The Tennessee men have begun the Matt Kredich era with his first signing as the head coach of the combined Volunteers program in the form of Connor Shores. The senior out of the Phoenix Swim Club was one of the leaders for the legendary program Brophy Prep, which has won the last 24 Arizona State Championships.
Shores is truly a butterfly specialist; his best time in the 100 fly (51.86 from this year’s State Championship prelims) is almost as fast as his best time in the 100 free (51.02 swum as a junior). He also split a 23.24 on the 200 medley relay at this year’s State Championship meet. His true yards-best is probably a bit faster than the mark from the state meet; he generally swims his best time in March at Sectionals rather than at November’s state meet, but this year’s meet was long course where he swam a 56.92 in meters. That equivalent time really steps up his value for the Volunteers.
The Tennessee men had a lot of very-young butterfly depth last year (though it’s never clear how a team will emerge after a coaching change from one-year to the next), so Shores will have some time to develop. We’ve seen Kredich develop a lot of great butterfliers on the women’s side, now he’ll get a chance to dig in with the men as well. Shores will be a great project.
The Georgia Tech women added a good butterflier of their own in Frederique Lefebvre from the local SwimAtlanta club and Mill Creek High School. Really to push her as just a “butterflier” would be selling her short, as she’s a hugely versatile swimmer. When she was a freshman, she had superstar written all over her in the distance freestyles (she broke five minutes in the 500 as only a freshman), but as she aged her focus really shifted towards the butterfly and IM races.
Her best times in the butterfly races are 56.94/2:04.94. She’ll potentially fill a big role for the Yellow Jackets, as their best two butterfliers from last year (Jordan Evans and Keren Siebner) both graduated. That leaves Lefebvre faster than any returning Tech’er was in the 2011-2012 season, and in a battle with sophomore Kate Brandus for the 1A spot in the 100 fly.
I’d expect Lefebvre to also end up on the 400 free relay at some point early in her Georgia Tech career; during her senior season, when she was training for the 500 free, she split a 52.77 in the 100 free.