July 29, 2018

Ohio State Swimming & Diving Announces 2018-19 Incoming Class


COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State swimming and diving program has signed 19 new recruits for the 2018-19 season, director of swimming & diving Bill Dorenkott announced on Monday. Thirteen men and six women are slated to join the team, 18 of which are swimmers and one of which is a diver.

The additions to the men’s team include: Sem Andreis (Bologna, Italy), Stefano Batista (Carmel, Ind.), Jake Fielding (Los Angeles, Calif.), Ruslan Gaziev (Toronto, Canada), Trey Gibble (Miami, Fla.), RJ Kondalski (Toledo, Ohio), Ben Kuriger (Lewis Center, Ohio), Jason Mathews (Westerville, Ohio), Hudson McDaniel (Ashland, Ohio), Josef Pohlmann (Beavercreek, Ohio), Colin Roy (Woodbridge, Conn.), John Sampson (Bellbrooke, Ohio) and Lain Weaver (Madison, Wis.).

The 2018 women’s signing class includes: Alissa Cook (Atlanta, Ga.), Grace Kowal (Merchantville, N.J.), Georgia Mosher (Ypsilanti, Mich.), Amanda Palutsis (Louisville, Ohio), Sally Tafuto (Hummelstown, Pa.) and Georgia White (Minooka, Ill.).

“This is the first recruiting class for our program in a combined setting. I am incredibly proud of our staff and team’s efforts in putting together what we believe is one of the top recruiting classes in the country,” Dorenkott said. “We have two goals in recruiting student-athletes to Ohio State. First is to find individuals who are a good fit for our university, program and culture. Second is to provide the support and resources to help them develop into outstanding students, athletes and human beings.

Our team’s culture is driven by relationships and elite performance. This class is a great complement to the program we are building. And, we are not done. We fully expect to bring in recruits mid-year to better help us pursue our goals at the Big Ten, NCAA and international levels.”

Ohio State Buckeyes

Sem Andreis – Bologna, Italy
Circolo Nuoto UISP di Bologna / New Philadelphia High School
Top Events: 50 Free – 20.16 | 100 Free – 44.49 | 50 Fly – 24.75 LCM

• 2017 OHSAA Division II State Champion (50 Free, 100 Free)

“I decided to commit to The Ohio State University because I think it will be a good opportunity for my future and to stay closer to my American family and friends.”

Ohio State Buckeyes

Stefano Batista – Carmel, Ind.
Carmel Swim Club / Carmel High School
Top Events: 100 Breast – 54.28 | 200 Breast – 1:59.96 | 50 Free – 21.09

• IHSAA Individual and Relay Champion
• IHSAA 200 free relay record holder

“I fell in love with Ohio State during my official recruiting visit there. The guys on the team are extremely friendly and encouraging. The coaches are very knowledgeable and willing to do anything in their power to help their athletes. The Buckeye Nation spirit is unbelievable and I could not be happier to become part of that amazing culture. The Ohio State University offers me everything I could possibly ask for to be successful both academically and in the pool. Go Bucks!”

Ohio State Buckeyes

Jake Fielding – Los Angeles, Calif.
Trojan Dive Club
Top Event: 3 Meter

• 2018 Junior World Championships Team USA Member

“Between the incredible and up-and-coming team, its culture and the university as a whole with its incredible campus and amazing support staff for student-athletes, coming to Ohio State was an easy choice for me.”

Ohio State Buckeyes

Ruslan Gaziev – Toronto, Canada
Markham Aquatic Club
Top Events: 50 Free – 22.46 LCM | 100 Free – 49.56 LCM | 100 Fly – 54.28 LCM | 200 Free – 1:50.61

• 2018 Canadian Pan Pac Team Member
• 4×100 Free Relay Junior World Record Holder
• Sixth place at the FINA World Junior Championships in the 50 Free

“I am thrilled to announce my verbal commitment to The Ohio State University for the fall of 2018. I couldn’t be more excited to start studying at such a great school and be a part of an awesome team. Go Buckeyes!”

Ohio State Buckeyes

Trey Gibble – Miami, Fla.
Metro Aquatic Club of Miami / Gulliver Prep
Top Events: 100 Fly – 49.15 | 200 IM – 1:49.73 | 100 Back – 50.68

• Team and Individual Florida High School State Champion

“I chose Ohio State because of the effort the coaches put into me without even knowing who I was. Knowing that I could count on the coaches meant a lot to me. I also chose Ohio State because of the team and the change of culture, and I believe we can do something great here.”

Ohio State Buckeyes

RJ Kondalski – Toledo, Ohio
Sylvania Tsunami Swim Club / Sylvania Southview High School
Top Events: 50 Back – 21.96 | 100 Back – 48.79 | 200 Back – 1:45.86

• Three-time OHSAA Runner-Up in the 100 Back

“I chose Ohio State because of its outstanding pool, coaching staff and academic reputation. I am an Ohio Native and a lifelong Buckeye fan. Signing with Ohio State was a true honor for me.”

Ohio State Buckeyes

Ben Kuriger – Lewis Center, Ohio
Ohio State Swim Club / Olentangy High School
Top Events: 50 Free – 20.21 | 100 Free – 44.38 | 100 Fly – 47.93 | 200 Free – 1:37.90

• Holds every record at Olentangy High School

“With one of the most powerful alumni networks in the country, a historic and rising swim team and powerful school spirit, I knew it would be irresponsible of me to pick a school other than The Ohio State University.”

Ohio State Buckeyes

Jason Mathews – Westerville, Ohio
Ohio State Swim Club / Westerville North High School
Top Events: 100 Breast – 53.98 | 200 Breast – 1:58.98 | 200 IM – 1:50.43

• Two-time OHSAA State Champion

“I’ve loved growing up in the Buckeye state but thought that after high school I was ready to explore the world. However, the more I considered the importance of family and the amazing opportunities that Ohio State offerd to me both athletically and academically, I realized being a Buckeye and staying a Buckeye is my best choice. I’m so happy I have been given the opportunity to pursue my dreams close to home with my family and friends at the Ohio State University. Go Bucks!”

Ohio State Buckeyes

Hudson McDaniel – Ashland, Ohio
Ohio State Swim Club / Ashland High School
Top Events: 100 Breast – 55.45 | 50 Free – 21.89 | 100 Free – 46.33

• Two-time OHSAA State Champion in the 100 Breast
• Three-time All-American
• OHSAA State Finalist in track & field

“I chose OSU because Coach Dorenkott and his new staff are going to take the Buckeyes to the next level! They have top-notch facilities as well as everything I need to succeed in the classroom.”

Ohio State Buckeyes

Josef Pohlmann – Beavercreek, Ohio
Dayton Raiders / Beavercreek High School
Top Events: 50 Free – 20.24 | 100 Free – 45.82 | 100 Fly – 49.77

• 200 Free Relay national age group record holder
• Owns six school records at Beavercreek

“I chose The Ohio State University because the team and school made me feel like I was at home. The growth over the past few years has been crazy, and the opportunity was too good to let go!”

Ohio State Buckeyes

Colin Roy – Woodbridge, Conn.
Woodbridge Aquatic Club / Amity High School
Top Events: 50 Free – 20.93 | 100 Free – 45.53 | 100 Back – 51.22

• New Haven County men’s swimming MVP

“I’m extremely excited to be a part of the Ohio State family! I am confident that the phenomenal coaching staff and multitude of devoted professors will allow me to achieve my goals both in and out of the pool. I can’t wait to see what OSU has in store for me!”

Ohio State Buckeyes

John Sampson – Bellbrook, Ohio
Dayton Raiders / Bellbrook High School
Top Events: 100 Back – 49.34 | 200 Back – 1:47.18 | 100 Free – 46.56

• Three-time Scholastic All-American
• Two-time State Champion (100 Back, Relay)

“I chose to continue swimming at Ohio State because the coaches are amazing, the team atmosphere is like none other and the academics are some of the best in the country. Ohio State felt like home, and I can’t wait to continue my swimming and academic careers there for the years to come.”

Ohio State Buckeyes

Lain Weaver – Madison, Wis.
Dayton Raiders / Beavercreek High School
Top Events: 100 Fly – 48.92 | 100 Free – 45.53 | 200 Free – 1:39.50

• Wisconsin High School State Champion in the 100 Fly

“Ohio State provides a perfect balance between athletics and academics. The coaching staff provides a lot of amazing accommodations to make sure that you become the best student athlete you can be. The team is extremely close and I felt that I would achieve my goals being surrounded by their talent and motivation.”

Ohio State Buckeyes

Alissa Cook – Atlanta, Ga.
Dynamo Swim Club
Top Events: 200 IM – 2:06.60 | 400 IM – 4:25.00 | 200 Back – 2:06.89

• Two-time Georgia High School 1A-5A State Championship Finalist

“I am beyond excited to announce my verbal commitment to study and swim at The Ohio State University! Words cannot express how thankful I am for all my friends, family, and coaches who have supported me through this journey. I especially want to thank Jason Turcotte for teaching me to challenge myself. I wouldn’t be where I am without him.”

Ohio State Buckeyes

Georgia Mosher – Ypsilanti, Mich.
Club Wolverine / Skyline High School
Top Events: 500 Free – 4:49.17 | 1000 Free – 9:55.89 | 1650 Free – 16:43.68

• All-American in multiple events
• Top 16 nationally in the 1500 Free

“I am horrible at making decisions, but deciding where to go to college was simple, I just knew that Ohio State was where I wanted to spend the next four years of my life.”

Ohio State Buckeyes

Grace Kowal – Merchantville, N.J.
Virginia Tech
Top Events: 400 IM – 4:14.87 | 500 Free – 4:46.68 | 1650 Free – 16:16.14

• Qualified for four ACC events during 2017-18 season, recording three personal bests at the event

“After spending two years visiting my sister at Ohio State, I got to see what a great program OSU has to offer along with the culture of the team and the coaching staff. When the opportunity to transfer presented itself, I jumped at the chance to spend my last two years with an elite team as a Buckeye.”

Ohio State Buckeyes

Amanda Palutsis – Louisville, Ohio
Canton City Schools Swim Team / North Canton Hoover High School
Top Events: 50 Free – 22.86 | 100 Free – 50.23 | 100 Fly – 56.41

• Three-Time OHSAA State Champion (50 Free, 200 Free Relay, 400 Free Relay)
• OHSAA record holder
• National age group record holder

“The opportunity at Ohio State to swim alongside an amazing group of athletes and under such a phenomenal coaching staff is impossible to beat. Furthermore, the outstanding academics, unique school culture, and close-knit team make OSU truly one-of-a-kind. I can’t wait for the next four years as a Buckeye!”

Ohio State Buckeyes

Sally Tafuto – Hummelstown, Pa.
Hershey Aquatic Club / Hershey High School
Top Events: 100 Free – 51.23 | 200 Free – 1:49.44 | 500 Free – 4:54.28

• Claimed a bronze medal at the PIAA State Championships in the 200 Free

“I chose to be a Buckeye because of the amazing swim program, positive team culture and incredible actuarial science program.”

Ohio State Buckeyes

Georgia White – Minooka, Ill.
Oswego High School / Delta High School
Top Events: 100 Free – 49.92 | 200 Free – 1:46.69 | 500 Free – 4:57.06

• IHSA State Champion in the 200 Free
• State record holder in the 200 Free

“I chose to be a Buckeye because it felt like home immediately when I arrived on campus and met the coaches in person. The Ohio State University is my perfect fit with its genuine care and dedication for its students and athletes. I couldn’t picture myself anywhere else.”