Just as soon as the high school class of 2013 is about wrapped up in their college commitments, it’s already time for the class of 2014 to get underway.
Georgian Paul Powers has made an early verbal commitment to the defending men’s NCAA Champions the University of Michigan, two weeks shy of the opening of the free contact period.
Powers is the Georgia High school state champion and record holder in both the 50 & 100 yard free. He has been 19.9 in the 50 and 43.9 in the 100, and became the third American in history to dip under 44 seconds at only 16 years old. In other races, Powers has been a 1:39.86 in the 200 yard free and 50.1’s in both the 100 yard fly and the 100 yard back.
In long course, his best 50 is 23.4 and his best 100 is 52.0.
Powers, who swims for North Hall High School in Gainesville, Georgia, and the Splash Aquatic Club, said “I like Coach Bottom’s approach to sprint training and his strength and conditioning team. Conner Jaeger and Sean Ryan walked with me through the Engineering school and those guys are a blast. Serious, but very funny. I could really relate to their interest in academic rigor and the highest level of swimming. One of the reasons I like Michigan was because of the engineering program, which is one of the best in the country. Also, from the conversations I had with the team, I can see that Coach Bottom really respects his athletes and cares about them as individuals first.”
He is coached by Andy Deichert, formerly of the Race Club, and former elite-level swimmer Sabir Muhammad, giving him a great mentorship structure.
“I think very highly of the Michigan program because of Mike Bottom’s out of the box training methods, and style of teaching, which fits well with Paul being an athlete first,” Deichert said of his former Race Club colleague Bottom. “Paul is a very intelligent swimmer who thrives on continuous analysis and feedback in order to learn better ways of achieving a more proficient stroke, which also fits well with the Michigan coaching style.”
Powers has also played on the basketball team at North Hall, speaking to his overall athleticism. Bottom has had great success with turning those athletes into monumental sprinters and especially relay contributors. This addition will greatly increase the rebuilding process for the Wolverines, who didn’t graduate a ton of relay points, but did lose a lot of really important relay legs.
Powers is among the top 5 American sprinters in the class (that includes Brett Ringgold, Ryan Held, Caeleb Dressel, and Edward Kim)