Being raised in Mozambique, Africa, and then moving to the Netherlands to finish high school, Jannah Sonnenschein has already done more traveling before turning 18 than most people would. The 17-year-old swimmer will have more traveling to do before she reaches Las Cruces, N.M., to start her first semester at New Mexico State where she has signed to attend and compete.
Sonnenshcein has qualified to compete in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, which will run from July 24-29. With 71 nations attending the Games in Glasgow it is a huge honor and opportunity to swim at such an event. Following the Commonwealth Games Jannah will have a short time to prepare for another huge event at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China, from August 16-28. This will also be a great experience for Jannah as she will be representing Mozambique in the two competitions and will compete in the 50, 100 and 200 butterfly events.
With ambitions to swim in the 2016 Olympics in Rio De Jinero, Brazil, these two competitions are steps to help her achieve her goal and show off her skill sets. Competing in the 2016 Olympics would mark another first for the Aggie swim team and she has very strong chance of representing her home country and NM State.
“We are thrilled for Jannah, to have an incoming freshman have such great experiences and a chance for the Olympics is very exciting,” New Mexico State swimming and diving head coach Rick Pratt said.
Sonnenschein will be entering the 2014 season alongside a large and strong class for the Aggies. With eight swimmers and two divers committed to attending NM State in the fall next year’s team is expecting to take things to the next level.
“Jannah is a really interesting and passionate individual. She specializes in the butterfly events and will make an immediate impact in those events for us,” Pratt said. “She has the personality and determination to be very successful at the Division-I level and is an excellent addition to our program.” According to the head coach, Sonnenschein also shows strengths in the freestyle and will add depth for the Aggies in both individual and relay events.
Beyond her swimming talents and globetrotting life, Sonnenshcein also speaks four languages and Pratt describes her as a very mature and smart individual. “I really enjoyed our talks during the recruiting process and from the start we felt that she was someone we wanted to have with our program.” She will arrive on campus towards the end of August after completing her completion in Nanjing.