KU Swimming & Diving Team Wraps up Season with Annual Awards Banquet
May 6, 2012
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Members from the Kansas swimming and diving team officially wrapped up the 2011-12 season with their annual team banquet Sunday. The event was held in the Naismith Room of Allen Fieldhouse and featured a number of speakers including head coach Clark Campbell, assistant coach Jen Fox and diving coach Eric Elliott. Along with the trio of coaches, each member of the current senior class shared their memories from this season as well as their four-year KU career.
Shannon Garlie, Sarah Hettenbach, Kath Liggett and Stephanie Payne all thanked teammates, coaches, family and friends during their senior speeches, which each lasted a few minutes. Following the quartet of soon-to-be graduates was the award portion of the banquet.
The first award to be given out was the ‘Academic Award’, which went to the senior with the highest GPA. Exercise Science major and team captain Sarah Hettenbach took home those honors with her 3.97 grade point average, which led the senior class. The Abilene, Kan. native was a member of the Big 12 All-Academic team during her four-year swimming career.
The ‘Karen Dionee Most Inspirational Team Member Award’ went to fellow senior captain Shannon Garlie, which was voted on by her teammates. Garlie gave her team a boost during the Big 12 Championships this past February in Columbia, Mo., when she scored nine crucial points with her ninth place finish in the 1650 freestyle. On hand to present the award was none other Karen Dionne herself. Dionne once swam at Kansas, but had her career cut short due to injuries she sustained in a car accident.
While the senior class was getting much of the recognition Sunday, freshman Deanna Marks took home some hardware of her own, winning the ‘Newcomer of the Year Award’. Marks certainly made a splash during her first year in Lawrence, netting a total of 21-points for her team during the Big 12 Championships. She also had her best meet of the season in Columbia, compiling season-best times in a total of three events.
The final team award to be given out before the 2012-13 team captains were officially announced, was the Tammy Thomas MVP Award. The most valuable member of the 2011-12 Kansas swimming and diving team, as voted on by team members was senior captain Stephanie Payne. The Derby, Kan. native capped off her senior season with two Olympic Trial times in the 200 fly and 400 IM. Payne also saved her best for last, playing an important role in the team’s surge to the finish at Big 12’s with a fifth place finish in the 200 fly.
Before the event concluded, the three incoming senior captains were officially announced and brought up in front of their teammates. The trio of captains for the 2012-12 season will be Alyssa Rudman, Brooke Brull and Rebecca Swank. All three are Kansas natives and will have earned three letters entering their senior year of competition. The soon-to-be seniors addressed the team and expressed how excited they were to lead come the fall.