Redbird Swimmer and Divers Honored at Annual Awards Banquet
April 10, 2013
NORMAL, Ill. - The Illinois State swimming and diving team concluded its 2012-13 season at the annual awards banquet Sunday, April 7 at Redbird Arena. Senior Jeanette Nolte was honored as the Most Valuable Swimmer and sophomore Wenting Zhang was honored as the Most Valuable Diver.
Nolte started her final season as a Redbird earning multiple personal best and season best times. She was named Missouri Valley Conference Swimmer of the Week once during the 2012-13 season and continued showing strong performances throughout the season and into the MVC Championships. At the MVC Championships, Nolte was a part of four ISU record breaking relays and individually broke four ISU records.
On the first day of the championships, Nolte was a part of the ISU record breaking 200-yard freestyle relay (1:33.80) and 400-yard medley relay (3:48.63). She also broke the ISU record in the 200-yard IM (2:03.53) and the 50-yard breaststroke (30.01). During the second day of the MVC Championships, the Naperville, Ill. native was a part of the conference title 800-yard freestyle relay team (7:28.04), which set a new ISU record and MVC record. During the 100-yard butterfly, she continued to swim strong. During the preliminaries she broke the ISU and MVC record with a time of 54.77, and she also won the conference title in the event.
Nolte ended the last day of the MVC Championships and her career as a Redbird by breaking two more school records. She was a member of the ISU record breaking 400-yard freestyle relay (3:25.15), which took first-place. Nolte led off the relay and earned a personal best time (51.33). At the end of the competition, Nolte also broke the ISU record in the 200-yard butterfly (2:00.85). The swimmer earned 2013 First-Team-All- Conference honors for her performance.
Zhang was given the honor of Most Valuable Diver after having a successful season and contributing to the Redbirds second-place finish at the conference championships. She was named MVC Diver of the Week eight times, and she also was named MVC Diver of the Year for the second time during her career as a Redbird.
During the MVC Championships, Zhang won the conference title on the 1-meter board (324.75). Her conference title score was a new school record for the Redbirds. She also was awarded with the 2013 First-Team-All-Conference honor for her performance. Zhang also broke the school record on the 3-meter board (351.15) at the UIC Diving Invitational. Throughout the season, Zhang broke and re-broke the school record on the 1-meter and 3-meter board multiple times. The China native ended her season at the NCAA Zone Diving Regionals in West Lafayette, Ind. She qualified for the regionals during every competition of the 2012-13 season.
In addition to most-valuable awards, a number of awards were given out. Freshman Courtney Taylor and sophomore Marissa Yontz were given the Newcomer-of-the-Year award. Both swimmers competed strong throughout the entire season and ended their seasons with school record breaking finishes. Taylor broke the ISU record at the MVC Championships in the 400-yard IM (4:25.32). At the championships, Yontz was a part of the 400-yard freestyle relay (3:25.15) that broke the ISU record and took first-place, as well as the ISU record breaking 200-yard freestyle relay (1:33.80).
The Dede Woytowych Endowed Scholarship was presented to junior Erica Halley. The award is presented annually to a swimmer who is seen as a good teammate, hard worker and who possesses a love for the sport of swimming. The Rebecca Wade Award was presented to Valerie Jones. This award is given to a swimmer who possesses the all-around characteristics of a student-athlete.
The scholastic award was presented to eight student-athletes. To earn this award a student-athlete must have three semesters of a 3.75 GPA or higher. The award was given to Tori Alland (3.77), Morgan Buechele (3.77), Maureen Doyle (3.97), Halley (3.86), Jones (3.84), Kopp (3.94), Katherine Nelson (3.77) and Danielle Schumacher (3.96).
The banquet also honored the 11 senior student-athletes on the Redbird roster Alland, Buechele, Doyle, Kelly Healy, Nolte, Prouty, Sarah Rendek, Emily Susmarski, Schumacher, Brianna Winkler and Arica Woolbright.
To conclude the ceremony, Halley and Kopp were named team captains for the 2013-14 season.
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