Virginia Announces 13 Early Signees

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Virginia, December 9. VIRGINIA head swimming and diving coach Augie Busch announced Monday (Dec. 9) that 13 student-athletes have signed national letters of intent to join the Cavalier program in the fall of 2014.

The women’s group includes Caitlin Cooper, Jessica Gvozdas, Jennifer Marrkand, Emily Langworthy, Salem Peacock, Laine Reed, Dina Rommel and Cece Williams, while Jake Bowtell, Luke Georgiadis, Nicholas Magana, Anthony Marcantonio and Henrik Pohlmann will be joining the men’s program.

“I’m very excited about the future of our program with this signing class,” Busch said. “Obviously, with our coaching staff not being in place until August, we were a little late in initiating contact and conversation with prospects. In light of that, I think we did a great job making up for lost ground and I have to give credit to (assistant coach) Sam (Busch) for his efforts to ensure the recruiting transition was as seamless as possible.

“Most importantly, each of the signees are great students and possess team-first attitudes. I cannot wait to bring them to Grounds and begin working with them.”
Women

“Our women’s signing class, I feel, is big and high in quality,” Busch said. “Collectively, they fill a lot of important holes on our team. We will get a tremendous boost in all freestyle distances and our relays should get significantly better as well.”

Caitlin Cooper
Sprint Free/Back/Fly
Atlanta, Ga. — Woodward Academy
Dynamo Swim Club
Short-course Yards — Best Times
50 Free: 23.00
100 Free: 50.15
100 Back: 56.19
100 Fly: 56.12
Long-course Meters — Best Times
50 Free: 25.98
100 Free: 57.08
* Three-time Georgia state champion (2x 50 free, 1x 100 free)
* USA Swimming Scholastic All-American
* NISCA/Speedo High School All-American
* A-Finalist in 50m free at 2013 Speedo Junior National Championships
Busch on Cooper: “Caitlin has the chance to do special things at the next level. She has a skill set that will make her a formidable competitor in the sprint freestyle events. I look to her to make an immediate impact on a number of relays. Her and her family’s excitement for the school and our coaching staff has made recruiting her a very enjoyable experience. I know this will be a great fit for Caitlin.”

Jessie Gvozdas
Free
Henrico, Va. — Mills Godwin High School
NOVA of Virginia Aquatics
SCY
200 Free: 1:49.98
500 Free: 4:49.83
400 IM: 4:25.91
LCM
200 Free: 2:03.80
400 Free: 4:15.42
800 Free: 8:49.57
400 IM: 4:59.03
* A Finalist in the 400m free at 2013 Speedo Junior National Championships
* Combined Women’s and Men’s High Point Award winner at 2013 Virginia Senior Long Course Championships
Busch on Gvozdas: “We are extremely excited to have Jessie join our team. She has a big future in middle/distance freestyle at the next level. She is from nearby NOVA of Virginia, and it’s critical we keep the top talent in-state. I have a lot of respect for her coaches, who all say only the best things about her character, attitude and work ethic. I have no doubt she’ll bring an infectiously-positive energy and effort to practice every single day. I cannot wait to work with Jessie.”

Emily Langworthy
Diving
Gaithersburg, Md. — Our Lady of Good Counsel
Dominion Dive Club
* Qualified for the 2011 and 2012 Junior National Diving Championships
* Placed third at the USA Diving Junior Region 2 Champs
Head Diving Coach Jason Glorius on Langworthy: “Emily is an excellent student and very accomplished diver. She will be a great addition to our team and has all of the elements necessary to make some noise at the national level. She loves training hard and excelling in the classroom.”

Jennifer Marrkand
Fly/Back
Westford, Mass. — Westford Academy
Patriots Swim Club
SCY
100 Back: 55.20
200 Back: 1:59.08
100 Fly: 54.61
200 Fly: 1:59.61
LCM
100 Back: 1:03.58
200 Back: 2:16.07
100 Fly: 1:01.85
200 Fly: 2:15.43
* Massachusetts state champion in 100 free, 100 back and 200 IM
* NISCA/Speedo High School All-American
* Two-time Boston Globe and Boston Herald Swimmer of the Year
* Three-time Lowell Sun Swimmer of the Year
* USA Swimming Scholastic All-American
Busch on Marrkand: “While it’s fair to say Jen isn’t quite as accomplished as some of the other signees, her potential is second to none. This summer, she absolutely stood out to me as someone who will explode in college. I have been fortunate to work with many All-American butterfliers and backstrokers and I see in Jen a skill set that rivals some of the best I’ve coached. Equally important, she has a nature that is positive and unselfish, which will be contagious on our pool deck everyday.”

Salem Peacock
Free/Back/Fly
Jacksonville, Fla. — The Bolles School
Bolles School Sharks
SCY
100 Free: 52.43
200 Free: 1:52.44
100 Back: 57.66
200 Back: 2:02.74
100 Fly: 57.87
* USA Swimming Scholastic All-American
* Member of Bolles’ state championship teams from 2009-13
* Team captain of Bolles for 2013-14
Busch on Peacock: “I coached Salem’s older sister while at Arizona and, in the process, got to know the entire Peacock family. They are top-notch in every way. I know Salem will bring a love for the sport and a desire to maximize her potential. She is very dedicated academically and her passion in life is to become a doctor. I look forward to doing anything I can to help her pursue her goals in the pool and beyond.”

Laine Reed
Free/Back
Austin, Texas — Austin High School
Longhorn Aquatics
SCY
100 Free: 51.40
200 Free: 1:49.03
500 Free: 4:51.20
100 Back: 57.60
200 Back: 2:00.32
LCM
100 Free: 56.76
200 Free: 2:03.20
400 Free: 4:51.20
800 Free: 9:04
100 Back: 1:06.18
200 Back: 2:18.50
* B Finalist in both 100 and 200 free at the 2013 Speedo Junior National Championships
* USA Swimming Scholastic All-American
* NISCA/Speedo High School All-American
Busch on Reed: “In my two years at Houston, I got a good feel for the up and coming talent in the state of Texas. Laine is someone I’ve had my eye on for a while. She swims with incredible ease, has great rhythm and is physically gifted. She has great range, so I look for her to impact a lot of different freestyle distances and perhaps every relay. She will bring a positive nature and strong work ethic to the table, which will only enhance our team culture.”

Dina Rommel
Sprint Free/Fly
East Amherst, N.Y. — Clarence High School
Tonawanda Titans Swim Club
SCY
50 Free: 23.13
100 Free: 51.19
100 Fly: 55.46
LCM
50 Free: 26.15
100 Free: 58.01
100 Fly: 1:03.35
* NISCA/Speedo High School All-American
* Four-time New York state champion (3x 50 free, 1x 100 fly)
* Member of Clarence’s state championship teams from 2009-13
* Two-time C-Finalist in 50 free at Speedo Junior National Championships
* Brother, Charlie, is a junior on the UVa men’s team
Busch on Rommel: “Being the sister of current men’s team member Charlie Rommel, we were fortunate to have an instant connection with Dina. The first time I ever saw her swim was at Juniors over the summer, and her raw speed and power jumped out at me. She has big-time potential in sprint freestyle and she’s sure to be a huge contributor on relays. I look forward to coaching her and watching her to develop into an awesome college swimmer.”

Cece Williams
Free
Tallahassee, Fla. — Chiles High School
Area Tallahassee Aquatic Club
SCY
100 Free: 50.67
200 Free: 1:47.31
500 Free: 4:43.14
1,000 Free: 9:44.81
LCM
200 Free: 2:02.51
400 Free: 4:15.78
800 Free: 8:53.90
* Multiple-time finalist at Speedo Junior National Championships
* NISCA/Speedo High School All-American
* USA Swimming Scholastic All-American
* Three-time individual and five-time relay Florida state champion (2x 200 free, 1x 500 free, 4x 400 free relay, 1x 200 free relay)
Busch on Williams: “Cece was our first commit and we were ecstatic to receive it. With Cece, you have an extremely talented and passionate athlete, someone who can’t wait to test her skills against the top collegiate swimmers. She also has an awesome attitude and personality, which I know will quickly become contagious within our women’s team. She will add so much value in so many ways to our program.”
Men
“While not quite as large, I feel our men’s class has some athletes that are really going to blossom at the collegiate level,” Busch said. “Watching them swim over the summer, there is no doubt they’ll make huge impacts on our team in the very near future.”

Jake Bowtell
Diving
Darien, Conn. — Fairfield College Prepatory School
Whirlwind Diving
* Qualified for the 2013 Junior National Diving Championships
* Claimed first on both 1m and 3m boards at 2013 Junior Region 1 Championships
* Earned silver on 1m and bronze on 3m at 2013 YMCA National Championships
* 2013 Connecticut Diver of the Year
* Connecticut state champion
* High school All-American
Head Diving Coach Jason Glorius on Bowtell: “Jake is an outstanding diver who comes from a well-established club program. He is a powerful diver who should make an immediate impact for us. Jake is passionate about success in the classroom and team success in the pool.”

Luke Georgiadis
Free
Jacksonville, Fla. — The Bolles School
Bolles School Sharks
SCY
50 Free: 21.11
100 Free: 45.27
200 Free: 1:40.35
LCM
50 Free: 24.33
100 Free: 53.14
* Earned automatic All-America status in 100 free senior year after earning All-America consideration junior year
* Member of Bolles School’s 2011 and 2012 Swimming World High School National Championship team
* Member of Bolles’ 2012 Speedo Short Course Junior National Championship squad
Busch on Georgiadis: “Luke is going to have a great college career. He’s improved a lot over the past year and a half since making the move to Bolles in Florida. I have strong ties to his high school program, and his coach says great things about his upside and personality. He brings a confident yet humble attitude to the table, which will contribute to a great training environment. I’m really looking forward to seeing what we can do with Luke in his time here at UVa.”

Nicholas Magana
Free
Scottsdale, Ariz. — Desert Mountain High School
Scottsdale Aquatic Club
SCY
50 Free: 20.5
100 Free: 44.2
200 Free: 1:38
LCM
50 Free: 23.68
100 Free: 51.1
* Two-time Arizona state champion in 100 and 200 free
* Peruvian national champion
* NISCA/Speedo High School All-American
* Junior World Championship and Youth Olympic qualifier
Busch on Magana: “We are very excited to have Nick join our team. In my opinion, he will shine at the next level. His improvement over a very short period of time has been remarkable. He helps us where we probably need it the most, in our sprint freestyle group. He’ll make a major impact on several, if not all, relays. Above all, he is a great guy who gets what a good team culture is all about. I cannot wait for the chance to work closely with him over the next four years.”

Anthony Marcantonio
Free/Breast/Fly/IM
Centerville, Mass. — Boston College High School
Bluefish Swim Club
SCY
200 Free: 1:40.90
100 Breast: 55.56
200 Breast: 2:02.44
100 Fly: 51.94
200 IM: 1:52.14
400 IM: 3:57.07
LCM
200 Free: 1:55.10
100 Breast: 1:04.30
200 Breast: 2:19.90
100 Fly: 56.75
200 IM: 2:06.24
400 IM: 4:34.51
* B-Finalist in 200m IM and C Finalist in 200m breast at 2013 Speedo Junior National Championships
* C-Finalist in 200m IM at 2012 Speedo Junior Nationals
* USA Swimming Scholastic All-American
* Part of New England-record 200 free relay
Busch on Marcantonio: “Anthony has a love for swimming that comes through very quickly. It fuels his passion for improvement. He relishes being a student of the sport and constantly is finding areas where he can improve. He has four solid strokes so his potential in IM is through the roof. His desire to be great combined with a tremendous work ethic will be great assets for not only his individual career but also for our team atmosphere. He will bring a lot of great things to our team and we are lucky to have him.”

Henrik Pohlmann
Back/Fly/IM
Beavercreek, Ohio — Beavercreek High School
Dayton Raiders
SCY
100 Back: 49.69
200 Back: 1:46.98
200 IM: 1:53.38
LCM
100 Back: 56.45
200 Back: 2:02.65
200 Fly: 2:04.45
* USA Swimming Scholastic All-American
* Ohio state champion in 200 medley relay
* Two-time state runner-up in 100 back
* Earned three bronze medals at 2013 Speedo Junior National Championships (100m back, 400m medley relay, 800m free relay)
Busch on Pohlmann: “I believe Henrik can be one of the top college backstrokers. He had a breakout summer where he finished 3rd at Juniors (in the 100m back), and we believe that’s just scratching the surface. He has tools that could lead to greatness in the water. All signs point to his attitude being one that will greatly enhance our team chemistry. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for him. I know it will be a very enjoyable experience working with him on a daily basis.”

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