GAINESVILLE, Florida, May 5. FLORIDA Swimming and Diving has announced the signings of swimmers Benjamin Lawless, Alex Donahue and Elisavet Panti to its 2014 recruiting class.
The newcomers will arrive on campus with national and international experience. Lawless hails from Owings, Md., where he attended North High School and competed with the Chesapeake Bay Aquatic Club. He most recently swam at the 2013-14 Maryland State championships and owns yard-best times of 1:39.40 in the 200 freestyle, 4:24.79 in the 500 free and 15:20.74 in the 1650 free. Lawless’ last international meet was the 2013 Speedo Junior National Championships, and he owns career lows of 1:55.31, 4:01.46 and 16:17.06 in the 200-meter free, 400-meter free and 1500-meter free.
“We’re ecstatic to be able to bring Ben in,” Head Coach Gregg Troy said. “He swam for a really great coach in John Mason. John had told us that he was going to improve drastically this year, and that is exactly what happened. He is one of the most improved distance freestylers in the country. He has a big future.”
Donahue is the defending Florida High School State Champion in both the 100 breaststroke and 50 free, and her best times in those events are 1:01.97 and 23.60, respectively. Donahue attended Plant High School and trained with the Greater Tampa Aquatics Club.
“Alex is a very good breaststroker and brings some needed speed to the women’s side,” Troy said. “We’re a little thin in the breaststroke after graduations, so she will help fill in that void. She is an extremely good student with very impressive grades, and was able to graduate high school following her junior year. She’s a Florida resident and will really help us a lot. She also adds a little bit of international experience as well.”
Panti hails from Greece and trained with Y.M.C.A. Thessaloniki. Panti will add to Florida’s sprint group. She excels in the 50 free and 100 free, and boasts recent long course times of 27.19 and 59.48, respectively.
“She has some pretty good times and will help bolster our sprint group,” Troy said. “She is a classic sprinter- swims the 50 free and 100 free and a little bit of butterfly. We look for her to make some big improvements and help us out in the speed department.”
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