BLACKSBURG, Va. - The Virginia Tech men’s swimming and diving team has announced the spring addition of four swimmers for the 2011-12 academic year. These men will accompany Kyle Butts, James Crabb, Colin Higgins, Morgan Latimer and Jake Ores whom all joined the Hokies in the fall recruiting period.
Head coach Ned Skinner on the spring additions: “In looking at the future of our program, we are excited about adding four more quality individuals to be a part of that picture. Not only talented athletes, these men are outstanding people and the environment for our program just got elevated.”
Owen Burns, hailing from Palmyra, N.J., joins the Hokies from Bishop Eustace School and swims for Coach John Carroll and the Jersey Wahoos. Burns, a US Open qualifier and junior national qualifier, has been named to the South Jersey Swimming Honor Roll. Burns holds one individual and four relay records as well as seven all-time Top 10 swims for the storied program.
Burns’ Top Times:
200 Freestyle: 1:40.37
500 Freestyle: 4:27.98*
1000 Freestyle: 9:27.65
100 Breaststroke: 58.28
200 Breaststroke: 2:05.74
200 Individual Medley: 1:51.71
400 Individual Medley: 4:02.71
*= converted from LCM
Skinner on Burns: “Owen is an energetic young man with a vast amount of upside. Very talented and very versatile, Owen will contribute in many areas for the Hokies. We knew we wanted to find someone who could help us in multiple areas and be very flexible with their events and Owen fit that position perfectly especially under the guidance of Coach Carroll and his staff. We are pleased that Owen will joining us and look for him to continue to grow in the ACC.”
Harrison Cefalo, from Highlands, N.J., attends Christian Brothers Academy where he helped continue CBA’s streak of 21-straight conference titles and was named the 2010-2011 Star-Ledger’s Monmouth County Swimmer of the Year. He was a leader for CBA in and out of the pool, as they won their second consecutive state title in an undefeated season. Cefalo also represents Red Bank YMCA under Jack Caucino and Cefalo’s main success comes from the YMCA, where he is a multiple time top 3 finisher. He is also Red Bank’s all-time leader in the 100 and 200 breaststroke events.
Cefalo’s Top Times:
100 Breaststroke: 55.34
200 Breaststroke: 2:00.21
200 Individual Medley: 1:49.83
Skinner on Cefalo: “Harrison is an impressive young man. We knew on his trip that we wanted him to be a part of this program as he showed outward leadership characteristics that really stuck out to us. He has achieved some great awards thus far in his career and he is eager to continue his drive and focus into the college level. Our breaststroke group has some great talent in it and Harrison joins them to strengthen the force. Coach Caucino has done a fabulous job guiding and mentoring Harrison for a very successful future.”
Ben Gastrock hails from Mechanicsville, Va., where he is an honor student at Atlee High School and swims under Coach Karen Seeber. Gatrock is a multiple-time high school state finalist and conference finalist. Gastrock also swims under Coach Ted Sallade with Poseidon Swimming, where is a junior national finalist and part of a Silver Medal Program.
Gastrock’s Top Times:
100 Freestyle: 46.65
200 Freestyle: 1:41.81
100 Butterfly: 50.10
200 Butterfly: 1:50.79
Skinner on Gastrock: “Ben is a great addition to our program. We truly feel that he is the diamond in the rough of our incoming class and we can’t wait to see where he is next year and the following years. Coach Sallade has brought him along tremendously in a short amount of time and we look forward to continuing that progress. Ben has developed a great deal in the freestyle, breaststroke and butterfly events, so it will be fun to see him flourish as he grows in Blacksburg.”
Nick Masterson, from Centreville, Va., comes to Blacksburg after spending a year at George Mason University. Masterson was a Championship Finalist at the 2010 CAA Championships in the 100 and 200 breaststroke events. Before heading to college, Masterson was a varsity member of Churchill High School and was a state finalist after winning the district and regional championships in the 100 breaststroke. He graduated from Churchill High cum laude and swam under the guidance of Coach Mark Jedow. Before moving to Virginia, the 2008 and 2009 High School All American represented Alamo Area Aquatics Club in Texas, where he swam under Coach Larry Hough. Masterson took this past year away from college swimming and focused on the club level, where he represents Curl Burke Swim Club.
Masterson’s Top Times:
100 Breaststroke: 56.04
200 Breaststroke: 2:03.59
Skinner on Masterson: “Nick comes in to a young, but strong, breaststroke group and we look forward to having his college experience aid in his transition to Virginia Tech. He is coming off two seasons of big drops and the future is bright for Nick in the ACC.”
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