January 7, 2013
H2Okies ink six men in early signing period
Five swimmers and a diver will join the Hokie Nation next fall

BLACKSBURG, Va. – The Virginia Tech swimming and diving program has signed six male student-athletes to National Letters of Intent for the 2013-14 academic year, head coach Ned Skinner announced Monday. These future Hokies hail from Poland, Massachusetts, Virginia, Florida and Maryland.

Jasiek “Jan” Switkowski will come to Tech from Lublin, Poland. Ranked by collegeswimming.com as the 12th-best swimmer in this year’s recruiting class and the top recruit in the ACC, Switkowski has experienced much success on the international scene. A member of the Polish National Team, Switkowski recently competed at the 2012 World Short Course Championships in Istanbul, Turkey. At the championships, he placed 11th in the 200 IM and 15th in the 100 and 400 IM. He is the Polish Short Course National Champion in the 200 freestyle, 200 and 400 IM.

Skinner on Switkowski: “Since day one we have been impressed by Jan and his swimming accomplishments. He has been getting faster and faster each and every season and we feel that he will make a serious impact within our team and the NCAA. Jan has great size and a frame, which will allow him to add much needed strength. He is very versatile and will be a key contributor both individual and on relays.”

Switkowski’s Top Times: SCM/LCM

50 Free = 23.24/23.86

100 Free = 50.81/51.31

200 Free = 1:45.69/1:53.74

400 Free = 3:45.65/3:57.56

1000 Free = 8:00.77/9:23.18

200 Back = 1:59.07

200 Fly = 2:02.01

200 IM = 1:56.11/2:03.68

400 IM = 4:11.60/4:25.01

Robert Owen swims under the direction of Carl Cederquist at Crimson Aquatics. A multiple Olympic and World Championship Trial qualifier in the backstroke and IM events, Owen also excels in the mid-distance freestyles. This past summer the Bridgewater, Mass., native was a three-event finalist at Summer Juniors and looks to continue dropping time through his senior campaign.

Skinner on Owen: “Robert had an unbelievable summer. Every time Robert hit the water he was dropping time and making things happen. We were really impressed with how far he has come in the sport within just a few short years. We feel that Robert will be a staple in our lineup and one to watch at the NCAA level.”

Owen’s Top Times: SCY/LCM

200 Free = 1:42.14

500 Free = 4:30.50

1000 Free = 9:21.18

1650 Free = 15:42.00

100 Back = 51.76/59.49

200 Back = 1:47.92/2:03.82

200 IM = 1:50.75/2:07.57

400 IM = 3:52.46/4:26.96

Brandon Fiala is from Arlington, Va., and attends Westfield High School. Outside of the high school season, Fiala swims for Machine Aquatics under the direction of Dan Jacobs. During his junior campaign, Fiala was the runner up at the Virginia high school state meet in the 200 IM and placed third in the 100 breaststroke. Ranked as the top swimmer in the state of Virginia according to Collegeswimming.com, he has made Summer Junior National cuts in both breaststrokes and IM’s.

Skinner on Fiala: “Brandon has grown up with maroon and orange running through his veins as his mother is a proud graduate of Virginia Tech. He has tremendous size and the ability to become an elite swimmer for the Hokies. Brandon will help elevate our breaststroke and IM training atmospheres and we feel he will contend for relay spots.”

Fiala’s Top Times: SCY/LCM

100 Free = 46.92

200 Free = 1:42.70

100 Back = 50.74

200 Back = 1:50.87

100 Breast = 56.37/1:06.68

200 Breast = 2:04:86

200 IM = 1:49.67/2:08.56

400 IM = 3:58.32/4:38.44

Zach Switzer is from Palmyra, Va. Ranked as the second fastest swimmer in the state of Virginia according to CollegeSwimming.com, Switzer attends Woodberry Forest School and swims under the direction of Greg Guldin. Switzer is the reigning 100 backstroke and 200 IM state champion and has posted times that qualify him for Summer Nationals.

Skinner on Switzer: “We have been very impressed with Zach from day one. Zach attends the highly accredited Woodberry Forest School in Virginia. He has the mindset to do what it takes to be great, not only in the pool but also in the classroom. Each year Zach’s underwater skills have become more and more lethal and our staff feels confident that he has the potential to make his make within our program.”

Switzer’s Top Times: SCY/LCM

200 Free = 1:42.72

50 Back = 23.39

100 Back = 49.64/58.19

200 Back = 1:48.34/2:06.92

100 Breast = 58.05

200 IM = 1:50.72/2:09.27

400 IM = 3:58.89/4:33.34

Ben Borgert attends Gainesville High School in Alachua, Fla. He competes for Steven Bostick, Jr., at High Tide Aquatics. Borgert is a Summer Junior National qualifier in the backstroke and IM events. During his senior season, Borgert was the Florida High School State AA runner up in the 200 IM and placed third in the backstroke events.

Skinner on Borgert: “Ben truly is a student of the sport and captivated our coaching staff with his desire to be great. He had a breakthrough summer and has the persistency to excel at a high level. We really are excited about his work ethic and look forward to watching him progress the rest of the year.”

Borgert’s Top Times: SCY/LCM

50 Back = 23.63

100 Back = 50.80/58.89

200 Back = 1:49.75/2:06.42

200 Breast = 2:06.82

200 IM = 1:51.37/2:09.86

400 IM = 3:55.42/4:34.96

Thomas “TJ” Shinholser is from Burtonsville, Md., and dives for the Montgomery Dive Club. Shinholser is the younger brother of Tech’s most decorated diver, Logan Shinholser. He was a Junior National finalist in the 3-meter event last summer, and was also the Maryland Metro High School State Champion. Shinholser has qualified for numerous Junior Nationals in all three events. Before diving, Shinholser was a multi-time national champion on the trampoline and represented the USA in international competition.

Piemonte on Shinholser: “Logan Shinholser, TJ’s older brother, is the most decorated diver, maybe perhaps, one of the most decorated athletes, in Virginia Tech history. As I have been watching TJ develop, I have seen many of the same qualities that Logan possessed coming out of high school. I am looking forward to working with him and helping him reach his potential.”

For updates on Virginia Tech swimming & diving, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_SwimDive).

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