Georgia has added a surprising new name to their roster in New Zealand‘s Gabrielle Fa’amausili. The team announced her commitment to their incoming class with a tweet today, adding a big name to the program. Fa’amausili trains with United Swimming Club in Auckland and attends Avondale College currently.
The 18-year-old won the 50 backstroke World Jr title in 2015, breaking the World Jr record in the process (that mark is now held by Australia’s Minna Atherton). She was also a finalist in the 100 back at those championships. At the senior level, Fa’amausili competed at the 2017 World Championships in Budapest last summer, swimming to a 23rd place in the 50 back prelims.
Fa’amausili also holds the New Zealand 50 backstroke record along with several age group records in sprint free and backstroke.
UPDATE: The Kiwi will join the Bulldogs this January for the 2nd semester, not next fall.
TOP TIMES (LCM)
- 50m free – 25.02
- 100m free – 55.89
- 50m back – 27.81
- 100m back – 1:00.74
- 50m fly – 27.93
Fa’amausili is a fantastic sprinter, which is exactly what the Bulldogs need since the graduation of All-Americans Olivia Smoliga and Chantal van Landeghem. The Kiwi is a pure sprinter, which should make her a deadly weapon for the 200 medley and 200 free relays in particular.
While it’s unclear what she’ll be able to do in yards, Fa’amausili’s best times are very similar to those of top American teenagers Grace Ariola and Lucie Nordmann. Her best times in the sprint freestyle are from this year but she hasn’t dropped time in backstroke since 2017– regardless, at face value, Georgia has snagged an essential piece to buff up their relays and possibly make waves individually on a national level.
Building on Fa’amausili’s presence this winter, UGA is trending up with a monster class incoming next year. #1 Eva Merrell, #11 Dakota Luther, #12 Olivia Carter, Top 20 HM Madison Homovich, Callie Dickinson, Addison Kelly, Caroline Aikins and Tatum Smith are all expected to be training in Athens next fall with the ‘Dawgs.
Welcome to the family, Gabi Fa'amausili! #GoDawgs pic.twitter.com/dHJX2nbRoW
— Georgia Swim & Dive (@UGASwimDive) November 13, 2017