Courtesy: Duke Athletics
DURHAM, N.C. – The Duke swimming and diving program announced the signing of seven new Blue Devils to make up its 2021 men’s recruiting class.
The six signees includes six swimmers and a diver. The group comes to Durham from Colorado, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
“We are excited to be bringing Henry Batson, Jack Christian, Evan Greer, Michael Jiang, Blake Johnson, Will McCollum and Michael Volpe to Duke University,” associate head coach Doak Finch said. “They are a diverse and talented group of men and we are looking forward to watching them grow and excel in the pool, classroom and life.
“Jack and Evan will bolster Duke’s backstroke events right away and will add depth in multiple other events. Blake’s tremendous range in the freestyle events will allow us to use him in multiple individual and relay events. Henry and Michael Jiang‘s Individual medley skills and talent in multiple strokes will allow them to train, race and challenge teammates and other teams every time they dive in. Michael Volpe‘s sprint breaststroke will have him looking at the medley relay position in the near future. Will is an established club diver who will have an immediate impact as a freshman. We are thrilled to add each of them to the group we have now.”
Meet the incoming freshman class:
Beast/IM – Greenwood Village, Co. – Cherry Creek High School – Denver Hilltoppers
Notes: 8th-ranked recruit out of Colorado … Summer Junior Nationals Qualifier … Winter Junior Nationals Qualifier … 2021 Futures Championships Qualifier … 2019 5A Colorado State Champion … ‘A’ Finalist in the 200 IM and 100 Breast at the 2019 5A Colorado State Championships … Two-time USA Swimming Scholastic All-America.
On choosing Duke: ” I chose Duke because it offered me amazing academic opportunities. I was also excited to get to be a part of an awesome swim team and be coached by a supportive and helpful staff. I loved Durham and the beautiful Duke campus when I visited and cannot wait to start school and swimming in the fall!”
Batson Personal Records:
100 Breast SCY/LCM: 56.38/1:05.73
200 Breast SCY/LCM: 2:00.65/2:23.82
200 IM SCY: 1:52.37
400 IM SCY: 3:58.83
Back/Mid-Distance Free – Audubon, Pa. – Episcopal Academy – Upper Main Line YMCA
Notes: 11th-ranked recruit from Pennsylvania … Summer Junior Nationals Qualifier … US Open Qualifier … Five-Time ‘A’ Finalist at the Eastern Interscholastic Swimm Championship … Two-time USA Swimming Scholastic All-American.
On choosing Duke: “Duke has the perfect intersection of rigorous academics and strong athletics that I was looking for in a school. I feel as it’s a school where I can genuinely pursue my passions, while still being mentored for my future aspirations beyond college. I can’t wait to officially be a Blue Devil in the fall!”
Christian Personal Records:
100 Back SCY/LCM: 48.98/57.95
200 Back SCY/LCM: 1:47.07/2:06.85
100Free SCY: 45.73
200 Free SCY: 1:39.32
500 Free SCY: 4:32.21
Back/Fly – Moorestown, N.J. – Moorestown High School – South Jersey Aquatic Club
Notes: 12th-ranked prospect out of New Jersey … Winter Junior Nationals Qualifier … Summer Junior Nationals Qualifier.
On choosing Duke: “I chose Duke for their superior academic and athletic programs, along with their amazing coaching staff.”
Greer Personal Records:
100 Back SCY: 48.50
200 Back SCY: 1:47.61
100 Fly SCY: 49.45
200 Free SCY: 1:40.76
Distance Free/IM – Woodbridge, Va. – Forest Park High School – Nation’s Capital Swim Club
Notes: 12th-ranked recruit out of Virginia … Junior Nationals Qualifier … NCSA Qualifier … Three-time Virginia Class 6 State Championships Finalist … Seven-time Potomac Valley SC Senior Championships Finalist … 2019 200 Butterfly Champion at the Potomac Valley Senior Championships.
On choosing Duke: “Duke was the perfect choice for both athletics and academics. In addition to being perfectly balanced, the team was so welcoming and I knew this was where I wanted to be.”
Jiang Personal Records:
400 IM SCY: 3:53
500 Free SCY: 4:31
1650 Free SCY: 15:39
Distance Free – Norfolk, Va. – Maury High School – Old Dominion Aquatic Club
Notes: 14th-ranked prospect out of Virginia … Toyota US Open Qualifier … Summer Junior Nationals Qualifier … Five-time Virginia Class 5 State Championships Finalist … National Honor Society … Spanish Honor Society … Eagle Scout … Two-time USA Swimming Scholastic All-American.
On choosing Duke: “I grew up in a Duke household, which afforded me the opportunity to visit the campus and interact with alumni on various occasions, vaulting the University to the forefront of my college search. The coaching staff and athletes were transparent and immensely involved during my recruiting process which generated an immediate connection. I am extremely excited and honored to be a part of Duke’s world class education and top tier athletics.”
Johnson Personal Records:
200 Free SCY/LCM: 1:39/1:55
500 Free SCY/LCM: 4:28/4:05
1650 Free SCY: 15.46
Diving – Chevy Chase, Md. – Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School – Monumental Diving
Notes: Two-time NISCA All-American (2019, 2020) … Maryland State Championship Medalist … Team Captain … Member of National Honor Society.
On choosing Duke: “Duke’s reputation as a top tier school for student-athletes attracted me right away. While I was considering diving at several reputable institutions, the moment I met the coaches and team at Duke, I knew it was the place for me. The swimmers and divers have a strong sense of community which played a big role in my decision. ”
McCollum Personal Records:
1 Meter 11 Dives: 505.05
3 Meter 11 Dives: 504.15
Platform 10 Dives: 366.45
Sprint Free/Breast – Chapel Hill, N.C. – Chapel Hill High School – YMCA of the Triangle Area (YOTA)
Notes: Summer Junior Nationals Qualifier … Four-time 3A North Carolina State Finalist … 3A North Carolina State Champion … High School All-American … USA Swimming Scholastic All-American.
On choosing Duke: “Duke has always been a really special place to me, and I’m thrilled about the culture of academic and athletic excellence.”
Volpe Personal Records:
100 Breast SCY: 55.72
50 Free SCY: 21.19
100 Fly SCY: 50.60