RICHMOND, Virginia, November 25. NOVA of Virginia Aquatics (NOVA) announced today that eleven of the team’s 2014 graduating seniors have made college selections. All will continue their swimming careers.
GJ Apostle is a senior at The Steward School and has signed a National Letter of Intent to swim for Loyola University Maryland. He is a captain for his Steward School team. Apostle was 7 th in the 1500 meter Freestyle event and a consolation finalist in the 400m Individual Medley (IM) at the 2013 Virginia Senior State Long-Course Championships. He was also a qualifier for the National Club Swimming Association (NCSA) short-course and long-course championship meets, as well as the Virginia Senior State Championship meets.
Brett Barden is a 2013 Scholastic All-American and a senior at Mills E. Godwin High School. Barden is the #12 male recruit in Virginia this year, as ranked by collegeswimming.com, and was named part of the 2013 All-Metro Team in both the 200 and 400 Individual Medley events. Barden was a qualifier in multiple events for the 2013 Virginia Senior State Championships, placing 2 nd in the 200m IM and 8 th in the 100m Breaststroke. He was also a multiple event qualifier for the NCSA Junior National meets. He will swim for the College of William and Mary.
Andy Branin, a senior at James River High School, has signed a National Letter of Intent with Virginia Tech, currently ranked #21 among NCAA Division I men’s swimming/diving teams. Branin is the number six male recruit in Virginia and a 2013 Scholastic All-American. He is the Virginia Senior State Champion in the 50 yard Freestyle. He qualified for multiple events at the Virginia Senior State Championship meets as well as NCSA Junior Nationals, where he was a consolation finalist in the 50 yd Breaststroke, 50m Breaststroke and 50m Freestyle. He was named to the 2013 All-Metro first team in the 50 Freestyle and the 100 Breaststroke.
Zachary Browne is a senior at Deep Run and has committed to Dartmouth University. Browne is the #11 male recruit in the state and is a two-time Scholastic All-American. He was named to the 2013 All-Metro Team in the 200 Butterfly (1 st team) and the 400 IM (2 nd team). At the 2013 NCSA long-course Junior Nationals meet, Browne placed 5 th in the 200m Butterfly and 8 th in the 400m IM. At the Virginia Senior State Championships, he earned a 3 rd in the 400m IM and a 6 th place in the 200m Breaststroke. He was also a consolation finalist in multiple events at the NCSA meets.
Justin Edwards has signed a National Letter of Intent with Virginia Tech, ranked #21 among Division I teams. Edwards is the number ten male recruit in the state, a senior at Goochland High School, and a 2013 Scholastic All-American. A Breaststroke/IM specialist, Edwards qualified in multiple events for both NCSA Junior National meets, as well as the Virginia Senior State Championships. At the 2013 long-course NCSA meet, he placed 3 rd in the 200m Breaststroke and 6 th in the 100m Breaststroke. At the Virginia Senior State Championships, Edwards finished 3 rd in both the 100m and 200m Breaststroke. He earned a World Championship Trials time in the 200m Breaststroke, setting a new NOVA record.
Jessie Gvozdas is a senior attending Mills E. Godwin High School. She has signed a National Letter of Intent with the University of Virginia, currently ranked #11 among NCAA Division I teams. Gvozdas is the number five female recruit in the state and a two-time Scholastic All-American. A Freestyle specialist, Gvozdas dominated distance events over the last year and was named to the 2013 All-Metro Team in the 500, 1000 and 1650 Freestyle. She was 2013 Virginia Senior State Champion in six Freestyle events and won the Combined High Points Award at the meet. At the 2013 NCSA Junior Nationals, she won the 400m Freestyle, setting a meet record. She attended the USA Swimming National Select Camp in Colorado Springs, CO in October.
Bailey Hall is a senior at Mills E. Godwin High School and has twice been named a Scholastic All-American. She is the #19 female recruit in Virginia this year, and placed 3 rd in the 800m Freestyle and 6 th in the 1500m Freestyle events at the Virginia Senior State Long-Course Championships. She was a multiple qualifier for both NCSA Junior National meets and was a consolation finalist in the 400m Freestyle. This year, she was second-team All-Metro in the 1650 Freestyle. Hall will attend the College of William and Mary, where she will continue her swimming career.
Ashton Pollard has committed to swim for the University of Pennsylvania. She is a senior at The Collegiate School and a two-time Scholastic All-American. She is a 2013-14 team captain for the Collegiate girls’ swim team. Pollard is the #15 female recruit in Virginia. She qualified in multiple events for the 2013 Virginia Senior State Championships and the NCSA Junior National meets. In 2012, she won the 200 IM and 100 Backstroke at the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association State Championships.
Chandler Shirer is a senior at Prince George High School. She has signed a National Letter of Intent with Old Dominion University and will focus on butterfly and IM events there. An eight-year veteran of the VACS club team, she recently began swimming under the NOVA banner after the formation of an alliance between the clubs. Shirer is part of four VACS record-holding teams in the 200 and 400 Medley and the 400 and 800 Freestyle relays. In addition, she holds two individual VACS records.
Lexie Stavac is a senior at St. Gertrude High School, where she was named Swimmer of the Year last year and is captain of the swim team for 2013-14. Stavac has played four years of varsity lacrosse in addition to swimming. She was an Age-Group State Champion in the 100m and 200m Breaststroke and finished 3 rd in the 100 yd Breaststroke and 6 th in the 200 yd IM at the 2013 National Catholic High School Championships. She swam for Team Chesterfield in the International Children’s Games in Greece and California. She has signed a National Letter of Intent with Radford University.
Rachel Yontz is a homeschooled student who is dual enrolled at John Tyler Community College. Yontz was a 2013 NCSA Junior National qualifier in multiple events for both the short-course and long-course seasons, including the 50m/yd, 100m/yd and 200m Butterfly, the 200m IM, the 100 yd Backstroke and the 100 yd Breaststroke. In addition, she qualified in numerous events for the Virginia Senior State Championships. She has signed a National Letter of Intent and will attend Wheeling Jesuit University in Wheeling, West Virginia.
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