Swimming and Diving Announces Recruiting Class
Courtesy: VMI Communications and Marketing
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LEXINGTON, Va. - The VMI swimming and diving programs have announced their 2018-19 recruiting class, according to information released by Head Coach Andrew Bretscher Thursday evening.

“We are very excited to announce 12 incomers to the VMI swimming and diving teams,” said Coach Bretscher. “Every one of these athletes is going to make a direct impact to the team from the very first day. Not only will they be integral in relays and individual events, but they will also enhance the competitive practice environment, benefiting the entire team. Having them join our dedicated returning athletes is going to set us up for a great 2018-2019 season.”

Full capsules on each of the signees appear below.


Ryan Cooper, Breast/IM/Back, Roswell, Ga. (Blessed Trinity Catholic)

High School/Personal: Four-year letterwinner at Blessed Trinity...three-time team captain and four-time state qualifier...holds school records in the 200 IM, 200 free relay and 400 free relay...team MVP...swam at Southern Zone Senior Sectionals...also swam club for Swim Atlanta, where he was a four-time state qualifier and a three-time state all-star, as well as qualifying to sectionals twice...eighth place, Future Business Leaders of America (2017)...mother played tennis at Berry College...intends to major in economics and business.

Zach Emerson, Back/Free, Sewell, N.J. (Gloucester County Institute of Technology)

High School/Personal: Three-year letterwinner...First Team All-Conference...holds school record in 200 IM and set new 100 back record at Gloucester County Championships as well...also swam for GPAC club team, where he holds the 200 back record...run-swimmer for Sea Isle City Beach Patrol...National Honor Society...mother swam for Wagner and father for Rowan...intends to major in mechanical engineering.

Colin Gibbons, Free/Fly, Roanoke, Va. (Hidden Valley)

High School/Personal: Four-year letterwinner at Hidden Valley HS, where he swam for two-time state champions...holds school records in 200 medley relay and 400 free relay...also swam for VA Gators and CCA Marlins, where he holds 500 free, 1000 free and 100 free records...Beta Club...Latin Honors...A/B Honor Roll...also swam at NASA Florida meet...intends to major in biology.

Stephen Hopta, Free/Back, McMurray, Pa. (Peters Township HS)

High School/Personal: Four-year letterwinner at Peters Township...medaled four-years at WPIAL meet, where he won the 100 back in 2017...high school All-American in 100 back and 200 medley relay that same year...four-year PIAA qualifier...holds school records in the 100 back, 200 free and 200 medley relay...has litany of records for the Peters Township Swim Club...two-time swimmer of the year for Allegheny Mountain Swimming (LSC)...Honor Roll...scholar-athlete award...student council (2017)...uncle swam for NC State...intends to major in mechanical engineering.

Anno Kong, Back/Fly, McLean, Va. (McLean)

High School/Personal: Four-year letterwinner at McLean HS, where he served as team captain...four-year participant in regional and Virginia state championships...four-year scholar-athlete...also swam for The Fish and Whomping Turtles teams...high point and most valuable swimmer on both...placed fourth overall in the Alcatraz Sharkfest open water swim...sister rows for the University of Southern California...intends to major in mechanical engineering.

Andrew Mills, Fly, Cape Coral, Fla. (Evangelical Christian)

High School/Personal: Four-year letterwinner at Evangelical Christian...currently holds four individual (50 free, 100 fly, 100 back and 200 IM) school records and shares two relay marks...multi-year team MVP...two-time first team all-area selection...was second team all-area and honorable mention all-area one time each...swam at SZ South Sectionals and Florida Senior SC Champs in both 2017 and 2018...also swam for Swim Florida and Cape Aquatics...National Honor Society...intends to major in international studies.

Brady Rawers, Free/Back, San Diego, Calif. (Cathedral Catholic)

High School/Personal: Four-year letterwinner...four-semester honor roll recipient...also swam for North Coast Aquatics, where he was the team captain...team CIF champions in 2018 and runner-up the previous year...intends to major in history.

Jeffrey Vahiny, Fly/Free, Vienna, Va. (George C. Marshall)

High School/Personal: Four-year letterwinner...medaled in the 100 fly and 200 IM at conference and regional meets 2014-17...placed second in the 200 IM and 8th in 100 fly at 5A state meet in 2017...swam for Dunn Loring Swim Club as well, where he holds the 200 free and medley relay records, along with the 50 fly mark...father is a former karate champion in Madagascar...intends to major in international studies.


Ashleigh Cook, Free (Sprint)/Back, Louisville, Ky. (Sacred Heart)

High School/Personal: Four-year letterwinner at Sacred Heart Academy...given school's 2018 Valkyrie Leadership Award...Honor Roll...2018 Engineering Award...four US Congressional nominations...founded a pair of school clubs...also swam seven years for Triton Swimming of Louisville, where she was named the club's most improved swimmer twice, and one year for Lakeside Swim Team...also competed two years in track and field...intends to major in computer science.

Raquel Janes, Free, Lithia, Fla. (Newsome HS)

High School/Personal: Four-year letterwinner...went undefeated until districts in each of her four seasons...first team all-county in the 500 and all-district in the 800...FSPA top three four years in a row...Coach's Award...youngest to swim in Tampa Marathon, a 24-mile open water swim...first female finisher in eight-mile race...third in Jr. National Open Water Championships (5K) in 2016...also swam club for Bluewave Swim Team where she holds three relay records and was a team captain and the 2016 Swimmer of the Year...Athletic Scholar award...Junior ROTC...Girls State Attendee and Senator...American Legion Athlete award...United Daughters of the Confederacy Award...Scholastic Athlete Award...intends to major in international studies.

Sophie Svoboda, Back/Fly, Richmond, Va. (Trinity Episcopal)

High School/Personal: Two-year letterwinner at Trinity Episcopal...holds three individual school records, as well as the 200 medley relay mark...swam for NOVA Swimming as well...was team MVP junior year...earned team's Titan Award and Swim Strong Award senior year...intends to major in English.

Libby Young, Fly, Waynesboro, Va. (Waynesboro)

High School/Personal: Four-year letterwinner at Waynesboro HS...team captain...Little Giant award...also swam for Shenandoah Marlins aquatics club...also competed in track and field and tennis, lettering one year in the latter...father played tennis and mother swam at West Virginia Wesleyan...intends to major in applied mathematics.