AUBURN, Ala. ¯ The Auburn men's swimming team has signed seven impressive recruits for the 2002-03 season as announced by head coach David Marsh.
Included in the group are Lyle Babcock (Yorktown, Va.), Seth Barry (Chesterton, Ind.), George Bovell (Trinidad and Tobago), Kurt Cady (Las Vegas, Nev.), Eric Shanteau (Lilburn, Ga.), Daniel Slocki (Charlotte, N.C.) and Doug Van Wie (Charlotte, N.C.).
On the men's side, Lyle Babcock comes to Auburn from Yorktown, Va., where he was a Senior National qualifier in the 100 and 200 butterfly events. Babcock is the Virginia state record holder in the 100-yard fly (48.72) and is a member of the US Junior National team. The Virginia native has also been the high school state champion in the 100 fly his freshman, sophomore and junior seasons and is the AA state record holder in the 100 fly.
"Lyle is one of the nation's top up and coming butterflyers who has the ability to develop into a world class swimmer," Marsh said. "He is very capable of being an NCAA scorer in the 100 and 200 fly as a freshman."
Babcock will be looked to as he attempts to continue the tradition of Virginia swimmers, who have developed to the highest level at Auburn such as Rada Owen, Kurt Jachimowski, Jeff Somensatto and Richard Long.
In the 100-yard fly, Babcock holds a time of 48.72; 1:50.97 in the 200 fly and 53.25 in the 100 backstroke. In the 100-meter fly, his career-best time stands at 56.11.
"I chose Auburn because I felt like I belonged here," Babcock said. "I was very comfortable with the coaching staff and all the team members."
Seth Barry, a native of Chesterton, Ind., is expected to bring strength to the Auburn sprint freestyle contingent next season as he specializes in the 50, 100 and 200 free. Barry has been an Indiana state finalist his freshman, sophomore and junior years in the 50, 100 and 200 free events and will be hoping for that again in his senior season.
The National Honor Society member and Scholar Athlete has recorded times of 21.30 in the 50-yard free, 45.70 in the 100 free and 1:41.00 in the 200 free. Barry chose Auburn over Minnesota and Purdue and will be joining former high school team member and current Auburn Tiger Jenni Anderson on the team next season.
"Seth attended our Auburn Tiger Swim Camp and it took one lap for me to see his tremendous potential," Marsh said. "I expect him to make fabulous improvements this season and during his time at Auburn. His events are the 100 and 200 free, but he is capable of being very successful in the 50 or 500 free events as well.
"Seth hails from a favorite state of Auburn ¯ Indiana ¯ and was a club teammate of current Auburn freshman Jenni Anderson. He is a very capable student and is planning to major in aerospace engineering."
Auburn's next signee is George Bovell from The Bolles School by way of Trinidad and Tobago, West Indies. Bovell comes to Auburn with an impressive resume. He finished fourth in the 200-meter individual medley at the World Championships in 2001 and was an Olympian for his home country in 2000. The National Merit award winner is a multiple Trinidad and Tobago national record holder as well as a multiple Caribbean and Central American record holder.
Bovell was the Florida state high school champion in the 100 back and the 200 IM and is currently ranked as No. 6 in the world in the 200 IM and No. 47 in the 200 free. He was also a winner of three B finals at the 1999 Pan American Games. Coached by Larry Shofe at The Bolles School in Jacksonville, Fla., a great deal of Bovell's development as a swimmer came from his training there.
"George is probably the highest level signee we have ever had at Auburn," head coach David Marsh said. "He comes to Auburn world ranked at No. 6 in the 200 IM, but has NCAA and Olympic potential in the backstroke and freestyle as well.
"I feel that George will have an immediate impact on the team not just individually, but also he will swim relays for us. He is the best swimmer Trinidad and Tobago has ever produced and will likely compete for gold in Athens, Greece in 2004."
Bovell's father, George, was a collegiate swimmer and his mother, Barbara, was an Olympic runner for Barbados and Canada. Anal Roberts, his coach in Trinidad and Tobago, has a connection to Auburn as his brother, Shastri, swam at Auburn in the early 1990s and is currently an attorney in Trinidad and Tobago. Bovell is a dual citizen of both Trinidad and Tobago as well as Canada.
The Olympian has recorded times of 2:01.35 in the 200-meter IM, 1:50.72 in the 200m free, 4:29.52 in the 400m IM, 1:48.20 in the 200-yard IM and 45.30 in the 100y free. Bovell chose Auburn over Florida, Tennessee and Southern California.
"I decided to go to Auburn because I really liked the team, the coaches, the facilities and the program in general."
Kurt Cady comes to The Plains from Las Vegas, Nev., where he has earned a spot on the US Junior National Team for 2001-02. Cady is a seven-time NISCA All-American and is a state record holder in the 200 IM as well as a state record holder in the 100 fly and the 200 medley relay. He is a three-time NISCA All-America State Swimmer of the Year and is a two-time USA Swimming Scholastic All-American.
"Kurt visited us early in the summer and was very interested in our structural engineering program," Marsh said. "Out of the pool he is an excellent student-athlete and in the pool he has tremendous versatility. He is capable of being a national-caliber swimmer in 6-7 events. The question now is what events will he be fastest in."
Cady selected Auburn over Texas, Tennessee and Stanford. The 11-time state champion has earned times of 1:50.18 in the 200-yard IM, 4:00.69 in the 400 IM, 2:02.62 in the 200 breast and 50.19 in the 100 fly.
"Auburn was by far the most beautiful, tradition-rich school I've ever seen," Cady said. "Plus, I want to win a few national championships and Auburn is in a position to do so. Coming from Las Vegas, Auburn and the South will give me something fun and different from the fast-paced lifestyle of Vegas."
Eric Shanteau comes to Auburn from Lilburn, Ga. as a National Junior Team member in 2000. Shanteau holds four state records in the 15-16 age group including the 200-meter breast, 200m IM, 400m IM and the 400-yard IM and holds the state record in the 200y IM for the 17-18 and Senior age group. The 2000-01 Georgia Male Outstanding Swimmer was ranked second in the nation in the 200m breast, 200m IM and 400m IM in his age group.
Shanteau helped lead his team to the 2000 and 2001 state titles while picking up four state records along the way. He has been a High School Scholar Athlete the past two years and chose Auburn over Georgia, Texas and Stanford.
His brother swam at Georgia Tech. Shanteau is a member of the Swim Atlanta club team coached by the highly successful Chris Davis, who coached at Auburn as an assistant during the late 1970s.
"Eric is one of the most talented high school swimmers in the US right now," Marsh said. "We have watched him for many years and his technique and racing prowess make him a sure bet to be a factor at the NCAA level immediately. His best event is the IM, but he has potential to be world class in all four strokes. He will need to gain strength and explosiveness in a short course pool, but we obviously are expecting big things from Eric."
Shanteau has posted career-best times in the 200m breast at 2:20.52, 200m IM (2:04.20) and the 400m IM (4:24.38).
"Auburn has always been a successful program and I really enjoyed the team atmosphere," Shanteau said. "I think the campus is going to be a great place to spend my college career."
Auburn's next signee, Daniel Slocki is a native of Charlotte, N.C. Slocki was the 2000 Junior National Champion in the 800 freestyle as well as a National Select Camp Member. The National Honor Society member was a North Carolina All-Star and was a member of the MAC National Team. Slocki is a team captain during his senior season and was the High School High Point and Most Valuable Swimmer all four years in high school.
"Daniel is a distance swimmer with great promise," Marsh said. "He is welcoming the challenge entering into 'RHOP' (Ralph's House of Pain ¯ a term the swimmers have given to Asst. Coach Ralph Crocker's distance workouts) and as he grows and matures, he has the potential to be an NCAA scorer."
Slocki is coached by former Auburn assistant Morgan Bailey at the Mecklenburg Aquatic Club which is the club team of current Auburn sophomore Magda Dyszkiewicz and former Auburn swimmer Aaron Ciarla.
The Charlotte native has earned times of 8:21.39 in the 800-meter free, 9:14.95 in the 1000-yard free and 15:40.98 in the 1650-yard free. Slocki chose Auburn over North Carolina, Georgia and Virginia.
"I chose Auburn because it just felt right," Slocki said. "Its' strong swimming background, its' great coaching staff and its' awesome team made me want to be a part of the Auburn tradition. The way the team interacted with each other and all the positive energy they showed made me want to be included in that special tightly knit group. Now, I just look forward to my next four years at Auburn."
Doug Van Wie also comes to Auburn from Charlotte as a National Junior Team member and was the fastest 15-16 year old in the country last spring in the 200 back. This past summer at the US Nationals meet, Van Wie won the consolation finals in the 400 IM and was named the North Carolina State Meet MVP. He is the high school state record holder in the 200 free and 100 back, is a two-time All-American and was the North Carolina state high school champion in the 100 free in 2000 and the champion in the 200 free and 100 back in 2001.
Van Wie is a two-time USA Swimming Academic All-American, a member of the National Honor Society and is in the top 10 percent of his graduating class.
"Doug has already established himself as one of the top young backstrokers in the country," Marsh said. "He is also very versatile; however, in that he is capable of swimming at the highest levels in the IM and freestyle as well. Doug will make great strides as we have him spend time with our strength and conditioning coach. But he known for being a very hard worker and we expect him to make an immediate impact at the NCAA level.
"Most of Doug's training was without competition in practice so he should flourish at Auburn. He only considered three schools when being recruited because he not only wants to do well on an individual level, but he wants to compete for a National Championship and felt that Auburn was the best place for him to do that."
Van Wie selected Auburn over Stanford and Texas and has been training for the legendary Frankie Bell with the Mecklenburg Raiders club team. The All-American has swam to top times this season of 4:27.29 in the 400-meter IM, 2:07.40 in the 200 back and 2:03.10 in the 200 fly.
"I chose to come to Auburn because of the strong team unity, a chance to win an NCAA title and a love for SEC football," Van Wie said.
For more information, contact Mendy Nestor (334) 844-9900