October 21, 2008

Coach Keefe Announces Swimming and Diving Class of 2012

Oct. 21, 2008

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Robert J.H. Kiphuth Director of Swimming Frank Keefe welcomes seven new competitors to the Yale men's swimming and diving team. The new student-athletes include six swimmers and one diver. They bring a wide variety of experience and will be looked upon to contribute to the Bulldog program in the future.

Alexander Benz comes to the Bulldogs from the Delbarton School and is a native of Morristown, N.J. Benz will compete in the breaststroke for the Bulldogs. He lettered in swimming four times while at Delbarton.

"I chose to come to Yale for its high academic standards, the chance to make powerful connections, and the somewhat relaxed manner in which the University and student body view themselves," said Benz. "Being on the swim team will help me identify my strengths and limits, as well as help me to build a tight circle of teammates and friends."

Matt Boone, who received numerous awards at Acalanes High School in Lafayette, Calif., arrives at Yale as a competitor in a variety of strokes. Boone has garnered seven All-American honors since 2005 in five different events. He placed second in the 100 backstroke in the North Coast Section twice and earned All-League honors twice and MVP honors once. He has also earned Most Inspirational, Coach's and Scholar-Athlete Awards.

"I truly think Yale is the most amazing school I visited," Boone said. "I chose Yale because of its unique athletic, academic and social dynamics that were unmatched by any other university."

Goksu Bicer arrives at Yale with an impressive international resume. A resident of Istanbul, Turkey, and a graduate of The Koc School, Bicer swims the butterfly and freestyle events. He is the Turkish national record holder in the 50- and 100-meter butterfly. Goksu earned the bronze medal in the 50-meter butterfly at the European Junior Championships.

"I chose Yale because it is the best Ivy League college in terms of balancing academic and social life," Bicer said.

Christopher Luu comes to Kiphuth Pool after garnering many area and national honors. A native of Monterey Park, Calif., and graduate of Mark Keppel High School, Luu competed in the 100 breaststroke and 200 individual medley during high school. He won seven CIFSS titles and was a three-time High School All-American, three-time Scholastic All-American, four-time All-League selection and two-time All-Area selection. He earned letters in swimming and water polo and also played basketball at Mark Keppel.

"I decided to come to Yale and swim for the Bulldogs because of the unique blend of academics and athletics as well as the close-knit team atmosphere that Yale provided," Luu said. "The Yale swimming and diving team is rich with history and tradition and I am excited to be a part of it as I start my career as a Yale Bulldog."

Patrick Puhl, a native of Albuquerque, N.M., and graduate of Sandia Preparatory School, comes to the Bulldogs with freestyle and butterfly experience. A seven-time High School All-American and seven-time High School State Champion, Puhl swam the 50 freestyle, the 100 freestyle and the 100 butterfly at Sandia. He was the team captain at Sandia and lettered from 2004 until 2008.

"I chose Yale because I saw a tight-knit camaraderie between a group of guys that want to swim fast and have fun," said Puhl.

Colton Staab, the class of 2012's incoming diver, arrives at Yale from Winnetka, Ill., where he attended New Trier Township High School. At New Trier, he was the captain of the swimming and diving team and was a varsity diver for four years. An Academic All-American, Staab also was a two-time All-State and All-Conference selection ands was a two-time state meet finalist. He was his team's two-time MVP and set New Trier's diving record. With Staab on the team, New Trier won three conference, sectional and state titles. He traveled nationally with his club team for six years.

"I came to Yale because I really liked the rapport of the men's team and because of Yale's academic excellence," said Staab.

Scott Shinton, a butterfly swimmer from Newark, Del., and graduate of Newark High School, brings recognition as a three-time Scholastic All-American to the Bulldogs. He was also honored as a four-time Academic All-State Swimmer and named All-State for Delaware three times and All-Conference four times. He was his team's MVP three times.

"I chose Yale for the excellent academics and the close knit swim team that almost guarantee a phenomenal college experience," Shinton said.

After a preseason scrimmage against McGill, Yale opens the 2008-09 season at home against Columbia on Nov. 15.

Report filed by Caleb Dorfman '09, Yale Sports Publicity