June 25, 2009
As collegiate swimmers train for the upcoming season, CollegeSwimming.com released its top 10 recruiting classes Tuesday. The hard work during the 2008 recruiting season paid off for the Big Orange as The University of Tennessee grabbed the NCAA's sixth-ranked class and flexed its muscle as the highest-ranked program in the tough Southeastern Conference.
"For UT to have the highest ranked incoming class in the SEC is refreshing," head coach John Trembley said. "The team dynamics were incredible last season, and I think that's why great student-athletes want to be here at Tennessee."
Trembley and assistant swimming coach Joe Hendee put together an impressive class of swimmers to join the Vols in 2009.
"Hats off to Joe Hendee," Trembley said, "he traveled a lot more in recruiting and all that hard work paid big dividends."
Noteworthy was the signing of the nation's two fastest sprinters: Herbie Behm (Tucson, Ariz.), and Giles Smith (Baltimore, Md.). The two have the best 50 freestyle times of all 2009 high school graduates and will be clad in Big Orange come August.
"With some focus and support, Herbie and Giles can become key players," Trembley said. "They will benefit from a great pool of training partners."
Others making their way to The Hill for the 2009-10 season are Ed Walsh, the United Kingdom's Junior National 50 free champ, Paschal Davis (Nashville, Tenn.), and a pack of middle and long distance swimmers that will add to UT's ranks. This pack consists of Sam Petersen (Berkeley Heights, N.J.), Seth Wensel (Christiansburg, Va.), and Mike Zaczyk (Knoxville, Tenn.).
"Ed Walsh flew under most people's radar," Trembley remarked. "He may well be the surprise of this class."
Diving coach Dave Parrington also inked Jordan Mauney (Chattanooga, Tenn.), who should add to a very talented pool of divers.
Perhaps the greatest indicator of strength in the Vols' 2009 signing class is where it ranks in the formidable SEC. Tennessee's top-ranked SEC recruiting class is even more impressive considering that the SEC posted seven of its eight programs among the top 25, the most of any Division I conference.
"Both Joe and I are UT grads and Dave has been here for 18 years," Trembley said. "We believe in our school and our program and the pride we feel filters to our team."