AUBURN, Ala., March 16. AUBURN senior Maggie Bowen picked up one more honor on Sunday as the Knoxville News Sentinel named her the 2003 Southeastern Conference Women’s Swimmer of the Year.
AU’s David Marsh also received top honors, claiming 2003 SEC Coach of the Year honors for both the men’s and women’s team.
For Bowen, this is the third consecutive season that she has been named the SEC Swimmer of the Year by the News Sentinel. During the SEC Championships, the Jackson, Miss., native won the 400 IM for the fourth straight year, the 200 IM for the third straight year and added the 100 breaststroke title. Only one other swimmer has equaled that feat, as Florida’s Nicole Haislett won the award all four years of her career (1991-1994).
Marsh has been voted the men’s swimming coach of the year for the sixth time while the women’s honor was his third. This is the second time that he has been named coach of the year for both squads in the same year, also accomplishing that in 1993.
"As much as this award has my name on it, I have to credit Co-Head Coach Kim Brackin," Marsh said. "She certainly has invested a lot into this team and deserves as much recognition as I do for this award."
The awards did not end there as the Tigers had a total of four swimmers named to the women’s first-team All SEC (Bowen – IM, breast, free; Heather Kemp – free; Kirsty Coventry – back; Margaret Holezer – back), nine named to the second team (Jenni Anderson – back; Laura Swander – relay; Leslie Lunsmann – relay; Eileen Coparropa – sprint free; Hoelzer – fly; Coventry – IM, relay; Magda Dyszkiewicz – dist. free; Ashley Rubenstein – diving; Becky Short – sprint free) and one an honorable mention (Kelsey Patterson – diving).
The men’s side was also loaded with Tigers as five men were named First Team (George Bovell – IM; Fred Bousquet – sprint free, fly; Pat Calhoun – breast; Bryce Hunt – back; Caesar Garcia – diving), eight were named Second Team (Derek Gibb – relay; Justin Caron – relay; Ryan Wochomurka – sprint free; Matt Kidd – relay; Eric Shanteau – IM; Andy Haidinyak – fly; Mark Gangloff – breast; Jeremy Knowles – fly) and two were honorable mention (BJ Jones – dist. free, Clay Kirkland – relay).
The Auburn women’s team will being the defense of their national title on Thursday, March 22, as the Tigers are the hosts of the NCAA Division I Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships while the men are in search of their first title in four years, which will begin on Thursday, March 27 in Austin Texas.