Georgia Commit Annie Zhu Joins Allison Schmitt at NBAC

Annie Zhu and Allison Schmitt are becoming teammates. This is not news, as Zhu verbally committed to Georgia back in October, and signed her letter-of-intent in November. But as it turns out, the pair will not have to wait until the fall (when Zhu begins competing for the Bulldogs and Schmitt returns from an Olympic redshirt year) to do so, as Zhu has joined the elite training group at the North Baltimore Aquatic Club (NBAC).

Zhu previously competed for Asphalt Green in New York, where she trained with wunderkind Lia Neal, among others. Now she’ll head 200 miles south to Baltimore to work with Schmitt, head coach Bob Bowman, and the rest of his high-performance staff.

The future Georgia swimmer is the holder of 4 National Age Group breaststroke records (100 short course and long course in 10 & under; 200 short course and long course in 11-12). She then would qualify for, and compete at, the 2008 Olympic Trials when she was only 13.

She’s hit a bit of a plateau over the past year. In November, she went the best 100 yard breast of her career (1:01.10), but in her four best long course events (100/200 breast, 200/400 IM) she hasn’t gone a best time since the summer of 2010. She’ll hope to trend her times back downward in time for the 2012 Olympic Trials.

NBAC has been at the center of many of an increasing number of high school swimmers who are moving to work with a certain coach. Liz Pelton left NBAC late last year to work with Paul Yetter in Florida, and National Champ Gillian Ryan joined NBAC around the same time after coming from the Parkland Aquatic Club near Allentown, Pennsylvania.

Zhu hopes to begin training at NBAC this week.

Another future Bulldog, Chase Kalisz, also trains at NBAC.

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8 years ago

I wonder how this is working with schooland everything. But great move. She will fit in perfectly to there heavy IM/freestyle practices. I think Georgia will be most excited since she will be whipped into great shape! Can’t wait to watch he compete colligatly. Don’t forget her new teammate chase kalisz(sp?) is also heading to the pound! Can you say Gillian Ryan connections anyone?

8 years ago

Braden, I think she was 14 or maybe even 13 when she competed at the 2008 olympic trials. This is a surprising move because she’s done so well in NYC with Rachel Stratton…Jr. worlds in Peru, Jr. pan pacs and 2 olympic trials before graduating high school! It must be extra tough being a 200m breaststroker in the USA b/c you’re always aiming for 2nd place with Rebecca Soni swimming so well and no end in sight to her reign. But, one day someone will beat Soni and Annie has a good a chance as anyone to be that someone.

Is she eligible to compete at this summer’s Jr. Pan Pacs in Hawaii again or will she be too old?

8 years ago

She was doing well, but time wise she has sort of hit a plateau. Annie is probably just looking for a change so she can start getting best times again. Hopefully the move pays off.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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