The state of Georgia’s Aquatics Hall of Fame will have 5 new members in the Class of 2014, the organization announced today. The Hall, which has no physical location and instead is dedicated to 24-hour availability on the internet, announced a class of Angel Myers Martino, Maritza Correia, Eric Wunderlich, Chris Davis, and Billy Heinz.
The five will be inducted at a ceremony at the Atlanta Athletic Club on August 23rd in Duluth, Georgia. The star of the class is the former University of Georgia Bulldog Maritza Correia.
While she grew up in Florida, she is best-remembered for what she did in the state of Georgia, where she was a 27-time NCAA All-American and an 11-time NCAA Champion beginning in 1999. When she and her Georgia teammates set the 400 medley relay short course meters World Record at the 2000 NCAA Championships, Correia became the first Black U.S. swimmer to set an American and World Record. She would later set the American Record in the 50 yard free as well.
She is originally from Puerto Rico, which meant she had the option to compete for either Puerto Rico or the United States internationally. She chose the United States, and that led her to the pinnacle of swimming for a competitor: the 2004 Olympic Games, where she won a silver medal as a prelims swimmer on the 400 free relay.
Correia has remained in the sport of swimming, and now works in a leading capacity for Nike Swim.
The other Olympian on this list is Eric Wunderlich, who swam as a junior for the Dynamo Swim Club in Atlanta, and then moved on to become an All-American at Michigan. He was back, though, in 1996, where he represented the United States at the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in his home town.
While Wunderlich never won an Olympic medal, the breaststroker was on two World Championship winning medley relays in 1991 and 1994, and took silver individually in 2004 in the 200 breast at the World Championships. He’s also got 5 Pan Pacs medals and a World Short Course Championships relay medal in his collection.
Angel Martino is one of the more underheralded American swimmers of the 1990’s. She won a total of 6 Olympic medals between 1992 and 1996, including three relay golds. Individually, she added three individual bronzes: in the 50 free in 1992, in the 100 fly in 1996, and in the 100 free in 1996.
Martino is a Tuscaloosa, Alabama born, but grew up in Americus, Georgia. Both of her parents swam for the University of Alabama, but she avoided the rivalries altogether by swimming for Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina.
Her impressive resume includes six World Championship medals and 12 Pan Pacs medals. That’s made even more impressive in that she competed in a tall-woman’s discipline, the sprint freestyles, at only 5’5″.
She currently still lives in Georgia where she coaches local club and high school teams.
Chris Davis swam club and high school in Atlanta, and while he left the state to swim in college for Birmingham Southern, he had his biggest impact upon the state’s aquatics scene after returning. In 1977, he founded SwimAtlanta, which has grown to be one of the biggest and most successful clubs in the country, including producing 5 Olympians.
The team trains in 7 locations, mostly in the northern suburbs of Atlanta, and in 2014 placed 3rd in the country in the USA Swimming Club Excellence Program.
And finally, one diver joined the swimmers, as former Westminster School diver Billy Heinz was inducted. Heinz was a two-time NCAA runner-up at Princeton, and held the school record on the 1-meter from 1975 until 2013 – which at the time was the oldest record in Princeton swimming & diving history.