Courtesy: Alabama Athletics
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Alabama swimming and diving teams celebrated the 2018-19 season with its annual year-end awards banquet Thursday evening.
Dennis Pursley, who announced his retirement earlier this spring following his seventh season as the Crimson Tide’s head coach, and his staff handed out a number of awards following a season that saw the men’s team post its sixth straight top-15 NCAA finish and fourth in the top-10 over the past five years, and the women once again finishing in the top-35 nationally.
The following individual honors were awarded during Thursday’s festivities:
Coaches Award: Cade Auerbach & Julia Cullen
Most Outstanding Swimmer: Robert Howard & Kensey McMahon
Most Outstanding Diver: Kevin Li & Natalie Donkle
Most Valuable: Zane Waddell, Justine Macfarlane & Rhyan White
Most Dedicated: Kyle Maas & Cameron Brown
Best Competitor: Laurent Bams & Alexis Preski
Leadership Award: Evan Heldman, Sarah Helm & Emma Murray
Most Spirited: Christian Arseneau & Tori VanBuskirk
A total of nine men and women combined for 23 All-America honors in 2019. Since the arrival of Pursley and his staff prior to the 2013 season, a total of 35 Alabama men and women have earned 160 All-America accolades.
The Crimson Tide also continued its assault on the school record board, breaking nine UA marks, including five individual and four relays records.
Alabama’s academic success has been equally as impressive. The women’s team posted a 3.67 team grade point average in the fall while the men earned a 3.55, earning College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) Scholar All-America Team honors. Individually, 25 swimmers and divers came away with a 4.0 GPA in the fall, while 45 tallied a 3.5-or-better GPA and 64 posted a 3.0-or-better.
The Crimson Tide women’s fall team GPA ranked fifth among all NCAA Division I schools and first when it comes to SEC programs, while the men’s GPA was fourth among NCAA Division I schools and first among teams that finished in the top-10 at last year’s NCAA Championships and in the SEC.