Nov. 20, 2013
ATHENS, Ga. --- Gunnar Bentz of Atlanta and Kylie Stewart of Acworth have signed national letters of intent with the Georgia swimming program, according to an announcement Wednesday by Coach Jack Bauerle.
Bentz attends St. Pius X High School and competes for Dynamo Swim Club under Coach Jason Turcotte. Bentz was the gold medalist in the 200 and 400 individual medley at the 2013 FINA World Junior Championships. He also claimed bronze medals on the 800 freestyle and 400 medley relays. He is a current member of the United States National Team. Bentz is a five-time 18-and-under national champion and he holds United States age-group records in the 200 breaststroke and the 200 individual medley. Bentz has claimed three state high school titles and has been recognized as a Scholastic All-American.
"Gunnar is considered one of the top three recruits in the country," Bauerle said. "Even though he's quite fast already, his upside is terrific. He's talented in virtually every stroke. He’s an NCAA scorer the first time around and he's one of the best young men you could get on a team because he's talented, fast and can swim anything. He's a great young man and he comes from a great program at Dynamo and a terrific high school at St. Pius."
Stewart attends Westridge Christian Academy and also swims for Turcotte with Dynamo. She won the gold medal in the 200 backstroke at the 2013 FINA World Junior Championships, where she served as a co-captain for the United States squad. She was a member of the U.S. National Team for 2012-13 and has been on the U.S. Junior National Team since 2010. Stewart is a five-time medalist at the FINA World Cup and a two-time medalist at the Junior Pan Pacific Championships and was named the Most Valuable Swimmer at the NCSA Short-Course Nationals. Stewart holds three national age-group records and has set several state marks in short- and long-course yards and in short-course meters. She is also a Scholastic All-American.
"Kylie is considered one of the top two recruits in the country," Bauerle said. "She can pretty much help you anywhere and has a bright international future as well. She's going to be terrific anywhere you put her."
Fourteen swimmers and divers have signed with Georgia for the 2014-15 season. Joining Bentz as signees for the Bulldogs were state of Georgia swimmers Powell Brooks, Jay Litherland, Kevin Litherland, Mick Litherland and Basil Orr, along with diver Ian Forlini of Pennsylvania. Stewart will be joined by diver Olivia Ball of Ohio and swimmers Megan Kingsley of South Carolina, Anna McKenzie of Alabama, Stephanie Peters of Georgia, Meaghan Raab of Pennsylvania and Courtney Weaver of Michigan.
"We are very excited about this group as a whole," Bauerle said. "They are terrific young people in both the pool and the classroom, and they all are considered great teammates. This is certainly one of the top classes in the country on both the men's and the women's side. They're going to represent not just our swimming program well but the University of Georgia."