Luis Martinez has signed a letter to formalize his transfer to the Auburn Tigers, head coach Brett Hawke told SwimSwam today.
Martinez originally committed to Division II Missouri S&T for this season, but has opted to transfer to Auburn before ever swimming a meet for the Miners. He will join the Auburn program at the semester.
Originally from Guatemala, Martinez has been training with Azura Florida Aquatic in southern Florida since at least early 2013. After a breakout summer that included a silver medal in the 100 fly at USA Swimming’s junior National Championships, Martinez changed his mind about where he’d spend his collegiate career.
As an international, most of his focus has been in long course swimming. In meters , his best times are:
- 50 free – 24.25
- 100 free – 54.15
- 200 free – 1:54.76
- 100 back – 58.31
- 200 back – 2:06.94
- 100 fly – 53.34
- 200 fly – 2:05.16
As a comparison, Martinez’s 100 fly time in long course in 2014 was similar to that of Justin Lynch, who was our 9th-ranked recruit in the same class of 2014 (though Lynch is more versatile and has been faster in prior summers). Martinez is not quite at an overall level of Lynch, but given that both swimmers count the 100 fly as their top event, that’s a striking comparison.
Auburn head coach Brett Hawke says he’ll work on expanding Martinez’s range as a freshman.
“He has loads of potential and is a very hard worker,” Hawke said. “We will look to race him in a wide range of events in his freshman year, but specifically the 100 and 200 fly. He can swim some free and back as well.
“His time drops this summer and the way he closed his 100 fly at Juniors indicate that he has a lot of room for Growth.”
Hawke is specifically referencing the fact that Martinez had the fastest closing 50-meter split of any of the 24 finalists in the 100 fly at Junior Nationals.
Martinez raced for Guatemala at the 2013 World Junior Championships, where he swam a 56.46. A year later, that time had improved by three full seconds. So good was that swim for Martinez, in fact, that it’s faster than his best 100 free time.
In yards, at Winter Juniors, Martinez did go a 48.3 in the 100 yard fly, and he’s also been 1:39.86 in the 200 yard free.