Aggies Add Five Newcomers to 2019-20 Signing Class

Published: Jul. 27, 2020 at 2:12 PM CDT
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COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The Texas A&M men’s swimming & diving team has rounded out its 2019-20 signing class with the addition of swimmers Kraig Bray, Thad Dickerson, Max Hardt and Thomas Shomper, as well as diver Shane Mardick. The five newcomers who all hail from Texas will join A&M’s eight signees from the fall, Collin Fuchs, Jerard Jacinto, Carter Nelson, David Oderinde, Vincent Ribiero, Alexander Sanchez, diver Kyle Sanchez, and Elijah Sohn, to make up this year’s freshman class.

“This is a big class for us,” said head coach Jay Holmes. “With any big class some diversity is to be expected, and this class is diverse in what they compete in and where they are from. While we will always hit recruiting the State of Texas hard, we got a few from out-of-state in Jerrard Jacinto (the Philippines) and Carter Nelson (Illinois). Just about every stroke is covered. We graduated two of our mainstays in sprint free, Mike Thibert and Adam Koster, and there are several guys in this group that will grow into helping us there. There are also guys who will help shore up our backstroke group and help replace our graduating school record holder in both breaststrokes, Benjamin Walker.

“This group will also bring a lot of excitement to our team. Hearing them all interact with each other has been awesome.  We look forward to getting them here and challenging this class to grow into something great for Texas A&M.”

Kraig Bray, Free/Fly | Corpus Christi, Texas

Bray was a four-year letterwinner at Flour Bluff High School coached by Bryan Hutchinson. He helped his team to three straight district and region championships, earning a runner-up finish in his final season. Bray earned All-America and all-state honors as a senior in the 50 free and 100 free. He tallied seven top-five finishes at districts/regionals throughout his career, including top-finishes in the 50 free and 100 free as a senior, and the 50 free and 100 back as a junior. He holds the school record in the 50 free (20.28), 100 free (44.81) and 100 back (52.55). Away from the pool, Bray was a four-time academic all-region honoree.

Thad Dickerson, IM/Free | Magnolia, Texas

Dickerson was coached by Mike McCauly while competing with fellow signees Collin Fuchs and David Oderinde for the PACK club team. The trio helped set four club relay records and earned a second-place finish in the 4x100 yard relay at the 2019 Speedo Winter Junior National Championships. Dickerson also swam for Homeschool Christian Youth Association (HCYA) for four years, serving as team captain for three seasons. He earned Texas Interscholastic Coaches Association First Team All-State 12 times, most recently in the 50 free and 100 back. In his final season, Dickerson was the HCYA Swimming High Point Team Leader.

Max Hardt, Breast/IM | Friendswood, Texas 

Hardt swam for the Aquastar club team for 11 years, coached by his father, Gerald Hardt. Hardt was a USA Swimming Junior Nationals Finalist in 2019-20 and claimed 24 Texas Swimming Championships for his respective age groups throughout his time with the club. Hardt was also a four-year letterwinner for Friendswood High School and holds the school record in the 200 IM (1:50.16), 100 breast (55.69), 500 free (4:37.16) and 200 free relay (1:25.83). Hardt was a two-time regional champion in the 200 IM and 100 breast. As a senior, he won the 100 breast and took second in the 200 IM at the state championship meet. Away from the pool, Hardt was a member of the National Honor Society and was named an AP and National Hispanic Scholar, as well as a USA Swimming Scholastic All-American.

Thomas Shomper, Back/Fly | Austin, Texas

Shomper spent three years competing at Waterloo Swimming under the direction of club coach Daniel Alvarez. He set the club record in the 100 back (49.24) and 200 back (1:45.71). Shomper was also a three-year letterwinner at McNeil High School, where he holds three individual school records and was a member of two school record-setting relay teams. As a senior, Shomper claimed gold at regionals in the 100 back and 100 fly. He earned all-state second team honors as a junior for his efforts in the 400 free relay and 200 medley relay, while also being named to the all-state honorable mention list for his performance in the 100 back. For his efforts in the classroom, Shomper earned USA Swimming Scholar All-America honors as a junior.

Shane Mardick, Diving | The Woodlands, Texas

Mardick spent five years diving for The Woodlands Diving Academy, coached by Kenny Armstrong. At the 2019 USA Diving Junior Region 4 Championships, he placed seventh on the 3-meter board. Mardick took 10th at the 2019 USA Diving Zone B Championships and 39th at 2019 USA Diving Junior Nationals on 3-meter. As a senior at The Woodlands College Park High School, Mardick earned a second-place finish at the District 13-6a 2019 Diving Championships with a score of 496.4 (11 dives). At Region IV-6a 2019 Diving Championships, Mardick placed third with a score of 485.85. Mardick placed 12th at 6a UIL State Diving Championships.

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