Turkish National Teamer Berke Saka Verbally Commits to Georgia Tech

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17-year-old Berke Saka, who hails from Istanbul, Turkey, has announced his verbal commitment to Georgia Tech for 2021-22.

“I’m extremely excited to announce my verbal commitment to continue my swimming and academic career at Georgia Institute of Technology for the class of 2025. I want to say huge thanks to everybody who supported me for this whole time especially my family, teachers and coaches. I choose Georgia Tech because I think it will be better for me and I’ll be able to prove my self in and out of the pool in so many ways. I’m going to leave where I spent my 17 years with some tears of joy for my future. Go JACKETS 🐝💪”

Saka is one of Turkey’s top youth swimmers and represents his country in international competitions. He competed at FINA World Junior Championships in Budapest last August, swimming the 100/200 back and 200 IM. At the 2019 European Youth Olympic Festival in Baku in July, he picked up a silver medal in the 200 back (2:01.62) and a bronze in the 200 IM (2:03.25). He placed 6th in the 100 back (56.99), 4th in the men’s 400 medley relay (57.31 leadoff backstroke), and 7th in the mixed 400 medley relay (57.55 leadoff). His 200 IM performance was a PB by 3 seconds. In March, Saka picked up new times in the 100/200 back at the Turkish Championships in Edirne.

Top LCM times (converted to SCY):

  • 200 back – 2:00.22 (1:46.14)
  • 100 back – 56.39 (49.72)
  • 50 back – 26.69 (23.50)
  • 200 IM – 2:03.25 (1:48.06)
  • 400 IM – 4:34.19 (4:01.25)

Saka’s best converted time in the 200 back would already score in the C final at the ACC Men’s Championship and he isn’t far off in the 200 IM and the 200 back.

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1 year ago

That’s a really solid pickup for GT! With one of the best pools in the country, top tier academics, and being located in a huge city, they have all the resources to be a powerhouse. If they keep recruiting like this, they may be on the upswing pretty soon

Reply to  JCO
1 year ago

That’s been said for years — they used to be though.

Reply to  JCO
1 year ago

I always wonder how they have the money for all the foreign recruits they get.

GA Boy
Reply to  collegeswimmer
1 year ago

they don’t give scholarships to local kids so they have the money to give scholarships to foreigners.

Reply to  GA Boy
1 year ago

The absolute truth — exactly why no elite GA recruits go to GT. Need a coaching change at the top yesterday because Courtney has done nothing but lower the program since inheriting it.

Reply to  GA Boy
1 year ago

There is that HOPE scholarship for in state kids right?

Reply to  2Fat4Speed
1 year ago

There is, but when I was in high school it was 90% tuition for a 3.0 unweighted and 100% tuition for a 3.7 unweighted. No room and board.

So when GT isn’t even offering to cover the difference — kind of head scratching. Not only that, the program just doesn’t generate great results when you look around the ACC.

Reply to  SWIMGUY12345
1 year ago

They were 24th in the country last year. How long ago were you in school. Hope only covers 50% now. And they still aren’t fully funded.

Reply to  JCO
1 year ago

Only having 4 men’s and (I think) like 6 or 7 women’s scholarships make things tough, and don’t forget that top tier academics also create top tier admissions standards/hurdles for certain degree’s, etc.

They should be good, but they do have challenges.

Reply to  Aquabullet
1 year ago

Kind of a weak excuse. Stanford, the Ivies, Cal, Northwestern, Michigan, Duke, Notre Dame, and more all have better academics and swim programs.

They don’t let those challenges stop them.

Reply to  JCO
1 year ago

I think they have really been picking it up on the recruiting end. Their staff seems to be doing a great job reaching out to club coaches both regionally and internationally.

1 year ago

There is a need of changing the head coach. The program haven’t been improving for years and only relaying on 1-2 top swimmers. Great school and great facilities. Great future

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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