KNOXVILLE, Tenn., Dec. 16. UNIVERSITY of Tennessee Head Swimming Coach Dan Colella has announced the signing of four student-athletes to national letters of intent to compete for the Lady Vols.
All four signees come to Rocky Top with impressive credentials from their high school and club careers. Elizabeth Christy (Indianapolis, Ind./North Central H.S.), Brittany Fulmer (Maryville, Tenn./Maryville
H.S.), Megan Tomes (Cincinnati, Ohio/Anderson H.S.) and Ashley Yeager (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Cumberland Valley H.S.) will each don the Orange and White beginning in fall of 2003.
"We are extremely excited about this fall's recruiting class," Colella said. "After recruiting such a large class last season, we were hoping to sign at least four this fall, a goal which we met. This is a group
of individuals who will all make an immediate impact for us next year and add tremendous depth to our program as we continue to climb the NCAA ladder. I cannot wait until these individuals are with us next year."
Christy will enter UT having already garnered high school All-America recognition four times entering her senior season. She has been a member of state-champion 200y free relay squads each of her three prep
years and was the state runner-up in the 200y IM as a sophomore and junior, and 100y back as a junior. In addition, the Hoosier State native has received all-county and all-conference honors for the last three years and was named as her conference's swimmer of the year for 2002. Academically, Christy has been a member of the high honor roll during her entire high school career.
"Elizabeth, much like Megan, is a very versatile swimmer who will add tremendous depth to our meet lineup," Colella said. "She is one who has a lot of big goals but most importantly knows what she needs to do in order to achieve them. We feel that in this environment, she will be able to make the step to being an NCAA Championship level swimmer in her
freshman year. We are thrilled that she has chosen Tennessee to be her home for the next four years."
Fulmer will join the Lady Vols after leading Maryville H.S. to a diving state championship as a sophomore and receiving the honor of most valuable team member. In addition to the one championship, her team forged a runner-up outcome at state during her freshman and junior seasons. Fulmer also has experience on the national level, as she has qualified for the Junior National Championships and received multiple All-America honorable mentions. Away from the pool, the Volunteer State native is active in the Key Club, teen board, Young Life, prom committee and planning committee. If her last name sounds familiar, that is
because she is the daughter of UT Head Football Coach Phillip Fulmer.
"I am particularly pleased Brittany has chosen to sign here at Tennessee and be a part of our diving program," Diving Coach Dave Parrington said.
"I have had the pleasure of knowing Brittany and her fine family for many years and know that besides the diving talent she brings to the program, her character, morals, desire to excel and work ethic will pay enormous dividends not only to her, but to Tennessee's academic and athletic programs as well. As the daughter of a collegiate coach, she already has a strong understanding of the rigors and dedication asked of student-athletes. She is well schooled in the mechanics and specifics of diving, and I fully expect, given the opportunity to train day in and day out with our world class divers, plus having access to our outstanding support services in the areas of strength, mental training and academic support, she will develop into an excellent collegiate student-athlete."
Tomes, meanwhile, has amassed eight All-America certificates in her first three years of high school. Her impressive résumé includes state-champion honors in the 200y IM during her junior season. In addition to the 200y IM, Tomes has also picked up All-America
recognition in the 50y free, 200y free, 100y back and as a member of the 400y free relay. Tomes has also been recognized as her league's swimmer of the year each of her three prep seasons. In the classroom, she has been on her high school's honor roll each year and is a member of the National Honor Society. At UT, Tomes will be reunited with club teammate and current Lady Vol freshman Betsy Brockman (Batavia, Ohio).
"What is so exciting about Megan is her competitiveness and versatility," Colella said. "She is an elite swimmer in a number of individual events, including the 200y IM, backstrokes and the sprint
freestyle events. It's really exciting to sign an individual like her because she will be extremely valuable in so many ways. I see her being a strong team leader in the future."
Yeager will join the Big Orange as at least a three-time All-American. As a junior, Yeager garnered All-America honors in the 500y free, 100y fly and 200y IM. In those same three events, she received all-state
honors as a sophomore and junior. In addition, Yeager has won the district championship in the 100y fly for two consecutive years. While not in the pool, Yeager is active in a variety of activities, including the National Honor Society and writing for her school newspaper. She has won a number of awards, including the Isaac Walton League Research Award, the Audobon Research Award and the American Chemical Society
"Ashley is a senior national level backstroker who has dropped her times dramatically in the last couple of years," Colella said. "She wanted to be in this environment in order for her to advance to the NCAA
Championship level, and I feel strongly that she has the tools to achieve that goal. In addition to being a great backstroker, she will add great depth in the 200y and 400y IM."