April 15, 2014
PITTSBURGH—Pitt’s swimming and diving team held its annual end-of-the-season awards banquet at the University Club on Saturday, April 12. After a successful inaugural season in the Atlantic Coast Conference with 18 school records broken, the Panthers honored the team’s accomplishments of the 2013-14 season.
The Most Valuable Swimmer for the women resulted in a tie between senior captain Veronica Lee and junior Dani des Tombe. Both swimmers are ACC Championship qualifiers and assisted in the 400 medley relay record set at the AT&T Winter Nationals.
For the men, sophomore David Sweeney and junior Luke Nosbisch both took home the MVP award on Saturday. The tie between Sweeney and Nosbisch comes as no surprise as both qualified for the ACC Championship and currently maintain two school records apiece. Sweeney holds records in the 200 free and 800 free relay, while Nosbisch owns the 200 breast and 200 medley relay records.
The Most Valuable Diver awards were presented to sophomore Sam Winkelmann and senior captain Aaron Snyder. Winkelmann qualified for the ACC Championships this past season, and was named diver of the meet at the ECAC Championships for her winning performances on the 1-meter and 3-meter.
Snyder leaves behind an impressive career as he ranks ninth all-time for Pitt divers on the 1-meter. The senior is a former Big East Champion and ACC Championship qualifier.
The Most Improved Swimmer plaques went to sophomore Bethany DeWitt and freshman Spencer Gray. DeWitt’s efforts this season qualified her for the Women’s ACC Championships where she assisted in the record setting performance of the 800 free relay. Gray’s freshman campaign ended on a high note as the men’s ECAC champion of the 500 free.
Again, the divers received recognition for their resilient efforts as the award for Most Improved Diver went to freshmen Rachel Saunders and Jacob Lenhart. In their rookie seasons, both Saunders and Lenhart qualified for the Women’s ACC Championship and Men’s ACC Championship, respectively. Saunders currently has the school record title in the platform dive from her ACC performance.
The most prestigious recognition of the night, the Panther Triad Award, is given to a member of the team that best represents Pitt’s standards of commitment, teamwork and pride. As voted by their teammates, this year’s awardees were junior Jonathan Lierley for the men and seniors Lauren Matevish and Nina Lisella for the women.
Lierley is a three-time conference qualifier and school record holder in the 800 free relay. He also has made a difference outside the pool and in the community. Lierley has volunteered his time this season at the Christmas Meet, Swim Clinic and Special Olympics at Trees Pool.
A team captain, Matevish is a four-time conference qualifier, ending her senior season with a berth in the ACC Championships. She is now a two-time recipient of the Panther Triad Award and finishes her career ranked fifth all-time at Pitt in the 1,650 free.
The final honoree, Lisella is a two-time conference qualifier. In her rookie season, Nina was honored as the team’s most improved swimmer as she qualified for a berth to the ECAC championships. Lisella also received recognition outside of the pool and was honored with Pitt’s Gold Award for her 4.0 GPA.
Overall, the Panthers recognized 13 honorees at the annual swimming and diving Banquet Awards.
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