Nov. 19, 2013
AUBURN, Ala. – The Auburn swimming and diving team announced the signings of 17 newcomers for the Class of 2014, Tigers head coach Brett Hawke announced on Tuesday.
Joining the men’s team will be Joshua Booth, Jacob Molacek, Logan Samuelson, Grant Schenk, Pete Turnham and Zachary Warner. On the women’s side, Madeline Cox, McKenna DeBever, Ashton Ellzey, Jessica Hodgson, Valerie Hull, Brooke Malone, Genny Pittman, Breanna Roman and Zoe Thatcher. The class is made up of seven men and 10 women.
“We wanted to add depth on the women’s side and I feel like we brought in newcomers that will contribute to our team early next year. Both classes are filled with talent and can make an immediate impact,” Hawke said of the 17 signees. “We’re excited for the group of student-athletes that we’ve signed; I’m very proud of the coaching staff and they’ve worked to recruit these newcomers. All of the swimmers have high character that fit the student-athlete we want to represent Auburn’s rich tradition and championship history.”
The Tigers will also have two swimmers joining the team beginning in January. Auburn’s women pick up a boost in the breaststroke as New Zealand national champion Natasha Lloyd joins the Tigers at the mid-year mark. Cameron Jones will compete in the free and fly for the men and follows in the footsteps of Auburn swimmers that hail from Australia.
"All of our men's signees bring skills that can help us in several events next season," Hawke said. "We are excited to see how they can contribute and our staff worked hard to bring in top-talent that will make a difference in the pool, but also represent our program in the way we want it to be."
Auburn’s men added one of the nation’s top breaststrokers as Jacob Molacek (Omaha, Neb.) will provide depth for the Tigers in 2014. Molacek’s ranked the seventh-best swimmer in the nation by CollegeSwimming.com, Molacek is listed as the top swimmer in Nebraska and competed in several events at the 2013 USA Swimming Speedo Junior National Championships.
The Tigers also add Joshua Booth (Jacksonville, Fla.) the 30th-ranked swimmer in the 2014 class and fourth-best in the state of Florida. Boothe is a versatile swimmer that is native of Scotland and reached U.S. Open time standards in the 100 back and 200 free last year.
Four others look to build depth for the Tigers in 2014. Auburn adds local diver Pete Turnham (Auburn, Ala.), who was the runner-up in the 2013 6A AHSAA Diving Competiton. Zach Warner (Skillman, New Jersey), Grant Schenck (San Diego, Calif.) and Logan Samuelson (Fort Myers, Fla.) all will look to make an immediate for the Tigers in the pool next season.
The Auburn women signed nine newcomers for next season, including the top high school swimmers in the states of Alabama, Ohio and Tennessee.
Genny Pittman (Homewood, Ala.) is the four-time defending state champion in the 100 backstroke and will add immediate depth for the Tigers in that event next season. Pittman qualified for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials in the 100 back.
A native of St. Andrew, Jamaica, Breanna Roman will boost Auburn’s backstroke next season. Competing at The Baylor School in Chattanooga, Tenn., Roman is the Tennessee state champion in the 100 breast and earned All-America honors in the event as well as the 4x50 free and medley relays.
Zoe Thatcher (Mason, Ohio), ranked the 38th-best swimmer in the Class of 2014 by CollegeSwimming.com, brings the versatility in the distance freestyle events to the Tigers. Thatcher posted a 3rd place finish in the 500 free and fourth place in finish in the 1650 free at last year’s U.S. Junior National Championships.
Madeline Cox (Spring, Texas), McKenna DeBever (Jacksonville, Fla.), Ashton Ellzey (Ashton Ellzey), Jessica Hodgson (Jacksonville, Fla., Valerie Hull (San Diego, Calif.) and Brooke Malone (Casselbery, Fla.) round out the signing class for the Tigers.
|Swimming & Diving|
|Joshua Booth||Freestyle/Backstroke||Jacksonville, Fla. (Bolles School)|
|Maddie Cox||Diving||Spring, Texas (Woodlands HS)|
|McKenna DeBeaver||Freestyle/Backstroke||Jacksonville, Fla. (Bolles School)|
|Ashton Ellzey||Freestyle/Fly||Mobile, Ala. (Baker HS)|
|Jessica Hodgson||Freestyle||Jacksonville, Fla. (Bolles School)|
|Valerie Hull||Freestyle||San Diego, Calif. (Westview HS)|
|Brooke Malone||Breaststroke||Casselberry, Fla. (Trinity Prep)|
|Jacob Molacek||Breaststroke||Omaha, Neb. (Creighton Prep)|
|Genny Pittman||Freestyle/Backstroke||Homewood, Ala. (Homewood HS)|
|Breanna Roman||Freestyle/Breaststroke||Kingston, Jamaica (The Baylor School)|
|Logan Samuelson||Freestyle||Fort Myers, Fla. (Fort Myers HS)|
|Grant Schenk||Distance Freestyle||San Diego, Calif. (Mount Carmel HS)|
|Zoe Thatcher||Distance Freestyle||Mason, Ohio (Mason HS)|
|Pete Turnham||Diving||Auburn, Ala. (Auburn HS)|
|Zack Warner||Breaststroke||Skillman, N.J. (Montgomery HS)|