Turkish Freestyle Specialist Ela Naz Ozdemir Commits to Georgia Tech for 2024

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Turkish freestyle specialist Ela Naz Ozdemir is headed to Georgia Tech this fall as a late addition to the Yellowjackets, bolstering their roster before the ACC gets even more competitive next season with Cal and Stanford joining the conference.

Ozdemir will bring tons of international racing experience to Atlanta. The 18-year-old took home a bronze medal at the 2021 European Junior Championships, splitting 2:03.83 on the third leg of Turkey’s 4×200 free relay. She has also competed at the past two World Championships, posting a personal-best 200 free time of 2:00.52 leading off Turkey’s 4×200 free relay in February.

“I’m extremely excited to announce my verbal commitment to continue my athletic and academic career at Georgia Institute of Technology for the class of 2028,” Ozdemir said. “I want to say huge thanks to everybody who supported me for this whole time especially my family, friends and coaches. Can’t wait to be a Yellow Jacket. 🐝🐝STING EM!!!🐝🐝”

Ozdemir is slated to be the only Turkish swimmer on the Georgia Tech women’s roster next season, but Turkish native and rising senior Mert Kilavuz is one of the standouts among the Yellowjacket men. Fellow Turkish swimmer Deniz Ertan spent one season at Georgia Tech before transferring to Arizona State last year.

Best LCM Times (Converted to SCY) 

  • 50 free – 26.39 (23.05)
  • 100 free – 56.62 (49.56)
  • 200 free – 2:00.52 (1:45.69)
  • 100 back – 1:04.08 (56.64)

Ozdemir’s best converted 200 free time would have placed 7th at the ACC Championships in February, where the Yellowjackets’ best performer was 30th-place finisher Sophie Murphy (1:48.23). Her best converted 100 free time would have made the C-final at ACCs. The Georgia Tech women placed 9th out of 11 teams at ACCs last season, holding their same position from 2023.

The Yellowjackets’ 2024 recruiting class features other international talent such as Elisabeth Erlendsdottir (Faroe Islands) and Giovana Medeiros (Brazil) along with domestic recruits Zara Masud, Lily Alderman, Isabella Klinefelter, Lauren Adams, and Samantha Chan. Head coach Courtney Shealy Hart has been leading the program since 2009.

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1 month ago

How does GT get so many Turks?

About Riley Overend

Riley is an associate editor interested in the stories taking place outside of the pool just as much as the drama between the lane lines. A 2019 graduate of Boston College, he arrived at SwimSwam in April of 2022 after three years as a sports reporter and sports editor at newspapers …

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