Vols Dip Into the Aussie Sprint Talent Pool; Get Braga Verhage Commit

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The University of Tennessee men’s swimming and diving team just got a verbal commitment from Australia’s Braga Verhage, a top sprinter from West Coast Swimming Club in Perth.

“I’m incredibly excited to join Tennessee. With its great combination of athletics and studies I believe it’s a place where I can reach my goals. It has fantastic facilities and an awesome coaching team. Go Vols!”

Verhage is primarily a sprint freestyler, 100 backstroker and 100 butterflier. At the recent Western Australia State Teams Age Short Course meet in Canberra, Verhage put up best times in the the 50 SCM free (22.18), 50 SCM back (25.01), 50 SCM fly (23.47), and 100 SCM fly (53.61). He was fourth in the 50 free at Australian Age Group Nationals this summer in the long course pool, clocking a swift 23.19. Verhage’s converted short course meters times amount to:

50 free 22.18 19.98
100 free 50.40 45.40
50 back 25.01 22.53
100 back 55.07 49.61
50 fly 23.47 21.14
100 fly 53.61 48.29

Verhage is the second sprint star that head coach Matt Kredich has mined from Australia; Luke Percy spent a year at Knoxville as a Volunteer in 2013-14 before deciding to head back to his native Southport Olympic Swimming Club. Verhage will be an immediate-impact player for the Vols, adding strength to the sprints and relay events, and is a great complement to the already- committed members of the class of 2020:

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5 years ago

TBH, it is extremely unlikely that any top-line Australian swimmers will take the NCAA route. IF they are seriously wishing to pursue tertiary education, then the leading AUS universities are of a standard superior to 95% of the top NCAA “swim” schools. Whilst there is NO collegiate sport system in AUS, almost all universities are accommodating of elite student/athletes. In the post WW2 era, through the 50’s and 60’s there was a line of top level AUS male swimmers who took the US collegiate route starting with John Marshall & John Davies then the likes of Murray Rose, Jon Henricks through to Bob Windle. This started to dry up in the 70’s with the last “top-liner” to go collegiate being… Read more »

Reply to  commonwombat
5 years ago

Ever heard of Cal Berkeley and Stanford? I’ve heard they’re decent schools. They may have a swimmer or two, too.

Matt Targett?
5 years ago

He was a good Australian in the ncaa right

5 years ago

Targett was a monster. Split 18.1/40.4 on free relays at his peak. This kid has great sprint fly potential, though. 21.1 is about what Conger was around his age. Should be a great relay value for Tennessee.

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swim/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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