PHOENIX, Arizona, October 18. IT came down to the two locations where he has trained lately, but Swimming World five-star recruit Evan Pinion has made his college decision. And, that decision is to head to Rocky Top and become part of what is becoming a burgeoning program at Tennessee under head coach Matt Kredich. He chose the Big Orange over Georgia.
Pinion hails from Pilot Aquatics in Knoxville but has also temporarily trained the past year with Dynamo in Georgia to have a group to train with. He is a budding distance freestyle star with some range down into the 200 freestyle. He already sports strong long course meter times in the 200-meter free (1:53.37), 400-meter free (3:51.02) and 1500-meter free (15:11.03). Additionally, he would have qualified to compete in the men's 1650-yard freestyle last year at the NCAA Division I Championships with a lifetime best 15:02.07 in the mile. Meanwhile, he also has an NCAA Division I B cut in the 500-yard free (4:18.88).
Pinion is the 18th-ranked recruit in the nation according to CollegeSwimming.com, and the top prospect produced by Tennessee. With Memphis Tiger Pace Clark already pledging to Georgia, the top two recruits in the Volunteer State are now off the board. Nashville's Taylor Charles is the best available swimmer out of Tennessee still on offer.
Pinion is also the top-ranked swimmer in both the 400 and 1500 meter freestyle events on the 2012-13 USA Swimming National Junior Team this year. New Trier's Reed Malone, who is headed to USC, is second with a 3:53.35 in the 400, while Team Santa Monica's Jordan Wilimovsky trails Pinion with a 15:23.01 in the 1500 free.
Scoring Pinion provides Kredich and associate coach Tyler Fenwick with yet another distance stud, who also could make a serious impact in open water competition. Tennessee already earned the commitment of 5K national champion David Heron of Mission Viejo a few days ago. UT has continued to express, and prove with its recruiting, that it plans on building a strong distance group both collegiately, but also one that will focus on open water in international competition.
Pinion also has made an appearance on the Morning Swim Show. The interview took place in December 2010.
Take a look back at Pinion's appearance
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