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Lafayette, Army and Bucknell Claim Patriot League Swimming & Diving Weekly Awards -- January 20, 2004

CENTER VALLEY, Penn, January 20. AFTER solid performances in a League meet against Colgate, Lafayette's Chris Grabowski (Port Carbon, Pa./Pottsville Area) and Liz Helwig (Basking Ridge, N.J./Madison) garnered Men's and Women's Swimmer of the Week honors, respectively.

Bucknell sophomore Jake Thompson (Freeport, N.Y./Chaminade), the Men's Diver of the Week, and Navy's Sheila Singer (Princeton, N.J./The Lawrenceville School), the Women's Diver of the Week, round out the list of weekly honorees for the week ending Jan. 18.

Grabowski wins the Men's Swimmer of the Week award for the second time in his career after posting three individual wins in a 148.5-142.5 loss to Colgate Thursday. The senior opened the meet by winning the 100 backstroke with a time of 53.54, which was more than a second faster than the runner-up. His time is the quickest time by a Leopard this season and is the ninth-best mark in school history in that event. Grabowski continued to impress with gold medal performances in the 200 backstroke and the 400 individual medley. His time of 1:54.34 in the 200 back was the fifth-fastest time at Lafayette. Grabowski was also a member of the victorious 400 medley relay squad.

Helwig earns Women's Swimmer of the Week honors after coming in first in three events in a 164-130 loss to Colgate Thursday. The freshman touched the wall first in the 50 freestyle with a time of 25.06, which was .73 seconds faster than the next closest competitor. She then stood atop the podium in the 100 freestyle (54.45). In her final event, Helwig took home the gold medal in the 100 butterfly with a time of 59.65, becoming just the second swimmer in Lafayette history to break the one minute mark in the 100 butterfly.

Thompson is the Men's Diver of the Week for first time in his career after claiming first- and third-place finishes in the diving events against Colgate. The sophomore earned the gold medal in the three-meter event, edging out CU's Lane Ellis by 8.09 points. Thompson's 241.64 points were the ninth-highest total in Bucknell history. Thompson came in third in the one-meter dive with 237.52 points, which is the second-best performance in school history.

Singer gains Women's Diver of the Week recognition for the first time after sweeping the diving events in a double-dual meet against UNC-Wilimington and the College of Charleston. The sophomore opened the meet with a 212.60-point effort in the one-meter event, which was six points better than the runner-up. Singer also stood atop the podium in the three-meter dive with 213.65 points, besting the runner-up by six markers.

The Patriot League, which was founded on the principles of admitting athletes who are academically representative of their class, is in its second decade of academic and athletic excellence. Participation in athletics at Patriot League institutions is viewed as an important component of the undergraduate experience. The Patriot League, which began as a successful Division I-AA football conference in 1986 and became an all-sport conference in 1990, includes American, Army, Bucknell, Colgate, Holy Cross, Lafayette, Lehigh and Navy as full members and six associate members. These institutions are among the oldest and most prestigious in the nation and their alumni have played leadership roles in the shaping of our country. In the most recent NCAA Graduation Rate Report of student-athletes, the Patriot League ranked FIRST among NCAA Division I conferences.