AUBURN, Ala. – Auburn swimming and diving has added seven newcomers for the upcoming 2015-16 season, head coach Brett Hawke announced on Tuesday.
Zach Apple (Trenton, Ohio), Justin Checchin (San Antonio, Texas), Bryan Lee (McDonough, Ga.), Daniel McGee (Murray, Ky.), Grady Ottomeyer (Phoenix, Ariz.) and Christopher Simmons (New Orleans, La.) will join the Auburn men for its upcoming season.
Auburn’s women also added Haley Black (Prince Georgia, BC, Canada), who will be able to compete for the Tigers starting in the 2015-16 season.
“All seven of these signees will help make an immediate impact in the pool as well in the classroom for us,” Hawke said. “We wanted to add more depth to our team and each athlete can make a difference for us heading into next season. We’re excited for this group of student-athletes to join us in the fall and I’m very proud of the hard work our coaching staff did this spring to strengthen our men’s and women’s teams.”
Apple gives the Tigers added depth in the sprint freestyle events. Ranked as the fourth-best swimmer in Ohio and 76th overall in the nation by CollegeSwimming.com, Apple comes in with personal best times of 20.36 (50 free), 44.59 (100 free) and 1:38.31 (200 free).
Checchin joins Auburn’s diving squad after earning NISCA All-America honors in 2014 at Johnson High School. The San Antonio, Texas, native competed at the 2014 USA Diving Junior Nationals last summer on the 1-meter springboard.
Lee, a distance freestyler that trains with SwimAtlanta, is ranked as the No. 13 swimmer in Georgia by CollegeSwimming.com. At the 2014 Speedo Winter Nationals, Lee turned in a personal time of 15:23.32 in the 1,650 free to place 13th overall.
McGee, a transfer from Western Kentucky, won the 1650 free as a freshman at 2015 the Conference USA Championships in February with a time of 15:30.40. The Murray, Ky., native will have three years of eligibility remaining when he joins the Tigers in the fall.
Ottomeyer helped Brophy College earn an Arizona state title in November, collecting wins in the 200-yard and 400-yard freestyle relay. The Phoenix, Ariz, native recently helped Phoenix Swim Club to a win in the 400 free relay at the Western Region Four Corners Short Course Championships.
Simmons, a native of New Orleans, is the fourth-ranked swimmer in the state of Louisiana according to CollegeSwimming.com. He competed for Jesuit High School and Crew Swimming during his prep career. Simmons set a personal best at the Louisiana Division 1 Championships last November in the 50 and 100 free.
The six newcomers join Auburn’s men’s 2015-16 signing class of Tommy Brewer (Bend, Ore.), Scott Lazeroff (Rochester, N.Y.), Liam McCloskey (Carlsbad, Calif.), Russell Noletto (Mobile, Ala.), Christian Selby (Bridgetown, Barbados) and Sam Stewart (Hattiesburg, Miss.).
Black, a transfer from Western Kentucky, helped the Lady Tops to a second-place finish at the Conference USA Championships in February by placing second in the 100 fly. She also set a personal best at 52.92 in the 100 fly earlier in the season. Black also competed in the 100 back, 200 fly and 200 IM during her first collegiate season.
Black joins Erin Falconer (Mundelein, Ill.), Shannon McKernan (Landsdale, Pa.), Bailey Nero (Fort Collins, Co.), Aly Tetzloff (Crown Point, Ind.) and Michelle Turek (Clearwater, Fla.), who all signed with Auburn’s women last November.
The Tigers also will have the services of backstroker Caroline Baddock for the upcoming year. Baddock, who redshirted during the 2014-15 season, will give Auburn’s women added strength in the backstroke events. Baddock will also join teammate Natasha Lloyd at the 2015 World University Games in Gwangju City, South Korea, representing New Zealand.
Swimming news courtesy of Auburn Swimming and Diving.