Auburns Signs 10 In Early Signing Period

by SwimSwam 0

November 17th, 2017 ACC, College, College Recruiting

Press Release courtesy of Auburn Athletics

Brett Hawke has announced the signing of 10 high school seniors to National Letters of Intent to join Auburn’s swimming and diving program in the fall of 2018. The class includes six men and four women and consists of eight swimmers and two divers.

The program will also add a pair of swimmers, Joshua Dannhauser and Sonnele Ozturk, to the roster in January after they signed financial aid agreements earlier this fall.

MEN’S CLASS

“We addressed a lot of the needs of the team, bringing in balance and meeting specific needs to strengthen our team. We are getting some really strong middle distance freestyle, some good 200s of strokes and some sprint free as well as one of the best divers in the class. What impressed me about this class is they all wanted to swim for Auburn, and they all dreamed about swimming for Auburn. That says a lot about their character and makeup. Not only are they incredibly talented athletes but they also bleed Orange and Blue.” – Head Coach Brett Hawke

JARRYD BAXTER

Johannesburg, South Africa (South African Swimming Federation)

  • Freestyle and backstroke specialist
  • Holds career best times in the 100m free pf 51.23, the 200m free of 1:49.79
  • Holds a career best time in the 200m back of 2:00.10
  • Holds a career best times in the 200 scm back of 1:53.1 and the 1500 scm free of 15:00.36
  • Finished fifth in the 400m free at the 2017 FINA World Junior Championships

JOSHUA DANNHAUSER

Pinetown, South Africa

  • Distance free specialist
  • Will join the team in January
  • Won gold as part of the 4x200m freestyle relay at the 2016 All-Africa CANA Games
  • Won bronze in the 800m and 1500m freestyles at the 2016 All-Africa CANA Games
  • Took third in the 1500m free at the 2015 South African National Championships
  • Swam on the 2015 FINA Junior World Championships South African team

BROGAN DAVIS

Cape Giradeau, Mo. (Central HS/River City Aquatics)

  • Butterfly and IM specialist
  • Holds career best times in the 100 fly of 48.85 and the 200 fly of 1:49.10
  • Holds career best times in the 200 IM of 1:48.21 and the 400 IM of 4:00.36
  • 2017 NISCA All-America
  • 2016 Missouri Boys State Champion in the 100 fly and 200 IM

BROOKS MERKLE

Atlanta, Ga. (Whitefield, Academy/Dynamo Swim Club)

  • Breaststroke and IM specialist
  • Holds career best times in the 100 breastkstroke of 56.33 and the 200 breaststroke of 2:04.79
  • Holds career best times in the 200 IM of 1:57.25 and the 400 IM of 4:07.11
  • 2016 & 2017 USA Swimming Scholastic All-America
  • 2016 & 2017 GHSA 1-5A State Swimming Finalist in the 100 breast
  • Third-place finisher in the 200 breast at the 2017 Southern Senior Sectional Championships

RYAN WILLIAMS

Fort Mill, S.C. (Nation Ford HS/SwimMAC Carolina)

  • Freestyle, backstroke and IM specialist
  • Holds career best times in the 200 free of 1:43.16 and the 500 free of 4:33.70
  • Holds career best times in the 100 back of 55.24 and the 200 back of 1:52.84
  • Holds career best times in the 200 IM of 1:52.53 and the 400 IM of 3:58.86
  • 2017 SCHSL 5A State Champion in the 200 IM and 500 Free
  • 2016 South Carolina 5A State Championship finalist in the 200 IM and 100 breast

MATTHEW YISH

Byfield, Mass. (St. John’s Prep/SOLO Aquatics)

  • Freestyle and butterfly specialist
  • Holds career best times in the 50 free of 20.48, the 100 free of 44.89, the 200 free of 1:43.85
  • Holds career best times in the 100 fly of 47.94 and the 200 fly of 1:48.26
  • Swept the fly championships at the 2017 Speedo Sectionals – North (Ithaca) … Also took second in the 50- and 100 frees
  • Finalist in the 50 free at the 2016 Speedo East Winter Junior Nationals

WOMEN’S CLASS

“I’d describe this group of fall signees as ‘fiercely eager.’ In Emily we are getting a hard worker who is only just beginning to understand her gifts. In Val we are getting a meticulous competitor who will bring intensity and passion for the sport and to the team. In Regan we are getting another in-state gem who’s upside is her potential to flourish at this level, especially as a relay contributor.” – Associate Head Coach for Women Lauren Hancock

EMILY HETZER

Haymarket, Va. (Battlefield HS/Occoquan Swimming Inc)

  • Distance free and IM specialist
  • Holds career best times in the 500 free of 4:47.23, the 1000 free of 9:49.27 and the 1650 free of 16:23.34 … Top 200 IM time is 2:05.79 and 400 IM time is 4:39.08
  • 2017 NISCA All-America
  • 2017 USA Swimming Scholastic All-America
  • Third-place finisher in the 500 free at both the 2017 Virginia 6A State League Championships and Virginia 6A North Region Championships

SONNELE OZTURK

Falkensee, Germany (Spandau 04)

  • Backstroke specialist
  • Will join the team in January
  • German National Team member in each of the past three World Cups
  • 2013 European Short Course Championship fifth-place finisher in the 200 back
  • 2013 European Junior Championship gold medal winner in the 200 back
  • Silver medalist in the 200 back at the 2011 European Youth Olympic Festical

VALERIE TARAZI

Crystal Lake, Ill. (Prairie Ridge HS/Mundelein Mustang Swim Club)

  • Breaststroke and IM specialist
  • Holds career best times in the 100 breast of 1:01.31, the 200 breast of 2:15.60 and the 200 IM of 2:01.65
  • Two-time USA Swimming Scholastic All-America (2016 & 2017)
  • Won the 50m breast at the 2017 NCSA Summer Championships … Also took third in the 100 and 200 breaststrokes
  • Three-time finalist at the 2017 Illinois Swimming Senior Championships, taking second in the 100 breast, third in the 200 breast and eighth in the 100 free
  • 2017 NISCA All-America
  • 2015 Illinois Girls State Champion in the 100 breast and runner-up in the 200 IM

REGAN WEAKLEY

Huntsville, Ala. (Huntsville HS/Huntsville Swim Association)

  • Sprint free and butterfly specialist
  • Holds career best top times in the 50 free of 23.12, the 100 free of 50.59, the 100 fly of 57.84
  • Two-time USA Swimming Scholastic All-America (2016 & 2017)
  • Sixth-place finisher in the 50m free at the 2017 Southeastern LCM Championships
  • Runner-up in both the 50- and 100-yard free at the 2015 AHSAA State Championships
  • Top-eight finisher in the 50- and 100-yard free at the 2016 SES Championships

DIVING CLASS

“I’m extremely excited that Conner Pruitt will continue his journey with me and with Auburn. It’s nice to have local talent that you develop that understands the importance of the Auburn Family.” – Auburn diving coach Jeff Shaffer

“This is a great opportunity for Evelyn. I competed on the first national championship team with her father and this is life coming full circle.” – Brett Hawke

EVELYN JERGER

St. Petersburg, Fla. (Northeast HS/West Florida Lightning Aquatics)

  • 1-meter champion at the AAC Diving Summer Splash Invitational
  • Three top-four finishes at the WFLA Diving Invitational, taking second on the platform, third on the 3-meter and fourth on the 1-meter
  • Took second at 2015 & 2017 FHSAA 3A Region 3 Championships on the 1-meter
  • Fourth-place finisher on the 1-meter at the 2015 Florida 3A State Championships
  • Father, Adam, swam at Auburn and was a junior on the 1997 NCAA Championship Team

CONNER PRUITT

Opelika, Ala. (Opelika HS/Auburn Diving)

  • 2017 USA Diving National Preliminary Zone B Championship finalist on the 1-meter
  • 2015 & 2016 AHSAA Diving State Champion on the 1-meter
  • Top eight finisher on all three boards at the 2016 USA Diving National Zone B Meet
  • Top 10 finisher on all three boards at the 2016 USA Diving Junior Region 3 Championships

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