Jayhawks Celebrate 2014-15 Season at Swimming and Diving Awards Ceremony

LAWRENCE, Kan.-On Sunday afternoon, the Kansas swimming and diving team gathered at Rock Chalk Park to celebrate the many accomplishments of the 2014-15 season. With friends and family in attendance, head coach Clark Campbell, along with assistant coach Jen Fox and interim diving coach Gabe Downey presented team and individual awards.

IronHawk Award: Laura Bilsborrow
Strength and conditioning coach Luke Bradford is consistently impressed with the swimmers and divers in the weight room. Bradford mentioned there could have been several contenders for the IronHawk Award, but he chose Bilsborrow because of her self-motivation and improvement in the weight room this past season. Her hard work in the weight room paid off, as Bilsborrow recorded career-best times and top-24 finishes in all three events at the Big 12 Championship.

Academic Award: Deanna Marks
The Academic Award was voted by the team and presented to Deanna Marks. The senior is a double-major in mechanical engineering and business administration and holds a current GPA of 3.94. She will graduate in December 2015. A Plano native, Marks will return to Texas this summer for her second internship with Exxon Mobil.

Newcomer of the Year: Madison Straight
Finishing among the top-eight in all three events at the Big 12 Championship, Straight was awarded the Newcomer of the Year award for 2015. The freshman placed fifth in the 200-yard backstroke at the league meet (1:58.94), seventh in the 400-yard individual medley (4:20.89) and eighth in the 200-yard IM (2:03.84). She holds the second-fastest 2014-15 team time in the 200-yard backstroke and 200-yard IM and third fastest team time in the 200-yard IM.

Karen Dionne Most Inspirational Member Award: Hannah Driscoll
Campbell noted Driscoll as one of the hardest-working athletes in and out of the pool, who manages to stay positive when the going gets tough. Driscoll is a freshman from Niwot, Colorado who, in high school, was a six-time letterwinner in swimming and soccer. Driscoll posted the second-fastest 2014-15 team time in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 51.22. She was also a member of the Jayhawks’ 800-yard freestyle relay team, who placed third at the Big 12 Championship.

Diver of the Year: Nadia Khechfe
The Diver of the Year award was presented by interim diving coach Gabe Downey. Downey noted that since coming to the program, he has seen tremendous improvement within the girls but there is still plenty of work that needs to be done. Khechfe was a finalist at the Big 12 Championship, placing seventh overall in the platform diving event and advanced to the NCAA Zone D Diving Championship. Khechfe competed on platform, one-meter and three-meter boards at the regional meet.

Tammy Thomas MVP Award: Chelsie Miller
Miller currently holds five Kansas school records and was the only swimmer to represent the Jayhawks at the 2015 NCAA Championship. This season, Miller lowered three of her own records at the Big 12 Championships, in the 200- and 400-yard individual medley as well as the 200-yard butterfly. As Kansas’ first Big 12 Champion at the 2014 league meet, she closed out the 2015 season placing second in the 400- and 200-yard IM and 1,650-yard freestyle.

Seniors Caroline Patterson and Marks gave speeches remembering their time with the Kansas swimming and diving program and thanking family, friends, staff and teammates for adding to their experience.

The team will return for the 2015-16 season under new leadership from captains Bilsborrow and Miller, as well as current captains Haley Molden and Bryce Hinde.

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