ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The University of Michigan men’s swimming and diving team signed 12 standouts to National Letters of Intent for the 2016-17 season, head coach Mike Bottom announced on Tuesday (Nov. 17). The class includes swimmers Felix Auböck (Vienna, Austria), Jeremy Babinet (Redwood City, Calif.), Tommy Cope (Dayton, Ohio), Tim Hanson (Newport Beach, Calif.), James Jones (Fairfax, Va.), Alex Martin (Moorestown, N.J.),Jacob Montague (Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich.), Miles Smachlo (Rexford, N.Y.), Charlie Swanson (Richmond, Va.), Rob Zofchak (Dexter, Mich.) and divers Steven Anderson (Lake Forest, Calif.) and Jake Herremans (Rockford, Mich.).
“This class will cover a lot of bases for us, which is important considering we’re losing graduating a lot of seniors at the end of the year,” Bottom said. “There’s a lot of talent in this class and a lot of room for growth, which is exciting for our future.”
“Steven and Jake are divers who have a great deal of potential,” added diving coach Mike Hilde. “They’re technique and strength aren’t fully developed, but they are doing some awfully impressive things right now.”
The program’s 12-member recruiting class is one of the best in the country. Six are ranked in the Top 50 of CollegeSwimming.com, including Auböck (No. 6), Cope (No. 9), Jones (No. 20), Babinet (No. 28), Montague (No. 36) and Swanson (No. 37), while Martin (No. 51) and Smachlo (No. 56) fall just outside. In addition, SwimSwam.com ranked Jones (No. 9), Babinet (No. 12), Swanson (No. 14) and Cope (No. 15) in their preseason Top 20 back in July. Of the nine American swimmers, five have qualified for next summer’s Olympic Trials in Omaha, while the group’s lone international import — Auböck — has already qualified for the Games.
Auböck is a freestyler from Vienna, Austria, who swims for the Austrian National Team. He swam for Austria at the 2015 FINA World Championships in Kazan, Russia, taking 20th in the 400-meter freestyle and 29th in the 200-meter freestyle. He also swam on the country’s 800-meter freestyle relay team.
Auböck Top Times: 51.22 LCM in 100 Freestyle, 1:47.60 LCM in 200 Freestyle, 3:50.04 LCM in 400 Freestyle, 7:57.33 LCM in 800 Freestyle, 15:05.48 LCM in 1500 Freestyle
Babinet, a breaststroke specialist from Redwood City, Calif., trains with Palo Alto Stanford Aquatics. He placed fifth in the 100-meter breaststroke and 10th in the 200-meter breaststroke at the 2015 Speedo Junior National Championships. Babinet also finished third in the 100-yard breaststroke, fourth in the 200-yard breaststroke, and eighth in the 400-yard IM at the 2015 Speedo Champions Series in College Station, Texas.
Babinet Top Times: 1:03.08 LCM/53.70 SCY in 100 Breaststroke, 2:16.97 LCM/1:58.10 in 200 Breaststroke, 4:35.90 LCM/3:57.59 in 400 IM
Cope, a multi-event swimmer with speed in the breaststroke and freestyle events, attends Butler High School in Dayton, Ohio, and competes with the Dayton Raiders. Last year, Cope was runner-up in the 100-yard breaststroke and took third in the 200-yard IM at the Ohio D-I State Championship meet. He was a five-time event finalist at the 2015 NCSA Junior National Championships, taking fifth in the 200-yard freestyle, seventh in the 200-yard IM, 50-yard breaststroke and 200-yard breaststroke, and eighth in the 100-yard breaststroke.
Cope Top Times: 1:53.64 LCM/1:37.48 SCY in 200 Freestyle, 1:03.90 LCM/54.74 SCY in 100 Breaststroke, 2:21.10 LCM/1:59.55 SCY in 200 Breaststroke, 2:05.19 LCM/1:47.93 SCY in 200 IM
Hanson, a multi-discipline swimmer from Newport Beach, Calif., attends Corona del Mar High School and trains with AquaZot Swim Club. One of the more versatile swimmers in the class, Hanson finished sixth in the 400-yard IM and eighth in the 1,650-yard freestyle at the 2015 American Short Course Championships. He also took 23rd in the 400-meter IM and 1,500-meter freestyle at the 2015 Speedo Junior National Championships. At the 2015 CIF-SS D-I Championships, Hanson was ninth in the 200-yard IM and 11th in the 500-yard freestyle.
Hanson Top Times: 4:30.77 LCM/3:52.89 SCY in 400 IM, 9:18.00 SCY in 1000 Freestyle, 15:32.80 SCY in 1650 Freestyle
Jones, a sprint freestyler from Fairfax, Va., attends Robinson Secondary School and trains with Nation’s Capital Swim Club. One of the top youth sprinters in the nation, Jones has twice been crowned the champion at the Virginia High School League 6A State Championships in both the 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard freestyle. He additionally placed first in the 100-yard freestyle at 2015 NCSA Junior Nationals. Jones is a member of the 2015-16 USA Swimming Junior National Team.
Jones Top Times: 22.70 LCM/19.95 SCY in 50 Freestyle, 50.93 LCM/43.97 SCY in 100 Freestyle
Martin, a backstroke/butterfly swimmer from Moorestown, N.J., goes to Moorestown High School and trains with the Jersey Wahoos. He won the 100-yard backstroke at the 2014-15 New Jersey State Championships and finaled in three events at the 2015 NCSA Junior National Championships, taking fourth in the 50-yard backstroke, sixth in the 100-yard butterfly and eighth in the 100-yard backstroke.
Martin Top Times: 57.50 LCM/48.47 SCY in 100 Backstroke, 2:05.60 LCM/1:45.97 SCY in 200 Backstroke, 56.08 LCM/48.21 SCY in 100 Butterfly, 4:33.75 LCM/3:52.93 SCY in 400 IM
Montague is from Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich., attends Grosse Pointe South High School and competes for the Grosse Pointe Gators. He primarily swims the breaststroke and IM events, having won the 100-yard breaststroke and 200-yard IM at the 2014-15 Michigan D-II State Championships. He also won the 200-meter IM and took second at the 100-meter breaststroke at the 2015 Speedo Champions Series in Indianapolis.
Montague Top Times: 1:02.08 LCM/54.66 SCY in 100 Breaststroke, 2:14.37 LCM/2:00.62 SCY in 200 Breaststroke, 2:05.28 LCM/1:48.30 SCY in 200 IM
Smachlo, a butterfly swimmer from Rexford, N.Y., attends Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts and trains with the Albany Starfish. He recorded top-10 finishes in the 100-yard butterfly, 200-yard butterfly and 200-yard IM at the 2014 Speedo Champions Series in Ithaca, New York, and finished 21st in the 100-meter butterfly at the 2015 Speedo Junior National Championships.
Smachlo Top Times: 53.48 LCM/45.61 SCY in 100 Freestyle, 55.06 LCM/48.42 SCY in 100 Butterfly, 2:03.23 LCM/1:47.92 SCY in 200 Butterfly, 2:09.37 LCM/1:48.47 SCY in 200 IM
Swanson, a breaststroke/IM swimmer from Richmond, Va., attends St. Christopher’s School and trains with Inc Nova of Virginia Aquatics. At the 2015 Virginia Independent Schools Championships, Swanson set a VSIS record by nearly a second-and-a-half in the 200-yard IM, while taking second place in the 100-yard breaststroke and swimming on the winning 200-yard medley and 400-yard freestyle relays. Swanson finished first in the 200-meter IM and 400-meter IM at the 2015 NCSA Junior National Championships, and also placed second in the 400-yard IM.
Swanson Top Times: 1:04.38 LCM/55.93 SCY in 100 Breaststroke, 2:17.12 LCM/2:00.05 SCY in 200 Breaststroke, 2:03.70 LCM/1:48.90 SCY in 200 IM, 4:20.37 LCM/3:48.98 SCY in 400 IM
Zofchak, a local product, attends Dexter High School and trains with Club Wolverine. He primarily swims the backstroke. He won the 100-yard backstroke and took second in the 200-yard IM at the 2014-2015 Michigan D-II State Championships and was a three-time finalist at the 2014 Speedo Champions Series.
Zofchak Top Times: 52.75 LCM/46.71 SCY in 100 Freestyle, 56.94 LCM/49.72 SCY in 100 Backstroke, 2:02.56 LCM/1:47.84 SCY in 200 Backstroke, 2:06.69 LCM/1:50.22 SCY in 200 IM
Anderson is from Lake Forest, Calif., and attends El Toro High School. He qualified for the 2015 USA Diving National Championships in all three events, advancing to the semifinals on both three-meter and platform.
Herremans is from Rockford, Michigan and attends Rockford High School. He is a two-time MHSAA D-I Boys Swim and Dive state champion, including a state record score of 528.45 in 2015. He is a two-time NISCA All-American. At the 2015 USA Diving National Championships, Herremans made the semifinals on both one-meter and three-meter (16-18 Boys).
Swimming news courtesy of Michigan Swimming & Diving.