Alabama Inks 13 to National Letters of Intent in the Early Signing Period

TUSCALOOSA, Alabama, November 23. THE Alabama Swimming and Diving team signed 13 student-athletes to National Letters of Intent head coach Eric McIlquham announced today.

"This is an amazing class for us, one that is filled with front line talent," McIlquham said. "There are two Olympians in this class and several more that have competed nationally and internationally already in their careers. One of the best things about this class, in addition to the depth of its quality, is it fills so many of our needs going forward."

The women's team, which graduates a dozen seniors this season, signed eight swimmers and two divers in the early period while the men signed three swimmers.

For the women, Callan Buck (Keller, Texas), Marissa Dressel (Buffalo, N.Y), Hillary Hahmann (Tampa, Fla.), Emese Kovacs (Baja, Hungary), Paige McCleary (Lake Worth, Fla.), Callie Nettles (Acworth, Ga.), Lauren Piper (St. Petersburg, Fla.), Kaitlin Schroeder (Mechanicsville, Va.), Orsolya Tompa (Budapest, Hungary) and Kristel Vourna (Patpas, Greece) are all set to join the Crimson Tide next fall while the men bring in BJ Hornikel (Goose Creek, S.C.), Devan Terry (Louisville, Ky.) and George Wong (Madison, Ala.).

"This is also a very balanced class, not only in terms of the range of events it covers, but also in the fact that as a whole, they are as dedicated in the classroom as they are in the pool," McIlquham said. "Several of these student-athletes are members of the National Honor Society and have been named to USA Swimming's Scholastic All-American team."

"At Alabama, we pride ourselves on tremendous athletic and academic success and this class is certainly primed to carry on that tradition."

Kovacs and Tompa both competed at the 2008 Olympic Games for their native Hungary and will make an immediate impact on the Tide's sprint fortunes. In addition, Kovacs, Tompa and Vourna have all medaled at the European Junior Championships. Also among this class there are six high school All-Americans, six USA Swimming Senior National qualifiers and four members of the National Honor Society.

"We're very excited about this group and can't wait for them to hit campus," McIlquham said.

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