June 10, 2011
ATHENS, Ga. --- Instate swimming and diving prospects Meghan Faulkner, John Simmons and Darcie O'Brien have signed letters of intent with Georgia, coaches Jack Bauerle and Dan Laak announced.
Faulkner of Lawrenceville, Simmons of Suwanee and O'Brien of Lawrenceville will join the Bulldogs for the 2011-2012 season.
Faulkner attended Brookwood High School where she was coached by Greg Puckett. She also swam for Chris Davis at Swim Atlanta. Faulkner is 12-time All-American in the 100 freestyle, 100 breaststroke and 200 individual medley. She was the 2011 Georgia high school state champion in the 200 individual medley and is a top prospect nationally in the event.
"Meghan is going to be a wonderful person to have at practice and on the team," Bauerle said. "She gives 100 percent everyday. I think just going into a higher level of competition will bring out the best in her. As she gets better, she'll bring out the best in her teammates, and that's what we are counting on her to do."
Simmons, who was the co-captain of his Peachtree Ridge High School team for the 2010-2011 season and helped lead the Lions to their first state championship. He was also a member of the first-place 200 medley and 400 freestyle relays at the state championships. Simmons, who also swam for Chris Davis at Swim Atlanta, concluded his prep career with eight All-America certificates. He was named the Gwinnett Daily Post Super Six Swimmer of the Year. Simmons was coached by Jeremy Laird.
"John's best swimming is going to be in front of him," Bauerle said. "He should have the ability, especially once he gets stronger, to help us out in middle distance in freestyle, and hopefully as time progresses and he matures, he'll be able to contribute on some relays, as well."
O'Brien, a diving signee, attended Grayson High School where she was coached by Bettie Hudson. She was named to the All-State Team and was chosen as Diver of the Year for Gwinnett County. She came in third on the 1-meter springboard at the state championships. O'Brien, who also was coached by Luke Bagnaschi of the Georgia Diving Club, was previously a Level 9 gymnastics state champion.
"Darcie is relatively new to the sport, so she is really an up-and-comer," Laak said. "She has done a great job in the club program and has improved a lot over the past year or so. I believe she will be a big asset to our team. She is a hard worker and a good student."