Pacific Tigers Adds 10 For The 2014-15 Season

Completing his work during the early signing period for swimming, second-year head coach Peter Richardson has announced the additions of 10 new swimmers to the Tigers ranks for the 2014-15 season. Richardson signed seven men and three women during the early signing period in a class that includes the Israeli national record holder in the 50 Free and a two-time Washington state champion.

Joining the men’s ranks in 2014 are: Yahav Shahaff (Israel), Miles Mackenzie (Boulder, Colo.), Jonathan Pun (Davis, Calif.), Zachary Selfridge (San Jose, Calif.), Montana Randall (Walnut Creek, Calif.), Kevin McLaughlin (Pleasanton, Calif.), and Andrew Yasko (Irvine, Calif.).

The new women include: Kenna Ramey (Seattle, Wash.), Vaiva Gimbutyte (Lithuania), and Lauren Atkins (Albuquerque, NM).

“We couldn’t be happier with the incoming recruiting class,” said Richardson. “We are becoming the championship program we talk about everyday. Our goal was to recruit high-level swimmers who desire to be champions in and out of the water… I can’t wait to start coaching this group.”

Men 
Yahav Shahaff (Israel) – Sprint Freestyle, Breastroke
The Israeli national record holder in the 50 LCM freestyle, Yahav Shahaff is a world class sprinter. His time of :22.68 in the 50 LCM freestyle this summer set the national record for Israel. That time converts to a :19.73 in yards which is faster than the school record of :19.77, held by two-time Olympic gold medalist, Brad Schumacher. Shahaff also has a converted time of :55.06 in the 100 breastroke.

“Yahav is going to make an impact on the national and international level. He has the ability to make NCAAs in his freshman year. He could make an impact for every team in the country. We’re honored to be the place where he feels he can accomplish all of his goals.”

Miles Mackenzie (Boulder, Colo.) – Sprint Freestyle
Miles is a junior national qualifier in the 50/100 freestyles. He has been :20.94 and :46.06 in the 50 and 100 freestyles but has been even better in long course meters :24.09/:52.30. At 6’4’’, Mackenzie plays varsity basketball for Fairview High and has only been year-round swimming for a year and a half.

“I want my sprinters to be the best athletes on the team. Miles is a tremendous athlete who has NCAA level upside. Not only will he be a major part of sprint group, he will be one of the team leaders in the near future.”

Jonathan Pun (Davis, Calif.) – Breastroke 
The Tigers did not have to go far to get one of the state’s best breastrokers. Sac-Joaquin section runner up in 2013 in the 100 breastroke, Jonathan Pun brings speed in both breatstrokes. Coached by Billy Doughty at the Davis Aquadarts, Jonathan holds best times of :56.49/2:03.13 in yards and 1:05.76/2:21.63 in long course meters.

“We have had great success in developing breastrokers in the last few years and Jonathan is a perfect fit for us.  He comes from a great club and will make our breastroke group faster and deeper.  We see him being able to break 2:00 in the 200 breastroke in the next year or so.”

Zachary Selfridge (San Jose, Calif.) – Freestyle
Hailing from Osprey Aquatics, Zachary Selfridge burst onto the scene at the California Junior College State Championships last year where he won the 200 freestyle (1:39.16) and placed second in the 500 (4:28.38) and 100 (:45.24) freestyle events. The Tigers are excited about Zach’s ability to swim from 500 – 100 freestyles with great speed. That ability will raid the Tigers in relays the next two years.

“Zach is a racer. I saw him swim at the Junior College State Championships last year and I could just tell he loved to race. We need guys like Zach who just love to compete. That will make us a better every day.”

Montana Randall (Walnut Creek, CA) – Butterfly 
Montana is another junior college state champion joining the Tigers next year. He won the 100 (:48.40) and 200 (1:50.11) butterflies at the 2013 Junior College State Championships. He swims club for the Walnut Creek Aquabears and is a senior national qualifier.

“Monty is a fantastic addition who can be our top flyer in his first year. He has a chance to break both butterfly school records in his time at Pacific. Monty’s success at the junior college level is only a start to great college swimming career.”

Kevin McLaughlin (Pleasanton, CA) – IM, Breastroke 
Kevin McLaughlin adds depth in the IM group with the upcoming graduation of senior Oliver Simkovic. Kevin has a solid time in the 400IM (4:04. 77) and will look to add more speed in college to contribute in the 200IM (1:54.18) as well.

“Kevin swims for the esteemed Pleasanton Seahawks club team and Coach Steve Morsilli. He lives about 35 minutes away from campus and we look forward to him helping out the Tigers in the coming years.”

Andrew Yasko (Irvine, CA) – Distance Freestyle 
While representing the Irvine NOVA club team, Andrew Yasko has been 16:33.04 in the 1500LCM and 8:40.92 in the 800LCM. He will add depth to a growing distance group that has picked up some momentum in the last few years.

“When recruiting distance swimmers you really need to find those who love to work.  Andrew loves to work hard and is a great addition to the D-Group!”

Women 
Kenna Ramey (Seattle, WA) – Sprint Freestyle, Butterfly
Kenna Ramey, the 2013 Washington State Champion in the 50 free (:22.96) and 100 butterfly (:54.32), swims for Coach Doug Djang at King Aquatic Club. Kenna is the first sub :23 50 freestyle signed out of high school in Pacific program history. As one of the country’s best sprinters, Kenna looks to reignite the Tigers back to national prominence.

“There aren’t many :22 second 50 freestylers coming out of high school. We are very proud and excited to have one of them. What we are most excited about is that Kenna is an even better person than swimmer. I truly believe that sprinters win championships and Kenna will be a huge part of bringing the Pacific Tigers back to a top 25 finish at NCAA’s.”

Vaiva Gimbutyte (Lithuania) – Sprint Freestyle, Butterfly 
Vaiva Gimbutyte has represented Lithuania at the European Championships in recent years. She is a sprint flyer and freestyler who can help the Tigers in relays immediately. Gimbutyte has been 1:01.45 in the 100LCM butterfly which converts to a :54.51 in yards.  She can also sprint freestyle as she has been :57.22 in the 100LCM freestyle (:50.58 converted).

“Vaiva is a very positive girl who will help us in the butterfly and sprint freestyle events. Her best times converted would put her within a second or so of a couple school records and we see her teaming up with some of our other sprinters to break some relay records soon!”

Lauren Atkins (Albuquerque, NM) – IM and Backstroke
Hailing from the Lobo Aquatic Club, Lauren Atkins will add depth in IM and backstroke events for the Tigers. At the 2013 New Mexico State Championships, Atkins swam a 2:02.93 in the 200IM. She has also been 2:01.72 in the 200 back and sub 5:00 in the 500 freestyle.

“Lauren is the ideal fit for us here at Pacific. She is a great student-athlete who really wants to be a champion in and out of the pool. Lauren is going to be one of our top IMers and 200 backstrokers and will be a great addition.”

This release was provided to SwimSwam courtesy of Pacific Tigers Swimming.

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About Gold Medal Mel Stewart

Gold Medal Mel Stewart

MEL STEWART Jr., aka Gold Medal Mel, won three Olympic medals at the 1992 Olympic Games. Mel's best event was the 200 butterfly. He is a former World, American, and NCAA Record holder in the 200 butterfly. As a writer/producer and sports columnist, Mel has contributed to Yahoo Sports, Universal Sports, …

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