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Dartmouth Swimming and Diving Announces 2011-12 Team Awards

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By John and Matt Risley
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HANOVER, N.H.- The Dartmouth swimming and diving team honored the accomplishments of the 2011-12 team on Tuesday (March 6) at its annual post-season awards banquet.  The 2011-2012 season was among the best in program history, highlighted by six newly established women's records, 13 new men's records, an Ivy League title from sophomore Nejc Zupan (Kamnik, Slovenia) in the 400 IM and seven NCAA consideration qualifying times.

The teams also brought in 86 new top 10 performances, which ranks as the best rate of time improvement in the Ivy League, as well as a top five finish for both programs at the Ivy League championship. Additionally, both squads were ranked among the top teams in Division I swimming in GPA and both finished the season with a top 20 mid-major ranking.

 Sophomore Natalia Vecerek (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.) and junior Michael Lenkeit  (South Windsor, Conn.) won the prestigious Lutkus and Scholar-Athlete awards for performing well throughout the season and achieving the highest cumulative grade point average among a very academically competitive team.

Named for the long time diving coach, the Ron Keenhold Diver of the Year award is awarded to the most accomplished divers of the season, and was awarded to junior Erica Serpico  (Moorestown, N.J.) and freshman Ryan Shelley  (Sudbury, Mass.)

Women' s senior co-captain, Galen Barry (Wayne, Pa.) saw tremendous improvement in her marquis backstroke events, as well as the 400 IM, earning her the Team's Most Improved Award for the second year in a row. Sophomore Dylan Gabel  (Alta Loma, Calif.) won the Men's Tsongas award for his dramatic improvement in the distance events, setting a new record in the 500 and besting his own second all-time marks in the 1000 and 1,650.

It was no surprise that newcomers Sasha Alcon  (Fremont, Calif.) and Jay Schulte  (Anchorage, Alaska) earned the Outstanding Freshmen awards for their consistent, versatile, and highly competitive performances all season long.  Alcon finished third in a very competitive 100 freestyle field at Ivy League Championships and Schulte consistently put up outstanding breaststroke races and times throughout the regular season.

Sophomore Christine Kerr (Gainesville, Fla.), twin sister of 2011 MVP, Danielle Kerr (Gainesville, Fla.), earned the women's Most Valuable Swimmer award, for her outstanding performance throughout the season in events that spanned from sprint to distance free.  She finished the season with a third place finish in the 200 free at the Ivy League Championship as well as outstanding final swims in the 500 and 1,650 freestyle and contributing to a record-breaking 800 free relay as well.

Three-time Ivy League champion Zupan, earned the Karl B. Michael Swimmer of the Year award for the second year for his consistent dominance in distance free events throughout the season as well as phenomenal performances in an eclectic mix of events at Ivy League Championships. Zupan set three new varsity records at the 2012 Ivy League Championship earning three NCAA B-cuts and an Ivy League title in the 400 IM.

Barry earned the esteemed Geer Award, given to the women's team member who has contributed the most to the development of the Dartmouth women's swimming and diving program, through not only her performance in the pool, but also through her day-to-day dedication to her teammates and the team concept as an exceptional leader and team captain.

John Glover '55 died in 1956 at the Yale pool while training for an Olympic berth. He had captained the Dartmouth freshman and varsity swim teams, was a three-time All-American and established 35 records during his college career. An award in his honor is presented to the most inspirational member of the Dartmouth Men's team each season.  Senior Matt Stumpf (Palm Harbor, Fla.), captain of the men's team, earned the Glover trophy this year for his commitment to his teammates and four years of Dartmouth swimming tradition.  Matt was a driving force in the increase in strength and success of the men's team this year, with his unwavering intensity in training and desire to compete among the best in the Ivy League. 

Team captain responsibilities for next season will be shouldered by rising senior Isa Guardalabene (Albany, Calif.) rising junior Erin Henn  (Lawrenceville, N.J.) and rising seniors Will Derdeyn (St. Louis, Mo.) and Zach Doherty (Pelham, N.Y.) who are all very excited to use their leadership to usher in continued and further success for the Dartmouth swimming and diving teams.

2011-12 Dartmouth Records

200 Free                                1:48.60           Christine Kerr
200 Back                                1:58.84 #       Meredith Sweeney
400 IM                                   4:23.96           Rebecca Butler
200 Fr Rel                              1:34.02           Guardalabene, Hengemuhle, Alcon & Van Metre
800 Fr Rel                              7:24.85           Kerr, Hengemuhle, Alcon & Kerr
200 Med Rel                          1:44.56           Orellana, Williams, Farnham, Hengemuhle

50 Free                                   20.21 #          Will Derdeyn
100 Free                                45.02              Will Derdeyn
500 Free                                4:27.49          Dylan Gabel
100 Back                                49.48              Mickey Ahern
200 Back                                1:47.58           Matt Long
200 Breast                             1:57.15 #        Nejc Zupan        
200 IM                                   1:47.69 #        Nejc Zupan       
400 IM                                   3:49.73 #       *Nejc Zupan     
200 Fr Rel                              1:21.81             Derdeyn, Ahern, North, Doherty
400 Fr Rel                              3:02.36             Derdeyn, North, Ahern, Doherty
800 Fr Rel                              6:41.33 #          Hill, Gabel, Margherio, Woon                      
200 Med Rel                          1:30.82               Roth, Zupan, Derdeyn, Doherty
400 Med Rel                          3:17.60 #            Ahern, Zupan, Derdeyn, Doherty               

* Ivy League Champion
# NCAA consideration qualifying time