Three swimmers who are accomplished athletically and academically have signed national letters of intent with Georgia, according to an announcement Thursday by Tom Cousins Swimming and Diving Head Coach Jack Bauerle.
Andrew Abruzzo of Pennsylvania, Dakota Luther of Texas, and Tatum Smith of Georgia will join the UGA program as freshmen in the 2018-19 season.
Abruzzo hails from Plymouth Meeting, Pa., where he attends Germantown Academy, competes for Plymouth Whitemarsh Aquatics and is coached by Dick Shoulberg. Abruzzo recently was named to the USA Swimming 2017-18 National Team in the 800 and 1,500 freestyle events. Abruzzo won 2017 Junior World Championship titles in the 400, 800 and 1,500 freestyle. He previously claimed 2016 Junior Pan Pacific Championships silver medals in the 800 and 1,500 freestyle. Abruzzo is a Scholastic All-American.
Luther is a native of Austin, Texas, where she attends Westlake High School and competes for Austin Swim Club under Coach Brendan Hansen. After a second-place finish in the 200 butterfly at the U.S. Nationals (to former Lady Bulldog Hali Flickinger), Luther represented the United States at the 2017 World Championships, reaching the semifinals. She is ranked No. 4 in the world 18-and-under in the 100 butterfly and she stands first in the U.S. in the 100 and 200 butterfly. She won Junior National titles in the 100 and 200 butterfly as well as Texas state championships in the 100 and 200 butterfly and the 200 and 500 freestyle. Luther, who is a Scholastic All-American, is the daughter of Olympic medalist Whitney Hedgepeth.
Smith is a native of Alpharetta and attends Johns Creek High School. She competes for Dynamo Swim Club under Coach Brian Wrighton. Smith has collected three 50 freestyle state championships during her high school career. She competed at the 2016 Winter Junior Nationals East in the sprint freestyle events as well as the 100 butterfly. Smith has earned Scholastic All-America recognition as well.
“The sky’s the limit for Andrew, Dakota and Tatum,” Bauerle said. “They are excellent prospects, both in and out of the water. They will make great additions to our program. We have been watching their development for years, and there’s no question they can make an impact for us. We can’t wait to have them in Athens.”