Courtesy: Mountain West Conference
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The Mountain West announced today that Boise State’s Abbey Sorensen and San Diego State’s Ximena Lechuga Gonzalez earned the 2018-19 MW Swimmer and Diver of the Year honors, respectively, which is voted on by the Conference’s head coaches. In addition, San Diego State’s Mike Shrader and Roland McDonald were voted by their peers as the 2018-19 MW Swimming & Diving Coaches of the Year.
Sorensen, who was selected as a Co-Swimmer of the 2019 MW Swimming & Diving Championships, earned first-place medals in both the 50-freestyle (22.42) and the 200-backstroke (1:53.90). She received an invite to the NCAA championships this season, where she set the all-time MW record in the 200-backstroke with a time of 1:53.28. At the NCAA’s she also swam in the 50-freestyle preliminaries and the 100-backstroke preliminaries. The Utah native, has been named All-MW for three consecutive seasons and in 2018-19 earned the honors in the 50-freestyle, 100-backstroke and 200-backstroke. Sorensen is the second Bronco to earn the MW Swimmer of the Year award, joining Amber Boucher, who won the honor in 2011-12.
Lechuga Gonzalez becomes the first student-athlete in MW history to win the Diver of the Year honors as a freshman, after finishing in the top-three in each of the diving events at the 2019 Mountain West Swimming and Diving Championships. She won the 1-meter diving title at the league meet with a final score of 325.55, which is the 10th-best mark in MW history. She becomes the second Aztec to earn the league’s yearly honor, joining Kristen Meier, who won it in 2010-11. Heading into the MW championships she had a top-10 performance in each of the 1-meter, 3-meter and platform diving events. Lechuga Gonzalez also earned silver and bronze medals in the platform and 3-meter diving events, respectively, at the Conference meet.
Shrader was tabbed the MW Swimming Coach of the Year after leading the Aztecs to the programs fourth-title and first since the 2015 season. The Aztecs tallied 1,363.5 points, while taking first place in three of the five relay races. Schrader earned the yearly honors for the sixth time in his career and the first time since 2013-14. SDSU’s McDonald became the first Aztec coach to win the MW Diving Coach of the Year award and is first coach since 2011-12 to win the honor from a school other than Nevada. McDonald led three Aztecs to the MW finals of platform diving and coached Lechuga Gonzalez to top-three finishes in the other two events.
2019 MW Swimmer of the Year
Abbey Sorensen, Sr., Boise State
2019 MW Diver of the Year
Ximena Lechuga Gonzalez, Fr., San Diego State
2019 MW Swimming Coach of the Year
Mike Shrader, San Diego State
2019 MW Diving Coach of the Year
Roland McDonald, San Diego State