Turkish National Champion Defne Tacyildiz Chooses Georgia Tech for 2021

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Georgia Tech has picked up a verbal commitment for fall 2021 from Turkish national champion Defne Tacyildiz.

The Turkey-GT pipeline continues; on the men’s side, 800 free Turkish record-holder Mert Kilavuz and National Team member Berke Saka are already part of the class of 2025. Further, 200 free Turkish record-holder Batur Unlu is part of the GT men’s class of 2024.

I am so excited and honored to announce my verbal commitment to swim and study at Georgia Tech! My family, coaches and teammates have been so supportive in this entire process and I could not be more thankful to have them in my life and by my side. I am so lucky to have the opportunity to be a part of such an amazing team. Can’t wait to be a part of the yellow jacket family! 🐝


  • 200 free – 2:05.48 / 1:50.55
  • 400 free – 4:21.13 / 4:52.36
  • 100 fly – 1:01.71 / 54.86
  • 200 fly – 2:10.95 / 1:56.73
  • 200 IM – 2:19.16 / 2:01.77
  • 400 IM – 4:51.45 / 4:16.49

Last summer, Tacyildiz made the 200 fly final at the 2019 World Junior Championships, finishing seventh overall (2:12.72). Prior to that meet, Tacyildiz qualified for the 200 fly final at the 2019 European Junior Championships, placing fifth in the final (2:12.09).

At the 2020 Turkish Spring Nationals in March, Tacyildiz won national titles in the 100 fly (1:01.71) and 200 fly (2:10.95), notching personal bests in both.

Tacyildiz is one of Georgia Tech’s top female recruits, ever.

Her speed in the butterfly and IM, especially in the longer events within those disciplines, will immediately be of huge value to the Yellow Jackets. GT had nobody under 55 or under 1:59 in the butterfly events last season, and her converted times in the IM would’ve put Tacyildiz at #2 in the 400 and #3 in the 200 last year on GT’s top times list. Plus, her 1:56.73 converted time in the 200 fly is faster than their school record (1:57.47, Laura Branton, 2017).

With her converted times, Tacyildiz would’ve been a 2020 ACC A-finalist in the 200 fly and a C-finalist in the 400 IM; GT had no A-finalists in swimming at the 2020 ACC Champs.

Tacyildiz joins Clarissa SabinCaroline Pape, Sophie Murphy, Lily Burke and Sarah Livingston in GT’s class of 2025.

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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3 years ago

Go tech! Awesome class so far and only going up!

GA Boy
3 years ago

It do be a new pipeline I guess.

About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

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