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The Auburn Tigers received another verbal commitment to add to their growing list (we’ve already reported on Brody Heck, Bryar Long, Colin Bone, and David Crossland): Italian butterflier Paolo Ricci.
Ricci swims for Imolanuoto in the Bologna region of Italy. At the 2015 Italian LCM National Championships and World Championships Trials in Riccione last April, Ricci placed sixth in the 50 fly and seventh in the 100 fly, earning personal bests in each final.
SCM best times (with SCY conversions):
- 50 backstroke – 24.78 (22.32)
- 50 butterfly – 23.83 (21.46)
- 100 butterfly – 51.60 (46.48)
- 200 butterfly – 1.56.88 (1:45.29)
LCM best times (with SCY conversions):
- 50 butterfly – 24.31 (21.27)
- 100 butterfly – 53.59 (47.01)
Ricci told SwimSwam, “I choose Auburn because during my recruiting trip I understood that there is a fantastic atmosphere there. The team is like a family, very united and polite with everyone, I liked very much this aspect of the team.”
Ricci’s short course 100 fly time would have just eked into the “A” final at the 2015 SEC Championships, while his 200 fly time would have landed him in the “C” final. His sprinting is even better. With senior butterflier Arthur Mendes in his final year as a Tiger, the field will open up for medley relay spots and Ricci could be in a good position to move in to that spot. He will be in good company, though, with a strong butterfly group that includes current sophomores Luis Martinez, Peter Holoda and Hugo Morris, as well as a whole new crop of freshmen looking to make their marks.
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