Yale Men’s Swim and Dive Welcomes Fast Incoming Class

Modified from Press Release courtesy of Yale Sports Publicity

Having established itself as a powerhouse in distance freestyle during the 2013-14 season, the Yale men’s swimming and diving team is filling in other needs with a talented recruiting class made up of eight swimmers and one diver.

Representing six states and two foreign countries (California, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Ohio, and South Carolina, as well as Singapore and South Africa), the class of 2018 will bring impressive talent to the team while making unique contributions to academic and extracurricular life at Yale College.

Tim Wise, the Robert J. H. Kiphuth Director of Men’s Swimming and Diving, said that he looks forward to welcoming the fourth recruiting class of his tenure.  “We have attracted interest from very talented athletes based upon the results we have achieved,” said Wise, whose team has gone 14-7 in Ivy League dual meets in the past three years.

“This class is perhaps the fastest group to ever enroll at Yale. For a program that has been around for 116 years that is a pretty bold statement, but true nonetheless. We need them to continue to improve if we are to chase the goals we have set for the program. We are excited for their arrival in New Haven this summer.”

Diving coach Chris Bergère spoke highly of the team’s new diver, Wayne Zhang of South Bend, Indiana. “Wayne is going to add depth and talent to our men’s program,” Bergère said.

Listed below are the members of the Yale Swim and Dive class of 2018:

Dirk Bell: Free/Fly/IM • Mt. Pleasant, SC • Wando High School • Club: LTP Swimming

100 butterfly: 49.63
100 freestyle: 46.20
500 freestyle: 4:27.43
1000 freestyle: 9:08.65
1650 freestyle: 15:35.18
400 IM: 3:58.28

Set four Wando High School records… Individual state champion, four-time relay state champion… Team won three state championships… Set five LTP Swimming records (500, 1000 and 1650 freestyle, 400 IM, and 100 fly), three South Carolina individual state records… Nationals qualifier… Team was third overall at the 2013 and 2014 short course state championship… Attended the National Open Water Select Camp… Competed at 2013 Open Water National Championships.

Why Yale:  “Yale’s outstanding reputation of academic excellence, experienced coaching staff, and close knit team made my college decision an easy one. It will be an honor to contribute to such a successful and historic program.”

Matt Coetzee: Breast • Kloof, South Africa • Kloof High School • Club: Aquazone Swim Club

100 LCM breaststroke: 1:08.16
200 LCM breaststroke: 2:25.99

Member of the South African Senior National Team in 2013 and 2014… 2012 Olympic Trials Qualifier… Top ranked senior swimmer on Aquazone…Kloof High School swim team captain senior year, vice captain junior year… Swim team won Durban ‘n Districts three years in a row.

Why Yale: “Yale’s global reputation for developing leaders as well as the significant opportunities on offer, in every sphere of life, made it my top choice.”

Harrison Gu: Breast/IM • Rockville, Md. • Winston Churchill School • Club: Rockville Montgomery Swim Club

100 breaststroke: 56.36
200 breaststroke: 2:03.19
200 IM: 1:51.80
400 IM: 4:00.66

Won Division, Region and State Championships with Winston Churchill… Team captain, winner of High Point Award and Bulldog Award… PVS Outstanding Athlete of the Year… Helped RMSC achieve three third-place finishes at NCSA Junior Nationals.

Why Yale: “Of all the schools I looked at, Yale provided the best combination of academics and athletics and its Hogwarts-like campus is breathtaking.”

Kei Hyogo: Free/IM • Singapore • Singapore American School • Club: Swimfast Aquatics Club

1500 LCM freestyle: 15:35.48
400 LCM freestyle: 3:57.85
200 LCM freestyle: 1:52.87
400 LCM IM: 4:27.41
200 LCM IM: 2:06.21

Two-time MVP of Singapore American School Sharks… Holds 14 school records, eight IASAS records… Four-time IASAS FINA High Point Winner… Won three ISAS Championships with SAS Sharks and seven Singapore Opens with Swimfast Aquatics Club.

Why Yale: “I truly felt that the guys and coaches at Yale are amazing people, and that they have an amazing program. I can’t wait to contribute to their program as one of its members while striving to achieve my own goals at the same time.”

Derek Kao • Breast/IM • Walnut, Calif. • Walnut High School • Club: Brea Aquatics

100 breaststroke: 54.91
200 breaststroke: 1:59.87
200 IM: 1:52.56
50 freestyle: 21.55

Varsity swimming captain for three years… Undefeated league champions for four years, Hacienda League record holder for the 200 medley relay and 400 free relay… All-American Swimmer, Hacienda League Most Valuable Swimmer for two years, Walnut High School Most Valuable Swimmer for four years, San Gabriel Valley All-Area Swimmer for three years…CIF Athlete of the Year Nominee, CIF Finalist for four years.. 2014 CIF champion and record holder in the 100 breaststroke… Hacienda League record holder for the 200 IM and 100 breaststroke…Walnut High School record holder for the 100 breast… Academic All-American for two years…13-time Hacienda League champion.

Why Yale: “I chose Yale because it appears to be the only place where great minds and a strong sense of camaraderie exist together.”

Yu-bin Kim: Fly/Free • Westlake Village, Calif. • Westlake High School • Club: CLASS Aquatics

100 butterfly: 49.35
200 butterfly: 1:50.54
50 free: 21.31
100 free: 46.64

Swam for four years in high school, team MVP in freshman year… Two-time Varsity Letter Award… Three-time Marmonte League Champion, holds three school records…Holds Southern California Record in 400 Meter Medley Relay… Two-time Scholastic All-American.

Why Yale: “I chose Yale because of its strong sense of community and the infinite opportunities created by going to a school with such esteem and prestige.”

Shawn Nee: Back/Fly/IM • Wayland, Mass. • Club: Shawmut Aquatic Club

100 backstroke: 48.33
200 backstroke: 1:45.47
100 butterfly: 49.11
400 IM: 3:56.95

Shawmut Aquatic Club record holder in the 100 back (48.33), 200 back (1:45.47), and 400 IM (3:56.95)… Went to 2010 National Diversity Select Camp at the US Olympic Training Center.

Why Yale: “The choice was easy: Yale offered a unique balance of academic and athletic excellence that no other university can offer.  The very close team, involved coaches, and world class academics were awesome, and I can’t wait to spend the next four years at Yale!”

Jonathan Rutter: Breast/IM • Wyoming, Ohio • Wyoming (Ohio) High School • Club: YMCA Tigersharks & Wyoming Swim Club Swordfish

200 breaststroke: 1:56.90
100 breaststroke: 55:58
200 IM: 1:49.15
200 freestyle 1:37.87

Captain of Wyoming (Ohio) High School Swim Team during senior year… Cincinnati Hills League First Team… School records in 100 breaststroke, 200 individual medley, 200 freestyle and 500 freestyle… three-time Ohio D2 state champion: 100 breaststroke for 2013 & 2014; 200 individual medley for 2014… four-year junior national qualifier…five-year YMCA national qualifier (11 YMCA national meets)… 200 LCM Breaststroke: US Open, senior national, US Olympic Trial qualifier; 2013 YMCA National Champion and National Record holder.

Why Yale: “I was denied from Hogwarts, but Yale was definitely the second most magical school I could find.”

Wayne Zhang: Diving • South Bend, Ind. • Penn High School • Club: Double Dragon Diving Club

2013-2014 first team all-conference in Northern Indiana Conference… 2013-2014 Mishawaka sectional champion… 2013-2014 Indiana state meet qualifier/finalist… 2013 USA Diving summer zones qualifier…Honorable Mention for Diving in Northern Indiana Conference …  Competed in Junior Olympic Regional Competition 2011 … Won “Outstanding Freshman Award” at Penn High School … Qualified and dove in the Speedo Junior National Championships for diving.

Why Yale:  “I chose Yale because of the people – step on campus, and the students are uncannily friendly, genuine, and warm in way that permeates every facet of campus. The result is a sense of community that is as unmistakable as it is distinct.”


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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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