May 22, 2003
ATLANTA – Highlighted by Fred Lanuoe Athletic Achievement Award winners Shilo Ayalon and Ashley Kracke, the Georgia Tech swimming and diving team passed out its 2002-03 honors in an April 26 banquet at the Gordy Room at the Wardlaw Center.
Named for former Yellow Jacket coach Fred Lanuoe, the Athletic Achievement Award is given to the student-athletes who brings the highest recognition to the Institute through their outstanding athletic achievements. Ayalon leaves Tech as the school’s most decorated swimmer. A three-time All-American and a seven-time All-ACC performer, he holds five school records and was named Most Valuable Swimmer at the 2003 ACC Championships. Ayalon has won this honor in each of the last three seasons.
Kracke set three Tech records (200 free, 100 and 200 back) in her rookie season of 2002-03 and also owned the team’s best performance in the 500 free. She led the Yellow Jacket women at the ACC Championships with a fourth-place finish in the 200 back and a fifth-place showing in the 100 back.
The Tommy Towles Scholar-Athlete Awards went to sophomores Matt Figh, who owns a 3.50 grade point average in biology, and Lisa Hancock, who has a 3.48 GPA in management. Figh was Tech’s top performer in the 200 fly, while Hancock set a school record in the 200 individual medley. These awards are presented to the student-athletes that posses the highest level of performance, scholarship and leadership.
Freshmen Jason Howard and Sam Morgan and sophomore Ann Battle earned the Chapman/Hiles Most Improved Athlete Awards, which are presented to student-athletes with the greatest athletic improvements throughout the year of competition. The honor is named for John Chapman and Johnny Hiles, former Tech letterwinners. Morgan competed at the NCAA Championships in both the 500 and 1650 free.
Rounding out the honorees were J. Herb McAuley Freshman Unity Award winners Meghan DeVinney and Ryan Riebesell. This award is given to the student-athletes that exemplify the standards of leadership and team unity through their personal actions in and out of the pool. DeVinney made a huge impact as a rookie, posting school records in both the 100 and 200 fly, while Riebesell was the Jackets second-fastest performer in both the 50 and 100 free and was a part of two school record relays.
In addition to presenting the awards, Tech head coach Seth Baron announced the team captains for the 2003-04 season. Representing the men will be rising seniors Eduardo Oliver and Itai Eden, while Hancock, who was a captain this season, and rising junior Jill Vukmanic will lead the women’s squad.