DURHAM, N.H.- The University of New Hampshire women’s swimming and diving team recently held their annual awards banquet at the Sheraton Inn in Portsmouth. The evening highlighted the team’s accomplishments over the 2008-2009 season.
Although finishing fourth at the America East Championships, the Wildcats won 8-of-18 swimming events, more than any other school. During the Championships, they broke five conference records and six school records.
The Most Valuable Swimmer Award went to Jessie Ellisalcaide (Harpswell, Maine). Ellisalcaide had an incredible season as she broke two 10-year-old America East records in both the 50 and 100 freestyles, coincidently held by former Wildcat All-American Denise Leckenby. Ellisalcaide swam key legs in each of the four school record-setting relay swims. Jessie went on to win ECAC titles in those same events closing out the season perfect in the 50 and 100 freestyle, as she went undefeated all season.
The Richard J. Hegerich Golden Goggle Award or Seventh Player Award was awarded to senior Whitney Powers (Bedford, N.H.). The memorial award is named for former UNH Swimmer Rich Hegerich, who was killed by a drunk driver in 2004. It was presented by Rich’s mom Maureen Hegerich recognizing Whitney’s enthusiasm, dedication, team spirit and love of the sport that Rich so vibrantly demonstrated.
The Coaches Award recognizes the upperclassman that exemplifies the best of UNH Swimming & Diving. It reflects upon the characteristics of leadership, ability to be a role model, commitment to the team and overall contribution to the team both philosophically and athletically. Diving standout Tory McKenna (Westford, Mass.) received the award. McKenna transferred in from Syracuse where she was a Big East finalist to complete her final year of eligibility while beginning Graduate School here at UNH. Tory’s dedication and maturity set an example for both swimmers and divers this season.
Captains for the 2009-2010 season were announced at the end of the evening. Mattie Fowler (Farmington, Maine) ’10 and Gillespie ’11 were elected captains for the upcoming season.