Kierra Smith, Matt Barnard Named University of Minnesota MVP’s

MINNEAPOLIS – The University of Minnesota’s Swimming and Diving Program gathered for a year-end banquet this morning at Jax Cafe to celebrate an end to another season. Academic achievement awards were recognized, including the prestigious Wayne Duke Postgraduate Award that was given to senior Jessica Plant. Plant maintained a perfect 4.0 GPA through her collegiate career. First-year letterwinners were also introduced to the M Club and team awards that were selected by the coaching staff and student-athletes were handed out.

Most Valuable Performer
Matt Barnard
Kierra Smith

Most Improved
Spencer Mattox
Eric Sande
Jonathon Thielen
Daryl Turner
Abigail Raatz
Brooke Zeiger

Hardest Worker
Andrew Hartbarger
Noah Busch
Jessica Plant
Lauren Votava

Diver of the Year
Yu Zhou

Courtesy: Minnesota Athletics

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USAOfficial
6 years ago

FYI: my comment has nothing to do with the article. The picture for the article really looks like the swimmer has her elbows above the surface of the water during the recovery of the swim, which is illegal. 🙁

LevelUp
Reply to  USAOfficial
6 years ago

Completely agree. My first thought as well.

Billabong
Reply to  USAOfficial
6 years ago

USA officials, and all officials for that mater, should not be making after the fact observational complaints about breaststroke. You should be disqualifying swimmers who transgress the rules, on the pool deck, in real time, or quickly thereafter on video evidence.Thanks to a lax approach, we have gone from zero dolphin kicks to one kick is permissible, and two kicks will be overlooked. Legitimate world records being smashed in the interim. As for elbows being above the undisturbed waterline, how long will it be before the final stroke into the wall is a full butterfly stroke, that is “within the rules”?

ArtVanDeLegh10
6 years ago

“The elbows shall be under the calm level of the water except for the final stroke before the turn, during the turn, and the last stroke at the finish of the prescribed distance.”

Sure seems like she should have been dqed at NCAAs–unless you think her stroke above is the only stroke that her elbow/s recovered above the surface of the water.

Gina Rhinestone
Reply to  ArtVanDeLegh10
6 years ago

Aye . I was looking at that & thinking – crab . I find crabs very friendly & intelligent & admire their exoskeletons. However now I have an image of painted claws & 1950s sci fi movies. it is no lnger safe to look at at breastroker moves anymore & they ought be Rated .

Hannah
6 years ago

She was disqualified at Canadian Trials a few weeks ago for her elbows breaking the surface.

Joseph
6 years ago

To the people commenting above: the fact is that Kierra was no disqualified at NCAAs, so your speculation is doing nothing but trying to belittle the accomplishments of someone who is working really hard at a sport you all care about, which isn’t an honourable way to spend your time. I understand that fair ruling is important, but that’s up to the officials. From here on out every official at events around the world will be watching her elbows like a hawk. So let the officials do their job, and as swim supporters, maybe choose instead to be proud of what she – and the other athletes mentioned – have accomplished, because they have accomplished a lot, and that is… Read more »

Joseph
6 years ago

To the people commenting above: the fact is that Kierra was not disqualified at NCAAs, so your speculation is doing nothing but trying to belittle the accomplishments of someone who is working really hard at a sport you all care about, which isn’t an honourable way to spend your time. I understand that fair ruling is important, but that’s up to the officials. From here on out every official at events around the world are going to be watching her elbows like a hawk. So let the officials do their job, and as swim supporters, maybe choose instead to be proud of what she – and the other athletes in this article – have accomplished, because they’ve accomplished a lot.… Read more »

Wondering
6 years ago

The right elbow is certainly in the water. Could the focus on the left elbow be the water splashing away from her?

I think Kierra is a great swimmer and handled the controversy with professionalism.. People used to always watch her toes now the switch is to elbows. Bring it on she will still #swimtowin

ArtVanDeLegh10
6 years ago

Joseph:

Recovering your elbow/s over the surface of the water is illegal. The picture clearly shows that she has broken the rules.

When Cameron VandeBurgh took an extra dolphin kick on his pullout at the Olympics which helped him win gold and break the WR, everyone was going crazy. He knowingly broke the rules, so did Kierra (and don’t act like this picture was the first time she and her coaches realized she was recovering over the water).

No one is belittling her accomplishment. We all just stated what seems to be a clear violation of the rules. It’s tough to praise her accomplishment, though, when she clearly broke the rule.

bye
6 years ago

Hey Mike S. Congrats on being MVP of masters swimming in 2005 … can’t belittle that accomplishment. PS. What exactly is a midmajor school?

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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