CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. The Virginia swimming and diving team celebrated the 2008-09 season with its annual team awards banquet held recently. Both the men and women claimed the ACC title in College Park, Md. before moving on to NCAA competition. The men finished ninth at the NCAA Championships, the highest finish in school history, while the women were 12th.
The MVP awards were presented to junior Mei Christensen and sophomore Scot Robison for their outstanding achievements over the course of the season. Christensen, the 2009 ACC Swimmer of the Year, earned All-America honors in six events. She claimed both the 100 back and 200 back titles at the ACC Championships, setting the conference, school and meet record in both events. In addition, she was named the meet’s most outstanding swimmer at the 2009 ACC Championships.
Robison earned All-America honors in seven events at the NCAA Championships, highlighted by a fifth-place finish in the 200 free. He will compete for the U.S. this summer in the 2009 World University Games alongside head coach Mark Bernardino.
First-years Peter Geissinger and Lauren Smart were awarded the Rookie of the Year trophy. Geissinger earned All-America honors as a member of the 200 and 400 free relays and won an ACC Championship as a member of the 400 free relay team. Smart nabbed All-America honors as a member of the 200 medley relay team. She finished second in the 100 back, fourth in the 100 fly, and fifth in the 200 back at the ACC Championships.
The Coaches Award, presented in recognition of significant athletic contribition through dedication, attitude, commitment, and performance instrumental to the team’s success, was shared by senior Megan Evo and Robison. As team co-captain, Evo earned All-America honors and was ACC Champion in six events. Her NCAA ‘A’ time of 1:54.59 in the prelims for the 200 fly was an ACC, meet and school record.
Matt McLean and Christensen were given the award for Performance of the Year. McLean won the 500 free at the ACC Championships, breaking his own ACC record with a time of 4:10.00.
Christensen recorded a time of 51.58 in the 100 backstroke at the NCAA Championships to finish fifth in leading the Cavalier women.
The Ramirez Family Leadership Award, presented to the student-athlete who exhibits the traits of superior leadership ability, high ethics, excellence in the classroom and preeminence in the University community, was awarded to departing seniors Ryan Hurley and Lee Robertson.
Fourth-year members of the swimming and diving team were also recognized. The Class of 2009 included Tony Colella, Hurley, Pat Reams, Robertson, Evo, Haley Parker, and Kristen Wallace.
A complete list of award winners follows:
Dave Fafara Diving Award of Excellence Briggy Imbriglia
Academic Award Pat Mellors, Kristen Wallace
Hardest Worker Award Taylor Smith, Jen Narum
Coaches Award Megan Evo, Scot Robison
Performance of the Year Matt McLean (500 Free- 4:10.00 at ACCs), Mei Christensen (100 Back- 51.58 at NCAAs)
Unsung Hero Award Pat Reams, Kristen Wallace
Lifter of the Year Tim Hayes, Kristen Wallace
Rookie of the Year Peter Geissinger, Lauren Smart
MVP Mei Christensen, Scot Robison
Ramirez Family Leadership Award Ryan Hurley, Lee Robertson
Gus and Becky Ramirez Swimming and Diving Scholarship Mei Christensen, Scot Robison
Bernardino Scholarship Matt McLean