BLOOMINGTON, Minn. -- The 2016 Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) Women's Swimming and Diving Championships were held Feb. 18-20 and the top performers from an outstanding meet were honored with the announcement of the 2016 MIAC Women's Swimming and Diving Awards. Conference-champion St. Thomas and third-place St. Olaf split the top individual honors.
Tommie junior Emma Paulson (Wayzata, Minn.) and her coach, Scott Blanchard, were honored as the Women's Swimming Athlete- and Coach-of-the-Year, respectively, for their role in UST's first MIAC team championship. The Oles swept the diving honors, as junior Courtney Miller (Minneapolis, Minn.) was named Diver-of-the-Year, and St. Olaf/Carleton Coach Gabe Korteum received Diving Coach-of-the-Year honors.
Paulson earned her swimming honor thanks to a record-setting performance at the MIAC Championships. The St. Thomas junior won her second-straight title in the 50-yard freestyle and the 100- and 200-yard backstroke events, with 2015 NCAA selection times in all three. She set a new MIAC overall and meet record with her time of 54.61 in the 100-back, her time of 22.86 in the 50-free was also a new meet record, and she won the 200-back in 1:59.72.
The Tommie relays also benefitted from Paulson's talents, as she helped UST win three races, finish second in another, and set one new MIAC record, with 2015 selection times in all four relays. The 800-yard freestyle relay's winning time of 7:36.06 now stands as the new MIAC and meet record, and she also helped the 400-yard freestyle (3:28.02) and the 400-yard medley (3:49.24) relay teams finish first, while the 200-yard freestyle relay team finished second (1:34.53).
Miller turned in a tremendous performance on both diving boards to win a pair of MIAC titles and, ultimately, the league's top diving honor as 2016 Diver-of-the-Year. She won both the 1- and 3-meter diving titles with NCAA Diving Zone qualifying scores on both boards. Her two scores were nearly identical, as she finished with 427.85 points on the 1-meter board, and 427.65 points on the 3-meter board. Miller defeated St. Catherine's Jenna Nagy - the defending champ on both boards and reigning two-time MIAC Diver-of-the-Year - in spirited battles on both diving boards to earn her honor.
Blanchard is now a perfect two-for-two in MIAC Women's Swimming Coach-of-the-Year honors, as he repeated the honor in his second season leading the Tommies. This time, he guided UST to its first-ever women's MIAC championship, as his team scored 873.5 points to unseat six-time defending champion Gustavus by 180.5 points. St. Thomas led by just three points after the first day, but steadily pulled away to secure its first title. Blanchard coached Paulson to Swimmer-of-the-Year honors and led the Tommies to eight first-place finishes, 17 individual All-MIAC honors and top-three finishes in all five relay races.
Korteum was honored for his work coaching both the St. Olaf and Carleton divers with his fifth MIAC Diving Coach-of-the-Year award. The former NCAA champion on the 1-meter board as a St. Olaf student-athlete, his Ole divers turned in outstanding performances at the 2016 MIAC Championships. He coached Miller to her two MIAC titles and conference Diver-of-the-Year honors. On the men's side, he also coached Scott Hodgson to a pair of second-place finishes along with a third-place on the 3-meter board for Leif Jorgensen.
In addition to the top individual award-winners, the MIAC also recognized the 2016 Women's Swimming and Diving All-MIAC Sportsmanship team at Saturday's final session, and those individuals are listed below. Also listed below are the 2016 MIAC Women's Swimming and Diving All-Conference individuals and relay teams. The top three finishers in each event received All-MIAC honors, and a medal following their event.
Fans can re-live all the action of the 2016 MIAC Swimming and Diving Championships online. The event home page has complete results, recaps and photo galleries from an exciting weekend. All photos are available for purchase directly from the galleries. All six sessions are also archived online thanks to Webcast America, and fans can purchase DVDs or watch each session on-demand.
2016 MIAC WOMEN'S SWIMMING & DIVING AWARDS
2016 MIAC Women's Swimming & Diving Awards
Women's Swimming Coach-of-the-Year
2016 Women's S&D All-MIAC Sportsmanship Team
2016 MIAC Women's Swimming & Diving All-Conference Team
1. Nicole Herrli, St. Thomas, So., 2:22.34, B
2. Melissa Rose, St. Thomas, Fy., 2:26.26
3. Katelyn Washenberger, St. Thomas, So., 2:26.73
1. Kathleen Reilly, Gustavus, So., 56.67, B, R
2. Claire Walters, St. Olaf, Jr., 57.28
3. Hayley Cassens, St. Thomas, Fy., 57.55
1. Katelyn Strauss, St. Thomas, Fy., 2:06.78, B
2. Alissa Ellingson, St. Catherine, Fy., 2:13.94
3. Halie Langanki, Carleton, 2:14.30
200-yard Individual Medley
1. Hayley Booher, Gustavus, Jr., 2:05.84, B, R, M*
2. Nicole Herrli, St. Thomas, So., 2:06.62, B
3. Maria Wetzel, Carleton, Jr., 2:07.87
400-yard Individual Medley
Key: M - Meet Record; M* - MIAC Record; R - Repeat Champion; R3 - Three-time Champion, R4 - Four-time Champion; NCAA A - NCAA 'A' Qualifying Standard; NCAA B - NCAA 'B' Qualifying Standard; ST14 - 2014 NCAA Selection Time; NCAA 11 - NCAA Diving Zone 11-Dive Qualifying Score.