Nov. 22, 2006

The Tennessee men's swimming and diving team signed a strong, well-balanced class for the 2007-2008 swimming season.

"We believe this talented group of student-athletes will add much to the current Tennessee swimming and diving squad," said UT head coach John Trembley. "I am particularly happy and proud of the success the coaches and team members themselves have enjoyed in this recruiting cycle. It only happens with hard work and perseverance.

"For many of these new Tennessee Volunteers, the new Allan Jones Intercollegiate Aquatic Center was the determining point which pushed them over the edge. Obviously, we are excited for the future of Tennessee swimming and diving."

Three of the highly touted recruits will join the team in January. Breaststroker Sergey Bebyakin from St. Petersburg, Russia and freestylers Michael DeRocco of New York and Henrik Sjoholm of Sweden will join the Vols for the spring semester and begin competing immediately in January.

Bebyakin holds the Russian Junior National record in the 50-meter breaststroke. He also finished second at the Russian National Championships in the 50 breast. His personal bests include 1:02.90 in the 100 breast and 2:19.60 in the 200 breast (all times are in long-course meters). Bebyakin's coach at St. Petersburg University is Oleg Chunyaev.

DeRocco hails from Niskayuna, N.Y., and is an All-America in the 50 and 100 freestyles. He broke Trembley's 35-year-old New York State record of 20.60 in the 50 freestyle. His coach at Niskayuna High School is Mike Stone.

Sjoholm is a Helsingborg, Sweden, native and swims for Slutbetyg Gymnasieskolan. He was a member of the Swedish National Team at the 2006 European Championships in Budapest, Hungary. His best times include 23.20 in the 50 free, 51.20 in the 100 free and 1:51.30 in the 200 free (all times are in long-course meters). His Swedish National Team coach is Jonas Lundstrom.

Nine new student-athletes signed during the early signing period for the 2007-08 season.

Patrick Beasley from Kenosha, Wisc., will add to the Vols depth in the individual medley. He is also a tremendous student in the classroom and will add to a strong tradition of excellence for the Vols. Beasley was born in Kingsport. His high school coach is Franz Feldmeir.

Indianapolis, Ind., native, Michael Christy is the brother of current Lady Vol swim team captain and All-America Elizabeth Christy. Michael won the Indiana state championship in the 200 I.M. in 1:49.10 and the 100 back in 49.86. He was also a member of the recording-setting state championship 200 medley relay (1:32.96) and state champion 400 free relay (3:04.24) while also leading North Central to the 2006 team state championship. His top times include 49.00 in the 100 backstroke, 1:49.10 in the 200 back, 1:49.10 in the 200 I.M., and 4:30.00 in the 500 free. He is coached by Charlie Fry.

Bradley Craig of Michigan is a U.S. National Junior Team member and Junior National Champion in the 200 breast in 2:18.60 and finished second in the 100 breast in 1:04.14, both times are long-course meters. Craig holds the Michigan overall state record in the 100 breast in 56.39, which he set in 2005, and is a member of the state division 2 record holding 400 free relay in 3:10.57. He also won the state championship in the 100 breast in 2006 in 56.47. He is also a tremendous student in the classroom and is coached by Betsy Kolm in Midland, Mich.

Scott Friderichs from Ohio was coached last summer by Olympian, former-Vol and All-America Lars Jorgensen. Friderichs is an outstanding middle-distance freestyler and excellent in the classroom as well. His top times include 1:43.67 in the 200 free and 4:37.32 in the 500 free.

Yoris Grandjean of Belgium adds another top international talent to a class laden with tremendous athletes from the U.S. and worldwide. Grandjean finished first in the 50 free in 22.74 and 100 free in 50.32 and second in the 200 free in 1:52.21 at the FINA World Youth Swimming Championships in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He also won the European Junior Championship in the 100 free, defeating fellow signee Norbert Trandafir. His top times include 22.62 in the 50 free, 50.32 in the 100 free and 1:52.21 in the 200 free (all times are long-course meters). He is coached by Andre Henveaux of Club Liege Natation. Coach Henveaux is a two-time Olympic coach for Belgium.

Carl Jones from Walla Walla, Wash., is an extremely talented middle distance and distance freestyle swimmer. Jones won the 2006 WIAA state championship in the 500 free in 4:29.58. His top times include 1:40.47 in the 200 free, 4:29.58 in the 500 free, 9:15.44 in the 1,000 free and 15:48.65 in the 1,650 free (all times are in short-course yards). He also has a long-course meter top time of 15:48.65 in the 1,500 free. His coach at Walla Walla High School is Brad Daly and USS Club coach is Todd Stafek.

Sean Letsinger from Knoxville is the lone diving signee of the class and brings some local flare to the diving squad that already holds two East Tennessee natives in Michael Muscari and Chris Davis. Letsinger is the defending Tennessee state diving champion on the 1-meter board and excels on all three boards. He is an outstanding student and is coached by current Tennessee diving coach Dave Parrington.

Geoff Sanders from Raleigh, N.C., is the U.S. Junior National Team co-captain as well as an excellent freestyler and individual medley competitor. His top times include 1:52.90 in the 200 free, 4:00.40 in the 400 free and 15.44.60 in the 1500 free (all times are long-course meters) as well as an unshaven 3:56.00 in the 400 I.M. in short-course yards. He is currently coached by former-Vol All-America John Roy.

Norbert Trandafir from Romania rounds out one of the top recruiting classes under Trembley. Trandafir is a European Junior National Champion in the 50 free (22.80) and finished second at European Nationals in Spain to Grandjean in the 100 free in 50.90. His top times include 22.80 in the 50 free, 50.90 in the 100 free as well as 56.10 in the 100 butterfly (all times are long-course meters).

Also joining the Vols for the beginning of the 2007-08 season in August is Jonas Persson from Sweden. Persson is a n All-America transfer from Arizona and is presently redshirting the 2006-07 season while training with the Vols. He is a Swedish National Champion in the 200-meter freestyle in 1:50.16. He also competed this year at the European Championships in Budapest, Hungary. Persson is coached by Magnus Lennartsson at Malmo Kappsimningsklubb.





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