The State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) is proud to announce the award winners for men’s swimming & diving. Voted on by the coaches, these awards honor the Swimmer, Diver, and Rookie of the Year for the conference.
Swimmer of the Year- Connor Mergler, Buffalo State
Mergler, a junior from East Amherst, N.Y. had an outstanding overall season for the Bengals. At the SUNYAC championship meet, he was able to secure first-place finishes in the 50, 100, and 200 freestyle events as well as a third and fourth place finishes in the 400 and 200 freestyle relays, respectively. These feats gained Mergler the title of Male Outstanding Swimmer of the Meet. Mergler then moved on to the DIII National Swimming & Diving Championships, where he continued to display his prowess in the pool and strongly represent the SUNYAC. He was able to attain top-20 finishes nationally in the 50, 100, and 200 freestyle races. His eighth-place finish in the 100 was rewarded with All-American status, the second time he has attained this distinction in his career.
Diver of the Year- Arron Carlson, Fredonia
Carlson, originally from LeRoy, N.Y. caps his historic career with his first Diver of the Year award. The senior Blue Devil had an impressive season, going unbeaten in the 1-meter and 3-meter diving competitions (24-0). This perfect record includes tremendous victories at the SUNYAC championship meet, where he topped 2016 National Champion Sam Randall in the 1-meter and also won the 3-meter competition. This performance earned Carlson his second straight Outstanding Diver of the Meet at the conference championship. At the DIII National Championships, Arron placed third nationally in the 3-meter and fourth in the 1-meter, gaining two more All-America honors for a total of five in his career.
Rookie of the Year- Cooper Knapp, New Paltz
Knapp, a freshman from Glens Falls, N.Y. had a strong start to his SUNYAC career. At the SUNYAC championships, Knapp was victorious in the 200 butterfly, breaking the school record (which he also held). His participation in the 200 freestyle relay helped New Paltz secure a second-place finish in the event. Knapp also set a SUNYAC record in his leg of the 400 medley relay with a time of 49.85 in the 100 backstroke.