Swimming and Diving Holds Awards and Recognition Banquet

April 13, 2009

The Swimming and Diving team held its awards and recognition banquet on Saturday, April 11 in the IPTAY team room. The Tigers honored their seniors, as well as handing out awards based on performance in the 2008-09 season.

The women’s swimming and diving team finished fifth overall at ACC’s in College Park, Maryland this year with an overall record of 6-4 and 4-3 in the conference. The women set 9 new school records this season with 3 new McHugh Natatorium pool records. Overall, the Clemson women swam to 35 top-ten all time performances this season. Senior Michelle Parkhurst was an ACC Champion in the 200 backstroke and All-ACC in this event and the 200 free. Fellow senior Rachel Regone was also All-ACC in the 50 free. The 200 free relay of Regone, Lauren Sindall, Alex Allen and Parkhurst earned an Honorable-Mention All-American at NCAA’s this year.

The Clemson men’s swimming and diving finished ninth at ACC’s this year with an overall record of 2-8 and 0-7 in the conference. The men set nine Clemson swimming and diving records with one new pool record. The men also notched 31 new top-ten performances this season. Junior Tom Recko was named to the All-ACC Team in the 200 back with his second place finish at ACC’s.

The first honors the evening were the announcement of the 2009-10 Clemson Swimming and Diving captains as voted on by the team. Allen, Carmen Groenewoud, and Katrina Obas were selected to lead the women’s team next year. Jason Chatlosh, Kyle Shoemaker, and David Gordon were selected to lead the men’s team into the next season.

The Most Valuable Performers for the Tiger are Michelle Parkhurst and Chris Dart, Parkhurst, a senior, holds three individual school records and is part of three relays and is on Clemson’s All-Time Top-Ten in nine events. It was her second consecutive MVP award. She is a two-time All-American, for the 200 free and the 200 free relay. Dart, a freshman, is second all-time in the 100 back, third all-time in the 200 back, and is tenth all-time in the 200 IM.

Kyle Shoemaker was named Most Improved after his 54.86 in the 100 breast, putting him second in school history. His 48.18 in the 100 fly put him sixth in the all-time top ten. Kelli Kyle earned the Most Improved award on the women’s side. Although just a freshman, Kyle notched three top- six performances, including 53.58 in the 100 back which was a school record until Parkhurst broke the record in the following heat. She also lead off the school record holding 200 medley relay.

The Tiger Pride awards are given to team members who demonstrate an enthusiasm in and out of the pool and represent Clemson in a way that is exemplary to all others. Sarah Porri, a senior, spearheaded community and extracurricular opportunities that that promoted the Solid Orange mentality, including her speech at the IPTY National Meeting. Scott Clary, a freshman, was a motivator on and off the pool deck and set an example for all future classes at Clemson.

The Clemson swimming and diving Rookie of the Year awards went to Brooke George and Chris Dart. George is in the top-five all-time in all three diving events and placed 11th on platform at ACC’s this year. Dart earned his second honor of the evening for his aforementioned performances this season.

The Coaches’ Awards this year went to Rachel Regone and David Giambra. Senior Regone is a three-time ACC silver medalist in the 50 free and school record holder in that event. She is also a part of four of the five school record relays. She is also second all-time in the 100 free. Giambra became the school record holder in all three diving events in the course of this season, including a score of 376.05 on the three-meter board against NC State.

The Most Dedicated awards went to Seth Broster and Regone. Freshman Broster is in Clemson’s all-time top-ten in five events and improved his times drastically throughout the season. Regone earned her second honor of the night by being named Most Dedicated.

The award for Most Dedicated in the Weight Room went to Katrina Obas and Eric Lane. Obas, a junior, set the school record in the 100 and 200 breast as well as being a part of the school record holing 200 and 400 medley relay. Lane, a senior, set two school records in the 100 breast and 400 medley relay and a fourth all-time mark in the 200 breast.

The Most Inspirational Performance awards were given to Cassy LaRussa and Brian Possee for their performances at ACC Championships. LaRussa picked up eighth placed in the 1650 free with a time of 16:23.02, the second fastest time in Clemson history. Possee recorded a 1:48.42 in the 200 fly, a personal best and fifth best time in Clemson history.

Several Tigers were also honored for their achievements outside of the pool.The swimming and diving teams put 41 members on the Honor Roll, and both teams achieved the highest GPA amongst Clemson sports for the Fall semester. Ashley Clay, LaRussa, Regone, Parkhurst, Possee, Zacker were presented with the Athletic Director’s Academic Excellence for their appearance on the honor for each semester in which they have been enrolled.

Additionally, Regone earned a spot in the Academic Hall of Fame LaRussa, Parkhust, Regone, Obas, Allen, and Elizabeth Savage received their certificates for CSCAA Academic All-America.