Kierra Smith, Derek Toomey Lead Way in National College Swimmers of the Week Awards

CARTHAGE, Wisconsin, November 21. THIS week, selected the best of the best when it came to individual swimmers at all three NCAA divisional levels with Minnesota’s Kierra Smith and Derek Toomey top-lining the awards with their performances at the Arena Grand Prix in Minneapolis.

Division I Women
Kierra Smith from the University of Minnesota is the Counsilman Hunsaker Women’s Division I Swimmer of the week. She was also named Big Ten Swimmer of the Week after a much talked about performance at the Grand Prix. Smith, a British Columbia, Canada native, had three first-place finishes during the national meet. Smith won the 200 yard individual medley event with a time of 1:57.80, which gave her a qualifying provisional time in the NCAA. Another first-place time came as a member of the 400-yard medley relay team, which was a combined time of 3:36.80. In the 100-yard breaststroke she finished second by racing to another provisional NCAA qualifying time of 1:00.33. But probably the most promising performance of the meet was in the 200-yard breaststroke event when Kierra Smith won her third individual event representing Minnesota. A top time of 2:06.43 automatically qualified her for the NCAA Championships and is the fastest time in the NCAA by nearly 4 seconds so far this season.

Division I Men
Senior and Co-Captain Derek Toomey is the Counsilman Hunsaker Men’s Division I Swimmer of the week. He also received his first-career Big Ten Swimmer of the Week honor after his stand-out performance at the Grand Prix. Toomey, a Madison, Wis. native, earned himself two NCAA provisional qualifying times in two individual events. Racing in the 50-yard freestyle race and finishing with a time of 19.68. Stacking up against some of the world’s fastest Olympians and national competitors, Toomey raced in the 100-yard freestyle and took home eighth place in the A final heat. Finishing with a time of 43.63, his 100-yard freestyle time was the second NCAA qualifying provisional time that he earned during the three-day meet and also now gives him the fastest time in the NCAA. Toomey also was recognized in the conference due to his contribution to the winning Minnesota relay teams. He was a member of the 400-yard freestyle and 400-yard medley relay teams, who both were awarded first-place finishes. The 400-yard freestyle team combined for a time of 2:55.52 and the 400-yard medley team combined for a time of 3:12.22.

Division II Women
Saint Michael’s College women’s swimming & diving freshmen Lindsay McNall (Colchester, Vt.) is the Counsilman Hunsaker Women’s Division II Swimmer of the week. She was also named Northeast-10 Conference Rookie of the Week for the week ending on Sunday, Nov. 17, claiming the honor for the second time in as many weeks. McNall won three events while setting two more school records on Saturday during a 111-51 victory over Clarkson University. McNall won the 200-yard individual medley (2:16.75) by 15.65 seconds and the 200-yard butterfly (2:14.63) by 21.83 seconds, setting program marks in each. She eclipsed a 200 IM mark of 2:19.52 set by Kaytlyn Kelley ’12 on Feb. 5, 2010, and a 200 fly record of 2:16.14 posted by Sammy Sweeney ’12 on Feb. 19, 2012. McNall also swam for the top 200-yard medley relay (1:56.68). She has now won all seven of her events this year, setting school marks in four of her five individual races.

Division II Men
Karl Burdis (Dublin, Ireland) is the Counsilman Hunsaker Men’s Division II Swimmer of the week. Burdis recorded three first-place finishes, including an NCAA provisional time in the 100-yard backstroke, during a 161-101 win over Saint Leo. Burdis recorded the NCAA B-Cut with a first-place finish in the 100-yard backstroke while posting a time of 50.14 seconds. He also finished first in the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 1:53.20-less than two seconds off the NCAA provisional time. Burdis was part of the 200-yard medley relay team that finished first in a time of 1:33.39-also a time just short of an NCAA B-Cut. Burdis was also named the Sunshine State Conference Swimmers of the Week, this marks the second time of the young season that he has nabbed the honor.

Division III Women
Rose Hulman freshman sensation Ellie Hong, (Dayton, Ohio) is the Counsilman Hunsaker Women’s Division III Swimmer of the week. Hong shattered school records in the 100 free (54.18) by nearly a second and the 100 backstroke (59.23) by nearly two seconds in a losing effort during dual meet action this past weekend against Franklin College. Perhaps most impressive was her blistering lead off leg of 27.41 in the 200 medley relay. Hong was the only Rose Hulman women’s swimmer to post an individual victory in a swimming event against Franklin.

Division III Men
Albion College senior swimmer Brian Fiorillo has been named the Counsilman Hunsaker Men’s Division III Swimmer of the week. He was also named the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association’s Athlete of the Week in men’s swimming and diving in the wake of his performances as the Britons defeated Alderson Broddus (W.Va.) University and Alma College last weekend. A senior from Southgate who prepped at Anderson High School, Fiorillo achieved an Albion pool record with a 47.1-second performance on the lead leg of the Britons’ 400-yard freestyle relay in the Friday meet against Alderson Broddus. He also won the 100-yard breaststroke in the meet, completing the race in 1:02.58. He swam a 21.01-second opening leg on Albion’s winning 200 freestyle relay team, the fastest in the MIAA this season and fifth fastest this year in Division III, and won the 50-yard freestyle in 21.16 seconds Saturday in leading the Britons to a conference dual meet victory over Alma.

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