April 23, 2007
ATLANTA – The Georgia Tech men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams passed out the team awards for the 2006-07 season and elected team captains, announced by head coach Stuart Wilson on Saturday. Divers Evan Stowers and Stephanie England were the recipients of the most prestigious honor, the Fred Lanoue Athletic Achievement Award, given to the student-athlete who brings the highest recognition to the Institute, through their outstanding athletic achievements.
Stowers, a junior from Independence, Ky., qualified for his second consecutive NCAA Championships, and garnered All-America honorable mention honors on the platform with a score of 289.25, finishing in 15th place.
England, a junior from Titusville, Fla., was Tech’s top performer at the Women’s Atlantic Coast Conference Championships, becoming the first female diver to earn All-ACC honors, doing so with a third-place finish on the three-meter springboard (293.25). She went on to finish sixth on the one-meter board with a score of 265.85.
Shilo Ayalon Most Valuable Athlete Award
This award is presented in recognition to the student-athlete that performed consistently, throughout the season, at the highest level of athletic achievement and contributed to the overall success of the Georgia Tech swimming and diving team.
Ryan Bishop was most deserving for this award after capping off one of his best seasons as a Yellow Jacket. Bishop, a senior from Signal Mountain, Tenn., garnered All-ACC honors for the second time in his career in the 400-yard individual medley, clocking a NCAA `B’ standard time of 3:51.92 to finish in third place. He also posted top-eight finishes for Tech in the 200 breaststroke (9th-2:01.87) and clocked a NCAA `B’ cut time of 1:48.80 in the 200 IM (5th).
England captured her second award of the day for the Yellow Jackets and earned this honor for the second consecutive year.
Chapman/Hiles Most Improved Athlete Award
Named after John Chapman and Johnny Hiles, this award is given to the student-athlete with the greatest athletic improvements throughout the year of competition.
Noah Copeland set a new school record in the 200 freestyle with a split of 1:36.92 as the leadoff of the 800 free relay to earn this award for the men. Copeland, a sophomore from Fayetteville, Ga., posted NCAA `B’ cut times in the 200 free (1:37.42) and 500 free (4:25.36) at the ACC Championships, and tallied an eighth-place finish in the 200 free.
Ryann Kopacka clocked lifetime-best times in the 100 and 200 backstroke events for the Jackets as a rookie and earned this distinct honor. Kopacka, a freshman from Alpharetta, Ga., posted times of 59.12 (100 back) and 2:07.84 (200 back) at the Georgia Invitational.
Tommy Towles Scholar-Athlete Award
This award is presented to the student-athlete who possesses the highest level of performance, scholarship and leadership in making Georgia Tech a better Institute and swimming and diving program.
Ofer Finkler was tabbed for this award for the second consecutive season. Finkler, a senior from Rishon Le-Zion, Israel, swam a leg of the record setting 200 free relay team at the ACC meet, posting a NCAA `B” cut time of 1:20.35. He also finished 11th in the 50 free with a personal-best time of 20.57 at the conference championship.
Elizabeth Stowe captured this award for the first time in her career on the women’s side. Stowe, a junior from Lawrenceville, Ga., clocked the only NCAA `B’ standard on the season, doing so in the 500 free with a time of 16:34.94. She went on to finish fourth in that event at the ACC Championships, missing All-ACC honors by just over a second.
J. Herb McAuley Freshman Unity Award
Named after longtime coach J. Herb McAuley, this award is given to the student-athlete who exemplifies the standards of leadership and team unity through their personal actions in and out of the swimming and diving pool.
Will Woodworth and Agatha Kwasnik were selected for this award for the Yellow Jackets. Kwasnik, a native of Lake Bluff, Ill., broke the school record in the 100 free with a split time of 51.48 at the ACC Championships. Woodworth, a native of Atlanta, tallied lifetime-best times of 47.93 and 1:44.20 in the 100 and 200 free events for Tech.