Swimming & Diving Inks Eight In Early Signing Period, Including Five Women Signees

ATLANTA — The Georgia Tech swimming and diving team signed eight swimmers to national letters of intent during the November signing period, including the first class of swimmers to the women’s program which will begin competition in the fall of 2001.

Included in the group of signees are three High School All-Americans and three top-10 finishers from this past summer’s Junior Nationals.

“We are very pleased with the early signing period for both the men’s and women’s swimming teams,” said Georgia Tech head coach Seth Baron. “This is the best early signing period that we have ever had for the men’s team and a great step forward for the inaugural season for the women’s team.”

Heading up the men’s class of 2005 is Matthew Figh of Montgomery, Ala. Figh competed in the YMCA Nationals in the Spring of 2000, finishing second in the 500 freestyle (4:32.03), third in the 200 backstroke (1:50.70) and fourth in the 400 individual medley (3:58.88). He also was fourth in the 200 back at the Junior Nationals this past summer. Joining Figh will be Katy, Texas, product Remko Hinloopen, who was a NISCA High School Honorable Mention All-American a year ago. Hinloopen has competed in both the 200 (1:54.83) and 400 IM (4:02.15) events, along with the 500 free (4:37.69) and 200 breaststroke (2:07.38) during his prep career.

The final member of the early men’s class is David Spires of Overland Park, Kan., and the Kansas City Blazers club program. Spires earned USA Swimming Academic All-America honors during his high school career and is a freestyle specialist competing primarily in the distance events, including the 200 (1:42.63), 500 (4:37.94), 1,000 (9:24.46) and 1,650 (15:53.04) freestyle.

The women’s class is the first for the Yellow Jackets’ new women’s swimming and diving program and is a solid one that includes two All-Americans.

Heading up the class is Anna Saum of Toledo, Ohio. Saum earned NISCA All-America honors in both the 100 butterfly (57.53) and 100 backstroke (58.07), and was a member of the 400 freestyle relay team from the Greater Toledo Aquatic Club that established a new meet record at the Junior Nationals this past summer. She also competed in the 100 freestyle (51.80) during her prep career.

Joining Saum will be Cara DeVinny of Mesa, Ariz., who was a USA Swimming Academic All-American last year and earned NISCA All-America honors in the 200 IM after placing second at the Arizona State Championship meet with a time of 2:05.93. DeVinney placed seventh in the 200 butterfly (2:05.58) at the Junior Nationals this summer in San Antonio, Texas. DeVinny also placed sixth at the Arizona state meet in 100 butterfly with a time of 57.94. The third member of the class is Lisa Hancock of Pendleton, S.C., who was a state finalist for the Wendy’s High School Heisman Trophy and recorded an impressive time of 2:21.25 (LCM) in the 200 butterfly at the Junior Nationals.

The final two members of Tech’s class include Michelle Maguire of Conway, Ark., who competed in 500 (5:09.05) and 1,000 freestyle (10:29.01), 200 (2:10.90) and 400 (4:36.89) individual medley and the 200 backstroke (2:06.94) during her prep career at Conway High School and for the Little Rock Dolphins club team. The final signee is Katie Duffy of Lafayette, La., who competed in the 50 (25.11) and 100 freestyle (53.80) events, 100 butterfly (59.83) and 100 backstroke (59.85) events in her prep career. Duffy’s older brother, Robby, is a junior on the Virginia Tech swim team.

“I have to give a lot of credit to our assistant coaches, Kit Raulerson and Sharon Krueger,” said Baron. “Their efforts made this a very successful early signing period. They did a great job.”