Jovanovic, Top-Flight Divers Highlight Northwestern Men’s Class

Keeping in rhythm with what we’ve seen from most of the Big Ten men’s teams this year, Northwestern has announced an impressive, versatile class of 2017 that will join the program in the fall.

The biggest signing in the lanes is Andrew Jovanovic, who was once the 11-12 National Age Group Record holder in the 50 and 100 freestyles. He’s a four-time Illinois State Champion, had three top-three finishes at the 2013 NCSA Junior National Championships, and is a local boy from Chicago’s Loyola Academy and the club team, NASA Wildcat Aquatics, that trains at Northwestern.

He was already under 50 seconds in the 100 fly as a freshman, and even though he maybe faded a little bit from the national spotlight, he just kept improving. Jovanovic is the program’s best recruit since Matt Grevers, and comes in with bests of 20.2 in the 50 free, 43.9 in the 100 free, 47.4 in the 100 back, 1:44.5 in the 200 back, 47.1 in the 100 fly, and 1:50.2 in the 200 IM.

Joining him at the top of this class is two of the country’s top diving recruits, both from the Starz diving club in Indianapolis. The Big Ten is the top diving conference in the country, and Northwestern is joining the fun with Reed Dillon, a Junior National Diving finalist, and Andrew Cramer who was the National Junior Champion on the platform in 2007, 2008, and 2009.

Other notable members of the class includes Stephen Shull, who was homeschooled by swam on the National Age Group Record estting 400 free relay with Jovanovic.

The Northwestern men finished 9th out of 10 teams at last year’s Big Ten Championships.

See the full release below outlining the full class.

EVANSTON, Ill. — Northwestern head coach Jarod Schroeder today announced the nine members of the incoming Wildcats class of 2017, a deep group that will matriculate to Evanston and begin competition this fall.

“This is one of the largest and deepest classes we have had in a long time,” Schroeder said. “This group believes in what we are doing as a program and they are coming to Northwestern because they know they can make an impact and be a part of something special right away.”

The class is comprised of seven standout swimmers with a national and international makeup and two elite divers out of the Starz diving club in Indianapolis, Ind. The two divers, Andrew Cramer, a six-time United States champion who specializes in the 10-meter platform event, and Reed Dillon, an Age Group nationals and Junior Nationals finalist, will fill a big gap in NU’s lineup immediately.

“Signing Andrew and Reed addresses a huge need for us in the diving well,” Schroeder said. “Having two really quality divers of their caliber will help us immensely in dual meets, at the Big Ten level and down the road at the NCAA meet.”

Of the seven swimmers in this class, Andy Jovanovic and Stephen Shull are local products of the NASA Wildcat Aquatics club which trains out of NU’s home Norris Aquatics Center pool. They helped lead NASA to a fourth place team finish at the 2013 NCSA Junior National Championships. Conversely, freestyler Joao Steiner is a native of Brazil who came to the United States to prep at The Bolles Academy in Jacksonville, Fla.

Schroeder characterizes the entire class as one that has to ability to compete and excel in nearly every single event in the meet program.

“This class includes one of the top swimmers in the country and several who rank among the best in their respective states,” Schroeder says. “They have the ability to come in and score in every single event except maybe two, especially in the middle distance and distance freestyle to help bolster that group along with [current school record holder] Jordan Wilimovsky.”

Complete biographies for the nine new Wildcats beginning competition in the fall of 2013 are as follows:

Charlie Cole
6-3 • 170 • Distance Freestyle
Bernardsville, Md./Bernards

High School: Named to Skyland Conference first team in the 400 free relay and second team in the 500 free and 100 fly … Earned Scholastic All-American Team honors three straight years from 2011-13 … Swam 10 years with Berkeley Aquatic Club … Ranked third overall at New Jersey’s short course Junior Olympics … Placed second in the 800 and 1500 freestyles and anchored the winning 800 free relay at 2012 Spring Sectionals … Competed at the 2012 Open Water Nationals and the 2012 Junior Nationals … Competed in the 2012 Short Course Winter Nationals … Also swam twice at the Canada Cup in Montreal in 2011 and 2012 … Two-time Recipient of the Academic Excellence Award… High honor roll.

Personal: Born Charles Marshall Cole … Son of Peter and Laura Cole … Chose Northwestern over Purdue, Duke and Yale … Anticipated major is engineering.

Andrew Cramer
5-7 • 150 • Diving
Indianapolis, Ind./Cathedral

High School: Four year team MVP and diving captain for three years at Cathedral High School … Dove 14 years of club with Indianapolis Starz, becoming a six-time United States champion … Three-time USA Pan American team member and two-time World Championships team member, taking 12th at the 2012 World Championships … Earned a bronze medal on the platform at the 2007 Pan American Games … Finished eighth at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials … Won the platform event at the Speedo National Junior Diving Championships three years in a row from 2007-09 … Had top-10 finishes at all three distances at the 2012 Junior National Diving Championships, taking third on the platform, seventh on the 3-meter springboard and 10th on the 1-meter springboard … National Honor Society member.

Personal: Born Andrew Eugene Cramer … Son of Robert and Lana Cramer … Chose Northwestern over USC … Anticipated major is chemistry with a pre-medicine concentration.

Reed Dillon
5-11 • 135 • Diving
Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence Central

High School: Three-time letter winner as a diver … 2010 Marion County (Indianapolis) Champion … Two-time state qualifier … Competed three years for Starz Diving Club … Qualified for 2011 Age Group Nationals, 2012 East Nationals and 2012 Junior Nationals … Member of National Honor Society and Honor Roll at Lawrence Central High School

Personal: Born Reed Joseph Dillon … Son of Doug and Marie Dillon … Club teammates with fellow Class of 2017 Wildcat Andrew Cramer … Chose Northwestern over Columbia University … Plans to major in civil engineering.

David Jiang
6-1 • 175 • Breast
Queens, N.Y./Stuyvesant

High School: Ranked as the No. 11 overall recruit from the state of New York by Collegeswimming.com … High school All-American and team MVP in 2013 … Up and coming breaststroker who already has dropped four seconds since his commitment … Earned Winggate Award as the top swimmer in the NYC Public School Athletic League and the Joseph J. Stetz Trophy as most outstanding senior swimmer … Led Stuyvesant to the city title in all four years of high school … Swam club with Asphalt Green United Aquatics … Holds 100 and 200 breast 15-18 year old record … Part of Metropolitan 200 medley and 400 medley 15-18 year old record-holding relays … Competed at the 2012 and 2013 NCSA Junior National Championships.

Personal: Born David Jiang … Son Shaoli Zhao and Jian Jiang … Chose Northwestern over Columbia, Cornell and Kenyon … Anticipated major is economics.

Andy Jovanovic
6-0 • 185 • Free/Fly/Back
Chicago, Ill./Loyola Academy

High School: Ranked as the No. 12 overall recruit in the nation and No. 2 in Illinois by Collegeswimming.com … Four-time Illinois state champion, winning titles in the 50 free, 100 back and 100 fly (twice), setting in the Illinois state record in the 100 back during prelims at the 2013 state meet … Seven-time All-State and All-American as an individual … Six-time All-State and All-America as a member of relays … Four-time Loyola Academy team MVP, holding school records in the 50 free, 100 fly, 100 back, 200 medley relay, 200 free relay and 400 free relay … Has competed for Wildcat Aquatics for 10 years, earning multiple age group state titles and records … Previous 11-12 age ground 50 and 100 free national record holder and 13-14 age group 400 free relay national record holder … Won the 50 back and 100 free while finishing second in the 100 back and 100 fly and third in the 50 free at the 2013 NCSA Junior National Championships to lead NASA Wildcat Aquatics for a fourth-place team finish … Earned Second Honors academically as a freshman and First Honors every year after.

Personal: Born Andrew N. Jovanovic … Son of Dragomir and Theresa Jovanovic … Father works as a physician, moth is a lawyer and professor at Loyola (Chicago) … Chose Northwestern over Stanford … Attended same high school as 2012 Olympic Gold medalist Connor Dwyer … Anticipated major is undecided.

Jonathan Lieberman
6-2 • 175 • Free
Eden Prairie, Minn./Eden Prairie

High School: Ranked the No. 4 overall recruit from the state of Minnesota by Collegeswimming.com … An all-state, all-conference and all-America honoree during his prep career … Three-time team record holder in the 200 free, 500 free and 400 free relay … Four-time pool record holder in the same events plus the 200 free relay … Competed for the Team Foxjet club for nine years … All-time, all-age club state record holder in the 1,000 free … Multiple time team record holder with Foxjet … Scholastic All-American and voted Team’s Hardest Worker … Multiple time A Honor Roll Activist.

Personal: Born Jonathan D Lieberman … Son of Kurt and Lisa Lieberman … Chose Northwestern over Minnesota … Anticipated major is systems or mechanical engineering.

Jack Morris
6-0 • 165 • Free/Fly
Lansdale, Pa./North Penn

High School: All-America consideration time in the 200 free in 2013 with a fourth-place finish at the Pennsylvania state meet to earn all-state honors … Finished eighth in the state in the 100 fly … All-American with the state third-place 200 free relay in 2012 … Led high school to 2011 district championship … Team captain and 2012-13 MVP … Holds school records in the 200 free and 200 free relay while ranking second in school history in the butterfly … Swam club with Central Bucks Swim Team, competing at the 2012 Speedo Champions Series in Buffalo, N.Y., and sectional meets … Also lettered in water polo for three years, earning all-state honors in 2011 … Competed in three sports (swimming, water polo, baseball) for his first two years of high school … Honor roll member.

Personal: Born John Joseph Morris … Son of Diane and Gary Morris … Chose Northwestern over Indiana and Boston College … Anticipated major is political science.

Stephen Shull
5-11 • 165 • Free
Evanston, Ill./Homeschooled

High School: Evanston native who was homeschooled his entire prep career … Competed only for NASA Wildcat Aquatics club from 2004-13, which trains at Northwestern’s own Norris Aquatics Center … Member of national age group record setting relays in both the 13-14 400 meter freestyle relay and 15-16 400 yard medley relay … Finished 28th overall individually in the 200 free and fourth with the 400 medley relay at the 2013 NCSA Junior Nationals … USA Swimming winter Junior Nationals qualifier … Age group state record holder in nine relay events … Helped NASA to a fourth place team finish at the 2013 NCSA Junior Nationals … USA Swimming Scholastic All-American.

Personal: Born Stephen Robert Shull … Son of Ken and Tammy Shull … Father is a Northwestern professor in materials science and engineering who wrestled at MIT … Swam on same club team, and in several instances on the same record-breaking relays, as NU classmate Andrew Jovanovic … Chose Northwestern over Air Force, Cornell and Johns Hopkins … Plans to major in mechanical engineering.

Joao Steiner
6-1 • 180 • Free
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil/The Bolles School

High School: Native of Brazil who prepped at The Bolles School in Jacksonville, Fla. … Brazilian national champion in 2009 and fourth in the state of Florida in the 100 free … Brazilian Junior Nationals record holder in the 400 free relay … Competed with the Sharks club for three years, winning Junior Nationals in Austin, Texas, and Knoxville, Tenn., as a team … Competed at the 2012 USA Swimming Junior Nationals, 2012 Speedo Champions Series in Orlando, Fla., and the 2011 Speedo Short Course Junior Nationals … Received second honors academically in junior and senior years.

Personal: Born Joao Steiner … Son of Mauricio Steiner and Fabrizzia de Gouvea Telles … Anticipated major is industrial engineering or economics.

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Ole 99

I know i’m nitpicking here, but Jovanovic might be the best recruit since Bubolz, not Grevers. Bubolz was the high school swimmer of the year the class after Grevers, if memory serves me correctly.

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Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. 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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