The East Carolina swimming and diving team wrapped up the 2013-14 season by handing out its year-end awards Saturday night at its annual banquet.
In addition to its yearly awards, head coach Rick Kobe announced that rising seniors Rokas Cepulis and Jeffrey Mead will serve as co-captains for the men’s team next season as will fellow classmates Lauren Chew, Lauren Gray and Danielle Morrin for the women’s squad.
“It was a tight vote,” said Kobe, who became the sixth coach in NCAA history to win 500 dual meets during the 2013-14 campaign. “We have so many great leaders, but this will be an outstanding group to lead our team next season.”
Cepulis and senior Anna Gibas were named the Pirates’ Most Outstanding swimmers. A two-time recipient of the award, Cepulis became the first male in 35 years to represent ECU at the NCAA Division I Men’s Swimming Championships, competing in three events. He also reset varsity records in the 100 and 200 breaststroke, breaking his own school marks in both events.
Gibas capped off her career by earning All-Conference USA honors in the 200 and 400-yard medley relays. She completed her eligibility as the ECU record holder in the 100 and 200-yard backstroke while receiving all-league accolades four times, and earning an NCAA “B” cut in the 100 Backstroke.
Senior Colleen Jones was selected as the team’s Most Outstanding Diver. Jones claimed a bronze medal on the 3-meter springboard at the 2014 Conference USA Championships with a season-best score of 297.83. She also competed in the NCAA Zone B Regional Championships on the 1 and 3-meter springboard and was a C-USA Diver-of-the-Week honoree.
Top rookie honors went to Tori Angermeier and Fran Krznaric. Angermeier earned all-conference honors as part of the women’s 200-yard medley relay team, posted the second-fastest time on the team in the 200 IM and third-best in the 100-yard freestyle. Krznaric captured two gold medals at the C-USA Men’s Invitational as a member of the 400 and 800-yard freestyle relay teams, while also medaling in the 200 and 400-yard IM. He set the varsity record in the 200 IM and the freshman mark in the 400 IM.
Sophomores Trevor Irish and Megan Sellers were chosen as the team’s Most Improved swimmers and Alex Clark was selected as the squad’s Most Improved Diver. Irish was a part of the Pirates’ C-USA gold medal 400-yard freestyle relay team, while Sellers earned gold in the 100-yard breaststroke, while setting a new conference record (1:00.42). Sellers also qualified for the NCAA Division I Women’s Swimming Championships in the 100-yard breaststroke and competed in the 200-yard breaststroke.
Morrin was also recognized for being named ECU’s Most Outstanding Female Scholar-Athlete for 2013-14 as was Alicia Roueche, who the recipient of the 2013-14 ECU Most Outstanding Freshman Scholar-Athlete Award in addition to the team’s Most Outstanding Rookie Diver award. Both were honored earlier in the day at the 25th Annual Breakfast of Champions.
“We couldn’t be prouder of our entire team this year,” Kobe said. “Our student-athletes put so much effort and time into this season and achieved several remarkable accomplishments. It was a very special year.”
The ladies squad became the first women’s program in school history to post an unblemished mark, going 11-0 in dual meets. The season also marked the first time that both a male and female swimmer represented ECU at the NCAA Division I Championships in the same season.
2013-14 ECU Award Winners
Most Outstanding Male Swimmer: Rokas Cepulis
Most Outstanding Female Swimmer: Anna Gibas
Most Outstanding Diver: Colleen Jones
Most Outstanding Male Rookie: Fran Krznaric
Most Outstanding Female Rookie: Tori Angermeier
Most Improved Male Swimmer: Trevor Irish
Most Improved Female Swimmer: Megan Sellers
Most Improved Diver: Alex Clark
Most Outstanding Rookie Diver: Alicia Roueche
Courtesy of East Carolina Swimming and Diving.