EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) - UW-Eau Claire men's and women's swimming & diving coach Art Brandt recently announced the team award winners for the 2010-11 season.
Nicole Dorvinen (Jr.-Green Bay, Wis./Bay Port) and Jonathan Poppele (Jr.-Maple Grove, Minn./Wayzata) were honored as the most valuable swimmers. Dorvinen, who was named most valuable swimmer last year as well, was part of four new school records and four first place finishes at the conference championships. Dorvinen was named top swimmer of the WIAC meet and also earned an All-American finish by placing fifth in the 400-yard individual medley at NCAA Division III Nationals.
Poppele earned conference championships in two events – the 200-yard backstroke and the 400-yard individual medley. Poppele broke school records with his performances in these events and also earned runner up in the 200-yard individual medley.
Nick Badilla (So.-Appleton, Wis./North) picked up the award for most valuable diver. As the lone representative of the men's team at nationals, Badilla picked up top-20 finishes in both of his dives. He claimed 14th spot in the one-meter and 16th in the three-meter dive.
Rookie of the Year awards were given to Emily Behrens (Fr.-Faribault, Minn.) and Alex Card (Fr.-Prior Lake, Minn.). Behrens earned two finishes of 10th or better at the conference championships. She placed 5th in the 100-yard breaststroke and followed it up with a 10th in the 200 breaststroke.
Card had an impressive rookie season as well, earning three top-three finishes at the WIAC championships. Card claimed the WIAC championship in the 200-yard breaststroke. He also finished runner up in the 100 breaststroke and third in the 200-yard individual medley.
Sara Eggebrecht (So.-Abbotsford, Wis./Colby) and Alex Plaetzer (Jr.-Rochester, Minn./John Marshall) earned honors as the most improved swimmers. Eggebrecht earned three finishes of fourth or better at the WIAC championships, led by a third in the 200-yard backstroke. Plaetzer placed eighth or better in three events at the championships, led by third in the 200-yard butterfly. Plaetzer was also named owner of the sacred cowbell.
Also receiving honors were Maddy Smith (Sr.-Hales Corners, Wis./Whitnall) and Ben Macalalad (Sr.-Wausau, Wis./East), who earned the most inspirational awards. Kirsten Lickel (Jr.-Madison, Wis./East) also picked up the most versatile award while volunteer assistant coach Ross Campbell earned the Blugold Honor award.