Men's Swimming Adds Five Recruits
Monday, June 18, 2007

SHREVEPORT, La. -- Head Coach Butch Jordan and the Centenary men’s swimming team announce the addition of five student-athletes for the 2007-08 season.

Rourke Barrett, Matthew Blam, Matt Harris, Aaron Otto and Josh Pena will all be a part of the Gents in the upcoming year, joining a Centenary team that finished runners-up in the 2007 Mid-Continent Conference Swimming Championships.

All five swimmers fill needs for the Gents in the upcoming season.

Barrett, from Athens High School in Athens, Texas, will concentrate on freestyle events next season for Centenary.

"Rourke has a ton of potential in the 50 to 200 free," Jordan said. "We’re expecting him to become an important part of our sprint program and our freestyle relays. He’s still on the lower end of his learning curve, which will be a big plus for the Gents."

Barrett took the 200-yard freestyle in districts this past season and also qualified for the Texas High School State Meet in the 100-yard freestyle.

Competing in both swimming and cross country while at Cedar Park High School, in Austin, Texas, Blam will compete in freestyle events with the Gents.

Showing a lot of potential and a member of the Cedar Park Aquatics club team, Blam swam competitively in high school for just his junior and senior season.

"Matt will prove to be quite a find for our men’s program. With his limited experience in the pool, we expect him to improve rapidly in the next four seasons at Centenary," Jordan said.

Harris participates for Metroplex Aquatics, graduating from Grace Community High School, in Tyler, Texas.

Looked upon to add depth to the Gents next season, Harris has a best time in the 100 backstroke of 57.5, clocking a career-best time in the 100 breaststroke with a 1:04.1.

Jordan believes Harris will blossom in the college-swimming environment.

"His event lineup will change quite a bit over the course of the season because he could score in a variety of events for us," Jordan said.

Harris will compete in breaststroke, backstroke and individual medley events for Centenary.

From McKinney North High School and a native of Fairview, Texas, Otto broke nine school records in his high school career.

This past season, Otto earned first team All-Texas honors in the 100 backstroke, earning all-district in the 200 freestyle and the 100 backstroke. In addition to his state and district honors, Otto was the regional and district champion in the 100 backstroke in his senior season.

Jordan and the Centenary coaching staff are excited to bring Otto to Shreveport for his collegiate career.

"Aaron is a perfect fit for our program. He will have the opportunity to try several events while here," Jordan said.

Otto is a teammate of Harris on the Metroplex Aquatics club team. He earned the Academic Excellence Award all four years of high school.

Looking to make an immediate impact in the sprint-freestyle events for the Gents, Pena comes to Centenary from Frisco High School in Frisco, Texas.

A multiple-event record holder at Frisco, Pena was a state finalist in the 2007 Texas High School State Championship, concentrating on the 50-, 100-, and 200-yard freestyle events.

Jordan says Pena comes to Centenary with high expectations.

"He is the type of athlete that will deliver," Jordan said. "Josh should be a scorer in his first year at the Summit League Championships, as well as an important dual meet swimmer for Centenary."

He is a member of the Frisco Aquatics club team.