2024 “Best of the Rest” Sprinter River Paulk Verbally Commits to Auburn

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Keller High School junior River Paulk announced his verbal commitment to Auburn University in November, saying:

“I am very humbled and honored to announce my verbal commitment to Auburn University! I would like to thank God for directing me on the right path throughout my swimming career. Secondly, I would like to thank everyone who has coached me throughout the years as well as my family, teammates, competition, and friends who have pushed me to where I am today. Also, I would like to thank Coach Ryan, Coach Louw, and Coach Vlad for recruiting me and believing in what I do. Lastly, I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to be part of this historic team and can’t wait to show what we are capable of. War Eagle 🦅”

Paulk moved from Lubbock to Keller, Texas, over the summer. He lived with Maximus Williamson and trained at North Texas Nadadores. In September, he began at Lakeside Aquatic Club and Keller High School. Last high school season, as a sophomore at Lubbock High School, he competed at the Texas UIL 5A Championships where he won the 100 free (44.84) and came in fourth in the 50 free (20.56). Both times were PBs. In 2021, the freshman placed sixth in the 50 free (21.28) and fifth in the 100 (46.74). At Keller, he will be at the 6A level.

Paulk is one of the top sprinters in the high school class of 2024, for which we named him to our “Best of the Rest” section. He competed in the 50/100/200 free at 2022 Winter Juniors West and contributed to LAC’s championship record-breaking 400 free relay (44.25 split) and 800 free relay (1:38.14 anchor), runner-up 200 free relay (20.38 leadoff) and 200 medley relay (19.64 anchor), and fourth-place 400 medley relay (43.83 anchor).

Last summer, he earned PBs in everything he swam at College Station Futures (50 free-23.48, 100 free-51.72 in competition; 100 breast-1:09.08, 100 fly-59.65 in time trials), while still attached to Lubbock Swim Club. A week later, he clocked a PB of 1:56.06 in the 200 free in time trials at Speedo Junior Nationals.

Best SCY times:

50 free flat start – 20.38
50 free flying start – 19.64
100 free flat – 44.84
100 free flying – 43.83
200 free flat – 1:38.94
200 free flying – 1:38.14
100 fly – 51.51

Paulk will suit up for the Tigers in the fall of 2024 with Sam Empey, Aidan Clements, Andy Commins, and Keaton Rice. The Auburn sprint group is led by freshman Kalle Makinen, junior Logan Tirheimer, fifth-year Mihalis Deliyiannis, and junior Ryan Husband, all of whom were sub-20 in the 50 at mid-season. In addition to Makinen, Paulk will have the opportunity to train with freshman Lewis Treggiden and sophomore Nate Stoffle.

If you have a commitment to report, please send an email with a photo (landscape, or horizontal, looks best) and a quote to [email protected].

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