@GTSwim Announces 2015 Incoming Class

Dec. 3, 2014

THE FLATS – Georgia Tech head swimming & diving coach Courtney Shealy Hart has announced that nine student-athletes have signed their National Letters of Intent to attend the Institute and compete for the Yellow Jackets next season.

The class features five swimmers and a pair of divers, including a pair of student-athletes from the state of Georgia. The swimmers are Laura Branton (Oakton, Va./Oakton), Joseph Portillo (Duluth, Ga./Duluth), Edwin Zhao (Surrey, BC/ Semiahmoo Secondary), Jared Williams (New Orleans, La./Isidore Newman), Colt Williamson (Johns Creek, Ga./Johns Creek). The divers are Matt Casillas (Orange, Calif./Ed Modena) and Nolan Mallet (Jupiter, Fla./Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts).

“This class is at the same time very talented and has a ton of potential,” said Hart. “We are excited to have these swimmers and divers join the team and see them grow as we continue to grow as a team.”

“The addition of Matt and Nolan to the diving team will give us one of the strongest diving programs that Tech has ever seen,” said head diving coach John Ames. “I am extremely excited about the next couple of years.”

Sketches on each swimming signee:

Laura Branton – 5-7, Oakton, Va./Oakton/Nation’s Capital Aquatics – Fly, Free
Notes: Fifth-ranked recruit in the state of Virginia and 131st-ranked recruit nationally in the class of 2015
Quote from Hart: “Laura is a very talented swimmer from one of the top clubs in the country, Nation’s Capital. She will be able to help us in both freestyle and butterfly, and is already coming in with a time faster than our school record in the 200 fly. She has a great attitude and will make a positive impact on the team.”

Joseph Portillo – 5-7, Duluth, Ga./Duluth/Swim Atlanta – Breast, IM
Notes: Ninth-ranked recruit in the state of Georgia and the 194th-ranked recruit nationally in the class of 2015
Quote from Hart: “Joseph is a local swimmer from Swim Atlanta who we’ve enjoyed getting to know and is a perfect fit as a Georgia Tech student-athlete. He has continued to improve each year and this past summer he got his 2016 Olympic Trials cut in the 200 breast on the way to being a Junior National Finalist.”

Edwin Zhao – 6-1, Surrey, B.C./Semiahmoo Secondary/Pacific Sea Wolves – Free, IM
Notes: Is the 158th-ranked recruit nationally in the class of 2015
Quote from Hart: “With Edwin, we believe that we have some great untapped potential in a swimmer that can help us in any freestyle or IM event. Edwin fell in love with the team, academics, and campus, and we are excited to have him join our team.”

Jared Williams – 6-2, New Orleans, La./Isidore Newman School/Nu Wave Swim Club – Fly, Free
Notes: Is the third-ranked recruit in the state of Louisiana
Quote from Hart: “Jared is a true athlete that has his best swimming in front of him. He continues to improve by leaps and bounds every year. He is a leader and a motivator that will help push everyone else around him.”

Colt Williamson – 6-2, Johns Creek, Ga./Johns Creek/Dynamo Swim Club – Back, Free, IM
Notes: Is the 18th-ranked recruit in the state of Georgia
Quotes from Hart: “Colt is a local swimmer from the Dynamo Swim Club that will help us in backstroke and freestyle. He has had some big improvements and we believe he is a great fit with our team.”

Sketches on each diving signee:

Matt Casillas – 5-9, Orange, Calif./El Modena/Mission Viejo Nadadores
Quote from Ames: “Matt is an extremely talented athlete all around. He has already proven himself at the National level on the 1-meter, 3-meter and Platform. Last summer he advanced to the semifinal round of the Platform event at Senior Nationals, and he was a finalist in all three events at the Junior National Championships. He has a strong gymnastic background and is fairly new to the sport of diving, so I expect great things from him.”

Nolan Mallet – 5-7, Jupiter, Fla./Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts/Boca Dive Team
Quote from Ames: “Nolan is also proficient in all three diving events, having competed in all three events at the AAU diving Nationals held at the Georgia Tech Aquatic center last summer. I believe Nolan will prove to be a great asset to the team not only in the dual meets, but also the championship season.”

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