BATON ROUGE, Louisiana, June 24. THE LSU men's swimming recruiting class of 2009 was tabbed 13th in the nation by CollegeSwimming.com Tuesday.
The announcement marks the second time this month the Web site has recognized LSU's recruiting efforts as the Lady Tigers earned the 15th-ranked women's class two weeks ago.
"It's just a great sign of the continuing growth and increased success of our program," head coach Adam Schmitt said, "and it's only going to get better. Both our men's and women's teams earned top-15 classes, and I want to again give a lot of credit to my assistant coaches for all the work they put in to help bring in these talented athletes.
"We still have a lot to do as we strive to be a perennial top-15 team nationally, but this is the first time we've signed a group with this much quality, so that's exciting."
Headlining the Tigers' signing class of nine swimmers are five athletes ranked in the Web site's top 150, including a pair of elite European prospects in the top 50 — Andrei Tuomola of Haarajoki, Finland and Craig Hamilton of Edinburgh, Scotland.
Tuomola, who is ranked No. 24, is one of the top sprint prospects in Europe and is expected to make an immediate impact in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle races and on relays at LSU.
The Finnish product boasts top times of 22.82 seconds and 50.90 in the 50- and 100-meter freestyle races, respectively. He also claims personal bests of 22.10 in the 50scm free and 49.07 in the 100scm free. In comparison to USA Swimming, his long-course mark of 22.82 in the 50m free would have been fast enough to place in the top 25 of that event at last summer's U.S. Olympic Trials.
Hamilton, the first of two Scottish recruits to sign with LSU this past season, is an acclaimed distance freestyle swimmer who should provide major contributions in the 500, 1000 and 1650 freestyle events right away.
A member of the Scottish Senior squad, Hamilton brings in top times of 15:37.07 in the 1500m free and 3:56.51 in the 400m free. Moreover, the Scot was recently named to the prestigious British Gas Open Water team after earning an impressive fifth-place finish in his open water debut and will compete for that squad at next month's FINA World Championships in Rome.
Maryland signees Sean Roddy and Zack Wepasnick and Reijo Hyvenen of Vantan, Finland, round out the top 150 for LSU.
Roddy is a superb breaststroker who holds the sixth-fastest 100-breast time for his age in the country at 55.22, while Wepasnick has one of the fastest 200-breast marks (2:03.11) at the high school level. In addition, both possess the talent to be outstanding performers in the individual medley events.
Hyvenen, another gifted sprinter from Finland, will give the Tigers more options in the 50 and 100 free as well as on relays.
The Tigers also signed three backstrokers who have the chance to develop into solid options in those races. Timothy Dasinger of Madison, Miss., and Lee Duggins of Prospect, Ky., will instantly help out in an area of need, the 200 backstroke, while local product Brock Davis figures to lend depth in both back events and the 200 free.
Furthermore, Kevin Mihic, a quality freestyler from Lombard, Ill., shows promise and will look to contribute in the middle-distance free races.
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