Texas A&M Women’s Swimming & Diving Team Honored at Annual Banquet

COLLEGE STATION, Texas, April 25. MEMBERS of the Texas A&M women's swimming & diving team were honored at the team's annual banquet in the Bright Complex on Saturday afternoon.

Junior Alia Atkinson (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) was voted the team's most valuable swimmer by her teammates. Atkinson earned the silver medal in the 200-yard breaststroke at the NCAA Championships in College Station after swimming the sixth-fastest time in collegiate history. Atkinson broke the all-time Big 12 record in both breaststrokes and helped lead both medley relay teams to all-time Big 12 records as well.

The Aggie Heart Award, given in memory of former official and team supporter Bob Stallings, went to junior Ella Doerge (Clive, Iowa). Doerge has shown tremendous improvement over her three years as an Aggie, which culminated in a spot on A&M's scoring squad at the Big 12 Championships for the first time this past season. Doerge was A&M's sixth-best point scorer at the Big 12 meet, earning a bronze in the 100 fly, fourth place in the 100 back, and winning the consolation final in the 200 back. The Aggie Heart Award is voted on by the coaches and awarded to the person that best exemplifies what it means to be an Aggie.

The Most Improved Award went to sophomore Lindsey King (Beaverton, Ore.) who wowed everyone that got the chance to see her swim at the Big 12 Championships. King, A&M's top individual point scorer at the Big 12 meet, captured the conference title in the 100-yard backstroke, earned the bronze medal in the 200-yard individual medley, and grabbed third in the 200-yard backstroke. She went on to qualify for her first NCAA Championship, earning honorable mention All-American honors on the Aggies' school-record-breaking 400-yard medley relay.

The Iron Woman Award, awarded by strength and conditioning coach Paul Sealey to the most consistent performer in the weightlifting and dryland programs, was given to junior Rebekah Love (Conroe). Love won the ‘C' final in the 100 breaststroke at the Big 12 Championships by more than a full second, setting a personal best of 1:03.74. Love also set a personal best of 2:19.48 in the 200-yard breaststroke a day later at the Big 12 meet.

At the conclusion of the banquet, the Aggies named team captains for the 2009-10 season. Seniors-to-be Alia Atkinson, Melissa Hain (Kingwood), Kristen Heiss (Casper, Wyo.), and Haley Haynes (The Woodlands) will be team captains next season.