Swimming and Diving Announces Team Awards
The University at Buffalo men's and women's swimming and diving team announced its team awards for the 2009-10 season last week. Head coach Andy Bashor made the following presentations: Meili Carpenter and Jared Heine were selected as the Most Valuable; Alie Schirmers and Zach Rice earned the Most Improved Player Award; Caroline Simmons and Matt Schwippert were named Top Rookies and the Leadership Award went to Laura Powalski and Andrew Tamchyna.
The Most Valuable Player Award is given to the student-athlete who makes the most significant contribution to the accomplishments of the team through his skills and leadership. Carpenter swept the diving events at the Mid-American Conference Championship meet earning the top spots in both the one and three-meter events, on her way to being named the 2010 Women's MAC Diver of the Year. She also broke her own school record four times in the three-meter dive throughout the season, finishing with a lifetime best and school record score of 350.65 at the MAC Championship meet. She also competed at the NCAA meet for the third time in her career, finishing 11th in the three-meter event, her highest ever placing at the meet, 12th place on the one-meter board and 20th in the platform dive. In addition, Carpenter was named to the All-MAC Academic Team for the third consecutive year, as well as the All-MAC First Team to wrap up an impressive senior season. Heine was awarded the men's Most Valuable Player Award after an outstanding sophomore year where he broke one individual school record and was a member of four record-breaking relay teams at the MAC Championship meet. Heine broke an 18-year record in the 100 freestyle event, setting a new record in the preliminary heat with a time of 44.67. In the finals heat, Heine tied with freshman teammate Matt Hogan for second place. Heine swam the anchor leg of the record breaking 200 and 400 medley relays, as well as the 200 and 400 freestyle relays, which all finished in the top-three at the MAC meet.
The Top Rookie Award is presented to the individual student-athlete who distinguishes himself as the most talented new player on the team or the individual who accomplishes the greatest achievements as a first-year player. Simmons proved to be an impact sprinter, leading the team at MAC Championships where she broke three individual records, including one of the longest standing records at UB. Simmons was also a member of both record-breaking relay teams. Simmons broke the 50 freestyle time on the opening day of the meet, earning third-place points in a time of 22.86, bettering the old time of 23.18 set in 2000. She also broke the 200 freestyle record while picking up the eighth-place spot, swimming a time of 1:49.72, bettering the time of 1:50.24 set in 2008. On the final day of competition, Simmons won it all, earning the top spot in the 100 freestyle to claim the MAC Championship title, while also breaking the 12-year old school record. Simmons swam to a time of 46.69, bettering the time of 50.89 set in 1998. In addition, she swam the anchor leg of the record breaking 200 and 400 freestyle relays. Schwippert also had an impressive freshman season, breaking five school records and winning a MAC Championship in his first year. Schwippert set a MAC record and school record in the 200 backstroke, swimming a lifetime-best time of 1:45.23, as he took the MAC title. Schwippert also broke the 100 backstroke (48.12) and 100 butterfly (48.91) records, earning second-place finishes in both events. Additionally, Schwippert was swam the backstroke leg of the record breaking 200 and 400 medley relays.
Finally, this year's leadership award went to senior captains Powalski and Tamchyna. Powalski exemplified leadership in her second year as team captain. She earned season-best times in the 50 freestyle (25.20) and 100 backstroke (1:01.73) at the MAC Championship meet. Tamchyna wrapped up his career as a Bull with two record breaking relay swims, swimming the freestyle leg of the 200 medley relay that placed third with a school record time of 1:30.63, as well as the 200 freestyle relay that placed second in a record breaking time of 1:21.93. Individually, Tamchyna placed sixth in the 200 backstroke with a lifetime-best time of 1:47.76 and 10th in the 50 freestyle in a lifetime-best time of 20.99 and was named to the All-MAC Second Team at the conclusion of the MAC Championship meet, in addition to his outstanding leadership towards the team. The women completed their season with an 8-3 overall record (4-3 MAC), tying with MAC rival Akron for fifth place at the MAC Championship meet. The men finished their season with a record of 6-2 (2-1 MAC) and a second place finish at the 2010 MAC Championships. Head Coach Andy Bashor was named the Men's MAC Coach of the Year for the second consecutive year at the conclusion of the men's MAC meet.