Virginia Swimming and Diving Signs 15 to 2015-2016 Roster

Virginia swimming and diving head coach Augie Busch announced Wednesday (Dec. 10) that 15 student-athletes have signed National Letters of Intent to join the Cavaliers in the fall of 2015.

The women’s group includes Peyton Baldwin, Julia Durmer, Eryn Eddy, Megan Moroney, Kirsten Parkinson, Rachel Politi, Kasey Schmidt, Sara Stranick, Vivian Tafuto and Kylie Towbin, while Zach Fong, Dan Golczewski, Bryce Keblish, Gust Kouvaris and Sam Magnan will be joining the men’s program.

WOMEN

Augie Busch coach UVA, (courtesy of Tim Binning, theswimpictures.com)

Augie Busch, UVA coach (courtesy of Tim Binning, theswimpictures.com)

“I am very pleased with this women’s signing class,” Busch said. “It covers a lot of areas of need for us while adding depth in key events. They are all great students, great people and are genuinely excited about coming to UVa. We can’t wait to bring them to Grounds and get to work with them.”

Peyton Baldwin

Fly/Back
Newport News, Va. – Hampton Roads Academy
Coast Guard Blue Dolphins
• Two-time Virginia state long-course champion (100m fly, 200m back)
• USA Scholastic All-American
• 2014 Daily Press Swimmer of the Year
Busch on Baldwin: “Peyton had a breakout season last summer which was very fun to watch. She is someone whom we’ve had our eye on for a while since both her parents and brother attended UVa. She is a strong flyer who will only get better at the next level. More importantly, she is a great person whose attitude will always be enhancing the team environment. It will be so great to watch her continue her family legacy here on Grounds.”

Julia Durmer

Distance Free/IM
Decatur, Ga. – St. Pius X Catholic
Dynamo Swim Club
• USA Scholastic All-American
• Placed fifth in 1,000 free and sixth in 1,650 free at 2014 NCSA Juniors
• Ranked No. 1 in 1,650 free in state of Georgia and No. 2 in 500 and 1,000 free
• Younger sister of UVa junior and two-time NCAA qualifier Haley Durmer
Busch on Durmer: “Julia is going to be a great addition to the team. She is preceded by her sister (Haley), which has allowed her to get to know our women already. She will add a lot of value to our strong group of distance swimmers. Her vibrant personality will uplift the team in a very positive manner. We’re excited for Julia to get here.”

Eryn Eddy

Free
Loveland, Colo. – Thompson Valley High School
Loveland Swim Club
• Colorado Female Swimmer of the Year
• High school All-American
• Placed fifth in the 200m free at the 2014 Junior National Championships
• Four-time Colorado state champion (2x-200 free, 1x-100 free, 1x-500 free)
Busch on Eddy: “I think Eryn is one of the best freestylers coming out of this high school class of 2015. Her talent is readily apparent when you watch her swim. She is someone who will not only be dependable in the middle distance/distance events, but she has the skill set to have a significant impact on relays as well. I am so excited to see what she does here at UVa.”

Megan Moroney

Free/Fly
Deerfield Beach, Fla. – Saint Andrew’s School
Saint Andrew’s Aquatics
• Seven-time Florida state champion (4x-100 fly, 3x-200 free)
• NISCA/Speedo High School All-American
• USA Scholastic All-American
• Two-time Sun-Sentinel Swimmer of the Year
Busch on Moroney: “Megan is a fantastic swimmer who possesses a tremendous desire to have a huge college career. Her attitude and work ethic combined with her talent make her a tremendous asset for our team. She has the ability to contribute significantly on relays in her time here. We are so excited she chose UVa.”

Kirsten Parkinson

Diving
Stamford, Conn. – Convent of the Sacred Heart
Whirlwind Diving
• 2013 and 2014 high school All-American
• Placed second on 1-meter and fifth on 3-meter at 2014 YMCA National Championships
Head Diving Coach Jason Glorius on Parkinson: “Kirsten has competed well at the national level for quite some time. She’s one of the most powerful divers I have ever seen. Kirsten is very proficient in the springboard events and is improving on tower.”

Rachel Politi

Fly/Free
Bexley, Ohio – Columbus School for Girls
Ohio State Swim Club
• NISCA/Speedo High School All-American
• USA Scholastic All-American
• Ohio state runner-up in 100 fly and 200 free relay
Busch on Politi: “Rachel has a bright future ahead of her at UVa. She has a gift for moving underwater that you look for in butterfly specialists and her stroke will only improve with strength and experience. She has the skill set to potentially be a huge contributor on relays. It will be a lot of fun coaching her the next four years.”

Kasey Schmidt

Free
Saint Augustine, Fla. – The Bolles School
Bolles School Sharks
• Five-time Florida state champion (2x-50 free, 2x-200 free relay, 1x-400 free relay)
• NISCA/Speedo High School All-American
• USA Scholastic All-American
• Two-time Florida Times Union All-First Coast Swimmer of the Year
Busch on Schmidt: ” Kasey will come in and provide an instant spark to our sprint group. She is an explosive athlete who we know will be a mainstay on relays from the start of her career to the end here at Virginia. She is an awesome person with a team-first personality and attitude. We are so pumped to work with her.”

Sara Stranick

Breast/IM
Charlotte, N.C. – Charlotte Catholic High School
SwimMAC Carolina
• NISCA/Speedo High School All-American
• USA Scholastic All-American
Busch on Stranick: “Sara was our first commit this fall and we were so excited when it happened. She is a very talented breaststroker who has a chance to be a very good IMer also. She is only scratching the surface with her overall ability. She comes from a club program that emphasizes similar values that we strive for here at UVa and I’m confident that will only expedite her achieving great success here.”

Vivian Tafuto

Breast/IM/Sprint Free
Hummelstown, Pa. – Hershey High School
Hershey Aquatic Club
• NISCA/Speedo High School All-American
• Pennsylvania state champion in 100 breast
• Made A finals in both breaststroke events at 2013 Winter Junior Nationals
Busch on Tafuto: “Vivian will come here and make a major impact her first year. She has great versatility. It’s very rare that a primary breaststroker like her can swim the long course freestyle times she has swum. She has the chance to excel in a multitude of events and there is no doubt she will fight for multiple relays spots. Her personality and work ethic will add great value to our women’s team.”

Kylie Towbin

Diving
New Canaan, Conn. – New Canaan High School
Whirlwind Diving
• Qualified for the USA Diving Junior National Championships in 2013 and 2014
• 2013 high school All-American
• Won 1-meter title and placed second on both 3-meter and platform at 2014 YMCA National Championships
• Connecticut state champion
Glorius on Towbin: “Kylie has been diving well at the national level for quite some time. She dives with great enthusiasm, quickness and strength. Kylie is very skilled in all three events.”

MEN

“I am so excited to welcome this group to our men’s team,” Busch said. “They are all class acts with team-first attitudes and athletic talents that will make immediate impacts on our program. We as coaches have fed off of the excitement and enthusiasm they already feel toward UVa and our program. We can’t wait to bring them to Grounds to start their collegiate careers.”

Zach Fong

Fly/Breast/Free
Moorestown, N.J. – Moorestown High School
Jersey Wahoos
• NISCA/Speedo High School All-American
• New Jersey state champion in 100 fly and 500 free
Busch on Fong: “Zach has been truly awesome to get to know through the recruiting process. His team-first attitude comes through quickly, as does his devotion to the sport of swimming. He is blessed with the ability to swim many different events at a high level. This versatility will undoubtedly fill many needs we have in different areas. I am eager to bring him to Grounds and get started with coaching him.”

Dan Golczewski

Free
Bel Air, Md. – Patterson Mill High School
Arena Club Aquatics
• USA Scholastic All-American
• Maryland long course state champion in 200 free
Busch on Golczewski: “Dan is a guy that can be really good at the next level. I first saw him swim at Junior Nationals last summer and I believe he can do special things in college. He’ll not only excel in the 200 and 500, but I’m confident, with added strength, he will have the speed to have a huge impact on relays. He is very excited to come to UVa and we’re equally excited to coach him.”

Bryce Keblish

Free/Fly/IM
Fairfield, Conn. – Fairfield Prep
Westport Water Rats
• NISCA/Speedo High School All-American
• Connecticut state champion in 100 fly
• USA Scholastic All-American
Busch on Keblish: “Bryce is a guy who will come in and be a difference maker from day one. He has a passion and drive for the sport you don’t see very often. Combine that with his talent and versatility, and he can be really good. His confidence and dedication will rub off on everyone on the team. It’s exciting to think about what he will develop into here at Virginia.”

Gust Kouvaris

Free/Back/Fly
Troy, Mich. – Brother Rice High School
Birmingham Bloomfield Atlantis
• NISCA/Speedo High School All-American
• Michigan state runner-up in 100 fly
• Three-time member of All-Michigan team
Busch on Kouvaris: “Gust is someone that has a huge future. He is the son of one of the all-time great UVa athletes (Sudi Miller), so he has bled Virginia orange and blue since birth. His enthusiasm to join our team has excited all of us here. Athletically, he is very gifted, possessing a skill set that will no doubt add speed to several relays. I can’t wait to bring him to Grounds for him to begin what I know will be a special collegiate career.”

Sam Magnan

Free
Bethlehem, Pa. – Freedom High School
Parkland Aquatic Club
• Junior National champion in 1,500m free
• United States Junior National Team member
• NISCA/Speedo High School All-American
• USA Scholastic All-American
Busch on Magnan: “Sam is a uniquely gifted swimmer. He absolutely stood out to me last summer as one of the top distance/middle-distance freestylers in his class. He truly loves the sport and that comes through very quickly. He will impact the D-group tremendously and I think he even has the naturally ability to one day play a huge role on freestyle relays. It’s going to be fun to work with him at the next level.”

College Swimming News is courtesy of Virginia Swimming and Diving.

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Joel Lin

What say you Townley Haas?

UVA Fan

Where is Townley? I thought he was #1 for UVA?

UVA Fan – Townley Haas has not publicly committed anywhere yet.

Longtime SwimMom

Latest word on Townley Haas is that he will not attend college next Fall. Will stay in Richmond and train with NOVA to prepare for 2016 Olympic Trials. He and his family feel that the NOVA coaches have done a great job to this point. Everyone in the Haas camp feels that making 2016 Olympic team is a real,possibility. To start from scratch with a new coach & new training program, less than a year before Trials is viewed by many as a risky proposition.

About Gold Medal Mel Stewart

Gold Medal Mel Stewart

MEL STEWART Jr., aka Gold Medal Mel, won three Olympic medals at the 1992 Olympic Games. Mel's best event was the 200 butterfly. He is a former World, American, and NCAA Record holder in the 200 butterfly. As a writer/producer and sports columnist, Mel has contributed to Yahoo Sports, Universal Sports, …

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