Hopkins announced the signing of eight swimmers and one diver to National Letters-of-Intent. Swimming & Diving Home | NLI Release
San Jose State Athletics

NameEvent(s)Hometown (Last School)
High School
Violani (Lani) Auva'aBackstroke, ButterflySanta Rosa, Calif. (Analy HS)
Jamie DoddMiddle Distance and Distance Freestyle, Butterfly, Individual MedleyBeverly Hills, Calif. (Beverly Hills HS)
Sara HagenBreaststroke, ButterflyMcFarland, WI (McFarland HS)
Katelyn (Kate) HanfFreestyle, Butterfly, Individual MedleyStockton, Calif. (Lincoln HS)
Gabriella (Gabby) HengSprint Freestyle, ButterflyWalnut Creek, Calif. (Las Lomas HS)
Jenna LloydBreaststroke, Individual MedleyDiamond Bar, Calif. (Diamond Bar HS)
Katie McInteeMiddle Distance FreestyleSacramento, Calif. (St. Francis HS)
Jacqueline NissonButterflyShingle Springs, Calif. (Ponderosa HS)
Natasha SodenoDivingTurlock, Calif. (Pitman HS)

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US Map San Jose State Athletics
By State
California (8): Violani (Lani) Auva'a, Jamie Dodd, Katelyn (Kate) Hanf, Gabriella (Gabby) Heng, Jenna Lloyd, Katie McIntee, Jacqueline Nisson, Natasha Sodeno
Wisconsin (1): Sara Hagen
By Event
Individual Medley3

Violani (Lani) Auva'a
Backstroke, Butterfly | Santa Rosa, Calif. (Analy HS) | Club: Santa Rosa Neptunes | Club Coach: Dan Greaves


Auva'a on San José State: "I fell in love with San Jose State as soon as I walked on its beautiful campus and was greeted by the kind members of the team. I'm excited to swim as a Spartan in the fall of 2016!"

Coach Hopkins on Auva'a: "We are thrilled to have Lani become a Spartan. She comes to us from one of the top club programs in the Country (Santa Rosa Neptunes), and will surprise a lot of people over the coming years. She has tremendous talent and will make an instant impact for us. Lani is also a tremendous student who will continue our team tradition of stellar academic performance."

Jamie Dodd
Middle Distance and Distance Freestyle, Butterfly, Individual Medley | Beverly Hills, Calif. (Beverly Hills HS) | Club: Team Santa Monica | Club Coach: Dave Kelsheimer


Dodd on San José State: "I'm so excited to swim with Coach Sage Hopkins and the entire San Jose State team. Although I'm from SoCal, they're building something really special up North and I can't wait to be a part of it. Hopefully, I'll be able to contribute on many levels in the pool, while taking advantage of everything that this beautiful school has to offer."

Coach Hopkins on Dodd: "Jamie immediately impressed the staff with her work-ethic and ambition to be a top-level distance swimmer. We are excited to work with Jamie as she becomes one of the top distance swimmers in the conference."

Additional information: Dodd love open water swimming and has qualified for and competed in the 2013 and 2014 USA Swimming Open Water 5K National Championships, finishing in the top-10 nationally of all under-18 competitors. She have also competed in more than a dozen 10K and 5K events nationally and internationally.

Sara Hagen
Breaststroke, Butterfly | McFarland, WI (McFarland HS) | Club: McFarland Spartan Sharks | Club Coach: Derrick O'Donnell

Sara Hagen

Hagen on San José State: "I am excited to continue my swimming career as a Spartan at SJSU! The team, coaches and atmosphere made SJSU feel like home 2000 miles away from home!"

Coach Hopkins on Hagen: "Sara has tremendous talent in both breaststroke and butterfly and will make an immediate impact for us in both strokes. Sara immediately impressed the staff as the exact type of swimmer we are looking for ... someone with drive, focus and integrity who will make her teammates better."

Additional Information: Earned USA Swimming Scholastic All-American honors for the 2014 season. Named to the All-Wisconsin first team in the 100 breaststroke in 2013 and 2014 and recognized as an All-American for the 2014 season. She qualified for the 2014 USA Winter Junior Nationals held in Federal Way, Wash in the 100 breaststroke and 100 butterfly. Swimming at the Wisconsin State Championships on Friday, November 13, Hagen won the state title in 100 butterfly and 100 breaststroke after finishing second in both events last season.

Katelyn (Kate) Hanf
Sprint Freestyle, Butterfly, Individual Medley | Stockton, Calif. (Lincoln HS) | Club: Tiger Aquatics | Club Coach: Peter Richardson


Hanf on San José State: "I'm extremely excited to continue my swimming career alongside the San Jose State team under the supervision of Coach Sage Hopkins. I'm ready to swim fast, learn new things, and have fun."

Coach Hopkins on Hanf: "One of our goals in this recruiting cycle was to build the depth and strength of our sprint program. Kate will develop into an impactful sprinter for us."

Gabriella (Gabby) Heng
Sprint Freestyle, Butterfly | Walnut Creek, Calif. (Las Lomas HS) | Club: Walnut Creek Aquabears | Club Coach: Mike Heaney


Heng on San José State: "I'm really excited to be swimming for San Jose State and becoming a Spartan. Both the team members and the coaching staff have been exceptionally amazing and that's why I know the friends and memories I'll make will last much more than the four short years of my college experience. I can't wait to start next year's season with the rest of my Spartan family!"

Coach Hopkins on Heng: "Gabby is a talented sprinter who along with Kate will help add depth and strength to our sprint program. I first saw her compete last spring at the CIF State Championships, and was immediately impressed."

Interesting fact: She is the younger sister of SJSU Sophomore sprinter Brittany Heng. Honored as 2015 USA Swimming Scholastic All-American.

Jenna Lloyd
Breaststroke, Individual Medley | Diamond Bar, Calif. (Diamond Bar HS) | Club: Brea Aquatics | Club Coach: Jim Johnson

Jenna Lloyd

Lloyd on San José State: "I felt connected to the team and the coaches right away! I love the environment of the school and the team made me feel like family! My recruit trip was nothing short of awesome! I am looking forward to becoming part of a successful team and improving both in my swimming, academically!"

Coach Hopkins on Lloyd: "Breaststroke (along with sprint free) was another of our primary focuses with this class. Jenna's club team (Brea Aquatics) is known for consistently producing National level breaststrokers, and she will make an immediate impact for us. Jenna immediately impressed us as someone that will be a perfect fit for our program."

Diamond Bar HS Accolades: She was honored as swim team MVP for the 2014-15 season and awarded Most Spirited for the 2013-14 season. Set Diamond Bar High School records in the 50 Free, 100 Breaststroke, 200 Free Relay, 400 Free Relay and 200 Medley Relay during the 2014-15 swim season.

Brea Aquatics Accolades: Lloyd is the record holder in the 200 Medley Relay (LC) 2:02.56 for Brea Aquatics.

Additional Information: Lloyd competed as a Hula dancer for eight years, she started dancing when she was 6-years-old. She is also an artist, received the MVP in art in middle school and is in A/P Art Studio Design and is great at sketching.

Katie McIntee
Middle Distance Freestyle | Sacramento, Calif. (St. Francis HS) | Club: Davis Arden Racing Team | Club Coach: Brian Nabeta

Katie McIntee

McIntee on San José State: "I chose San Jose State University because I believe I can excel there, not only as an athlete, but as a student as well. SJSU has a beautiful campus and has my intended major, which is nursing. SJSU has built up a very strong swimming program and I believe I can contribute to the team. After going on my recruiting trip, meeting the team and talking with Coach Sage Hopkins, I knew it was something I had to be a part of. I am so excited to continue my swimming career as a Spartan for the next four years!"

Coach Hopkins on McIntee: "The team and staff instantly fell in love with Katie's infectious personality. She is a tremendous worker with great talent who will make everyone around her better."

Other Information: Her grandparents graduated from San José State as members of the class of 1970-1971. McIntee begin swimming at 4-years-old and enjoys running, yoga and photography outside of the pool.

Jacqueline Nisson
Butterfly | Shingle Springs, Calif. (Ponderosa HS) | Club: Aquasol | Club Coach: Darin Mai

Jacqueline Nisson

Nisson on San José State: "I am beyond excited to swim for SJSU next year! Everyone on the team was so welcoming and made me feel right at home. San Jose is the perfect place for me to excel academically while fulfilling my dream of swimming in college. I can't wait to be part of this sisterhood!"

Coach Hopkins on Nisson: "Jacqueline is incredibly ambitious in both the pool and classroom and has the talent to become one of the top 200 butterflyers in the conference."

Other information: Currently she holds the Ponderosa High School record in the 100 butterfly (59.12). Nisson was named to the All-Capital Valley Conference second team in the 200 freestyle for the 2015 season.

Interesting fact: Nisson is a triplet. Completing the trio are her siblings are Alexandra and Spencer.

Natasha Sodeno
Diving | Turlock, Calif. (Pitman HS) | Club: Delta Valley Diving | Club Coach: Robert Wimberly


Sodeno on San José State: "I'm excited to join a new team and become a part of the SJSU Aquatics family. I'm looking forward to the independence of being away from home and experiencing a higher level of education."

Diving Coach Mark Butcher on Sodeno: "Natasha brings a wealth of diving experience to our team. Being one of the top divers in Northern California, she will make an immediate impact."

Coach Hopkins on Sodeno: "We are very excited to add Natasha to our diving program. We are building one of the top diving programs on the west coast, and Natasha is a great addition.