ATHENS, OH, December 21. OHIO Swimming & Diving Head Coach Greg Werner has recently announced the signing of four high school standouts to National Letters of Intent.
Courtney Gallo, Sarah Vaughn, Charlie Sparks and Tom Ferrigno accepted scholarship offers from the Bobcats during the early signing period.
Choosing to join the tradition laden women's team are Courtney Gallo of Lake Worth, Fla., and Sarah Vaughn of Athens, Ohio. Gallo is a distance freestyle specialist who also excels in the butterfly events. Gallo has lifetime bests of 1:55.88, 5:02.81, 10:07.55, 17:12.39 for the freestyle races and 58.79 in the 100 fly.
"Courtney is a tremendously talented young lady who has excelled in the classroom and pool," said Werner. "Her GPA and success in distance events indicates a daily commitment and focus that we expect here at Ohio."
Vaughn decided to stay close to home when picking Ohio. The Athens native is the Ohio State High School record holder in the 100 breaststroke (1:04.47), runner-up in the 100 fly (57.84), and has logged a 2:26.21 200 breaststroke time.
"Sarah has matured and improved immensely over the past two years," said Werner. "Her competitive drive and focus have resulted in many great accolades to date, but ensure even greater achievements in the future."
As with Gallo, Vaughn is an exceptional student as a member of the National Honor Society and Summa Cum Laude Honor Roll.
"Sarah is exactly the type of young lady we want in our program as she exemplifies total commitment academically, athletically and socially," said Werner.
Charlie Sparks of Cincinnati, Ohio and the national powerhouse Anderson Barracuda / Lyon's YMCA swim clubs, will turn many a lap for the Bobcats in the middle distance and distance lanes. Sparks has recorded times of 1:44, 4:42, 16:51 (lcm) in the freestyle events.
"Charlie is a hard working, popular young man who will improve tremendously in our program," said Werner. "When recruiting, we target hard working individuals who want to get better at whatever cost. Charlie comes from a program that embodies the same ideals as Ohio University and should have a very easy transition."
Tom Ferrigno comes to Ohio from Malvern Preparatory School in Malvern, PA. Ferrigno is a versatile swimmer who excels in the freestyle (22.0, 47.8, 1:44.5, 4:43.0), backstroke (54, 1:56), butterfly (54, 1:56) and individual medley events. With best times of 1:55.36 and 4:08.46 in the I.M.'s, Tom will make an immediate impact for the Bobcats.
"Anytime a swimmer excels in as many events as Tom does, it is an indication that he trains consistently and aggressively on a daily basis. Consistency is one of the keys to the success and large time drops we have become accustomed to here at Ohio," said Werner. "It became quite evident during Tom's recruitment that he is an outstanding citizen as well as an exceptional student-athlete. His core beliefs and unwavering character will be the backbone to his experience here in Athens."
"We are very excited with all of the early signees," said Werner. "These four separated themselves as quality individuals who will excel in the classroom and pool."
With an average S.A.T. score of over 1250, and high levels of athletic achievement to date, the early signing class ensures a solid foundation for the class of 2009.
"I can not emphasize enough how impressed we were with these four individuals and how happy we are they will be wearing green and white next year," said Werner.