Nov. 29, 2006
ATLANTA – The Georgia Tech men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams signed eight recruits to National Letters of Intent during the early signing period, announced by head coach Stuart Wilson on Wednesday. Sam Bendziewicz, Michele Bertolino, Katharine Bond, Christine Chuang, Thea Kromer, Ralph Long, Garrett Robberson and Matt Tang will join the Tech squad in 2007.
“We’re very excited about the class coming in next year,” said Wilson. “They are a talented group and they will be a factor in making this program stronger. They are all great individuals who will represent Georgia Tech well in the coming years.”
Bendziewicz, a native of Chapin, S.C., was named South Carolina Swimmer of the Year in 2004 and ’05. He is a state champion in the 200-yard individual medley and finished runner-up in the 200 breaststroke and attends Chapin High School.
“He has great stroke technique and will get faster,” said Wilson. “His club coach, Heath Edwards, has done a fantastic job in brining him up. Coach Edwards thinks very highly of him and I feel the same way. He will have an immediate impact on the program.”
Bertolino, a native of Boca Raton, Fla., will join the diving squad for the women next season. She is a senior at Saint Andrew’s High School.
“Michele is considered to be one of the best female divers graduating next spring,” said Tech diving coach John Ames. “She has a strong gymnastics background and although she has only been diving a few years, she has made incredible strides, having competed in the U.S. Open last spring. She will fit in perfectly with the self motivated and hardworking divers currently on the team.”
Bond, a local product out of Alpharetta, Ga., will compete in the distance freestyle and backstroke events for the Yellow Jackets. She currently is a senior at Chattahoochee High School.
“It’s always great to be able to keep a local in two, especially one with Katie’s talent,” said Wilson. “She will help us in the backstroke and the distance. Her backstroke is very good, technique wise and she will get better.”
Chuang, a native of Clarksburg, Md., attends Pooleville High School where she was named team’s Most Valuable Swimmer during her sophomore and junior seasons. She was named USA Swimming Scholastic All-America in 2005 and ’06, and will compete in the sprint freestyle and butterfly events for the Jackets.
“Christine will bring a lot to the team next year,” said Wilson. “She is a fine young woman who has made a very good impression on the coaching staff. She will help a lot in the fly and sprint events. Her club coach, Jim Williams, has a lot of confidence in her and I know that she will contribute a lot to the program.”
Kromer, a senior at Yorktown High School in Arlington, Va., will compete in the sprint free, fly and IM events for Tech. She won a pair of state titles last year as part of the 200 free relay (state record-1:36.59) and 200 medley relay and finished sixth in the 100 fly.
“Thea is very talented and just started dry land (training) this year,” said Wilson. “Her strokes and starts are very good. Coach Christian Doud has done a great job in coaching Thea and he thinks very highly of her. She will make a huge impact on the program – in the pool and out of it.”
Long, a native of Hillsboro, Tenn., will compete in the free, IM and fly events for the Yellow Jackets and is a senior at Saint Andrew’s Sewanne School.
“He is very versatile swimmer who can swim different events,” said Wilson. “He has a great work ethic and is very disciplined. I’m looking forward to bringing him into a team environment which I’m sure he will positively feed on.”
Robberson, a native of Edmond, Okla., is a state champion in the 500 free, 100 back and 400 medley relay. A senior at Edmond High School, Roberson is a two-time High School All-American and helped lead his team to consecutive state titles (2005-06).
“Garrett has a lot of potential and will get stronger once he steps on campus next year,” said Wilson. “He will be a great asset to the team because of his attitude and personality and is a great fit for the team.”
Tang, a senior at Jordan High School in Durham, N.C., will swim the sprint free and fly events for Tech next fall.
“Matt is very strong off the walls which will definitely help him to compete against the best in the conference,” said Wilson. “His club coach, Eric Stedinger, has done a great job in training him as he will help us a lot in the sprints.”