Men's Swimming Adds Six More To The Class Of 2017
May 2, 2013
AMHERST, Mass. - Massachusetts men's swimming and diving head coach Russ Yarworth announced the addition of six student-athletes to the class of 2017, joining both Ben Sloan and Thomas Brennan who signed in the fall. Headlining the group are Ed Kim and Alex Mesisca, each of whom signed NLI's in to join the Minutemen.
Joining Kim and Mesisca are Jonny Dray, Heath Maginn, Nick Sundquist and Aaron Szczepanek, all of which will be joining UMass as preferred walk-ons.
Kim comes to the Minutemen from Ridgewood, N.J. with plans of majoring in Kinesiology. The breaststroker holds personal best times of 58.69 in the 100-yard breast and 2:05.32 in the 200-yard breast. Kim's current 200 time would put him in the top-10 in the UMass record books.
"Ed moves beautifully underwater and is going to continue to improve as he transitions into the UMass program," says Yarworth. "We're expecting great breaststroke swims from him."
Mesisca, another Garden State native will join the Minutemen as an already accomplished sprinter as he holds five Shawnee High School records. He was named 2013 Burlington County Swimmer of the Year and was recognized as a South Jersey, All-County and All-Conference First-Teamer. Mesisca holds top-times of 21.29 in the 50 free and 47.44 in the 100 free.
According to Yarworth, Mesisca "is an explosive sprint talent who is just waiting for college to show what he can do." He continues, "I'm excited to get him up and training in our power program."
Dray comes to UMass from Centerville, Mass. and Barnstable High School where he holds nine records and captained his senior year. He also swam for the Cape Cod YMCA Makos Swim Team for eight years, over which he set a total of 14 records, including 10 individual. The versatile Dray holds top times of 59.19 in the 100 breast and 1:42.95 in the 200 free, while also posting a time of 1:56.09 in the 200 IM.
"Jonny is a very determined and motivated young athlete. I really believe he will thrive in the college athletic environment," says coach Yarworth.
Maginn will join fellow Kansans Michael Glenn and Sloan when he makes his way up to Amherst, this fall. The St. James Academy graduate is a five-time Kansas state champion and has been named First Team All-State during the past three seasons. Maginn was also a Junior National Qualifier in the 200 back and 400 IM, where he holds times of 1:51.60 and 4:04.02, respectively.
"Heath comes from a very accomplished USS program with the Kansas City Blazers," says Yarworth. "His IM versatility will lend to our ability to swim athletes in multiple events. I fully expect him to be one of our top backstrokers as well."
Sundquist comes down to UMass from Windham, Maine where he was a three-time All-State athlete. The graduate of Windham High School was a three-time team MVP to go along with being named 2011-12 Maine Class A Swimmer of the Year. The six-time Maine state champion holds top times of 47.00 in the 100 free, 50.76 in the 100 back and 51.93 in the 100 fly.
Says Yarworth, "After seeing Nick swim in a few USS meets I know he'd be a great addition to the UMass team." He continues, "He moves very well on top of the water and we look for him to give us front line power in numerous events."
Szczepanek will make the short trip over to Amherst from Ware, Mass. He swam for Palmer High School where he was a four-time Western Mass Champion in both the 100 back and 100 fly, where he holds personal best times of 53.30 and 51.69, respectively.
"Aaron is another one of the top talents in Western Mass to come to UMass in the past few years." Yarworth goes on, "As he adjusts to the college training program we'll see some fast swims from him. At 6'4" 200 lbs he has the frame to really develop!"
The six will join both Thomas Brennan and Ben Sloan, who signed their National Letters of Intent this past fall.
The Minutemen will be looking to fill the void of five graduating seniors from the class of 2013. In their four years with the program Peter Sacco, Eric Zeimetz, Tim O'Neill, Alexander Merkulov and Beau Garufi have helped UMass to three Atlantic 10 titles and each sit in the top-10 of the UMass record books in their respective events.
"This is a very versatile and motivated freshman class. We've filled some of our weak areas and added to our strengths. I fully expect this group to help is continue our success," says Yarworth. "Although we can't replace our graduating seniors the incoming class will inherit their attitude and positive culture."
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