Sept. 5, 2017
THE FLATS – For the first time as a team, Georgia Tech swimming & diving hit the water on Tuesday morning in the team’s first official practice of 2017-18.
“We are looking forward to continuing to build on our improvement from last year,” stated head coach Courtney Shealy Hart. “Throughout the championship season last year we continued to get faster in the water and improved across the board on both the men’s and women’s teams. We are excited to get back into the water and get to work with our returners and our big freshmen class.”
In her ninth season as the head coach of the Tech swimming & diving program, Coach Hart has her biggest freshmen class to date with a total of 22 freshmen in 2017-18.
In fact, the Yellow Jackets are extremely young, as the roster consists of a total of 41 underclassmen – 19 sophomores and 22 freshmen – out of 63 student-athletes.
“We are young this season,” Hart said. “But we have good leadership with our captains and leadership council and look forward to seeing the progress that our younger swimmers and divers can make throughout the season. We expect them to make an impact and help us immediately.”
The men’s team posted nine new school records and a total of 46 NCAA `B’ qualifying times at the 2017 ACC Swimming & Diving Championships last spring. Senior Moises Loschi, who earned all-ACC honors in the 200 breast in 2016-17, returns this season, as does fellow NCAA qualifier and participant Rodrigo Correia.
Key returners Brad Oberg, Noah Harasz,Alex Kimpel, Mark Keaveney, Colt Williamson and Joseph Portillo all made an impact last season and will look to do the same this year, while a handful of sophomores in Clay Hering,Quentin Talley, Aidan Pastel,Brennan Day, Austin Whalen, Joonas Koski and Tim Slanschek will be asked to contribute more in their second year on The Flats.
On the women’s side, Tech set 17 new school records and scored a new program high 356 team points at the ACC Championships a year ago and got lots of contributions from a number of underclassmen who return this year with more experience and understanding of competing in the ACC.
Seniors Kira de Bruyn, Kaitlin Kitchens,Alex Rieger, Morgan Lyons and Megan Young, as well as juniors Iris Wang , Laura Branton, Lila Best,Megan Hansen, Florina Ilie and Sara Gilbert will all be tasked with continuing to make strides in the process of taking the program to the next level while also taking on more of a leadership role in 2017-18.
Sophomores Emily Ilgenfritz,Kristen Hepler, Chloe Miller,Tamir Gonen, Sara al Khatib,Caroline Lee, Maddie Oliver, Lindsay Wallace and Emily Dykstra, who all contributed throughout the season for the Yellow Jackets as freshmen a year ago, will look to build on their experience heading into year two on The Flats this season.
On the boards, junior Kayla Williams will look to return from an injury that sideline her all of last season and lead a very young unit that is comprised up of three sophomores in Carly Doi , Jordyn Sak and Abbey Yates, as well as two newcomers that came to Tech all the way from California.
The Yellow Jackets will hold a White vs. Gold intrasquad meet on Friday & Saturday, Sept. 29-30, before diving into the 2017-18 season with a home opener versus ACC foe Pittsburgh on Friday, Oct. 6, at 3 p.m. ET at the McAuley Aquatic Center.
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