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May 4, 2006

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia men’s and women’s swimming and diving program held its annual team banquet April 8 with 16 student-athletes receiving awards for their contributions to Virginia’s very successful 2005-06 season. The banquet was held at the Abbott Center on the grounds of the Darden School at the University of Virginia. In addition, fourth-year Brielle White (Philadelphia, Pa./Springside School) received Virginia’s IMP Award as its outstanding female athlete for 2005-06 at the UVa Athletic Department All Sports Banquet, which was held May 3 at University Hall.

At the swimming and diving banquet, second-year Pat Mellors (Pittsburgh, Pa./Central Catholic) and White were named the men’s and women’s team MVPs, respectively. Diver of the Year honors went to fourth-year Andrew Barber (Vienna, Va./Marshall), while first-years Megan Evo (Beverly Hills, Mich./Groves) and Bjorn Falk (Wilton, N.H./High Mowing) picked up UVa’s women’s and men’s Rookie of the Year honors, respectively. The Ramirez Family Leadership Awards were presented to fourth-years Laura Mumper (Richmond, Va./Mills Godwin) and Fran Crippen (Conshohocken, Pa./Germantown Academy). Crippen, along with fourth-year Katie Gordon (Winter Park, Fla./Trinity Prep), were the recipients of the Hardest Worker Awards. In April, Gordon was honored with a Weaver-James-Corrigan Award by the ACC. The postgraduate scholarship of $5,000 towards graduate education is given for outstanding performance in athletic competition and in the classroom.

Crippen and fourth-year Rachael Burke (Bethesda, Md./Good Council) received the Coaches Award. Second-year Stephanie Glover (Raleigh, N.C./Athens Drive) was awarded the Bernardino Scholarship. Third-years Vanja Rogulj (Zagreb, Croatia) and Katy Bland (Raleigh, N.C./Leesville) were honored with the Gus and Becky Ramirez Swimming and Diving Scholarship. The Unsung Hero award was presented to fourth-years Elaine Bennett (Richmond, Va./Douglas Freeman), Ryan Berg (Sudbury, Mass./Lincoln-Sudbury), and Ethan McCoy (McMinnville, Ore./McMinnville). Bennett and second-year Mike Miller (St. Davids, Pa./Radnor) were the recipients of the Academic Award.

In addition to White receiving Virginia’s female athlete of the year award at the All Sports Banquet, Crippen garnered the men’s team’s Brooke Maury Award and Burke was the recipient of the women’s team’s Diane Montgomery Greene Memorial Award. The awards are given to that student-athlete who exemplifies the highest qualities of leadership, cooperative spirit and unselfish service in the interest of athletics at the University of Virginia. Fourth-year Eric Kelley (Rockford, Ill./Rockford Christian) was also honored at the All Sports Banquet with a ACC Top VI Award which is presented to six UVa student-athletes who have given the most in terms of service to the University and Charlottesville communities.

Mellors was named the men’s team MVP for the first time in his career. Mellors was a two-time honorable mention All-American at the 2006 NCAA Championships. He finished 13th in the 400 individual medley and helped UVa claim 13th place in the 800 free relay. At the ACC Championships, Mellors swept the 200 and 400 I.M.s for the second consecutive year, was runner-up in the 200 backstroke, and also helped lead the Cavaliers to a victory in the 800 free relay. White capped off a brilliant career by earning first-team All-America honors while setting ACC records in the 100 backstroke (third – 52.76) and 200 back (fourth – 1:55.67) at NCAAs. She was named the ACC Swimmer of the Year in 2005 and 2006 and was also the Most Valuable Swimmer of the 2006 ACC Championship. White, a seven-time All-American, swept the 100 and 200 backstrokes at the ACC Championships in 2006, and won four consecutive ACC 100 back titles (and three in the 200 back).

Barber was named the Diver of the Year for the second consecutive season (he shared the award with Kelley last year). Barber qualified for and competed at the Zone B Diving Championships after competing in the finals of the one-meter board at the ACC Championships. Barber finished seventh on the one-meter board and was 14th in the three-meter competition. Barber set the school record on the three-meter board with a total of 339.52 points this season against Maryland (Feb. 4).

Evo and Falk garnered UVa’s Rookie of the Year awards. Evo swam the lead leg of UVa’s winning 800 free relay at the ACC Championships. She was an ACC finalist in the 100 butterfly (eighth), won the consolation final in the 200 fly, and was also a consolation finalist in the 200 I.M. (14th). Falk was fourth in the 200 backstroke at ACCs and 10th in the 100 back.

Crippen and Burke also received the Coaches Award presented in recognition of significant athletic contribution to the University of Virginia, by his/her dedication, attitude, commitment, and performance that is instrumental to the team’s success. Crippen, a two-time ACC Swimmer of the Year (2003 and 2004), wrapped up his career as a 13-time All-American. At the 2006 NCAAs, Crippen was an honorable mention All-American in the 1650 freestyle (14th) and 800 freestyle relay (13th). Crippen won his fourth consecutive 500 free title at the ACC Championships and also swam a leg on UVa’s winning 800 free relay. He was also runner-up in the 400 I.M. and fourth in the 1650 free. Burke earned her fourth All-America honor in the 1650 free with a 14th-place performance at the NCAAs. The six-time All-American won a pair of ACC titles in 2006. She took the gold in the 1650 freestyle and was also a member of UVa’s winning 800 freestyle relay. Burke was also third in the 500 free at ACCs.

Crippen and Mumper were the recipients of the Ramirez Family Leadership Awards for exhibiting traits of superior leadership ability, high ethics, excellence in the classroom, preeminence in the University community and exceptional prospects for positively representing the University, the Virginia swimming and diving program and themselves in all of their business and community activities now and in the future. Mumper, a two-time team captain, earned the award for the second consecutive year. Crippen earned a fourth award when he was presented with the Hardest Worker Award along with Gordon. Gordon was one of four Cavaliers to compete in the Women’s NCAAs, and swam in three events. Gordon swam on UVa’s winning 800 free relay at the ACC Championships and was runner-up in the 400 I.M. She was also a finalist in the 500 free (seventh) and 200 back (sixth).

Rogulj and Bland were the recipients of the Ramirez Scholarship that is awarded to members of the team that have earned the respect and recognition of their peers and coaches through their commitment, achievement, and positive approach to the sport. Rogulj was placed 11th in the 100 and 200 breaststroke at NCAAs to earn honorable mention All-America honors in both events. He also swam the breast leg on UVa’s honorable mention 200 medley relay. At the ACC Championships, Rogulj swept the 100 and 200 breast for the second straight year. He also swam on Virginia’s winning 400 medley relay at ACCs. Bland captured her first ACC title by swimming the second leg of the Cavaliers’ winning 800 free relay. She was also an ACC finalist in the 200 I.M. (seventh) and 200 free (eighth), and a consolation finalist in the 100 freestyle (12th).

Glover was the recipient of the Bernardino Scholarship. Glover was a consolation finalist in the 100 butterfly (12th) and the 100 freestyle (16th) at the ACC Championships.

Bennett, Berg and McCoy were named the team’s Unsung Heros. Bennett was an ACC finalist in three events in 2006 – sixth in the 200 breast, and eighth in the 400 I.M. and 200 butterfly. Berg was the runner-up in the 200 I.M. at the ACC Championships, and finished seventh in both the 100 and 200 breaststroke. McCoy captured the first All-America certificate of his career as a member of UVa’s 16th place 200 medley relay that earned honorable mention accolades. He also earned an ACC title this season as a member of the Cavaliers’ winning 400 medley relay. McCoy was also a finalist in the 100 free (sixth) and a consolation finalist in the 200 free (10th). Bennett, along with Miller were the recipients of the team’s Academic Award, which is given to the male and female athletes with the highest grade point average over the past two semesters.

In 2005-2006, 28h-year head coach Mark Bernardino’s Cavaliers had excellent seasons. The men’s team was 9-3 overall and a perfect 5-0 in the ACC. The Cavaliers claimed their eighth consecutive and 10th overall ACC title. The eighth straight ACC title extends the school record for most consecutive titles won by a team. UVa went on to finish 18th at the NCAAs. Seven of the nine Cavaliers who swam in the Men’s NCAA Championships earned All-America accolades. The women’s team went 6-3 overall and 5-0 in the ACC. UVa finished second at the ACC Championships for the second consecutive season. Virginia tied for 23rd at the Women’s NCAA Championships with two of the four swimmers who participated in the NCAA meet earning All-America honors.

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