South African National Champ Matt Sates Gives Georgia Its First 2022 Commit

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South African swimmer Matt Sates has verbally committed to join the University of Georgia as the member of the high school class of 2022. That makes him Georgia’s first class of 2022 commitment and one of the first nationally.

Sates is the latest in a re-developing South Africa-to-Georgia pipeline that has opened up since the program hired Neil Versfeld, a Bulldog alumnus, as an assistant coach a year ago. Henre Louw and Dune Coetzee have also both committed from South Africa to Georgia since then.

Sates says that both head coach Jack Bauerle and Versfeld were instrumental in his decision to choose Georgia.

“Coach Neil is an ex-South African and was coached by my current coach, Wayne Riddin at my current club in Pietermaritzburg, Seals Swimming Club,” Sates said of his connection to Versfeld. “Neil started with Wayne Riddin, as I did as an age group swimmer. Neil went on to qualify for the Olympics in 2008. Neil understands our programme, my passion and ‘where I come from.’ I am excited about what the future holds for all of us at UGA.”

Like Versfeld, Sates is a very good breaststroker – but he brings a ton of other event potentials to Athens, including the IM races. In August of 2019, he won South African Short Course National Championships in the 200 breast, 200 IM, and 400 IM, and had a number of other individual top 5 finishes – including finishing as the runner-up in the 100 fly.

Best Times in Long Course, Short Course, and Converted Yards

LCM SCM SCY (Conversion)
50 free 23.76 23.20 20.68
100 free 52.09 51.22 45.48
200 free 1:54.12 1:51.48 1:39.92
100 fly 53.84 54.59 47.24
200 fly 2:03.20 2:00.42 1:48.46
100 breast 1:03.70 1:01.65 55.54
200 breast 2:17.31 2:12.32 1:59.20
200 IM 2:03.62 2:00.69 1:48.48
400 IM 4:25.43 4:16.92 3:51.45

To this point of his career, Sates has been as good in short course as he has in long course, which gives high hopes for his transition to the NCAA yards system.

Georgia finished 3rd at last year’s SEC Championship meet, just 22 points behind runners-up Texas A&M for 2nd. The program has a strong history of producing depth over 200 yard and IM races, and that’s likely where Sates will be heading when he arrives in Athens.

If you have a commitment to report, please send an email with a photo (landscape, or horizontal, looks best) and a quote to [email protected].

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that guy
3 months ago

dude looks like an absolute chiller

Matt sates
Reply to  that guy
3 months ago

Yesssir I am brother 😂

Matt sates
Reply to  that guy
3 months ago

100% bro

Ladyvoldisser
3 months ago

Dang UGA they getting all the fast male swimmers. But a great choice Matt – congratulations.

GA Boy
3 months ago

Talk about an all around swimmer!

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

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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