Castro-Ortega, Dressens and Ax Named BMC Swimmers of the Year


Spartanburg, SC —Patricia Castro-Ortega of Queens University of Charlotte was announced as the Women’s Bluegrass Mountain Conference Swimmer of the Year. Dion Dreesens of Queens University of Charlotte and Joel Ax of Savannah College of Art & Design were recognized as the Men’s Co-Swimmers of the Year.

Women’s Swimmer of The Year

Patricia Castro-Ortega set 6 national records at the conference meet. At NCAA Division II championships, she set four NCAA records in the 200 yard individual medley, 400 yard individual medley, 500 yard freestyle, and the 100 yard freestyle. Castro-Ortega claimed an addition two first place finishes, 800 freestyle relay and the 400 freestyle relay, claiming a total of six national championships.  Castro-Ortega earned the Swimmer of the Year honor on the women’s side for her second consecutive year. Castro-Ortega was also the women’s swimming winner for the Honda Women’s Athlete of the Year Award and will compete for the overall award to be announced June 24 on ESPNU.

Men’s Co-Swimmers of The Year

Dion Dreesens landed six first-place finishes at the conference championship in February with the 400 freestyle relay team claiming the national record. With his performance he claimed Bluegrass Mountain Conference Swimmer of the Meet Award. At NCAA DII Championships, Dressens claimed four first place finishes including two national records in the 500 freestyle and 800 freestyle relay. His performance earned him the Swimmer of the Meet award for the NCAA championship.

Joel Ax set three NAIA National records at the NAIA National Championships in March, going 1:34.90 in the 200 freestyle, 4:21.49 in the 500 freestyle, and 15:19.50 in the 1,650 freestyle.  Ax not only showed his dominance in the distance freestyle but as well in the sprint events.  Ax led off the winning 200 freestyle relay with a 20.30 and anchored the 400 medley relay in 43.09.  On the 400 freestyle relay, Joel split a 42.97 to give the Bees a come from behind win on the last relay of the championships.   With his performances, Ax ranks as the top swimmer in all freestyle events this year for NAIA.

Press release courtesy of Bluegrass Mountain Conference in collaboration with Queens University of Charlotte (Stephanie Withey).

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About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona (2013-2015) and the University of Florida (2011-2013). While her college swimming career left a bit to be desired, her Snapchat chin selfies and hot takes on Twitter do not disappoint. She's also a high school graduate of The …

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