WORCESTER, Mass., February 28, 2006 - The New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) announced its men's and women's swimming and diving postseason awards during Tuesday's coaches meeting held at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), as six of the 10 schools garnered at least one of the eight major honors.
A pair of first-time honorees earned NEWMAC Men's and Women's Swimmer-of-the-Year accolades, including Wheaton College junior Barrett Roberts on the men's side and Babson College sophomore Meg Lynch for the women. Springfield College senior Mike Shaw (Westfield, Mass.) swept the NEWMAC Men's Diver-of-the-Year award all four seasons while Smith College sophomore Shanti Freitas picked up NEWMAC Women's Diver-of-the-Year laurels for the first time.
United States Coast Guard Academy's John Westkott was voted NEWMAC Men's Coach of the Year in his seventh season, while Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) third-year coach Dawn Gerken was named women's coach of the year. Peter Avdoulos was tabbed men's diving coach of the year in his 21st campaign at Springfield and Smith's Kim Bierwert earned women's diving coach-of-the-year laurels in his 29th season with the Pioneers.
Roberts, who is Wheaton's first All-America swimmer in program history, earned three all-conference team honors, broke a pair of NEWMAC meet records and posted an NCAA Division III national meet automatic qualifying standard at last weekend's championship. Roberts automatically qualified in the 100-yard freestyle in addition to turning in three provisional marks in the 50-yard free, 200-yard free relay and 200-yard medley relay events.
Lynch made history at this year's NEWMAC Championship, becoming the first Babson female to capture three individual conference event titles. Lynch met NCAA provisional standards in the 100- and 200-yard butterfly events and 200-yard individual medley. In addition to setting a trio of conference championships in each of those events, Lynch will become the first Babson female to compete in an individual swimming event at the upcoming national championship.
Shaw, a six-time All-America diver for the Pride, is the reigning national champion in both the one- and three-meter events. Named NCAA Championship Diver of the Meet as a junior, Shaw swept the one- and three-meter diving events at this year's conference championship for the fourth successive season. Freitas also won both events off the platform for the women, including setting a championship meet record during the one-meter event.
Westkott picked up his third conference accolade after guiding the Coast Guard men to their fourth conference championship in the eight-year history of the NEWMAC, while Gerken earned her first coaching award in leading the MIT women to a runner-up finish. Avdoulos, who was honored as the national diving coach of the year in 2005, won the league award for the fourth straight season. Bierwert's coaching award marks his first in the conference.