ATHENS, Ga., November 21. THE Georgia men's swimming and diving team added two more swimmers to this year's list of signees as Gil Stovall and Judson Cuttino signed national letters-of-intent to compete and study at the University of Georgia.
A native of Memphis, Tenn., Stovall is a senior at Ridgeway High School and trains under Dave Smith at Memphis Tiger Swimming. An Olympic Trials qualifier, Stovall was named the Rookie of the Meet at the 2003 Summer National Championships after finishing sixth in the 100-meter butterfly(54.47) and 11th in the 200-meter butterfly (2:01.64).
"Gil is one of the finest swimmers in the country," said Georgia head coach Jack Bauerle. "He is very versatile, and while his signature stroke is the fly, he will help us in the IM and other strokes. After losing Andrew Mahaney and Randy Lam (to graduation at the end of the year), Gil will help us out tremendously. He is a tough competitor, and we view him as an NCAA scorer. He is going to be quite a swimmer.
"He is coming off a great summer. Being named the Rookie of the Meet at Summer Nationals, he joins an elite group that has earned that award,"
Stovall recorded the second fastest 200-yard butterfly time in the 15-16 age group behind world record-holder Michael Phelps when he clocked a time of 1:46.59 at the U.S. Spring Junior Nationals. He took top honors in both the 100- and 200-yard butterfly and bettered former Olympian Mel Stewart's national junior record in the 200-yard butterfly.
A member of the Southeastern Swimming Conference, Stovall broke two long-standing age group records. He stopped the clock in 54.47 in the 100-meter butterfly, surpassing 1976 Olympian Matt Vogel's previous record of 55.14. Stovall also set the standard in the 200-meter butterfly with a time of 2:01.64 (previous record was 2:01.99 set in 1988).
For his academic accomplishments, Stovall was inducted to the Mu Alpha Theta National Honor Fraternity. Stovall is the cousin of current freshman football player Trey Chandler.
Cuttino is a senior at Savannah County Day and trains under Robbin White of Savannah Swim Team, which is the same team current Bulldog Jeff Parsley was a member. Cuttino participated in the Australian World Youth Festival in Sydney last January as a member of the U.S. National Junior Team, finishing fourth in the 800-meter and 1500-meter freestyle.
"Judson is a young man we have been interested in for three years," said Bauerle. "He is one of the best distance kids out there. We are proud to have another swimmer from the state of Georgia. He is a tough young man, a great racer and will be a terrific college swimmer."
At the Senior Nationals in August, Cuttino set personal bests in three of the four events in which he competed: 800-meter freestyle, 200-meter backstroke and 400-meter freestyle.
A lifelong Bulldog fan, Cuttino and his family have been friends with the Seilers, owners of the long line of Bulldog mascot, including Uga VI, which was at Cuttino's signing in Savannah.
"We are happy to have a Bulldog fan with us," added Bauerle. "We were a great fit from the beginning."