Above photo by Peter H. Bick
PHOENIX, Arizona, October 7. THE 2014-2015 college swimming season has begun in the United States, and a few conferences across the country are starting to award their aquatic sports athletes with weekly honors. Each week, we will compile a list of the athletes who swam fast enough or scored high in diving to be recognized as the best in their respective conferences.
Atlantic 10 Conference
Male Swimmer of the Week: Brendan Hulseman, Saint Louis University
Hulseman, a junior from Winnetka, Ill., jumped out to a quick start this season at the Butler double dual as he turned in times of 46.22 in the 100-yd freestyle and 1:42.75 in the 200-yd freestyle. Additionally, Hulseman posted a time of 50.21 in the 100-yd butterfly at this past weekend’s Show Me Showdown, finishing one second off of a SLU school record.
Female Swimmer of the Week: Meredith Nakano, Davidson
Nakano, a senior from Alpharetta, Ga., logged four top-six performances and swam critical legs on each of Davidson’s top relays. Nakano recorded fifth-place finishes in both the 100-yd butterfly (57.42) and the 100-yd breaststroke (1:05.85). She also swam the 100-yd freestyle (52.80) and the 200-yd breaststroke (2:21.18) to help lead the Wildcats to a third-place team finish at the All North Carolina College Kickoff.
Male Rookie of the Week: Ryan McCoy, Saint Louis University
McCoy, a native of Phoenix, Ariz., recorded the top Saint Louis’ times in the 200-yd freestyle (1:42.56), the 500-yd freestyle (4:43.64), 1,000-yd freestyle (9:51.80) and the 200-yd butterfly (1:55.95).
Female Rookie of the Week: Mina Glenesk, Saint Louis University
Glenesk, a native of Austin, Texas, led the Billikens against Washington University as she recorded a time of 1:56.46 in the 200-yd freestyle. She also posted a time of 1:00.19 in the 100-yd butterfly and 2:11.71 in the 200-yd butterfly.
Atlantic Coast Conference
Male Swimmer of the Week: Derek Hren, North Carolina State
Hren enjoyed a tremendous weekend, as he started the 2014-15 season with a NCAA “B” cut and a first-place finish in the 100 breaststroke, while recording second-place performances in the 200 IM and the 200 breast. Hren’s time in the 100 breast ranks as the fifth fastest in the country, while his time in the 200 IM ranks 12th in the country and second-fast in the conference.
Female Swimmer of the Week: Kaitlyn Dressel, Florida State
Dressel opened her senior campaign by competing in 13 races this weekend at the All-Florida Invitational. Dressel placed second in the 100 free behind Florida’s Natalie Hinds and in front of California’s Missy Franklin. Dressel snagged bronze in the 50 free and brought the 200 medley relay home in a time of 22.17, while leading off the 400 free relay.
Male Diver of the Week: Brad Homza, Georgia Tech
Homza swept all four events he entered in a pair of back-to-back dual meets at Penn State and at Navy. The Austin, Texas, native recorded four scores north of 300.00 and won his four events last weekend by an average of 45 points.
Female Diver of the Week: Rachel Mumma, North Carolina State
After redshirting the 2013-14 season, Mumma returned to diving competition in outstanding fashion. Mumma finished first overall in the one and three-meter competition and recorded two NCAA Zone scores. In the three-meter competition, she set a new personal-best with a score of 323.93. Mumma continued her performance on Saturday, as she won the one-meter competition with a score of 286.95.
Big Ten Conference
Male Swimmer of the Week: Richard Funk, Michigan
Funk, an NCAA finalist in the 100 breaststroke, kicked off his senior season with three wins against Iowa last weekend. The Canadian won the 100 breast with a 54.18 and the 200 breast in 2:01.08. He also helped the Wolverines win the 200 medley relay with a 1:29.58.
Female Swimmer of the Week: Kierra Smith, Minnesota
A Canadian breaststroker takes the female swimmer of the week award as well, as Smith dominated last weekend in the meet at Arizona State. The junior swam a 1:03.11 in the 100 breast and 2:12.66 in the 200 breast to help the Golden Gophers beat the Sun Devils. Smith also swam breaststroke on the winning 400 medley relay.
Male Diver of the Week: Manny Pollard, Minnesota
Pollard, a junior at Minnesota, won both diving events against Arizona State. Though early in the season, his scores of 327.08 on the 1-meter and 356.55 on 3-meter qualified him for the zone diving meet next March.
Female Diver of the Week: Anna Filipcic, Nebraska
Filipcic competed in the double dual against Michigan and Iowa last weekend, taking the 1-meter springboard (293.25) and 3-meter springboard (296.30) events.
Male Freshman of the Week: Aaron Whitaker, Michigan
Following in his older brother Kyle’s footsteps, Aaron Whitaker is already making an impact for the Wolverines. In the meet last weekend against Michigan, he won the 100 fly with a 48.21 and was fourth in the 100 backstroke (50.48) to score big points in his college racing debut.
Female Freshman of the Week: Clara Smiddy, Michigan
Smiddy swept the backstroke events in the double dual against Nebraska and Iowa last weekend, taking the 100 back in 54.40 and the 200 back in 1:55.99. Though early in the season, those times put her high in the collegiate ranks.
Coastal College Swimming Association
Men’s Swimmer of the Week: Nathan Lile, Gardner-Webb
Lile competed at the North Carolina Invitational in Greensboro and swam anchor in the 200 medley relay, which finished in ninth place with a time of 1:35.90. He took third in the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 1:40.95 and ninth in the 400-yard individual medley (4:13.93). The junior also finished seventh in the 400 freestyle relay with a time of 3:08.83.
Female Swimmer of the Week: Emma Svensson, Florida Gulf Coast
Svensson competed at the All-Florida Invite and finished third as anchor in the 200-yard freestyle relay in 1:32.91 with a 22.03 split. She placed second in the 50 freestyle (22.97), third in the 100 free (50.63), fourth as anchor in the 400-yard medley relay (3:43.34; 48.90) and fourth in the 200-yard medley relay (butterfly). The senior swam against some of the nation’s top competitors, including U.S. Olympian Missy Franklin of California-Berkeley, who finished directly ahead of Svensson in second-place for the 100 freestyle (49.87), plus swimmers from the University of Florida, Florida State, Nova Southeastern, Miami and the CCSA’s North Florida.
Female Diver of the Week: Cayla Collins, Florida Gulf Coast
Collins competed at the All-Florida Invite in Gainesville, Fla., and placed fifth overall on the 1-meter with a score of 255.83, less than a point behind fourth place. The senior placed fourth on the 3-meter board with a score of 241.66.
Men’s Swimmer of the Week: Paul Le, Missouri State University
The senior led a group of Bears at the Missouri Show-Me Showdown on Friday by finishing in first place in both the 200 IM in a time of 1:48.47 and the 100 backstroke with a time of 48.89. He swam the first leg of 200 medley relay and 400 free relay teams and helped 400 freestyle relay team gain a lead heading into final legs of the event.
Women’s Swimmer of the Week: Victoria Griffin, Bowling Green
Coming off of a spectacular freshman campaign that included four MAC Swimmer of the Week awards, sophomore Victoria Griffin swam on six winning relay teams at the Tom Stubbs Relays Friday afternoon against Toledo, Akron, Youngstown State and Findlay. She was a part of four relay teams to set new meet records (3×100 butterfly relay, 400 medley relay, 200 freestyle relay and 400 medley relay).
Missouri Valley Conference
Female Swimmer of the Week: Danielle Freeman, Evansville
Through two meets this season, UE sophomore Danielle Freeman is undefeated against solid competition out of the gate. The Aces opened up the season last weekend at the Butler Quad Meet, facing Saint Louis, Butler, Valparaiso, Xavier and Western Illinois. She earned wins in the 50 Freestyle (23.96) and 100 Freestyle (52.71). She also teamed up to lead the Aces to a win in the 200 Medley Relay with a 1:48.93. Against SIU, she was victorious in three more races. Leading off for UE in the 400 Free Relay, she helped the Aces win with a time of 3:33.52. In the 50 and 100 Freestyle, she won once again, recording times of 24.18 in the 50 and 52.53 in the 100. Both currently rank as the top times in the MVC.
Female Diver of the Week: Sherry Zhang, Southern Illinois
Zhang was an important part in the win against the University of Evansville. In the 1-Meter Dive, Zhang scored 332.55 to easily take first in the event. Her score in the one-meter was nearly 25 points higher than the second place finisher. The 3-Meter dive saw the same dominating performance from Zhang. Her final score of 337.57 gave her the crown in the event.