ATLANTA, Dec. 2. HIGHLIGHTED by 2000 Olympian Vesna Stojanovska (Skopje, Macedonia), five prep standouts are set to join the Georgia Tech swimming and diving program for the 2003-04 season, Yellow Jacket head coach Seth Baron announced Monday.
In addition to Stojanovska, the women's team also inked Amanda Korell (Lawrenceville, Ga.) and Dana West (Brookeville, Md.), while the men's squad added Ryan Bishop (Signal Mountain, Tenn.) and diver Tony Burkhardt (Phoenix, Ariz.).
"We are very excited about the early signing period," said Baron. "Each of these athletes will be strong contributors to the Georgia Tech swimming and diving program. The entire coaching staff did a wonderful job of attracting talented athletes to The Flats."
A competitor in the 2000 Sydney Olympics for Macedonia, Stojanovska attends Pine Crest Prep School in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., and competes for the Pine Crest Swim Club. She recently won the 1A Florida high school state title in the 200 free in a time of 1:48.32, a mark that ranks among the top three nationally. Her other top times are 4:49 in the 500-yard free and 2:15 in the 200-meter fly.
"Vesna's coming to Tech is very big," said Baron. "She has a lot of experience and should be a great, young leader to a very young and talented women's program. Vesna has the ability to score at NCAAs and move us closer to our goal of being a top 25 program."
Korell, who attends Central Gwinnett High School, swims for Swim Atlanta. A versatile performer, she owns career bests of 2:06.66 in the 200 back, 2:08.87 in the 200 fly and 4:32.44 in the 400 IM.
"We are pleased that Amanda has decided to stay close to home," said Baron. "At 5 feet 11 inches, Amanda has a lot of potential and will be a strong ACC swimmer for Georgia Tech."
West, who attends Sherwood High School, swims for Rockville-Montgomery Swim Club, the same club team as current sophomore Jill Vukmanic. West, who owns times of 24.6 in the 50 free and 52.8 in the 100 free, will contribute to the Jackets' sprint freestyle group. She also owns marks of 1:53.3 in the 200 free and 57.47 in the 100 fly.
"We are very excited about Dana coming to Tech, said Baron. "She has a lot to offer to our program and we look forward to continuing her fast swimming here."
As for the men, Bishop stands as the lone swimmer inked in the early period. He attends The Baylor School and swims for the Greater Chattanooga Aquatic Club. Bishop owns strong marks in several events, including times of 1:52.64 in the 200 IM, 4:04.42 in the 400 IM and 1:53.40 in the 200 back.
"Ryan's decision to attend Tech is great," said Baron. "He is very versatile and will assist us in many ways with dual meets and scoring potential at the ACC Championships."
Burkhardt is the lone diver signed by Tech in the early period. He attends Shadow Mountain High School and dives for Clavadistas del Sol. Burkhardt won the summer junior national title on the one-meter springboard.
"Diving coach John Ames did a great job of attracting Tony to Georgia Tech," said Baron. "He will bring much-needed depth to our program and can vie for an ACC title and a spot at NCAAs. We are very excited to see our divers be strong contributors to our program."
This year, Tech's men are ranked 23rd nationally and stand 2-3 on the young season, while the women's team is 3-2. Both teams return to action February 10 against ACC rival Clemson at Emory's Woodruff P.E. Center. Over the winter break, Tech's swimmers head to Nassau, Bahamas, for a training trip, while the divers will go to the Florida Keys.