June 3, 2004
ATLANTA – The Georgia Tech swimming and diving program signed 10 recruits in the spring signing period, announced head coach Seth Baron on Thursday morning. The class includes three local standouts, along with student-athletes from seven different states. Tech is entering its fourth season with a combined program and just its second season of competition in the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center.
“We are very pleased with the talent and depth that this overall recruiting class will bring to Georgia Tech,” said Baron. “The Coaching Staff and team did a great job of recruiting and we are proud of the work that everyone accomplished to make this a successful recruiting class.”
New additions for the men’s team will be Michael Bennett (Lilburn), Jason Bourgeois (River Ridge, La.), Jeff Burton (Federal Way, Wash.), Drew Cranford (Matthews, N.C.), Peter Doblar (Woodinville, Wash.) and Jacob Kwasnik (Lake Bluff, Ill.).
Joining the women’s team will be Sara Ballard (Norcross), Stephanie England (Titusville, Fla.), Ally Childress (Matthews, N.C.), Katie McGraw (Keswick, Va.) and Katie Wright (Macon).
Michael Bennett, Parkview High School, Atlanta Swimming Association
A graduate of Parkview High School, Bennett will be one of two divers to join the Tech squad in this recruiting class. The two freshmen will try and fill the void left by All-Atlantic Coast Conference diver Paul McCarty.
Jason Bourgeois, Jesuit High School, Elmwood Sharks
A Louisiana state champion in the 100-yard butterfly and 200 freestyle events, Bourgeois will add strength to the sprint freestyle and butterfly events. The Jesuit High School graduate was named New Orleans Metro Swimmer of the Year this past season and has lifetime-best times of 50.68 (100 fly), 1:52.37 (200 fly), 47.35 (100 free) and 1:43.03 (200 free). His butterfly times would place him in the all-time top-10 at Tech.
Jeff Burton, John F. Kennedy High School
Part of the school record 200 medley relay team in senior season, Jeff Burton will swim the distance freestyle events for the Yellow Jackets. Burton, a recent graduate of John F. Kennedy High School, has personal-best times of 9:44.00 and 16:05.00 in the 1000 and 1650 free events, respectively. Burton also holds a top time of 4:04.00 in the individual medley. His distance times would place him in the top-five at Tech.
Drew Cranford, Myers Park High School, Mecklenburg Aquatic Club
A graduate of Myers Park High School, Drew Cranford will compete in the sprint freestyle events for the Yellow Jackets. Cranford comes to Tech with lifetime-best times of 21.74, 47.22 and 1:44.24 in the 50, 100 and 200 freestyle events. The Matthews, N.C., native is a 2004 North Carolina Scholar and a ’04 Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools Scholar (tallying a G.P.A equal to or greater than a 4.0 in all four years).
Peter Doblar, Woodinville High School
The second of two divers in this freshman class, Peter Doblar adds stability to the diving core of the Rambling Wreck. Doblar graduated from Woodinville High School this past spring.
Jacob Kwasnik, Lake Forest High School, Scout Aquatics
A sprint freestyler, Jacob Kwasnik holds top times of 22.18 and 48.78 in the 50 and 100 freestyle events. Kwasnik graduated this spring from Lake Forest High School.
Sara Ballard, Wesleyan School, Atlanta Diving Association
A 2004 Region 8AA champion on the springboard, Sara Ballard will be one of two divers to join the Jackets next fall. Ballard earned eight varsity letters while attending Wesleyan School and captained the swim team in all four seasons. The Norcross, Ga., native was a state finalist in diving in four straight seasons.
Stephanie England, Astronaut High School, Team Orlando Diving
A recent graduate of Astronaut High School, Stephanie England will be the only Florida native on the Tech squad. England will add strength and depth to the diving core for the Yellow Jacket squad.
Ally Childress, Providence Senior High School, Mecklenburg Aquatic Club
Ally Childress adds much needed strength to the Tech individual medley events. Childress’ top times of 2:07.44 and 4:29.63 in the 200 and 400 IM would rank her in the top-five on Tech’s all-time list. The Matthews, N.C., native will be the second North Carolina recruit in the 2004-05 class.
Katie McGraw, The Bolles School, Bolles School Sharks
One of the more versatile swimmers of this class, McGraw will compete in the breaststroke and freestyle events for the Jackets. McGraw graduated from the Bolles School in Jacksonville, Fla., and has personal-best times of 1:04.20 and 2:18.80 in the 100 and 200 breast events. The Keswick, Va., native holds lifetime-best times of 24.50 in the 50 free and 53.90 in the 100 free.
Katie Wright, Mount de Sales Academy, Swim Macon
A local standout in the mid-to-long distance freestyle events, Katie Wright will be one of the top competitors for the Yellow Jackets next fall. Wright holds top times of 5:10.70 (500 free), 10:32.95 (1000 free) and 17:41.76 (1650 free).
Joining these 10 incoming freshmen will be early signing period recruits Chris Ewald (Alpharetta, Ga.), Rob Miller (Alpharetta, Ga.), Evan Stowers (Independence, Ky.) and Onur Uras (Istanbul, Turkey). The women’s swimming and diving team will add Megan Campbell (Lawrenceville, Ga.), Amanda Gannon (Evans City, Pa.) and Elizabeth Stowe (Lawrenceville, Ga.) to its roster next season.
The Rambling Wreck will open up its second year of competition in the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center. The Yellow Jackets will host both the men’s and women’s Atlantic Coast Conference Championships, along with the NCAA Zone B Diving Championships in 2005.