Men's Swimming Signs Five to National Letters of Intent

Dec. 15, 2008

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The UC Santa Barbara men's swimming team has signed five student-athletes to National Letters of Intent, it was announced by head coach Gregg Wilson. Walter Gault (Santa Rosa JC/Petaluma, Calif.), Ryan Hanni (Los Altos HS/Los Altos, Calif.), Max Horrell (Analy HS/Petaluma, Calif.), Michael Matchett (Dana Hills HS/Laguna Niguel, Calif.) and Brandon Shilling (Bellarmine College Prep/San Jose, Calif.) are all expected to join the Gauchos for the 2009-10 season.

"These fall commitments from four incoming freshmen and one transfer is the best fall recruiting class we have ever had in terms of numbers and the quality of student-athletes" said Wilson. "All have the academic credentials to succeed and thrive at UCSB and in addition, they will all significantly enhance our line-up."

Walter Gault comes to UCSB via Santa Rosa Junior College where he is coached by Jill McCormick. As a freshman, Gault placed second in the 200 individual medley and third in the 100 and 200 breaststroke at the 2008 California Community College Commission on Athletics Swim and Dive Championships. He is also a U.S. Open qualifier in the 100 and 200 breast.

Gault's Top Times (yards):
100 Breast - 57.44
200 Breast - 2:05.75
200 IM - 1:54.15

Ryan Hanni hails from Los Altos High School with whom he took second in the 100 freestyle and third in the 50 free at the 2008 CIF-Central Coast Section Championships. Hanni also swims with Los Altos Mountain View Aquatic Club under coach Jose Bonpua. He is a U.S. Open and Junior Nationals qualifier in both the 50 and 100 free.

Hanni's Top Times (yards/meters):
50 Free - 21.12/24.04
100 Free - 46.56/53.10

Max Horrell currently attends Analy High School. Last season, he placed third in the 100 butterfly at the CIF-North Coast Section Championships. He swims for the Marin Pirates under coach Warren Lager and is a U.S. Open and Junior National qualifier in the 100 and 200 butterfly.

Horrell's Top Times:
100 Fly - 50.03/56.88
200 Fly - 1:52.06/2:08.07

Michael Matchett hails from Dana Hills High School. He was the fifth-place finisher in the 50 free and sixth in the 100 free at the 2008 CIF-Southern Section Championships. Additionally, he is a U.S. Open qualifier in the 10 and 100 free.

Matchett's Top Times:
50 Free - 20.96
100 Free - 45.92

Brandon Shilling rounds out the group of men's signees. He comes to UCSB from Bellarmine Prep where he placed second in the 200 IM and fourth in the 100 backstroke at the 2008 CIF-Central Coast Section Championships in addition to swimming on the section champion 200 free relay. Shilling also swims for Santa Clara Swim Club under coach John Bitter. He was an Olympic Trials qualifier in the 200 IM and a U.S. Open and Junior Nationals qualifier in the 100 back, 100 fly and the 50, 100 and 200 free. He also won the Bonus Final at the 2008 Speedo Junior National Championships in the 200 IM.

Shilling's Top Times:
200 IM - 1:50.77/2:06.94
100 Back - 51.30/59.89
50 Free - 20.91/24.07
100 Free - 52.74 (meters)
200 Free - 1:41.70/1:55.57

"We have a good senior class that will be leaving big voids, so we needed a good recruiting class," said Wilson. "This group has enormous potential in the sprint freestyle events as well as other areas. Both our men's and women's recruiting classes have proven themselves in several events at the national level and they all have potential for much more success at the level."

The UCSB men's swim team will return to action after the holidays with a dual meet at USC on Jan. 10. The meet is scheduled for a 1 p.m. start at the Trojans' McDonald's Swim Stadium.

UCSB - a nationally recognized university in both academic and athletic excellence - is located on the central coast of California in a picturesque campus community setting on the Pacific Ocean. Each year over 450 Division I Gaucho student-athletes compete for national championships, succeed in the classroom and give back to the community.

- UCSBgauchos.com -