Skinner inks multiple top 100 prospects in fall signing class

BLACKSBURG – Virginia Tech head swimming and diving coach Ned Skinner has announced the signings of 12 new H2Okies that will join the program in the fall of 2017. The class is comprised of five men’s swimmers, six women’s swimmers and one women’s diver.

Multiple swimmers in the signing class are ranked in’s top 100 prospects in the class of 2017. Skinner, who considers the class to be one of the most talented in the history of the program, is expecting many of the swimmers to make an immediate impact.

“This is a class that we are as excited about as any in my 19 years here at Virginia Tech,” Skinner said. “We have multiple men and women who are Olympic trial qualifiers, junior national finalists, national level scorers, state champions and are prolific on every stage in our sport. More importantly, we feel certain that they will represent the values of our Hokie Nation and help us with our goals personally, academically and athletically. I would like to thank Josh Huger, our assistant coach and recruiting coordinator, for guiding us through this. Our coaches and team also did a lot of great work on official visits and preparing for this class.”

Abby Andrusin
Keller, Texas
Keller HS
North Texas Nadadores

Best Times
50 FS - 23.72 / 26.8 (LCM)
100 FS - 51.21 / 57.94 (LCM)
200 FS - 1:51.96 / 2:07.78 (LCM)
100 BK - 56.70

A raw talent that will contribute to the H2Okies backstroke and sprint groups … Finished fourth in the 100 free and second in the 50 free at the TISCA 6A North Zone Championships … Placed third at the Speedo Champions Series in the 100 back.

Coach Skinner on Abby: “Abby has lived around the world with her family – most recently Dubai. She is coming off of an extremely successful summer long course season and she shows a very sharp upward trajectory. Her long course times currently put her in a competitive spot with the fastest girls currently on our team.”

Emily Meilus
Herndon, Va.
Herndon HS
Machine Aquatics

Best Times
200 FS - 1:50.59
500 FS - 4:50.23
1,650 FS - 16:37.10
100 BK - 54.56 / 1:03.38 (OT)
200 BK - 1:54.87 / 2:13.73 (OT)
200 IM - 2:04.50
400 IM - 4:19.59

Ranked No. 61 in the class of 2017 by … Qualified for the 2016 Olympic Trials in both backstroke events … Holds the Virginia 6A state record in the 100 back with a 55.08.

Coach Skinner on Emily: “Emily is our top female in this year’s class for the Hokies. She was a multiple-event Olympic Trial qualifier and currently has six times that would score at the ACC Championships. She will immediately come to Virginia Tech and make an impact across the board.”

Nicole Pape
Rochester Hills, Mich.
Adams HS
Oakland Live Y’ers

Best Times
50 FS - 23.92
100 BR - 1:03.75
200 BR - 2:18.05
100 Fly - 56.52
200 Fly - 2:03.06
200 IM - 2:02.74
400 IM - 4:20.85

Another swimmer that can make in impact in multiple events … Runner-up in the 200 IM and 100 fly at the 2015 Michigan Division 2 State Championship … Took first with a 2:04.98 in the 200 IM at the 2016 OAA League Championship.

Coach Skinner on Nicole: “Nicole joins us from Michigan. She picked Virginia Tech over a couple of Big Ten programs. Nicole will come in right away as one of our top IM swimmers and will add immediate help to our breastroke groups.”

Molly Sheffield
Mechanicsville, Va.
Lee-Davis HS
Burkwood Aquatic Club

Best Times
100 Fly - 54.47 / 1:01.17
200 Fly - 1:58.53 / 2:16.06

Ranked No. 94 in the class of 2017 by … Qualified for the 2016 Olympic Trials in the 100 fly as a junior … Three-time VHSL 5A state champion in 100 fly … Finished fourth in the 100 fly at NCSA Junior Nationals.

Coach Skinner on Molly: “Half of Molly’s family went to Virginia Tech and she has strong ties throughout the community. She is the top-buttiflier coming out of Virginia and ultimately the country. She also competed at the 2016 US Olympic Trials.”

Heather Sigmon
Greensboro, N.C.
Northwest Guilford HS
Greensboro YMCA

Best Times
50 BK - 25.19
100 BK - 54.10
200 BK - 1:58.54

One of the top backstrokers in the state of North Carolina … Multiple time finalist at YMCA Nationals … Three-time finalist at the NCHSAA 4A State Championship … Competed at the USA Swimming AT&T Winter National Championships in 2014.

Coach Skinner on Heather: “Heather has raw speed in backstroke and will immediately challenge for the top-spot for us in medley relays and individual backstroke events. She has great size and feel for the water.”

Joelle Vereb
Williamsburg, Va.
Jamestown HS
757 Swim

Best Times
50 FS - 23.37 / 26.79
100 FS - 50.40 / 57.95
100 BK - 55.40 / 1:05.32
100 Fly - 53.79 / 1:03.28
100 BR - 1:02.88 / 1:13.75
200 IM - 2:04.21 / 2:22.07

A versatile swimmer who will be able to contribute immediately in multiple events … VHSL state champion in the 100 fly and 100 breast … Her personal bests would’ve scored points for the H2Okies at last season’s ACC Championships … Posted four top-three finishes at the 2016 Eastern Zone Speedo Short Course Super Sectionals.

Coach Skinner on Joelle: “Joelle’s versatility is unmatched across the country and she will immediately come into our program as a top-candidate for multiple events and relays. She will immediately become a role player for the Hokies.”

Regan Westwood
Potomac, Md.
Wootton HS
Dominion Dive Club

3A/4A Maryland State Champion in the one meter … Multi-time qualifier for Junior Nationals.

Head Diving Coach Ron Piemonte on Regan: “Regan brings a very good background in the sport of diving to the H2Okies, and will add great depth to the women’s diving squad. I am very confident that Regan will represent our program very well in the pool, the classroom, and as a representative of our university. Virginia Tech has always been her first choice”


Connor Doyle
Yardley, Pa.
Pennsbury HS
Eastern Express Swim Team

Best Times
100 BK - 50.07
200 BK - 1:46.54
100 BR - 56.66
200 BR - 2:01.74
200 IM - 1:47.82
400 IM - 3:51.57

Placed seventh in the 200 back at the 2016 Speedo Junior National Championships … Posted personal times in seven different events at the 2015 Eastern Zone Speedo Short Course Super Sectionals … Finished in the top eight of the 200 breast at the Arena Pro Swim Series … 2015 Bucks County Courier Times Boys Swimmer of the Year.

Coach Skinner on Connor: “Connor is one of the most versatile swimmers in the class of 2021. He was a multiple event Junior National finalist this past summer and will come in and immediately contribute in several different capacities. His upward trajectory shows that he is one of the bright stars in this year’s class.”

Gershwin Greene
Chattanooga, Tenn.
Baylor School
Baylor Swim Club

Best Times
50 FS - 20.95 / 23.68
100 FS - 46.09 / 53.41

Has competed at some of the highest levels internationally while representing the Bahamas … Finished 15th overall in the 50 free at the 2016 Junior Pan Pacific Championships … Member of three state championship relays at the Baylor School.

Coach Skinner on Gershwin: “Gershwin hails from the Bahamas and has been a member of their Junior National Team. He most recently represented them at the 2016 Junior Pan Pacific Championships. He recently reached the championship final during that major international competition. He has a great chance of qualifying for the Olympic Games in 2020.”

Tommy Hallock
Herndon, Va.
Oakton HS
Machine Aquatics

Best Times
50 FS - 20.00
100 FS - 44.21
100 BR - 56.38
100 BK - 50.49

A sprinter who is expected to make immediate contributions … Runner-up in the 50 free at the 2016 VHSL 6A State Championship as a junior … Anchored Oakton’s 200 free and 400 relays as a junior … Member of the 200 free relay that broke a state record.

Coach Skinner on Tommy: “Tom is the second Hallock that we have had the privilege of coaching. His older brother was a sprinter here for the Hokies and as one of the fastest sprinters in the class of 2021 Tom will come in and immediately make an impact.”

Alex Hines
Lenoir City, Tenn.
L&N Stern Academy
Tennessee Aquatics

Best Times
50 FS - 20.71
100 FS - 44.90
200 FS - 1:38.62
100 BR - 55.97
200 BR - 2:01.62
200 IM - 1:49.04

Ranked No. 91 in the class of 2017 by … Finished second in the 200 IM and 500 free at the 2016 Tennessee High School Swimming and Diving Championships … Finalist in the 200 free, 100 breast, 200 breast and 200 IM at the USA Swimming Futures Championships.

Coach Skinner on Alex: “Alex is an extremely valuable pickup for us in this year’s class. He will help with the transition of Brandon Fiala’s graduation. He hails from Tennessee Aquatic Club which has seen tremendous success on the international stage!”

Lane Stone
Springfield, Va.
West Springfield HS
Nation’s Capital Swim Club

Best Times
100 FS - 46.14 / 51.82
200 FS - 1:38.03 / 1:51.63
500 FS - 4:20.75 / 3:56.86
1,000 FS - 9:00.69 / 8:14.96
1,650 FS - 14:59.93 / 15:38.84
200 BK - 1:51.51 / 2:04.29
400 IM - 3:55.27 / 4:26.86

Ranked No. 55 in the class of 2017 by … Competed at the 2016 Olympic trials … Holds five Olympic Trials cut times … Took first in the 1000 free at the 2016 NCAP Invitational … 2016 VHSL State Champion in the 500 free … Swam a 1:38.03 in the 200 free to finish second at the state championship.

Coach Skinner on Lane: “Lane is the gem of this year’s class. He currently holds five Olympic Trials cuts and comes in as a multiple event ACC finalist. He is the cornerstone of this year’s men’s class and his future is very bright! In addition he hails from one of the best club teams in the country that has produced numerous Olympic Gold Medalists.”

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