ATHENS, Ga., Nov. 23. UNIVERSITY of Georgia swimming and diving coach Jack Bauerle announced the signing of swimmers Melissa Klein and Claire Maust and diver Chris Colwill during the early signing period.
Both Klein and Maust inked national letters of intent to study and compete at the University next year.
"Both Melissa and Claire are extremely hard-working swimmers and exceptional students," said Bauerle.
"They are exceptional kids that are both smart and
fast. We are proud to have them as part of our team."
Maust, who is a senior at Centennial High School, is a three-time Georgia high school state champion after winning back-to-back 500-yard freestyle titles in 2001 and 2002. She also won the state crown in the 200-yard
freestyle in 2000, earning her first of three High School All-America honors. She was the recipient of the Wendy's Heisman Award and ranks in the top six in three events in the 17-18 age group national rankings.
Maust has also excelled in the classroom, as she is a two-time Scholastic All-American and a member of both the National Honor Society and the Spanish National Honor Society.
"We are thrilled to have Claire as part of our program," added Bauerle. "She is a quality swimmer and a quality young woman. We view her as one of the
best middle distance swimmers in the country. She will help in a place where we can really use her. She is coming off an exceptional summer. She is a very team-oriented young lady and we are also excited to have someone with her personality on our team."
Klein, who has been a four-year member of the varsity swim team at Milton High School, holds the state record in the 100-yard breaststroke. She is a two-time high school All-American and was named the 2001-02 National Intercollegiate Swimming Coaches Association Swimmer of the Year.
Klein was ranked in the top three in seven events in the 2001 National Age Group rankings, including No. 1 in the 200-yard breaststroke. She is also a two-time Scholastic All-American.
Klein will represent the United States as a member of the 2003 Pan-Am Team that will compete next summer in the Dominican Republic. She was a member of the 2000-01 National Junior Team.
"Melissa is without question one of the best breaststroke and IM recruits in the county, and we could not be more happy to have her as part of our program," offered Bauerle. "We have been watching her develop for years under the guidance of Alex Braunfeld. She is becoming a player on the international stage as well. She will help us continue a very successful history of world class breaststrokers here at Georgia. She brings in a
tremendous work ethic, and we are looking forward to having her with us."
Both signees are from the Atlanta area, as Klein trains with Braunfeld with the Dynamo Swim Club, and Maust has been apart of Maria Thrash's SwimAtlanta program.
Added Bauerle on the Atlanta pair competing together at Georgia next year, "Two rivals will now become teammates."
Diver Chris Colwill also inked a national letter of intent to study and compete at the University next year.
Colwill, who is a senior at Tampa Prep, is a member of the U.S. Senior National Team and was the U.S. Diving Junior National Champion on the 1-meter springboard this past summer. Colwill earned bronze medals at both
the Junior World Championships (1-meter) and the U.S. Diving Junior National Championships (platform).
At the 2002 U.S. Diving National Championships, Colwill took fourth on the 1-meter event and placed ninth on the 3-meter. He is also a member of the U.S. Diving Junior National Team.
"I am very excited about having Chris as part of our program," said head diving coach Dan Laak. "He will carry on the tradition of great divers here at the University of Georgia and will impact the entire swimming and diving program tremendously. Not only is Chris one of the top divers in the country, but he is also a great kid. I am looking forward to coaching him
the next four years."
Colwill is a National High School Champion as well as a two-time Florida State High School champion. He will be going for his third state title at the Florida State Championships this weekend. Colwill is an eight-time Junior National Champion and earned four medals at the Junior Pan-Am Games (one gold, one silver, two bronze). He also brought home one gold and two
bronze medals from the Junior World Championship competition.
Colwill, who is from Brandon, Fla., trains under Joe Greenwell at Jetstream Diving.