Michigan Announces Early Signing Classes

ANN ARBOR, Michigan, November 28. UNIVERSITY of Michigan head swimming coach Mike Bottom and diving coach KZ Li announced Wednesday (Nov. 28) the signing of nine standouts to National Letters of Intent for the 2013-14 season. The signees include swimmer Julian Ballestas (Miami, Fla./Belen Jesuit), Jason Chen (Pleasanton, Calif./Amador Valley), Colin Eaton (Gresham, Ore./Corbett), Jackson Goethe (Midland, Mich./H.H. Dow), Bryan Hughes (Modesto, Calif./Amador Valley), Jack Mangan (Winnetka, Ill./New Trier), Cameron Stitt (Portland, Ore./Sunset), Vinny Tafuto (Hummelstown, Pa./Hershey) and diver Ryan O'Donnell (Clarendon Hills, Ill./Hinsdale Central).

“This is a group of guys with high potential and great heart,” Bottom said. “They are competitors in the truest sense. Combined with our current culture, we would expect they'll be producing at a high level within two years.”

“Ryan is a very good diver and is a great addition to our team,” Li said. “He's only been diving for two years, so he's still pretty new to the sport, but at the same time, he has a ton of potential. We think Ryan can score points for us at Big Tens and NCAAs in the future.”

Ballestas swims club for the Metro Aquatic Club of Miami and is primarily a sprint and middle-distance freestyle swimmer. He is the No. 120-ranked swimmer in the country and No. 12 in the state of Florida by CollegeSwimming.com He is a multiple Florida High School Athletics Association (FHSAA) Class 2A state champion, most recently winning three titles at the 2012 state meet, leading Belen Jesuit to the team championship earlier this month. He won the 200-yard freestyle, contributed to titles on the 200-yard freestyle relay and 400-yard freestyle relay, and also finished second in the 100-yard freestyle. Ballestas has an All-American consideration time in the 200-yard freestyle and will swim at the 2013 Summer National Championships.

Chen swims for the Pleasanton Seahawks Aquatic Club and mainly focuses on the backstroke. He is a high school teammate of fellow signee Bryan Hughes. He finished 11th in the 100-meter backstroke and 21st in the 200-meter backstroke at the 2012 Speedo Junior National Championships.

Eaton primarily works in the sprint freestyle races, but can also swim the butterfly. He swims for Mount Hood Aquatics Club. Eaton is ranked as the No. 3 swimmer in the state of Oregon according to CollegeSwimming.com. He is a five-time Oregon State (OSAA) champion, and holds high school state records in the 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard freestyle. He swam at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials and 2011 Speedo Short Course Junior National Championships and was also a USA Swimming Scholastic All-American.

Goethe is the only Michigan native in this year's class, specializing in the sprint freestyle races for Kronos Aquatics Club. He is ranked as the No. 8 swimmer in the state of Michigan, according to CollegeSwimming.com. At the 2012 MHSAA D-II state championships, Goethe won the title in the 50-yard freestyle and finished second in the 100-yard freestyle. He also attended the 2012 Speedo Junior National Championships, swimming the 50-meter freestyle.

Hughes is a multiple-event swimmer for the Crow Canyon Country Club Sharks. He is a high school teammate of fellow signee Jason Chen. Hughes is the No. 123-ranked swimmer in the country and No. 16 in the state of California by CollegeSwimming.com. He finished 11th in the 200-meter butterfly at the 2012 Speedo Junior National Championships. Hughes was a four-time NISCA All-American in 2011-12.

Mangan swims club for New Trier Swim Club, focusing on the sprint freestyle and backstroke events. He is the No. 46-ranked swimmer in the country and No. 4 in the state of Illinois, according to CollegeSwimming.com. Mangan swam at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials in the 100-meter backstroke and 200-meter backstroke. He is a six-time All-American and a member of the NCSA All-America team. He was a part of the 200-yard medley relay team that set the national 15-18 age group record. Mangan was also a 2011-12 USA Swimming Scholastic All-American.

Stitt competes for Tualatin Hills Swim Club, mainly competing in distance events. He is the No. 76-ranked swimmer in the country and No. 2 in the state of Oregon according to CollegeSwimming.com. Stitt is a two-time Oregon State (OSAA) champion in the 500-yard freestyle and qualified for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials. He was a USA Sectional qualifier in 2011 and was a finalist in the 400-meter freestyle at the 2012 Speedo Junior National Championships.

Tafuto swims for the Hershey Aquatics Club, specializing in the sprint freestyle events. He is the No. 116-ranked swimmer in the country and No. 1 in the state of Pennsylvania by CollegeSwimming.com. Tafuto had the fifth-fastest time in the 50-yard freestyle at the 2012 Pennsylvania state championships.

O'Donnell is the only diver in this year's class, but has extensive national competition experience, competing with Glenbrook Aquatics Diving Club. He finished third on both one-meter and three-meter at the 2011 AAU Diving National Championships, and followed that up with a fourth-place finish on one-meter, eighth-place finish on three-meter and 12th place finish on platform at the same event in 2012. He also won both events at the 2012 Illinois Diving Association Championships, and finished 11th on one-meter at the 2012 IHSA State Championships, though he missed time due to injury. He is a two-time AAU All-American on one-meter and three-meter, and also received All-American honors in synchronized diving and platform diving in 2012.

Michigan graduates seven student-athletes at the end of the year, including Ryan Feeley (Rye, N.Y./Rye), Sean Fletcher (Vienna, Va./James Madison), Roman Willets (Whitehouse, Ohio/St. Francis de Sales), Evan Gregg (Blacksburg, Va./Blacksburg), Connor McCarroll (Portland, Ore./Jesuit), Andrew Novakoff (Lighthouse Point, Fla./Pine Crest) and Miguel Ortiz (Tokyo, Japan/St. Mary's International). The collegiate eligibility for graduate student Zachary Turk (Akron, Ohio/St. Edwards) will also be exhausted.

University of Michigan head swimming coach Mike Bottom and diving coach KZ Li announced on Tuesday (Nov. 27) the signings of four swimmers and two divers to National Letters of Intent for the 2013-14 season. The signees include swimmers Madeline Frost (Saline, Mich./Saline), Elizabeth Harty (Powell, Ohio/Dublin Scioto), Madison Horton (Milton, Ga./Milton) and Julia Salem (S?o Paulo, Brazil/Domus Sapientiae), and divers Keegan McCaffrey (Rochester Hills, Mich./Adams) and Carly Schaefer (Okemos, Mich./Okemos).

“We feel extremely fortunate to bring these six women into our program here at the University of Michigan,” Bottom said. “We started the process late. On the swimming side, to be able to get athletes of that caliber is so incredibly exciting. Each of them competes at a very high level and they all have great work ethics. They will fit in perfectly with the culture we're creating.”

“Both Carly and Keegan are very talented divers, and are among the best in the state of Michigan this year,” Li said. “Their additions will only strengthen our team. They are extremely dedicated individuals that strive to make the team better.”

Frost is a sprint freestyle and backstroke swimmer who trains with Club Wolverine. She is ranked the third-best swimmer in the state of Michigan according to CollegeSwimming.com. Frost won a state title as part of the 400-yard freestyle relay team at the 2012 MHSAA D-I state championships (swimming the anchor leg) and also set two career-best times, finishing second in the 50-yard freestyle, and fourth in the 100-yard backstroke. A team captain, Frost was an all-state selection all four years at nearby Saline High School and is also a 10-time All-American.

Harty swims in multiple events for Westerville Aquatic Club. She finished eighth in the 100-yard butterfly and 16th in the 100-yard freestyle at the 2012 D-I Ohio State High School Swimming and Diving Championships. Additionally, she is a high school All-American as part of the 400-yard freestyle relay, holding the high school record in that race, and on the 200-yard medley relay and in the 100-yard butterfly. She's also a two-time team captain.

Horton focuses primarily on the breaststroke, and swims club for Swim Atlanta. She is ranked No. 116 in the nation and No. 6 in the state of Georgia by CollegeSwimming.com. She scored three top-30 finishes at the 2012 NCSA Junior National Championships, including 13th in both the 100-meter breaststroke and 200-meter breaststroke and 23rd in the 50-meter breaststroke. She also took third place in the 100-yard breaststroke at the 2011 American Short Course Championships.

Salem, a sprint freestyle swimmer, comes from Brazil, where she swam with Pinheiros Sports Club. She is ranked as the 54th-best swimmer in the Class of 2013 by CollegeSwimming.com. In October, Salem won gold medals and set meet records in the 50-meter freestyle, 100-meter backstroke and 200-meter backstroke at the S?o Paulo Junior State Championships. She was a Brazilian Olympic Trials semifinalist in the 50-meter backstroke and 100-meter backstroke. In June, Salem won four medals (bronze in 50-meter freestyle, silver in 100-meter backstroke, gold on two relays) at the 2012 Brazilian Junior National Championships.

McCaffrey is one of two divers in this year's recruiting class, competing for Legacy Diving Club. She finished third on the one-meter at the 2012 MHSAA D-II state championships and finished 10th in that event in 2010. McCaffrey has participated at numerous USA Diving Zone and Regional Championship meets, including a ninth-place finish on the one-meter board at the 2012 USA Diving Summer Junior Region 4 Championships.

Like McCaffrey, Schaefer also competes with Legacy Diving Club. She took sixth on one-meter at the 2012 MHSAA D-II state championships. Last year, Schaefer was named the Michigan Diver of the Year by the Lansing State Journal. Earlier this year, she finished 16th on three-meter at the USA Diving Spring Region 4 Championships and also competed at the Summer Junior Region 4 Championships.

Michigan loses 10 student-athletes to graduation at the end of the year.

The above article is a press release submitted to Swimming World Magazine. It has been posted in its entirety without editing. Swimming World offers all outlets the chance to reach our audience by contacting us at Newsmaster@swimmingworldmagazine.com. However, Swimming World reserves the right to choose what material is posted.

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