PASADENA (Aug. 1, 2018) – The Caltech men's swimming & diving team is bringing in six new recruits to join a promising team that finished sixth at last year's SCIAC Championships but improved its total score from 2016, two-time SCIAC Coach of the Year Paul Hughes' first season in Pasadena.
"We cannot be more excited to welcome the Men's Class of 2022," Hughes said. "This is a large, talented and versatile class that will help our men's program continue to rise in the SCIAC and become more competitive at the NCAA level. We're very much looking forward to all of them getting to campus in the Fall."
Thomas Barrett (Chatham, N.J. / Chatham)
Wenjin Chang (Wilbraham, Mass. / Wilbraham & Monson Academy)
Colin Chun (Los Angeles, Calif. / Venice)
Nick Jasinski (Crystal Lake, Calif. / Cary Grove)
Jeffrey Ma (San Jose, Calif. / Bellarmine Prep)
Timothy Yao (San Ramon, Calif. / Dougherty Valley)
|Thomas Barrett||Wenjun "Happy" Chang||Colin Chun||Nick Jasinski||Jeffrey Ma||Timothy Yao|
|Chatham, N.J.||Wilbraham, Mass.||Los Angeles, Calif.||Crystal Lake, Ill.||San Jose, Calif.||San Ramon, Calif.|
|Chatham||Wilbraham & Monson Academy||Venice||Cary Grove||Bellarmine Prep||Dougherty Valley|
Chatham, N.J. / Chatham
A member of Berkley Aquatic Club, Thomas Barrett will bring high leverage experience to the Beavers' mid-distance group. He took first place in the 1650 Free at the NI STAR Team Invitational back in December 2016, and swam to a second-place finish in the same event at the New Jersey Senior State SCY Championships in Mar. 2017. The Chatham, N.J. native should have plenty to prove in Pasadena this winter.
"We're excited to have Thomas join our program who loves to train for and compete in the distance events," Hughes said. "We believe Thomas is only scratching the surface in terms of maximizing his ability and big things are in store for him over the next four years."
Wenjun "Happy" Chang
Wilbraham, Mass. / Wilbraham & Monson Academy
Wenjun Chang began to turn the corner in the 100 Free and 100 Breast towards the end of his time at Wilbraham & Monson Academy, posting career-best times back in February at the Bud Erich Championships in New Haven, Conn. A member Pioneer Valley Aquatic Avengers, "Happy" earned perhaps his greatest achievement, the Division III Babcock Award for the most outstanding swimmer at NEPSSA last February.
"From Happy's first visit to campus, it was clear he fit in great with our team," Hughes said. "We're thrilled to add his uplifting and positive personality to our group. Competitively, his versatility will help with flexibility in dual meets and he will add depth to our relays."
Los Angeles, Calif. / Venice
Colin Chun captained Venice High School his senior year and could bring some youthful leadership to the men's team this year. A six-year veteran of the pool, Chun's work ethic has carried him to Caltech and will now hope to show continued improvements after qualifying for the City and State finals with a record time in the 50 Free. He is also the valedictorian of his graduating class at Venice.
"We're thrilled to have Colin part of this class as he helps fill our need for a true sprinter," Hughes said. "He's had a great improvement trajectory in the past couple years and we're looking forward to him continuing to get faster in our program."
Crystal Lake, Ill. / Cary Grove
Back, Fly, Mid/Distance Free
Perhaps the most versatile of Caltech's incoming men's swimming recruits, Nick Jasinski will have a chance to be an instant difference maker and strong utility player for Hughes and his staff to deploy as they see fit. A fierce competitor in the pool and classroom, Jasinski told collegeswimming.com he intends to pursue the "highest levels of achievements" in both STEM and swimming within Caltech's "small but mighty community." The Illinois native could contend for a small handful of school records his rookie season.
"Nick is a tremendously talented athlete who possess the ability to compete at a high level across numerous events and disciplines," Hughes said. "He'll be one of the top swimmers in the SCIAC as a freshman, will help elevate our relays, and will make waves at the NCAA level as well."
San Jose, Calif. / Bellarmine Prep
Santa Clara Swim Club product Jeffrey Ma should add helpful breast stroke depth behind former SCIAC champion Thomas Gallup. Ma has particularly begun to turn the corner in the 100 breast, having posted top-two career times as recently as this May.
"Jeffrey is a talented breaststroker who is capable of scoring in both the 100 and 200 breast at SCIACs at a freshman," Hughes said. "During the recruiting process, I was impressed by Jeffrey's ability to juggle his extracurricular and athletic commitments at a high level and we're looking forward to what he'll accomplish at Caltech."
San Ramon, Calif. / Dougherty Valley
Timothy Yao has also shown the ability to swim a variety of events at the high school level, though will mostly focus on varying distances in the freestyle events. His championship swimming experience could provide his new team with a needed boost come SCIAC's at the end of the season.
"Timothy is a freestyler who can swim the 100 through the mile due to his rare combination of speed and endurance," Hughes said. "He will give us flexibility at dual meets and depth for our relays in addition to gunning for championship finals swims in the middle distance free events."