April 28, 2006
Clemson, SC- The Clemson Swimming and Diving team hosted their annual awards banquet Monday night to recognize the outstanding performances from the 2005-06 season. The women capped off a 5-6 (3-3 ACC) record by finishing sixth at the ACC Championships and tied for 28th at the NCAA Championships. Senior Kim Routh was awarded with All-American honors after her fifth place finish in the 1650 freestyle, and was an Honorable Mention All-American in the 500 freestyle. The men’s team had a record of 5-5 (3-3 ACC), and finished seventh at the ACC Championships. Mark Vahle and Joel Johnson each won a silver medal in their respective individual events at the conference championships.
Routh and sophomore Attila Ruszka were recognized as the team MVP’s. During the dual meet season, Routh won the 500 freestyle all 12 times she swam it, as well as winning the 1000 freestyle in five of the six meets. Ruszka took first place in the 200 IM in six meets, and is ranked in the all-time top ten in three events.
Freshman Mark Vahle received the Most Improved awards. LaRussa finished the season by placing in the top eight at the ACC Championships in the 200 freestyle, 500 freestyle, and 1650 freestyle. Vahle shattered the school record in the 50 freestyle with his preliminary heat time of 19.66 at the ACC Championships.
Sarah Cefalu and Jay Crout won the Tiger Pride award.
Michelle Parkhurst and Paul Berger won the Rookie-of-the-Year award. Parkhurst qualified for the NCAA Championships by breaking the school records in the 100 backstroke and 200 backstroke. Berger finished the year with the top score on the one-meter board for his effort at the Nike Cup.
Rachel Regone and Andrew Bergren were recognized by the coaches with the Coaches award.
Jay Crout won the Most Dedicated award.
Cefalu and Jonathan “Big Show” Mengering were awarded with the Most Dedicated in the Weight Room.
Always a popular award is the Most Inspirational Performance. This year, the awards went to Kim Routh for her 1650 freestyle at the NCAA Championships. Johnson won the award for his incredible 100 backstroke at the ACC Championships.
Finally, Parkhurst, Routh, Johnson, and Vahle received the All-ACC team award. These are given out to swimmers who place in the top three in their individual event. Parkhurst finished second in the 100 backstroke and third in the 200 backstroke. Routh dominated the distance freestyle events for Clemson by winning the 500 freestyle, and placing second in both the 1650 freestyle and 200 freestyle. Mark Vahle were awarded for their second place finishes in the 100 backstroke and 50 freestyle, respectively.
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