The Vermont women’s swimming & diving program handed out its team awards for the 2016-17 season at its annual awards banquet on Saturday night at the Sheraton Burlington Hotel. Courtney Gray, Abby Holmquist, Ashley Branagan, Colleen Driscoll, and Sarah Mantz were honored by head coach Gerry Cournoyer with the squad’s individual awards. The Catamounts closed the season with a 6-1 record and registered a program-record point total at the America East Championships for third place.
JOE FISCHER AWARD: Courtney Gray
The Joe Fischer Award honors a student-athlete who has displayed dedication, sacrifice and humility. Gray placed ninth in the 100 fly at the America East Championships (56.91) with a season-best time. The senior was also 10th in the 100 back with the second-fastest time of her career (57.75). She helped the 200 medley relay team earn third on the opening day of the meet. Gray is a two-time America East All-Academic honoree.
LES LEGGETT AWARD: Abby Holmquist
The Les Leggett Award honors a student-athlete who has displayed leadership, loyalty, humility and sportsmanship. Holmquist served as a tri-captain this year as a senior. She posted a career-best performance in the 100-yard backstroke (56.94) at the America East Championships for fifth place overall. She also placed 11th in the 100 free and 12th in the 50 free at America East with personal-best times in both events. Holmquist is a past member of the America East All-Academic Team.
MOST IMPROVED DIVER AWARD: Ashley Branagan
The Most Improved Diver Award honors a diver that has showed the most progress throughout the season. At the America East Championships, Branagan finished sixth in the 3-meter dive with 202.25 points and was seventh in the 1-meter with a score of 180.95. She registered a career-best 3-meter score (205.85) in a win at Siena for the highest mark by a Catamount this season. Branagan had a total of seven top-5 finishes during her sophomore season.
COACH’S AWARD: Colleen Driscoll
The Coach’s Award honors a student-athlete who has made a significant impact to the team’s success. Driscoll suffered a broken foot in January while the team was at the Ft. Lauderdale airport in Florida during an active shooter situation. She was medically allowed to compete at the America East Championships with the injury and raced despite knowing she would not be competitive. Driscoll could not compete during the second half of the season but remained a key member of the squad through the setback.
ATHLETE OF THE YEAR AWARD: Sarah Mantz
The program’s Athlete of the Year Award was defended by Mantz, who was an America East All-Conference performer in three individual events for the second straight year. Mantz took second overall in the 50, 100 and 200 free, and helped UVM win its second consecutive 200 free relay in school record time. She also swam legs during new varsity records in both the 400 free relay and 400 medley relay. A three-time member of the America East Commissioner’s Honor Roll, the senior carries a 3.62 GPA in business administration and won last year’s America East Elite 18 award.
Courtesy of Vermont Athletics.